Message Us

Why You Should Always Give Your Dog a Choice...

By BeverleyCourtney. | Dog Info Dog Training

The young boy in class adored his puppy. It was a delight to see how proud he was of her, and how attentive he was to everything being taught.

Why You Should Always Give Your Dog a Choice... Carl was 10 years old, and animals were clearly his passion. He was more diligent in his practice than many of the adults. And I was particularly impressed with how quickly he grasped this concept:

Don't beg your dog!

Many of the owners were trying to coax their puppy to pay attention to them. They waved treats in front of their inattentive noses. They bent over and called their name repeatedly. Some even got down on the floor with their puppy in an attempt to get a response. But young Carl had it licked! He listened and followed the guidelines to the letter. He demonstrated to his little pup that he had food, then stood still and waited. He waited for the puppy to decide what to do, and as soon as she made a good choice, she got the treat! He skipped all the begging, nagging, and cajoling that the others were doing. (Mine is a force-free class - in many other classes people would go further and yank the lead, shout, or poke the dog. Not in my school! Put yourself in the dog's place - how would you respond to this progression?)

Give your dog a choice.

There's choice - and there's choice! In Choice Training you give your dog a choice between doing something you like and earning a reward, and . nothing. So you weigh the chances in your favour of your dog choosing to do what you want. There is no punishment, no shouting or prodding - just patience. "I have a treat - what would you like to do to earn it?" So your dog will focus on you, maybe stand still, maybe sit, and keep trying things till she hits the spot. You keep the treat right out of the way until you get what you're waiting for - no waving it about in the dog's face! What happens if you "lure" your dog with food is that you give your dog a free choice whether to pay attention or not. "Come to me and get this treat I'm holding out," OR "Carry on doing what you're doing and get the treat afterwards (because I'm desperate to give it to you!)" You're saying to your dog: "You choose." But you're not limiting the choices to what you want. It doesn't take a pup long to figure out that he can have his cake and eat it - he can sniff the floor or stare at the other puppies then come and get the treat. He can give a slow and dawdly sit and still get the proffered reward. He'll weigh up his choices - roll in this badger poo now or go and get a piece of kibble. hmm, which will I do? Later this will translate to - choosing to run off and chase things rather than choose to get a treat, pulling on leash rather than choose to have a treat. Then we hear "My dog is not interested in food."

Bribing your dog with food is going to hand the reins to him. Rewarding him for making the choice you want keeps the power with you!

The boy inspired the others with his success. Many of the puppies in that class were choosing to ignore their owners. All the time they were coaxing and calling, the pup knew they were there. There was no need to pay attention. What Carl had grasped was that staying silent meant his puppy checked in with him very quickly, and earnt her reward. The onus was on the pup to pay attention. And she made the choice we wanted her to make. Carl's puppy quickly chose to face him all the time and watch out for clues for how she could earn the next reward. (The other owners got it later - especially when they saw the boy's success.) It occurred to me that Carl had also learnt a valuable life lesson. Begging people to do things for you is usually a fruitless endeavour. Inspiring them to act is a much better course. Hopefully in a few years' time, Carl will not be begging a girl to go out with him - rather the girls will be chasing him! Dog Choice and Dog Seat Covers: Cargo, Dog Bed Liner, Bed Cover: 30% Off Premium Seat Covers

beverley courtneyBeverley Courtney

Beverley Courtney, author of the popular Essential Skills for a Brilliant Family Dog series of books, lives in Worcestershire with her four dogs, cat, hens and many tropical fish. She works with puppies and "growly" dogs, always looking to build the bond between dog and owner. Choose your free step-by-step email course to changing the things you don't like about your dog to the things you do like. And look out for the new series of books, Essential Skills for your Growly but Brilliant Family Dog

Comments

Signup/Login to post a reply

 

Reviews From 4Knines Customers VIEW MORE »

The best evaluations of our products come from the people who’ve bought them.

So So

The concept is a good one, however there is room for design improvement. The little tabs didn't work AT ALL in my 2008 Subaru Outback. However, even if they did work I then would not be able to roll the windows up and down as needed. For me that is not an option. I haven't yet tried using the Velcro attachments since my husband is not convinced it's a good idea to attach something like that to the door panel. With all that being said the product itself looks good, and the concept is a great one. When my puppy gets bigger I will try the Velcro when my husband isn't watching.:)

READ MORE »
Charlie Hendrix

Great Protection

I think this seat cover is going to work out just fine. It fits well, was extremely easy to install. Just waiting for my new puppy to be old enough to bring home.

READ MORE »
Charlie Hendrix

Seat cover just received

It would be nice to be able to actually get some use out of it before I can honestly review the product. I will say that so far my experience with 4Knines has been wonderful. Their customer service is great.

READ MORE »
Gary Beaton

Great Cover

I been getting these covers for many years and have never been disappointed with them great quality and well made something you don't see very much anymore !

READ MORE »
Jere Miller

If you have dogs, and love your car, this is a must buy!

I recently purchased the Cargo Cover to protect my new Subaru Outback. My dogs love car rides, but they're also shedding dogs and make a mess. The Cargo Cover took a brief 30 seconds to install and provides protection against dirt, scratches, hair, dander. It's super easy to clean-up too!

READ MORE »
Ryan Bracken

Great Product!

XL cargo liner fit my GMC Yukon Denali perfectly. While our 20 lb dog doesn't put much stress on the liner, it works great keeping the back clean from carrying our often muddy recumbent bicycles around. Top notch product, fast delivery. Thanks!

READ MORE »
Leon Campbell

Great products. We are return customers.

Bought the bench cover and side panels for our Nissan Pathfinder. Looks great. We have the same set up in our Titan truck and couldn't be happier with the protection it gives to our leather interior. Highly recommend. Shipping was super fast!!!

READ MORE »
Marchelle Jones

Super nice

I purchased seat covers for my Ford F-350 and my Ford Edge - really nice fit and I have piece of mind knowing my seats are protected!

READ MORE »
Deby Hackney

4Knines.com

For all general inquiries, please call or email us
Phone: 888.602.2509
Email: support@4Knines.com

Sign Up to Our Newsletter

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
Nothing but the best for your best friend!
© 4Knines. 2017. All rights reserved | Terms | Privacy

Message Us