How you dog learns Pt 2

Posted by on Mar 3, 2013 in blog |

This is where we left off in part 1 of this entry.

“Let us say your dog is stray. He wanders into your yard and you put some food out for him. The next time he gets hungry he visits you. He doesn’t need to see that 100 times to learn. Your house is the restaurant. When he gets hungry, he goes to the restaurant. He associates the location as the source of food though. There lies a flaw.”

This creates conflict because we want the dog to pay attention to us. He now pays attention to the environment because in his eyes it feeds him. This is the same way your dog looks at the food bowl, especially if you free feed.(bowl of food out for the dog to graze all day) Now lets say your dog visits and instead of putting food out for him you give it to him by hand. The dog now directly associates you as the source of food. Not a big difference for us, but believe me, it makes a huge difference for the dog. This is why you hand feed a food aggressive dog.

Now, just for giggles, we start to train our example dog. He comes over for his food. We teach him to sit, down, and shake to get it. He does these things with no argument because it is all part of the hunt for him. Then your neighbor sees the dog and starts to leave food out for him, undermining your training. Dogs flow like water and electricity; the path of least resistance. Our faithful companion now starts to go to the neighbors house instead of ours. If he is a greedy dog or he wants us to rub his belly(secondary desires), he comes to see us afterwards. If not, he goes to the neighbors and rarely comes to visit us.

This is a glimpse into how your dog prioritises. The key is to make yourself the first choice in every situation. If you do this successfully, you wont have to worry about your dog, pulling on leash, running away, or being unresponsive. Good luck in training and enjoy.

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