Dog Guru

    People often ask me how is that dogs obey me almost instantly. It is simple. I give undivided attention and positive feedback to dogs.   What this means is that when I meet a new dog I look it in the face and say to it “What a good dog “ And then caress behind the ears and on the chest. I then hold something that they want in such a position as to encourage the dog to sit. Usually a dog will sit when it’s nose is pointed straight up towards the ceiling. Because it is more comfortable for them to sit when their head is pointed upward, when the dog sits I instantly reward with the lure which is usually food. This sets up a positive relationship with the animal. Now the animal is motivated to obtain another piece of food. As sitting obtained the first piece the dog is likely to try that again to see if it will work a second time. And of course it does and also comes with praise and a caress. Now if the dog does something else other than sitting then I do not say anything or make any indication as what I want apart from holding the lure in the same place. When the dog figures out that sitting gets the reward, sitting becomes the default position.    This technique can be used to advantage when a dog is jumping up. By waiting it out, and allowing the dog to jump on you but not talking or touching the dog, basically ignoring all the attempts to get your attention, will communicate to the dog what is expected. Eventually the dog will tire and stop jumping. At that moment a treat is dropped from your hand to the floor. Usually this will initiate another round of jumping, but it will be considerably shorter before the dog stops. Again a treat is dropped to the floor. Most dogs will have a much shorter third round of jumping but stop very quickly. After that if you are consistent in not rewarding the jumping up in anyway the dog may have a few half-hearted attempts but the behaviour will extinguish relatively quickly. Most people make the mistake of talking to the dog during the jump…usually with saying down or bad dog or something similar. The voice will encourage the jumping and the behaviour will take longer to disappear.

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