Many times when I pull over in the middle of busy traffic. It’s to talk to someone on the other end of a leash about dog training. Other times it’s to talk to the dog only. Sorry, they intrigue me.
When I am talking to the people, they first bring up his temperment to dogs or other people. The second thing is how well they listen. Now these things are important and if that’s not happening then there is surely some help needed. However, it’s probably not the help people are thinking they need.
What these owner/dog combos need more than anything is my favorite thing to teach. Enrichment.
Enrichment is the action of improving or enhancing the quality or value of something. Which means, giving your dog something to make its life better.
I’m constantly looking for new toys to make and games to play with my dogs. Why? Because then I become more rewarding to my dog and I get the engagement I need for them to listen to me when I ask something.
“Wait?” You ask. “You get “obedience” from play?”
“Why yes!” I say. Wanna know why?
Because dogs do things to get things. My dogs do things I say, because I give them things.
I read an article today by the great Denise Fenzi, (https://denisefenzi.com/) this article was an inward look at the relationship that we have with our dogs.
What is your relationship with your dog? What reason have you given for your dog to listen to you today?
So back to the reason to train your dog. It’s not to get behavior under control. It’s to grow a relationship worth having, for the both ends of the leash.