It is common belief amongst the public that all dogs must be trained. Many responsible dog owners will seek to fulfil this mission and look to train their dogs in the form of a training class. In this class you will likely be taught the basics such as how to get your dog to sit, stay, heel etc. These lessons are very useful when it comes to your dogs responses but in truth they are only the tip of the iceberg to understanding your dog and its needs.
ALL DOGS have needs and the reasons to a dogs’ undesirable behaviour occurs through them attempting to fulfil their own needs rather than look to the owner for cues on how to act. This attempt to fulfil their own needs can manifest in many behaviours such as aggression to other dogs, pulling on the lead, jumping up, separation anxiety , the list is endless. The fact that the dog does not understand the world and cannot successfully fulfil their own needs does not come into their thinking.
If we think of our dogs behavioural problems that need addressing in the form of training rather than look to what the unmet needs are, it unwittingly causes us to trivialise the problem and look for a quick fix ‘solution’ such as a pet corrector if the dog barks excessively, a haulti when the dog pulls or a shock collar if they attack another dog etc. The dog in these scenarios is terribly misunderstood, the corrections may seem to work in the sense the dogs problem behaviour stops, however the real underlying issue has not been resolved.
To truly understand our dog we must think about what the dog needs in each moment an to demonstrate that we will provide for their needs so they do not have to. To do this if we change our approach with dogs by thinking “how can we show we fulfil their needs” opposed to the term training, then we will begin to understand our dogs on a deeper level. So for example if our dog barks at other dogs we can use our language as the needs provider to show them that we do not think other dogs are a problem and we are dealing with it. Over time if the dog understands our intentions and our position as needs provider, they will learn to look and trust our decisions regarding their needs.
A hypocritical blog for someone whose website is called Dog Training in London but no one is typing ” how to show your dog you provide for their needs” into Google. Until they do I will keep the name dog training. In the meantime always look at your dog that has needs that must be fulfilled and think to yourself if problem arise, why is the dog acting like that and what do they need from me before attempting to resolve it.
For information in showing how to provide for your dogs needs go to www.dogtraininginlondon.co.uk where top dog behaviourist and trainers can help you address any dog behaviour.