Sunday, July 5, 2015

Into Every Life a Little Rain Must Fall 
The +P and -P of Raising Puppies and Children

A few thoughts inspired by a post on Reisner Veterinary 

Behavior & Consulting Service's Facebook page

I am going out on a limb here to quote my very unscientific 

"Into each life a little rain must fall." How does that work for dog training

Aversives are something the dog or child would rather avoid. 

Sometimes the dog does not want to sit, sometimes the child does not want to pick up her room. If the parent or trainer insists the child or dog perform the task anyway this would be seen as an unpleasant situation to the young one.

When the task is accomplished the unpleasant stimulus goes away. (Mom backs off and allows the now compliant kid or puppy to engage in alternate, more pleasant behavior)

Why is it important to ask a dog (or child) to choose one behavior over another?

To me, SIT as an alternative to cat chasing is a form of IMPULSE CONTROL, and impluse control, is key to raising dogs and children who make good decisions.

 As a mom and a dog trainer I don't hit and I don't yell. I don't use harsh correction collars on my dogs.  There are however times that nothing happens until my canine or human subject makes the appropriate choice.  

My Focus is to help the dog develop the internal control necessary to choose appropriate behaviors, even in challenging circumstances.

Appropriate behaviors for dogs include Sit, Down, Stay, Wait, Come, and walking calmly on leash without pulling or barking.

Am I a 100% positive trainer? Probably not. My goal is to be a firm, fair, consistant trainer who rewards good behavior often enough that I rarely have to stop everything in order to halt poor decisions.

7 month old Puppy Wilkes making good choices
Trained, in this instance, by Twiz the Cat.