To get things started we’d like to pose a couple of questions:
• What is a trained dog?
• What is a well-behaved dog?
Imagine a dog that can sit, stay, fetch, roll over, play dead, do backflips and drive a car. We would probably say that dog is well trained, correct? Would we also say that they are well-behaved? Not necessarily. Let’s say this same dog does great on leash for a specific handler, but is reactive and tense with another...now how do we feel about the dog’s training/behavior?
Picking up where we left off. You’ll recall that in a balanced human-dog relationship, a trained dog looks to us for direction and they regularly respond to our direction in a positive manner. A dog won’t look for direction or respond to our requests unless they:
• are fulfilled as animal-dog-breed
• trust our ability to direct and protect
• know all good things come from us
We’d be remiss if we did a series on Dog Behavior 101 without talking about what’s going on in between our dog’s ears. A basic understanding of the dog’s mind can help you better meet your dog’s needs and create a balanced, happy human-dog relationship. So what are dogs thinking? How does a dog’s mind work?
A day in the life of a human is hard to define, because all of us lead such different lives. There are some fundamental elements that are the same: rest, eat, work, play, etc..but beyond that baseline our lives are pretty different. Some of us stay home with the kids, some of us go to an office, some play rock music, some do yoga, some train dogs and so on. Dogs on the other hand, tend to do the same 4 things, no matter where they live or who their owners are. Whether living in the wild, or in an apartment in Uptown, a dog will do the same 4 things every day.
Today we’re introducing a concept we call 23:59:59. This will help you understand why your dog acts out and what to do to prevent it.
At BDB we never get calls from clients with perfectly behaved dogs-why would we? A dog who is consistently respectful, doesn’t whine, bark, chew or otherwise act out doesn’t bother their owner-and a human with a well-behaved dog doesn’t need a dog behaviorist.
Today we’re taking a look at dog communication methods.
It’s common sense that dogs don’t speak human, but that doesn’t keep 99% of dog owners from trying anyway. You could read your dog the entire dictionary front to back and they would understand exactly zero words. You could tell your dog “no, no, we don’t jump on guests” a thousand times, and they will still jump on your guests.
Whether you’re trying to understand your long-time dog, or you’re considering getting a new dog, it’s important to know a few things about what makes a dog who they are. Knowing our dog on a deeper level allows us to better understand our individual dog’s needs. Just as humans have different personality traits that can be affected by the environment, our dogs too have unique dispositions that make them who they are as individuals.
Well friends, we’ve come to the end of our Dog Behavior 101 Series. We’d like to review what we’ve covered over the last several posts. I know it might seem like a lot to take in, but just focus on one or two things at a time. Eventually it will all become second nature and you and your dog will be well on your way to a happier, more balanced relationship.