The “My Dog Has A Mind of His Own” Myth

funny-dog-pictures-hold-on1I have lost count as to how many times I hear “My dog has a mind of her own.” or “He does what he wants to do, he’s an independent breed.” as a dog trainer.

All of our dogs, like it or not, are conditioned to what you teach them or lack there of following through with what you teach them. If we went around saying that about our kids if they are bullying someone at school or on a playground, we would get looked at like we are nuts right? “Oh he just has a mind of his own, I can’t even get him to look at me when he’s on the playground.”

Most of the stuff in the dog world, is about expectancy, follow through, and exposure.

If you teach your dog a new trick or command, make sure they know exactly what your asking of them before you fall back on it.

Think about where you teach your dog, is it always in your living room? If so, they are probably only going to listen to you in the living room.

Think about your body language and your words, are you communicating effectively? Or are you all over the place and said the command 15 times already before they got it?

Is there a reward for your dog when they do it right? If praise isn’t enough to your dog, you want to reward your dog with something meaningful to them, treats, a toy etc. Would you always work for free? No. You can’t expect your dog to want to work for free all of the time either. Especially when they are learning something new.

If you want your dog to do something every time, it has to be expected every time. Sometimes gives you unreliability, and that is a promise.

So get out there and communicate with your dog in an effective manner! I assure you he wont “have his own agenda” anymore. 😉

Happy Training!!!!

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