Now, right from the get go, let’s be clear. Training can be awesome and some behaviours can be life savers, for example, emergency stop or recall. I’m a bit of a training geek. At Uni I achieved a 100% grade in advanced dog training (I like to mention that) so I’m in no way, shape or form putting training down or suggesting it’s not needed. Absolutely not!
But there is something even more important to me and to Mr B; a good relationship.All training and care should be built on a good relationship. What’s the point of the most obedient dog in the world if he doesn’t actually enjoy what he’s doing? Doesn’t he deserve to live in peace? To live without fear? Isn’t it a better situation for us all if he enjoys training rather than being compelled to perform?
People ask, how can I train this or that? There is so much more to training than the procedural steps of the behaviour you wish to develop. Be kind to your dog, it’s the first step to teaching anything, it’s the first step to living in peace, it’s the first step to a happy dog and a happy dog is much easier to train. Every behaviour I can think of is more easily and more pleasantly trained when there is already a good relationship in place.
Shay Kelly is the author of Dog training and behavor: a guide for everyone and Canine Enrichment: the book your dog needs you to read