So he says to me, “…why does my dog need training?”

It was a Cuencan acquaintance speaking to me. He had just adopted a German-Shepherdy kind of dog; five-months old. I said to him, if you leave your dog with me for two weeks, I’ll train him for you – for free. He was perplexed. Why does my dog need training? he wanted to know.

Why, indeed?

It’s actually a good question. Why do you send your kids to school? So they can adapt and thrive in the world they have been dumped into.

The fact is – we forget – dogs and humans are two different species, hard-wired for different behaviors. Right out of the box we associate differently. For example, we express our affection by throwing our arms around a dog we love and pulling him close. But dogs put their paws over another dog’s shoulder to express dominance. Hmmm, training can bridge this kind of gap.

Also, nowhere in dogland does the senior direct her pups to sit. She can tell them to wait, though. How can we get them to wait as well as they wait for her? And how can we ask them to sit?

Here’s the argument that persuades me: Randomly or suddenly punishing a dog for what he is allowed to do most of the time. Maybe the dog pulls too much on leash and the owner goes along with it, until one day the owner is in a bad mood and jerks the dog so that it hurts. Or, let’s say, the dog is allowed on the furniture — until grandma comes over and then the dog is beaten for being on the furniture. How confusing for the dog.

And then there’s this. Positive-reinforcement training (why use any other kind of training?) creates a strong bond of affection and trust between a dog and a human. It is one of God’s gifts.

Are you curious? Do you want to learn more? Call me, I can help. I am a CTP (Certified Training Partner) of the prestigious Karen Pryor Academy.

Cuenca

Heather Conley
heather@thedoghousenyc.com
099 900 3991

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