Last week, I attended a two day IMDT – Institute of Modern Dog Training Course – which was run by the programs founder Steve Mann.
Check him out – he’s awesome.
It was two days of interactive and deep learning on the psychology of how dogs learn.
I loved it.
I came out of it not only understanding more thoroughly the core ideas of modern dog training – but also the history of how individuals such as Pavlov & Skinner helped to shape our understanding of canine behaviour.
I could write 10 in-depth blog posts about everything that we discussed during the two days – but instead I will sum it up for you to the most important concept that every dog owner should understand.
First, I would like you to write a list of 20 things that your dog absolutely loves.
To give you an example, below is Zeus’s list.
|Catching Leaves||Dancing||Sunday snuggles in bed||Cheese|
|Entertaining friends||Human attention of any kind||Chasing & being chased by other dogs||Taking a shower|
|Ripping Tissues||Chasing the neighbour cat||Giving Kisses||Learning new things|
|Being the centre of attention||Chasing birds||Performing tricks||Car rides|
Your list is now your most important training tool and your most important training opportunities.
As always: You want your pooch to WANT to listen to you.
You want to change an unwanted behaviour to a behaviour that you DO want.
Your list will most likely contain a combination of behaviours or activities that you want your dog to be doing and don’t want your dog to be doing – this is a good.
How to use your list:
Example: If your dog likes to chase squirrels and this is a problem for you then use this as a motivation for training.
Start with baby-steps. Take your dog to a park where there are squirrels around. Create a command for finding the squirrels, and a command for coming back. This allows you to create a positive association with coming back to you – even when there are squirrels around. Make sure that you have high quality treats with you.
Example: Does your dog like to dig around in your trash?
Create an opportunity for your dog to feel like he is digging around in trash – without him actually doing so! Get a bunch of toilet paper, cardboard (whatever you can find) and hide treats and goodies in it all. Then create a command for “Go Dig” and a command for coming back.
You will be surprised at the results 🙂
Enjoy guys x
Zeus & Anna 💜