I've quit training "sit" and "down"

March 1, 2017

 

GASP! What trainer doesn't train "sit" and "down"?!?! Those are the basics, right? Every trainer starts with "sit"...

Well, have you ever met a dog that doesn't already know how to sit and lie down?

They sit because they are about to lie down.
They lie down because they are resting and calm.

Telling a dog to "down" is really a trick. How good are they at their tricks when guests arrive? It's no different than telling them to shake. How good are they at shaking when guests arrive?

Physical positions do not solve emotional problems. Have you ever gotten in bed at night and not been able to fall asleep? But you were lying down?!? But you couldn't sleep?!? Emotions... adrenaline... hormones... they are all factors. 

Unless you are competing in obedience with your dog on the weekends, you probably don't practice obedience with your dog all that often. But, when you go to the vet (only 1-2 times a year, do you catch yourself saying "sit", "sit", "sit", "sit", "sit" in this highly distracting environment? 

Are you disappointed that your highly excitable Doodle won't listen?  

A verbal obedience command will not solve an emotional problem... a problem of excitability... of adrenaline... of anxiety...

"Calm" is not a command. 

How often do you practice (and allow) forward, adrenalized, dominate behavior? How often do you chase, wrestle, or throw a ball in order to "exhaust" your dog? Does your dog's exercise only involve running, pacing, tugging, or chewing?

That's only training "forward, adrenalized, dominant" behavior... 

The Catch-22... We don't want "forward, adrenalized, dominant" behavior when it doesn't suit us...

But, that's all you've been practicing... 

How could you expect anything different? 

The dog must be pretty confused. 

There's got to be a balance.

We've got to change what we're doing if we expect our dog to change what they're doing.

We can't just tell them to "down" and expect it to be successful in changing an emotion, if we are still practicing everything else that's CAUSING THE EMOTION.  

I've decided to do what's best for the dog. I teach dogs to be calm. I teach you how to address your dog when they aren't calm.  

So now, when you interact with your dog, it shouldn't always be in a forward, adrenalized, dominant way. 

Mental exhaustion is a missing component. 

Excitement is easy to create. Calmness is harder to create.  

EXPECT calmer behavior. REQUIRE calmer behavior. 

Slowing down works the mind; speeding up works the body. Creating structure in both gives you the full package...

[I discuss this further on my FAQ page, linked here]

All for now,
Kate

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