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Dog Behaviour

Answers to some frequently asked questions relating to dog behaviour

There is nothing better than hands on training, building a connection and bond between the dog and its handler.

Use your hands during training

Learn to train your dog with your hands. They need to get to love them. Get down to your dog to praise it.

Praise your dog when it comes to you

Praise your dog whenever it comes to you.

Understand dog body language

Understand their body language. These dogs are playing, note the "equal"sign"

The 'equals sign'

And another "equal "sign"

Understanding Your Dog

A dog's development and understanding evolve through its developing months and years, and these changes are largely due to the changes in its environment and hormonal changes especially as it moves through to maturity.

Training can change the effects on, and results from, how your dog moves through these periods. Effective understanding and relationship building will have your dog wanting to please you and carry out your wishes, happy knowing its place in your world with a mutual understanding.

Below are just a few of the questions you might have to help you on your way.

Question (dog pulling while on leash) - When your dog is pulling you along the street, did you ever stop to realize that it is actually being rewarded for doing so? So, what do you do about it?

To change the dog behaviuor

Answer - As long as you keep moving forward, the dog is going just go where it wants to go as fast as it wants to go. First remember, in order to control your dog you first need to control yourself. Remove the carrot from in front of its nose. The moment the dog gets slightly in front of you, and that might be at the front gate, turn 180 degrees and head back. When the dog is alongside you again, praise it and the moment it surges again, probably a couple of paces, repeat and repeat. Your half hour walk might only get you 50 metres, but with self control the dog will start to calm and will then start to learn.

Question- Why do dogs like to jump up on people and what can be done about it? 

To change the dog behaviour

Answer - They are basically demanding attention, and they pretty much always get it. They don't even care if it is bad or good attention. The problem is people have caused it themselves, probably from the dog's first days on the planet. From tiny puppies, we have picked them up to cuddle them and give them affection. Yes, pretty normal, myself included. But, we carry it on too long and it becomes an unwanted behaviour, obviously especially for larger dogs, but it can be a real nuisance from little dogs and indeed more prevalent with them as they have been picked up for much more of their lives.

It has to be realised that, in demanding attention, your dog is attempting to dominate you, even if it is jumping in a playful manner. Different methods of correction will suit different dogs, and size will have an impact on which method is successful, but I will give you a couple of entirely different methods here that work on quite different principles.

Firstly, with whatever method you use, you need to be able to anticipate the circumstances and timing of the dog even thinking about jumping and if you can correct it before it jumps, all the better. If you miss that opportunity, it is important not to allow the dog's paws to make contact with your body. Step away from the jump, making sure there is no contact and then step forward again so that you are then back in a position to correct your first missed opportunity and praise your dog on the ground.

The other method I would recommend here is again to anticipate and catch the dog's paws in your hands before the paws touch your body. Then the trick is to hold the paws away from you with the dog still standing on its back legs. It will only take a matter of 10 seconds or so and the dog will start pulling its paws back, and even sometimes looking back at the ground. What it is in effect saying to you is "I want to get down". Now you see, the dog's mind has changed completely. When you feel confident of the dog's message, lower the paws to the ground, don't drop, and pat your dog calmly on the ground.

Question- Why doesn't my dog understand me when I tell it off or ask it to do something?

Understanding your dog

Answer- Dogs' associations are not the same as ours. The dog's achievement or misdemeanor must be on it's mind at the moment of your response. If you were to leave your dog on a stay eg., only to find when you turn around that the dog is coming towards you and you were to correct the dog for breaking the stay, (in your mind) the dog will think (in it's mind) that it's being corrected for coming to you in which case it should be praised.

If your dog is thinking about doing something wrong it can be given a warning, and it will put it together. Once it satisfies that drive, its mind then has changed, so should not be corrected, as it will be putting the correction together with that next thought, which might be coming back to you.

Obviously, you have satisfied yourself, but mixed up your dog.

Question- How do I know when dogs are fighting or playing?

Understanding your dog

Answer- You will only understand this if you are prepared to let your dog of the leash with others, which is one of the reasons for having dog parks. Dogs generally behave much differently when they are off lead than on, as they are then reliant only on themselves, and can experiment and learn to communicate with each other in a dog way. If you watch closely often enough, you will see the same movements and actions repeated over and over by different dogs. eg. If you look at the photos alongside, you will see what I call my "equal sign". When they look in the same direction, you won't have any trouble between them.

ROBERT PARKINSON DOG TRAINER can guide you through how dogs communicate with each other and people through their body language and help you understand and predict outcomes.

If this has been of assistance and you want some personal assistance, please make contact.

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