What do you think your dog must know?
When you are training your dog, the list seems endless at to what they ‘should’ know. They must: recall, walk nicely on lead, stay, not jump on guests, not roll in poo, be happy on their own, not chew the furniture and know all the human rules such as don’t use your teeth or wee indoors etc etc.
When I am training my dogs, I try to make sure I remember that they have no concept of what is on my ‘should know’ list. They have no concept of right and wrong, they only know what I have shown them. Actually, that’s not true – they know how to be a dog! However, most of those behaviours don’t fit in our view of the perfect dog. Dog behaviours such as barking, jumping up, chasing rabbits, digging, eating just about anything – you can see these aren’t really inline with our ‘should’ list.
If you were suddenly transported to an alien world where no one spoke your language and all the rules didn’t make sense – how would you cope? Would you shut down? Would you fight for your right to ‘act’ a certain way? Would you try to follow others and see how to behave? Or run away? I know that may seem a little extreme as an example, but our dogs don’t understand human rules and I think sometimes they can really struggle with trying to understand.
I would like to encourage you today to think what is on your ‘should know’ list for your dog and see if you have actually spent time showing them how you want them to behave? Or are you just hoping they will just ‘know’?
Why don’t you spend 10 minutes today focusing on one skill that you want to improve and get started on your ‘should’ list.