Changing the actions, aptitudes and attitudes of dogs and their people
How Do You Replicate Issues and
Evidence Training Success?
How Do You Replicate Issues and Evidence Training Success?QUESTION:How do you replicate issues that involve children? How will I know you can address his specific issue? How do you evidence successful outcomes for your services? ANSWER:Our approach to rehabilitating dogs is to get to the very core of a dog’s disobedience or anti-social behavior. In the same way that you don’t need to own a boat to teach a child that he is not to steal a person’s boat, you don’t need a child to teach a dog to behave in a socially acceptable manner, regardless of the situation.When I was a young kid, my parents drove us to Florida (from Illinois) for vacation. We stopped for lunch at a Denny’s. After lunch, when we were well on our way, perhaps 15 or 20 minutes beyond the restaurant, my mother realized that my little sister was playing with a white stone – the type one finds around landscaping. When she asked Cheryl where she got the rock, Cheryl said she took it from a planter at the Denny’s. My mother instructed my father to turn around and go back to the restaurant, which was, of course, not what he wanted to do. But, he obliged. Cheryl was required to go inside and give the rock back to the Manager and apologize for taking his stone. My older sister and I were in attendance for the experience. That lesson, I’m certain, had a huge bearing on whether we chose to steal something far more valuable later in life. Beaux's decision to act out aggressively towards a child is a symptom of a far deeper root cause about respect for you, your “things” / pack members or guests in your home and your authority. So, we do not need to “recreate” a scenario to “set up” or “catch him in the act” of his unacceptable behavior to teach him about how to be a respectful, social dog. While you are not unique that you say “Beaux knows his basic commands”, I would bet money on the fact that, versus our standards, he does not know his “commands” because I suspect it would be fairly easy to distract him from obeying you. For example, if you told him to sit and stay and I tried to distract him with something like a cat, a ball, some food, another dog playing, a kid on a bike etc…, would Beaux remain sitting still or would he disrespect your authority and decide to go after the food I dropped on the floor? If he would decide to grab the food, he really doesn’t know his command to sit and stay put. That is like stealing the little rock. It is the basis for all the other unacceptable behaviors that he may present – which, at this time, have escalated to acting aggressively towards a child. So, we strip things down to the very basics. Then, we need to teach the dog’s people how to maintain the dog’s sense of self-restraint, respect and obedience. That’s way more difficult than teaching the dog to be well mannered even in situations in which he once acted out.The evidence of the dog’s training is presented at the pick up appointment which is a 3-5 hour session at which time you learn how and why we used the methods we did to re-align your dog. You see your dog working before he knows you are here and then after he knows you are here. We learn about how much the dog was disrespecting his owners at the moment that the dog is back in your presence. Most dogs, having shown exceptional compliance and self restraint before they see their owners again will revert for some short period of time (a few minutes), when they are reunited. This is because a dog that believes he can act disrespectfully of his people doesn’t change his mind just because he learned how to be calm, relaxed and compliant around us. You must earn your dog’s respect during the pick up appointment. The evidence that he has learned happens at that point of the training session and is defined by the owner, not us. It doesn’t matter if we can teach Beaux to drive the space shuttle if he won’t stay sitting and under your absolute authority if we try to distract him in some way. So, you work with him, under our guidance and coaching, until you feel like you “own” him, rather than the other way around.I hope that helps to describe our philosophy. To augment this email, please feel free to read this FAQ:Will My Dog Revert To Old Habits After Training?