It’s a no brainer that dogs and humans are different, yet constantly we see people anthropomorphizing their furry friends. I’m in that pool. I talk to my dog, I like to be it’s voice and pretend that they are thinking like a human, but that’s where I draw the line. I don’t expect my dog to know things that a human does and neither should you. That is why we do dog training. In order to get my dog to behave I have started to control everything.
Controlling everything from food to toys allows you to control your dog, without ever having to physically doing anything. This leads your dog to look at you as the provider. Once your dog views you as such, they become more obedient.
This is not a concept isolated just to dogs. Falconers also use this. If you don’t know about falconing, it is the sport of using birds of prey to hunt. Falconers catch their own birds in the wild and train them to hunt with them. The bird flies out, spots a creature, kills it, and the falconer retrieves the kill and the bird. What is stopping the bird from just leaving? The simple fact that it views the falconer as the provider. The falconer controls the feeding and so the bird knows that if it sticks with this person, he will eat. It’s not an emotional thing, it is purely a survival instinct.
The dog is very much the same way (although I still believe my dog loves me unconditionally), but that’s a good thing. With a dog, we have much more that we control: food, where it goes, where it potties, what it plays with, etc. . The whole dog’s life is controlled, because that’s what it takes to live with humans. If you are having trouble with your dog think about what you are and are not controlling.
Everyone has to housebreak their dogs, and although it eventually happens, it often comes with a lot of grief and frustration. Some times people even push their dogs face into the pee. This isn’t a good idea. Instead house breaking should be the start of controlling your dog. It is imperative that everything is controlled. When they eat and drink will dictate when they go to the bathroom. If you control that, you can make sure to take them out before they go to the bathroom in the house. Other things to control include how much of the house they can explore. Too much freedom and they won’t be able to distinguish what is a no no zone for potty and where is okay. The last thing is where they go to the bathroom. If you want your dog to pee on grass, then always take them into the grass. The feeling of grass will them stimulate them to go and they will begin to only go on the grass. That’s why housebreaking can take so long. The dog gets used to peeing on hardwood floors, carpet, and tile, and now that’s what it associates with the bathroom. Do yourself a favor and control them.
Does your dog have a chewing problem, and destroys furniture and clothing? The solution is not give them more chew toys, it is to control when they chew and what they chew. Don’t leave out bones or other toys for your dog to chew on. They are not able to distinguish good chewing from bad chewing. They just know, “I can chew all day”. Instead periodically give your dog the bone and while they are still into it, take it away. This leaves them wanting more of the bone and only the bone. Repeating this will draw their attention to the right thing to chew on.
Essentially you control when they can get on the furniture. If you want your dog to only go on the furniture when you ask, then push them away when they decide to get on without permission. When you decide to let them up, tell them to come. After a while they will pick up on it and stay off the furniture.
So many aspects of training can be boiled down to control. If you let a dog do what it wants, then it will walk all over you. But if you control it’s life and it looks to you as the provider, they will comply. And isn’t this what everyone wants? To have your dog look to you as the provider. It just feels great.
So go out there and try this out. It’ll make you happier and them well behaved.