This blog is a tribute to Belle, and all the dogs who have come before and after. They are my friends, my companions, my teachers and my students. They bring me both joy and heartache, laughter and tears. There is nothing as sweet as the smell of puppy breathe, and nothing as sad as the final goodbye.
Monday, October 30, 2017
Saturday, October 21, 2017
Thursday, October 19, 2017
I came across this one night while searching the internet and thought it perfectly expressed my own thoughts and philosophy about dog training, so much so, that I had to share.
How do I train dogs? "I train the dog I am training." While this might be ambiguous, it is true. I have been getting drilled on my training method.... so here it is - hopefully more cut and dried.
Training is about getting into your dog´s head, and understanding what motivates him, what make him smile, and what concerns him. It helps to be able to think like your dog, so that you can be one step ahead of him.
is defined as a relationship with your dog. You understand him so well that you
can think for him, know his struggles in advance, and adjust his mood as
needed, to help him learn what he needs to learn to be the best dog that he can
Cookies cannot buy this. Corrections cannot buy this. Something this precious
and this complex cannot be purchased with a cookie or a leash correction.
You should be able to laugh at him for his silly antics, realize when he is trying but misunderstood your words compared with when he completely blows you off because you are not important compared to what is going on. Or realize when he disobeyed, but gave you his all - and could give you nothing better.
You must realize when he is stressed by his environment and needs more help from you, or when he is stressed by his environment and needs to be told to grow up and act like a man.
need to be aware when something completely alien might be going on - is he
sitting really slow because he hurt himself?
So the question still remains of "What method do I use." I train the
dog I am training. There is no one thing that I can do to create the beautiful
relationship that I have with my dogs. I respect dogs for who they are, I
believe in their potential, build on their strengths, and chip away at their
weaknesses. I build a relationship with them so that they care what I think and
try really hard to please me. I build them up to be the best that they can be,
and encourage certain traits to hide their weaknesses. I truly "train the
dog that I am training".
There are no rules for this process to take place. What is necessary for one dog might be detrimental in that moment for another. While in puppy class, I might instantly stop one puppy from dragging his owner, and I might request another owner to allow their puppy to drag them for two more weeks before we stop it. There are no absolute rules when it comes to training dogs.
Each dog has to be trained by his own criteria, working with what he brings to the table. Every dog has the same goals and directions, but we might get there fifty different ways, depending on the learning ability, emotional need and intelligence of the dog, and always considering the handling abilities and personality of the handler. Our timeline will vary as much as our methods; you can only train the dog at the speed of the dog. This is a relationship, between one dog and one human, and rules might need to be gently bent and swayed, depending upon the individuals.
This is not science. It is art. We are given a blank canvas with every puppy that we get, and it is our creation to build, alter, discourage, or deny. Each of our canvases will look different when our dogs are a year old, depending upon our feel and timing, our dreams and vision, our denial, our work ethic, and the dogs that we get.
How can you define this training method with one set of limiting rules? You can't.
I train the dog I am training.
Tuesday, October 17, 2017
Cheri Lucas tells it like it is!This video is about crisis management and damage control when you're on the precipice of an aggression issue between your dogs. If you’ve had a bad fight between two or more of your dogs or if you can see that you’re on the verge of having a fight, or a bite, then this video is for you. Please keep the context of this video in mind when you’re viewing it. It’s not meant for everyday issues, although some if not all of this can be applied to other behavioral issues in measured doses, with significant success.
Act as if your dog is irrelevant to you. Develop a command presence around your dogs. Don’t give any affection or practice baby talk. It creates excitement which is always a precursor to a fight. It can also be misunderstood by your dog as softness or weakness. Don't allow the dogs to claim you or your space. No leaning, sitting on your feet, or positioning themselves in front of you. Ask for respect from your dogs by creating an aura of space around you that your dog can't breach without your permission or invitation.
Get your dog out of your bed. When they’re on the same physical level as you, they consider themselves to be your equal or superior to you. Feed your dogs apart from each other. Food conditions the brain to be excited plus it’s one more thing for them to fight over. Walk your dogs together if possible. Make sure they walk in complete control - by your side or behind you. Otherwise the exercise will not be effective.
Everything must be on your terms. Ask for something before you giving anything, including going through thresholds or eating. Remember that leadership is a gift to your dog. It is not punishment. Commit to the process and stay consistent.
Be 100% in it. Wholeheartedly embrace and make peace with the program. Believe in this strategy without reservations. After all, you can always go back to your old ways.
Accept the fact that if you don't change the way you relate to your dog, you will not see any behavior changes in your dog.
And last but not least….avoid complacency. If what you’re doing is working, don’t get lazy or complacent. The reason it’s working is because the changes you made are the right ones.
Public Figure: facebook.com/CheriLucasDogBehavior/