We’re supposed to be interesting to our dogs. We live with them. But when it comes to training, it can be a challenge to keep them interested and engaged. Here are a few unconventional tips to help you keep your dog eager to learn and play for many years to come!
It can be hard to keep our dog’s attention during training. But it can be easier to keep our dog engaged if we plan for shorter sessions, short breaks and letting them know when the training is starting and when it’s done. I’ve learned in my own experience that confusion and ambiguity about what’s happening next can be tiring. Why should it be different for my dogs?
Imagine being a dog and working with three different dog trainers. Each has their own style and agenda. Imagine that these three trainers could show up at any time and might change places abruptly. Now imagine that all three trainers are YOU and you must juggle your priorities and goals in real time. Amazingly, we do it every single day. Here’s hoping we can all do it well!
There is nothing quite like that feeling when you teach your dog something and they finally “get it!” That is, until you realize that you only THOUGHT they got it. Then you have to go about trying to figure out what they learned instead and then help them unlearn it. There are lots of ways to teach your dog. But only if you are observant enough to see what they are learning!
Dog training is evolving rapidly. Some in the dog community feel that we need to actively prohibit the use of training equipment like electronic and prong collars. There are generations of habits and methods built up around these tools. How do we facilitate the transition to new methods without creating new problems? I think it’s a question we should be discussing.
I know how to fool a dog trainer. The one I fool the most is me! While it may seem simple, learning to teach a dog with clarity isn’t as easy as it sounds. The road is filled with misconceptions and misperceptions. Hopefully by sharing some of my mistakes, you can avoid making them yourself. Don’t let the dog trainer in you be fooled!
With literally dozens of ways to teach a dog to do the same behaviour, how do we choose the best way for us? It seems we often choose a method because “it works” for us. But what does that mean? It could be that the dog looks like it’s doing what we want. But is there more to it?
It’s remarkable how little the term “atheist” tells you about someone. The one thing it does tell you is that we are not convinced of the existence of a god. But we believe in lots of things. It might be worth having a conversation to learn more about each other. Perhaps a dance with “the devil you don’t know” and you might find we have a lot in common.
Our personal beliefs are just that – personal. Humans are social creatures and we are concerned for the welfare and well being of those around us. The personal can become very public if we try to “save” each other from ideas we believe are “wrong” or “untrue.” Many religions “salvation” built into them but apparently many atheists and non-believers have their own version too!
It seems to be fashionable in certain segments of society to claim that those who do not believe in a god are also amoral, evil, or worse. That is certainly not how I have lived my own life and it is not how I was taught to approach life by the people who shaped my world view when I was young. Neither promise of “heaven” nor threat of “hell” are necessary to motivate me to do right by my fellow humans. I have found that the doing is reward enough in itself.