Are you finding training your dog or puppy challenging?!
Here are two words to make things easier for you…
And I mean slow everything down: The speed you talk to your dog, the speed you walk your dog, the tempo of the games you play, how fast you move your hands, how you give treats – everything. Revving-up your hound is easy! But slowing down is the route to a calmer connection with your dog. (Thanks to Rosemarie for this beautiful picture of her rescue dog Theo)
It’s All About You!
So-called ‘dog training’ is as much about coaching the human as the dog. And as humans tend to lead hectic lives, rushing from place to place, taking the kids to school, doing the shopping, dashing to work, ploughing through emails – is it any wonder the animals we live with move at warp speed too? Perhaps our dogs are simply copying the behaviour we model for them?
By contrast when I show clients how to adjust their tempo and give clear, calm cues suddenly their dog stops leaping around, barking, mouthing, doing zoomies and instead, becomes zen-like! Clients tell me it feels ‘like magic’. But all we’ve done is slow the pace and give the dog clear information.
You are lost driving somewhere. You stop a passerby to ask directions. The passerby smiles but speaks in a foreign language; words you dont understand, their hands gesturing wildly. You look puzzled, they look irritated; they repeat the same sounds but LOUDER this time, almost shouting, hands waving about. How helpful was that for you?
Not much, right? So let’s change things …
Be A Super Model!
If you want calm from your dog then it’s vital you model that for your dog…
Below are a few synonyms for the words ‘calm’ and ‘slow’. Ask yourself honestly, how often do you model these words for your dog?
- Calm: Quiet, peaceful, composed, tranquil, settled, at ease, still
- Slow: Unhurried, measured, deliberate, relaxed, gentle, gradual
Having a calm, focussed, attentive dog who responds purposefully is at once the easiest and hardest thing to teach … because the learning starts with us. So, try changing your tempo. See how it affects your dog’s behaviour. And remember … slow can be beautiful.
Article by Joyful Dogs. For help training your dog or puppy go to www.www.joyfuldogs.co.uk