Relationships vs Cookies

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Most trainers today train with positive reinforcement, but it is how the positive reinforcement is implemented that makes the enormous difference in the results. Otherwise all of our dogs would look the same, and they don't.

Through training, we must make our dogs weaknesses invisible, and strengths increased. Your fearful dog should become silently proud. Your pushy thug should become a guidable gentleman. Training isn't just about training behaviours: it is about helping them to grow up to be proud and functioning members of your household.

To get this you must learn to stroke their ego, and make them believe what you tell them when you praise. You want their tails up over their backs, with their skin loose over their bodies and rib cage when you talk to them. And they must have an evil glint in their eye (a trademark for me that I seem to put into every dog that I work with). 

We must be different with every dog. Some dogs needs their owners to be calm, so that their frenetic energy can stay bottled and together. Others need their owners actively puffing air into them, so that they are not deflated-balloons as they work. Some serious girls need to remember that they have a soft, sweet and silly side. Some Mummy's Boys need encouragement to make decisions without their hands continually being held. 

Just with your voice, your body language and your facial expressions, learn to build all of these traits into your dog. Positive Reinforcement is the method of choice for dog training, but its value is minimal compared to the value of your relationship. 

What personality traits you see your dog is what you will create and build. . Once you are able to, you can begin to make your dog the absolutely best that he can be.

Monique Anstee
Victoria, BC

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