All dogs need training in some shape or form to enable them to live happy, stable and unproblematic lives. All dogs will get training, but not all training will result in the positive outcome that responsible dog owners would like.

The training that all dogs will get will be in the form of either structured training sessions, where the owner will have a clear goal of what they want to achieve, and/or the drip, drip, drip effect of the subtle daily training that goes on during the daily interactions between a dog and his owner when neither the dog or the owner are fully aware of the consequences of these interactions, and certainly don’t form part of a structured training plan.

As a dog owner, probably the biggest mistake you can make when it comes to training your dog is to carry on completely oblivious to the potential effects that can result from these interactions.

As an example; lets say that that you like to sit down in the evening and read a chapter of your book. You’ve been at work for most of the day, and although your dog went for a walk first thing, and will indeed be going out again after dinner, he’s bored and wants to play. He digs out his best ball from the depths of the dog bed and brings it to you; stands there, head to one side and waits for you to notice what he’s brought you.

You read on, aware that he’s there, but anxious to get to the end of the chapter.

He makes a little noise, to say,’ hey mom, I’m here, I’ve got the ball’. Without looking up, you reach out and stroke him, still reading. Your action was to let him know that you knew he was there. The message he got was, ‘cool, I got a pat for making that noise’.

You read on.

He makes another noise, this time a little louder.

Reading faster now, and very near the end of the chapter, you reach out to him again, as if to say, ‘Yes, just a minute more and I’ll be with you.’

The message he got was ‘when I make more noise, I get more attention.’

This time, he drops the ball in your lap and barks, he really does want to go out and play. You have reached the end of your chapter, and close the book. You get up and take your dog out to play ball in the garden. You’re very pleased that you’ve got to the end of your chapter, as you’d planned, despite the dog trying to interrupt you.

The dog bounds out to the garden, really pleased because he just taught you to put your book down and come out and play when he barked at you loudly.

Training your dog doesn’t have to be difficult. Training any animal is based on a series of body languages with consistent and persistent effort that is based on a knowledge and an understanding of how that animal has evolved through the years and what motivates them.

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