Clients often tell us that their dog does not listen to them. They only way they feel they can “control” a behaviour is by using verbal commands like sit, stay and down. The problem with this is that the dog may listen initially but the always go back to doing the unwanted behaviour.
Let’s say you are taking care of a 2 year old child who is about to reach for the hot stove. Would you say: “Sit, here is a cookie” Or would you say, “Don’t touch, the stove is hot”? Most clients laugh at the notion of saying “Sit, here is a cookie” to their kids; yet this is exactly what most of us do with our dogs. We expect them to learn from it as well. You can say a thousand times: “Sit, here is a cookie”, never will child learn that the stove is hot. If you have a jumping or barking dog and you say “Sit, here is a cookie” you can say this a thousand times, never will your pet learn that barking or jumping is wrong.
The purpose of commands is to demand a behaviour and not to correct a behaviour. Every time you use a command to correct a behaviour it is a missed opportunity to teach your dog what the appropriate reaction or behaviour is. Miscommunication is one of the main issues.
What is the solution?
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