Wednesday, June 1, 2016

And so to bed...

Photos by KyouSK

I found a fantastic blog by Jennifer Arnold explaining the current understanding of dog training:
"The entire idea of dog obedience is to create automatic, mindless response to our directives, but it’s our dogs’ thoughts and feelings—their minds—that are of the greatest value to us.  It is their minds that allow them to connect, protect, and love us.  Yet despite a great deal of evidence to the contrary, many people still believe that obedience is the benchmark by which dogs should be judged.  It isn’t.  It only makes sense that we value collaboration above obedience…and educate our dogs rather than seeking only to control their actions.
Educating Dogs the Bond-Based Way
For our sake and theirs, it is far better if dogs can control their own behavior, at least to a large extent, rather than requiring us do it for them.  Dogs who self-direct their actions seem to require less vigilance on our part.  They are more secure and, therefore, have fewer behavior problems than those who require constant direction.   Educating our dogs to make good choices isn’t difficult.  Unlike typical dog training methods, it requires neither skill nor coordination.  You need only love without condition and the reciprocal trust that stems therefrom.
Our dogs must trust us.  When they do, they look to us for guidance, carefully watching us to match our mood, activity level, and often even our actions.  We can help our dogs develop trust by being respectful and kind in our interactions and consistently responding to their needs.  Social interactions, such as co-sleeping (or resting), food sharing (of foods palatable to you and safe for your dog in tiny amounts), and playing games like tug-of-war are a great ways to facilitate your dog’s secure attachment and trust in you."

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