Of late I have witnessed a few relationships between owners and dogs failing dramatically. This is not because they are not training their dogs or trying. They are! They are putting in a big effort. When I see this as a trainer it’s often hard for me to watch. Why! Because I know the dog wants it. The owners want it but they are out of their depth or unsure how to recognize this let alone fix it. Let’s face it not everyone is able to be a leader or show affection. If you pretend it won’t work. What I wanted to do is put down a few reasons why this relationship may be failing. What we need to do is try and pinpoint where the errors are occurring. I actually had this conversation with a good friend of mine yesterday arvo and we both thought hard on it and why it’s happening more often.
Do you ever just sit on the ground and play or jump in the car and take your dog for a drive
We tend to lead very busy lifestyles and often very time poor so this doesn’t help either.
Do you understand the breed of dog you have? Do you know the natural instincts of your own dog? Are you fulfilling these needs? Have you taken the time to understand this?
Are you consistent with your interactions whether training or walking or any interactions?
Do you keep everything rigid or do you have playtime and act crazy with your dog.
Are your interactions only once a day or once a week or is your dog a big part of your family. I know my dogs have a lot of time with me.
Do you have structure and leadership?
Do you have to force yourself to spend time with your mate?
Pinning your dog to the ground will not work. Treating your dog like this is not right. Forcing your dog to respect you instead of earning your dog’s respect.
Having a fearful dog and a fearful owner will not work. If you are fearful your dog will know and most likely feel the need to protect you and now you have another issue with aggression.
Have you filled in all the gaps in your training? What I mean by this is have you trained your dog at home, on the footpath, quiet park, busy park then the beach. Fill in the gaps. Build the confidence let your dog be social with you and not the backyard ornament that many have become.
Most of all are you a leader to your dog but also be your true self to yourself and your dog.
Do you ever just sit on the ground and play or jump in the car and take your dog for a drive. Share your lunch. Do you let your dog be a dog?
The more you do with your dog or involving your dog the more confident your dog will become but so will you and that’s very important!
Hope this helps a little.
This photo I have seen on a few rescue pages. This is me with my dog Sailor.