Monday, December 18, 2017

No Democracy in Dog Obedience Training

March 30, 2010 by  
Filed under Non-Member

Dog training is not socialism, nor is it a democracy. In fact, if I had to compare it to some type of political system, I might classify it as a monarchy, with you on the throne, as a kind and gentle, but respected, leader.

Under the socialism realm, we humans understand every participant to be equal, in ownership, in rights, etc. This might work well in the political arena, but when it comes to dogs, they simply aren’t buying it. If you treat your dog as an equal, affording her the same privileges as the humans in the house (table food, bed sleeping, indoor toilet privileges), you will certainly end up with a dog that believes she has just as much power as you (and eventually, more). In a dog’s mind, someone must move to the leadership role. If you’re not going to take it, she will.

If your pet-owning household is operated like a democracy, in which each member, including the dog, has an equal, respected opinion in the way daily operations should go, you run the risk of promoting your dog to president. If you give your dog a vote, he might raise a paw for chewing on furniture, tackling guests, or digging a moat around the house.

In the wild, dogs do not live “fairly”. They do not strive for equality. Rather, the strongest dog rises to the top, as leader of the pack. Hierarchy is established, and is generally respected by most of the pack members. This is the same realm under which your dog will feel comfortable living in your house. After all, she doesn’t strive to be human. Instead, she views you as a pack member. Allowing her to believe that this is true, and that you are the leader of her pack, will engage her “learning switch”.

Now, please don’t misunderstand. Dog obedience training should not be attempted through tyranny. You will have far better results if you train your dog without hitting, yelling, or otherwise punishing. If you train your dog using fear, she will never be the confident, obedient dog that you desire.

Instead, establish yourself as an even-tempered, loving, and fun-to-be-with monarch. You can show your power with rewards and praise. You can also show your power by withholding rewards when bad behavior is exhibited. When using these two displays of power, punishment is never needed.

A dog will not vote you into office. Instead, you must let her know that you have inherited the throne, and she has nothing to worry about while you’re in command. Your dog will be more receptive to dog obedience training, more relaxed, quicker to learn, and more confident if you establish yourself as the kind and gentle monarch of your dog training domain.

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