Dog Training Tips

The Most Important Thing - BE!

Marilyn & Phoenix, German Shepherd DogI think the most important thing dog owners can do is spend active time with their dog. I don’t mean ambient time while you surf the net/talk on the phone or walking/running around the block at the same time.  I mean spending time WITH the dog, watching them, learning about them, getting to know them, being together as a team. Do things your dog likes to do. The more you understand why your dog is doing what they’re doing the deeper your relationship will be.

The word obedience comes from the Latin oboedire and audire from Indo-European roots, meaning to “hearken to”, “to listen.” Owners should

keep in mind that the relationship with their dog is not so much about telling the dog to do something and having the dog comply, it is a two-way street where both parties should listen to each other appreciating their differences as complementary species in each other’s lives.  We must understand that both dog and human bring a unique perspective to the relationship. People are quick to anthropomorphize their dog’s actions/feelings, that is, they try to assign human feelings to a non-human species, but they should really try to understand what their dog is feeling, or why they are doing what they do, from a dog’s perspective.

When we “seek first to understand, and then to be understood” (Stephen Covey, Seven Habits of Highly Successful People) is when we will achieve best friend status with our canine companion, and, our life will be richer for it.

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