Monday, April 20, 2009

Everyone is a Dog Trainer

…Whether you like it or not! If you own a dog you are constantly training your dog, whether you are conscience of it or not. Dogs can learn our behaviors long before we do. Take for instance when you get ready to go somewhere. You have an almost set pattern of activities you do. Just from that pattern your dog can detect that you are getting ready to leave and in some cases where you are going.

My dogs love a trip to the farm. They can tell by how I'm dressed that we are going. They have developed a great display of excitement if they think we are going. I've had to develop a change in routine to avoid that display. I usually put them in the car before I prepare, so I don't have to deal with the jumping, barking, and circling.

You can learn to manage behaviors by changing what you do. Many times we are reinforcing the behaviors with out even knowing it. Sometimes negative actions, such as yelling, become reinforcement for the behavior. The dog doesn't always know that your yelling means that you want them to stop. If they are barking loudly they may think that you are just joining in.

Learn to examine yourself and the actions that you do. With a little detective work you might find that you are causing the problem or reinforcing it to continue.


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