I love this title! Zen Dog Training. It’s better than Catching More Flies with Honey. That’s just gross. Patience is not just a virtue but more of a necessity when it comes to training dogs.
I recently read this post from Urbane Animal Behavior and was glad to see someone reinforcing a very simple concept so succinctly. This technique works very well for my dog but I believe her personality is predisposed to respond to it. For example, I will invite her onto the bed or couch for petting. When I stop she immediately gets down and does something else. Sometimes I imagine that she thinks ‘Oh no, I’m the one ignoring YOU. Not the other way around!‘ As such, ignoring unwanted behavior and treating good behavior is extremely effective in my house!
But what about people who don’t have such snooty dogs? What about those dogs that are extremely interested in food-and-only-food-and-nothing-else-in-the-whole-world except for maybe a stick or ball? I’m looking at you, labradors! It’s possible that the only time these dogs will stop begging is when you’ve cleaned your plate. Capturing good behavior might be nearly impossible! What do you do then?
Since I’m not actually a dog trainer, I have no idea! But if this situation applies to you, then definitely seek out the advice of the pros. Pippi and I have visited a trainer and have taken some classes and it’s been invaluable in understanding her behavior and modifying my behavior to get the reactions I want from her. Unfortunately for us, nothing in the world is better to Pippi than chasing after small critters so we have our own struggles to work through!
Here are a few fun memes I found to help you smile through those difficult training times!
Here’s something that helps me when I start to lose patience. I think of a scene from A Fish Called Wanda where Archie is trying to get essential information from Ken, who has a stutter. Archie knew that adding pressure to the situation wouldn’t get him the results he wanted. Plus, John Cleese and Michael Palin are just plain funny!