Training dogs is a great skill – but to be honest, some people just ‘do’ dogs so well that dogs behave around them, come what may. So the real real skill lies in being able to transfer some of that magic power to us, normal, feet-of-clay owners.
‘It’s no good a dog behaving beautifully for me and then messing around as soon as they get back to their owner’ says Ed. ’All that’s going to do is knock confidence and lessen the owner’s enjoyment of their dog. Training should be empowering, not undermining. It’s great working with owners and their dogs and teaching them how to best communicate with each other. Achieving that, now that’s what I love about being a dog trainer!’
Some training philosophies hopefully worth wittering about:
- We have dogs because we love them and they enrich our lives – training should be just about helping along that mutual enjoyment. It’s not about stressy tests, or living up to other people’s standards, or public approbation, it’s about best communicating with each other so your dog can best enrich your life
- And dogs, being the people-pleasing species they are, are best enriched when enriching us (if you know what I mean)
- Training should teach owners how to manage their dog. It is about empowering owners, not emasculating them by showing off your own skills to the detriment of their own
- Ps: praise, positivity, patterns, perfection. ‘Positively, good’
- Dogs fit in brilliantly with our lives (it’s what they’ve been doing for thousands of years, since that first camp fire introduction) but what we’re asking of them in towns etc really is a very long way off their natural. Help them by offering activities like agility to exercise their minds and bodies
- Training is fun. It’s a treat, not a discipline. Relish, enjoy, achieve, love!