Teaching vs. Controlling

A very common sight today in almost any neighbor hood is a pet owner being manipulated or outright overpowered by the dog they are attempting to take for a walk. Often I have to think it is quite the other way around. The dog is out for a walk and the owner is simply a reluctant and unwilling participant. This is almost always the result of an owner knowingly or unknowingly electing to attempt to control their dog rather than to teach their dog.

Being someone who has worked with and studied dogs for over three decades, I sometimes find myself frustrated with much of what is being passed off as “dog training”. Far too many persons know little of how dogs learn, or possess anywhere near what would be considered a comprehensive understanding of a dogs mind. Yes, his mind. You see, what most “trainers” set out to do is to train you how to control or bribe your dog into submission. Good luck.

With over 30 years of experience in working with all types of dogs and dog related issues, including aggression of all types, I can say with confidence there are many dogs out there that will not be swayed from being dog or even human aggressive simply by offering them a tasty treat. I am not saying that I never offer my pet a treat or even occasionally recommend my clients offer their dog a treat, but never do I recommend treats be used to coerce your dog into working for you.

Far too many good and well intended persons have been taught to attempt to control, or bribe their dog, but have been given little or no insight into how to actually “teach” their dog. Remember that controlling comes with severe limitations, while teaching opens the door to endless learning, not to mention a well mannered, happy and a mentally healthy pet.

In order to teach a dog, we first must have a comprehensive understanding of how dogs learn in the first place. Without understanding the very basics of a dogs’ mental makeup we cannot possibly teach successfully. It has taken me years to gain the insight into a dogs’ mind that I have today. This is certainly not to say that I know all there is to know, for I believe the mind of the dog is still relatively untapped. For the most part, I teach people how to better understand their dog and to move them (the human) away, one small step at a time, from the inherent tendency of us humans to want to control everything we come into contact with.

Take your time and teach. Most of the learning is required by the human handler. Don’t worry about the dog. He will do just fine if we teach in a fair and responsible manner and in a language he can understand. So, if you or a friend are trying to change your dogs’ behavior by way of controlling methods or devises, please take the time to consider the difference between controlling and teaching. Feel free to contact Konfident Kanines Inc. for more information.