Friday, December 21, 2007

What Should You Do To Your Dog?

This dog was pushing his owner and blocking her with his body. He had absolute control, and was not hesitant about it.

"He won't stop jumping. I am afraid that I will get hurt!"

She was backing up and moving away each time the dog was pushing her. "He always stops eventually," she said.

"No," I said. "He has stopped YOU, and HE is in control."

I touched the dog firmly, much like another dog would bite him to let him know he was going too far. The dog stopped right away and totally focused on me.

The owner became upset, saying that I should be nicer to her dog.

"So, you are telling me that it is fair for him to touch us, and not fair for us to touch him?"

I was fully expecting that this case was not going to work out. But it was my turn to be surprised.

The woman said, "Oh, I never thought about it that way. So I'm giving him control by backing away from him?"

My simple nod in response was all it took. She got that dog's respect faster than any other client I ever had.

Don't listen to anyone who tells you it hurts your dog to have discipline, any more than it hurts a child. It's not so innocent any more when an undisciplined dog jumps on someone and knocks her down!

And dogs don't need rewards for obeying, either. Treats and such should be because you feel like it. You don't give your children a candy bar every time they get an "A," do you? In that case, why do you give your dog a biscuit every time he sits? And only for a couple of seconds, at that...

It's absolutely critical that you learn how much force to use in your touch. I touch my foot against my dog constantly. But unless a dog is trying to kill you or someone else, it is never okay to kick a dog.

Don't be doing that unless you've been taught how to do it.

As we are settling into the Christmas season, remember:
Do unto your dog as he is doing unto you.

Rena Murray
Dog Whisper Woman

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