Training-empathy not demands

17747_542090355820572_13886185_nWhen people take on a puppy, young dog or a horse their welfare should be uppermost in their minds. At least that should be what happens.

I have problems with people who want quick results and make demands on their animals especially if they are young, or rescues, or even both.

Fact 1- puppies need time to grow and develop. They are not born with innate skills of walking to heel or recall. Friends and people who have owned dogs of the same breed do not neccesarily make good trainers. This is because they very rarely have the knowledge that is needed. To have owned dogs of the same type is no recommendation that training is going to be suited to your dog.

Fact 2- the welfare of the dog is the owners responsibility, and it is imperative that anyone who undertakes to train a dog understands about what a dog needs.

Fact 3- collars and leads are not good training aids. Dogs need a comfortable well fitting harness, and need to feel comfortable when you are working with them. Collars might be easy to give harsh corrections with, but damage to the neck will be sustained. This is not debatable, it is a fact. Collars can bruise necks and cause extensive damage to the thyroid and other related structures in the neck. Collars should never be used to haul dogs back into a position int a “heel” position.

Fact 4- they need breaks and breathers when being taught skills. Aversives  and demands should have no part during training sessions. High expectations have no place in training and yes, treats are needed to help with the process of learning. They can be phased down as tasks become easier, but they are very important during training, and teaching .

Fact 5- life skills should be used to enhance your dog’s life, and training should never mistaken as a way of forcing a dog to “behave better”. Dogs normally behave how like dogs,if this is distasteful to people then get a cuddly dog instead of a real one. Dogs are not machines and deserve to be comfortable and guided and taught.

Fact 6-training takes time. It should never be rushed and expectations should be modified for each individual dog. If things are really happening slowly, then take a look at what is going on and how the task is being taught.

The message here is about how dogs learn.However long it takes is however long it takes. If you get impatient with progress then take a step back and think about what you are doing wrong instead of involving harsh techniques and aversive equipment.

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One thought on “Training-empathy not demands

  1. Pingback: Training-empathy not demands | horse and hound school

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