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The Bark Busters worldwide home dog training service guarantee is unique in the industry. It is designed to help owners resolve their dog's behaviour and obedience problems and to provide customers with the satisfaction of ongoing support and peace of mind. Find out more
You may have seen our recent article 'The Importance of Training your Dog' where we talked about the importance of regular training sessions between you and your dog to maintain communication.
In today's article, we are taking a lighthearted look at the training that takes place in lots of homes every day...where your dog is training you!
It might amuse you to know that, when our Bark Buster trainers visit dogs and their owners in their homes, one of the first things we are assessing is "who believes they are in charge here?". By simply observing the behaviour of the dog and the owners whilst we are chatting and taking notes, we can see how well the dog has trained its owners. In fact, in most of homes we visit for behavioural issues, the dog believes he is in charge and the owners don't know it! Often, once we point out to the owners the very subtle tell-tail signs, and they realise how silently and expertly they have been trained by their dog (and after we have all had a good chuckle about it), this is the point when owners start to see things from their dogs point of view, and have a new respect for their dog's intelligence.
So, as a fun exercise, we decided to put together some examples of dogs who have used their intelligence to work out what they want to happen or what they want to achieve, and who have then gone on to successfully train their owners or to control situations to get what they want! These are all real-life examples of dogs practicing their "human training". Names have been changed to protect the identity of those kind enough to admit to being trained by their dog! We hope you enjoy them, and maybe you will see in these stories a reflection of your own reality!
These are just a few examples of dogs using their intelligence to get what they want and, in some cases, train and control you. There are many more methods not listed here! Try to observe your behaviour with your dog for 24 hours and make a note of incidences where you are responding to your dog's demands.
Don't panic if you have a long list! And if you have no behavioural issues with your dog, you can just regard these behaviours as amusing, quirky aspects of your dog's personality that make you laugh and brighten your day!
However, where you are struggling with aspects of your dog's behaviour, this may be the first place to start turning your relationship around and getting yourself back in control. The way to turn things around is simple. Be mindful of what you are doing at your dog's command, and stop doing it! Ignoring attention-seeking behaviour, or demands from your dog. By not responding to your dog's demands you are communicating leadership to your dog in a passive way that he instinctively understands. He may sulk, or try extra hard for a few days to win his control back, but eventually the demands will cease once he sees they don't work anymore.
However, we don't want you to ignore your dog completely! We want you to play with toys with your dog as this builds your relationship, uses his brain and gives him exercise and interaction with you. We want you to stroke your dog and walk him and feed him too, but all these interactions from now on must be instigated by you and not when your dog demand it. If your dog demands something from you, ignore him until he gives up and goes away. Wait 10 seconds and then call him back to play, eat, walk, have a cuddle. This may seem like a minor change to you but the message it sends to a canine brain is massive.
This simple step is the foundation to changing your relationship with your dog so that he begins to respect you rather than control you. It is easy to put in place and make the new behaviour part of your life. Once you have identified where the changes need to be made, the only thing to remember is to remain consistent.
In all aspects of dog training and behaviour consistency is the key!!