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To be able to train a dog you have to understand how the mind of the dog functions. Humans communicate with words, dogs communicate with body language and gestures. This means it makes no sense to talk to a dog and explain things in a rational way. The only thing what your dog will hear is : Bla Bla Bla Bla Bla until he had enough of this crap and doesn’t listen anymore. Get this: A dog does not think and learn by language. This is difficult to comprehend by humans.
Once you have understood this simple fact you will act accordingly and you will stop explaining things to a dog by use of words until his ears ring.
“Don’t pee on the carpet again!” “I told you three times now, not to play with my new shoes.”
The only thing that your dog will pick up is that you are angry as he observes your body language. But he must relate this anger to something that has happened before and he might relate your anger to the wrong incident, if you are not careful. And this again means that he learns the wrong thing, if your timing is wrong.
How a Dog learns
If I do this, then this will happen.
If I eat the cake on the table and the “boss” is standing beside me then the “boss” gets angry.
If I eat the cake on the kitchen table and the “boss” has left the room, then the cake tastes delicious.
A dog doesn’t know what is evil and what is good. He just knows the cake tastes good.
Timing – React within 2 Seconds
Dogs can learn only if an incident follows another incident quickly. (within 2 seconds)
For example: I hold my hand over the fire and it hurts.
What did I learn? Holding hand over Fire = (equals) Pain
This is the way a dog learns.
If I pee on the floor and the “boss” sees it = (equals) ANGER of boss. If you punish the dog an hour later for peeing on the floor he will not be able to relate your anger to the peeing but will relate your anger to the last incident that happened just before you go angry.
Let’s say you have just entered the apartment coming from outside and the dog is happy to see you and comes to you to greet you, then you suddenly see what mess he has done and get angry, then the dog will learn that greeting you when you enter the apartment equals anger. This way he has learned the wrong lesson.
Keep in mind that your dog learns all the time and will learn things that you don’t want him to learn. For example, if he barks at your friend when he visits you and you try to calm down your dog down and talk to him then you give attention to him. This is like getting a reward.
He learns: barking at a friend EQUALS I receive attention. Next time he will bark again at your visitor to get your attention which is a reward for him like getting a dog treat.
Make sure that you don’t reward an undesirable behavior!
Let him SIT first before he gets anything
Before you give him something he wants or play with him or give him food, let him SIT first. This should be a fixed ritual. The reason is that your dog learns discipline and you show the dog regularly that he is ranked lower than you and that you are the boss. But make sure that you dissolve the SIT command or the dog will decide when to get up again and this has to be avoided as only the boss decides what to do and this is you.
Commands should be DISSOLVED
If you have trained commands many times at many different places then the dog knows them. But there is one thing you should know! If you have given a command like “SIT” and the dog follows it, then don’t forget to finish the command. This means you have to dissolve the command saying something like “OK” or your dog has to decide himself when to dissolve it.
Ignore what he wants
You should ignore the dog’s intentions to show him that he can’t manipulate you. This shows him that you are the boss.
Don’t give Snacks without Reason
Give dog treats only when your dog has to be rewarded when he has done something right. And give these treats immediately within 2 seconds or don’t give them at all.
Don’t give Food from your Table while eating
Your dog should not get any food from your table when your family is eating. He should learn that to beg for food at the table leads to nothing. Let him SIT with the SIT command and then fill his bowls.
Don’t let your Dog become the Boss
If you always give in and do what your dog demands like opening the door to the balcony when he sits in front of it and barks or playing with him when he wants to then sooner or later he will think that he is the boss.
Dogs don’t know democracy he thinks in ranks. A young dog is trying to estimate his rank within the dog community. You and your dog are the community (the pack) and your dog will watch you how you react in specific situations. From your behavior he will estimate his own rank. He will test you to see how far he can go. For this reason it is very important to make clear what the dog is allowed to do and what not. You should not spoil your dog like a baby or threat him as being equal to you. If you do this your dog soon will develop behavior problems and then you will need a professional dog trainer.
Dogs need clear rules within the community to orientate upon and to feel well.
What can happen when your Dog thinks he is the Boss?
Many dogs feel unable to cope when they are treated equal like other family members.
A dog can get the feeling that he is ranked high wihin the pack (your family) if he is treated like a human day after day. After some time the dog feels insecure about his own rank within your family and this can lead to misunderstandings between dog and humans that can have dangerous consequences. If the dog believes that he is the boss he will start defending food and favorite places like arm chairs or sofa by growling or snapping at the owner because the dog thinks that he is higher ranked and for him this is a logical behavior.
This can lead so far that he will defend parts of the apartement, for example the kitchen, where the food is stored. If a dog thinks that he is the boss then he carries also the full responsibility for the pack (your family). He feels that he must have the whole family under control and is always alert and can never relax. He thinks that he has to defend family members against friends and the postman. To be the boss is a big burden for the dog that puts a lot of stress upon him.
Make sure that this will never happen and treat the dog like a dog and not like a human. This will help the dog to relax as he feels that you are the boss and that he has no responsibility and can take life easy.
How To Test If Your Dog Knows You’re Boss
Never calm down an aggressive Dog
You should never calm down an aggressive dog as for him this is like a reward. It will enforce the behavior that he shows at the very moment he is rewarded.
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