Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Most Commonly Asked Question: Why does My Dog Listen to You and Not Me?

This is the question we are most asked by dog owners who ask for our help with their dogs. People are often amazed that we are able to have such an immediate response from their dog, especially in cases where they expect their dog to be out of control, and they aren't with us. Plainly put, dogs are "pack" animals. This means you need to shift your way of thinking from the way humans think, to the way dogs and pack animals think. This is where so many people tell us about their "But I . . . "

There's no question that dogs are pack animals, the question is usually whether or not the owner is willing to accept that and alter the way they interact with their dog. Dogs function in a very instinctive manner, and do not understand the ways of people. We, on the other hand, have the mental capacity to understand how they think, and use their behavioral instincts to guide their behavior.

There are methods that we do NOT use to modify behavior:

  • No treat bribery
  • No abuse - emotional, mental or physical
  • No harsh methods

Understanding Behavior from a "Pack Mentality"

  • Observation and understanding of the problems
  • Reading behavior and mannerisms
  • Mentally challenging walks
  • Gently setting rules and boundaries
What we do with the dog is not only helping the dog by gently modifying the behavior, we help the owners understand how to become the "leader of the pack" and a command of respect within your pack. You are the leader, your dog is the follower, and the sooner that is established, your home will be a more relaxed place for you, as well as for your dog.