I was scrolling the Nextdoor app the other day. A post jumped out at me. It read:
“Dog trainer. I have two little shitzu mixes who are not socialized and are having some behavioral issues. They are both rescue dogs and spent their lives in a backyard with little or no human contact…I want to make their lives as happy as possible so I am looking for recommendations for dog trainers who will be kind and totally responsive to the needs of my pups. Thank you for any recommendations…”
Several people chimed in with their opinions and recommendations including a few who recommended Bark Busters.
Then at the end I came across this gem of a reply:
“I’m not inclined in favor of dog trainers. Their discipline can be harsh and unfeeling. Strongly suggest you stay one-on-one with them. Over time, your caring attention is all they need to reencounter with you and your friends…”
I couldn’t let that comment just go unchallenged so I replied:
“As a dog trainer myself, I couldn’t disagree more with the above advice. Dogs need love, of course, but they also need leadership. Many people confuse love with leadership and cannot understand why their dogs are misbehaving.
With Bark Busters, we teach you how to “speak dog” so that you can communicate with your dog in a way they will understand. We use all natural methods based in canine pack law, nothing fear-based like shock collars. We train in the home where the dog is most comfortable. We train both ends of the leash, so the owner is just as involved with the training (even more) than we are.
If you’d like to discuss further, Id’ be happy to have a chat. Feel free to call at 352-571-4402.”
This is one of the biggest misconceptions there is about owning and training a dog. If only it were true that all a dog needs is love and then they would be a well-behaved, obedient house pet!
If the above were true, I’d be out of a job!
I never go into a home where the client doesn’t love their dog. Of course the client loves their dog. If love were all the dog needed, then you’d never need a dog trainer.
Dogs interpret feelings and events differently than humans.
Dog owners think they’re being nurturing and comforting when they sense fear or anxiety in their dog. However, what we view as nurture and comfort, your dog views as weakness.
If your dog senses weakness in the leadership of the pack, then he doesn’t feel safe and secure within the pack, which is one of his 4 basic needs.
If a dog doesn’t feel safe and secure within the pack, that’s when behavioral issues can occur. If they feel the need to assume the role of pack leader because they feel their humans are too weak to do so or are inconsistent in their leadership, then there becomes a power struggle. The dog will probably not listen to the dog owner when she gives a command. There’s no respect in the relationship.
I especially see this cycle play out with rescue dogs. We tend to feel sorry for rescue dogs because they’ve often had a rough life prior to their adoption. We tend to baby them because we just want to show them “the best life possible”.
That’s great. It’s very admirable. But it’s not enough. In fact, babying your dog can make behavioral problems even worse.
Your dog doesn’t want to be babied. She wants to feel like she’s finally part of a strong, secure pack. Providing the leadership your dog needs is the greatest act of love we can give them.
If you need help figuring out how to provide your dog the love AND leadership he needs, give us a call at 1-877-500-2275.