Dog Training - The Amazing Trick a Stong-Willed Dog Taught Me
Urgent Press Release For Dog Owners:
After months of hard work and patience, I was making no progress in teaching our new dog the manners of a household pet. In fact, some days it seemed like she was regressing.
I knew it wasn't a lack of love. She would lie in her bed and stare at me for hours at a time, and absolutely HAD to know where I was at any given time. But, every training session turned into a mammoth clash of wills.
She knew all the commands and exactly what she was supposed to do, she just flat-out refused to do it. With every training session I could see her growing contempt for obedience and feel my growing frustration.
Then, in a slap-yourself-in-the-forehead moment of clarity, I saw exactly what was happening!
During our training sessions, she would only respond to me when I used a military command voice, and then only begrudgingly after she studied the determination in my eyes. Therefore, she was doing everything she possibly could to avoid looking at me! To combat this, I had to employ a trick that humans use with each other every day.
Politeness aside, when you say, "Hey!" to someone, they instinctively turn to look at you and say, "What?" A trick like that with this dog would get her both to look at me and ready to comply.
I abandoned the formal training sessions and began saying her name in the "Hey!" tone of voice whenever I saw her awake and not looking at me. Then, when she snapped her head around to look at me with a "what?" expression, I'd give her a command.
It worked! It worked miraculously! "Come", "sit", "down" - all without the slightest resistance!
Overnight the tensions of the training sessions and our frustrations with each other disappeared. For the first time, I was proud to show off my dog's manners in public.
In fact, the true miracle of this technique became apparent at the dog park. Owners with undisciplined dogs who like to jump on humans - don't you just HATE that - would stare in amazement as their pooch would come off me in a perfect sit with a simple, "Hey! Sit!" and hand gesture over its head.
The standard response from dog owners is an astounded, "How do you do that?" Of course I let them in on my secret, and now I've let you in on it too.
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