Dog Training: Get a Fresh Perspective

Last night when my husband and I dragged ourselves down to the kitchen to clean up it wasn't the heat that threw us through for a loop, but the colony of fruit flies forming a cloud over our countertop.  Thousands of the little buggers sat motionless on my sunflowers boquet; while others gathered joyously on a half eaten peach

I looked to Roman; he looked to me. We began our assault.  He reached for the flyswatter, as I batted the air with my bare hands.  Like dandelions to the wind, the flies scattered in unison. 

"Faster than speeding bullets," I recited.  "It's not Superman, it's Superfly!" 

Then he uttered two simple words, as his eyes lit up: "The vacuum!"   While I'm not insensitive to bugs, the population had reached it crescendo.  Hello vacuum, goodbye fruit flies!

This story's motto?  Two heads are clearly better than one.

And it’s just as true in dog training. 

Whatever dog frustrations are metaphorically bugging you --housebreaking, nipping, household destruction or disrespect--two or more heads will always be better than one. 

Remember your dog is as unique as a snowflake.  If there are habits that drive you crazy, try a fresh approach.  Look at it from a new perspective, realizing that you might just need to tell your dog what to do rather than focus on what not to do.  

I like to look at the whole dog when working with my clients: what I call the Whole Dog Approach to problem solving and training.  The WDA respects not only your dog's size, age and energy level, but his personal history, his favorite games, toys and passions too. 

Modern dogs are savvy.  They don't always fall for sweet talk and dog biscuits.  Many dogs act like typical adolescent children, dismissing the once tried and true attention getters, for the utter joy of leading their families on a catch-me-if-you-can chase.  

Got dog problems?  Ask your partner, or your kids or a professional--you can Skype with me if you'd find it helpful--to think through the problem before your start lashing out with various approaches.  

Dog training does not have to be cruel or even difficult to be effective, but it needs to be an approach that is tailor fit for your dog's style!  You can't catch a fruit fly with a fly swatter or teach one dog like you'd train another.  

Sarah Hodgson