Welcome to the DogSmith and an overview of our training philosophies and methodologies. If you are embarking on a dog training career or if you just want to further educate yourself and your dog then you are about to commence a fascinating journey into the world of interspecies communication. What exactly does that mean? Well, to train dogs we first need to understand how to communicate with them. As we all know, we speak human and they speak dog. We are primates and they are canines. Of course the other side of the communication coin is that we need to understand how they communicate with us using their bodies and vocal tones. In addition, we need to understand what they are physically capable of doing and of course we need to understand what motivates them. To motivate a dog to do something it is physically capable of doing we need to accept that dogs are a predator and an opportunist and every behavior they display is designed to support their survival. There are millions of dogs in the world. Biologists consider the canine species, because of their numbers, to be hugely successful. There are more dogs than wolves and there are more dogs than almost any other animal so domestication has been a critical component of their success. Yet domestication means dogs rely on us for much of their needs. We humans are in a position of control and power in relation to our dogs and we are necessary for their ongoing wellbeing and survival.
Some methods are inhumane, cruel and abusive while others are just plain ineffective. At The DogSmith we work toward a world where people and their pets live together to the mutual benefit of each and where, by our efforts, we can significantly reduce the number of unwanted pets and provide abused, neglected, and abandoned pets an opportunity to find their “forever home”. Our mission exists to enhance the lives of pets and their owners by improving their relationship and the quality of the life they share through:
1) Providing professional support and training to pet dog owners,
2) Supporting and assisting animal shelters and rescue organizations to minimize the number of unwanted animals, and
3) Offering affordable and professional care to family pets so that pet ownership is never a burden.
Our vision and mission is guided by some very stringent values. First, we seek to do no harm. Secondly, we emphasize a ‘holistic’ approach to pet care by attending to the physical, emotional, and environmental well being of all pets and, thirdly, each DogSmith will support, through its deeds, efforts and sponsorship, animal shelters and rescue organizations to promote and implement the “no kill” animal philosophy.
How did the DogSmith training methodology and training philosophy evolve? Having spent considerable time researching and studying psychology while working with pet dogs and their owners, we recognized that dogs learn in two ways. The first way dogs learn is from their environment (acquisition learning). This type of learning is going on all the time. In the ‘pet dog world’ examples of this include learning that takes place in and around the home on a daily basis whether under supervision or not, at the dog park, at their day care or when they are out and about with their owners. Dogs do what works for them and what brings them rewards in their daily life. It is not hard to imagine how dogs pick up and develop unwanted behaviors when owners unknowingly and repeatedly reinforce the wrong behaviors exhibited by their dog. The other way dogs learn is in a formalized learning environment such as a dog training class or during periods when you specifically work with your dog to train them on a particular skill or task. This learning is more structured and formal. This is learning derived from education rather than from the accumulation of experience. With formalized learning the pet dogs are involved and active in the learning process.
Niki Tudge is the President of The DogSmith, America’s Dog Training, Dog Walking & Pet Care Franchise. Niki holds numerous certifications and diplomas for dog training, dog behavior counseling, business management and people training. CPDT –KA, E-Nadoi, CBC, AABP- PDT, DIP. ABT, Pet Care Services CPCT, CAPCT, AKC “CGC” Evaluator, TS1, TS2 & TS3
Niki is a professional member of The Association of Pet Dog Trainers, The National Association of Dog Obedience Trainers and the Association of Animal Behavior Professionals.
You can reach Niki via email at NikiTudge@DogSmith.com
To learn more about joining the DogSmith visit http://www.DogSmithFranchise.com
On the fourth day of dog training, as you repeat the procedures of the first three days, you’ll discover that there’s no more opposition and no games. This is simple enough, unless your dog happens to become momentarily distracted and forgetful.
And that is just exactly what you want to happen, so that he will learn to overcome momentary temptation and distraction and keep his attention focused on you. After all, dog training is needed particularly in time of emergency, and since you are going to build obedience as well as character into your dog, it is not too much to ask, that, at a time when other dogs would yield to distraction and temptation, your dog has his attention totally focused on you.
Your job from day four until your pet learns to ignore temptation is to use distraction and temptation during your fifteen-minute training sessions. The procedures will be nearly the same as the first three days, except that you will walk in the direction of the distraction or temptation and hope that your dog will rush recklessly toward it.
You will of course have chosen that precise moment to wish him goodbye on his journey, turn, and walk fast in the opposite direction. And, as you may expect, his journey will be short (fifteen to twenty feet) before he turns around and walks toward you. Your dog will not hate you for having to turn around because he won’t associate his abrupt change of direction with you at all.
What Your Dog Will Know For Sure
The last four days have shown him that you will move whenever you choose, and in whatever direction you choose without first checking to see if it’s alright with him. Your dog knew this. What happened was his fault because he took his attention and eyes off you for a moment and gave in to temptation. It was just “coincidental” that you decided to move, at that same moment, and in the direction opposite to that in which he was heading.
You know that the move wasn’t really a coincidence, but your dog doesn’t know this, and will never know. What he will come to realize is that when a distraction or temptation appears, that is the exact moment that you will choose to reverse your direction of travel.
If you do your work well for the next few days, your dog will come to consider every temptation or distraction as a reminder and a cue to keep his eyes and attention on you. Distractions and temptations include people and things such as a skateboarder, a strange cat, another dog, a rolling ball, or a plate of food.
The list can go on and on, depending on your dog’s personality. However, to have someone call your dog by name in an attempt to distract him must be considered unfair. You must stick to other situations and things.
To conclude this part of training, remember to always walk briskly in a straight line, with confidence in your movement. If you hesitate or walk slow, your dog will not develop the necessary confidence. Never give your dog training commands when working with him on the long-line. You’re not teaching him to heel yet.
For now, you’re teaching him four things. First, when tied to a person, he must move with that person. Second, your determination, will, and status are such that you will walk anywhere and at any time without first checking to see if it’s alright with him. Third, in order for him to be aware of your movement, and in which direction you’ll be walking, he needs to pay attention to you during dog training because you won’t let him know in advance. Fourth, when distraction or temptation appears, they are not excuses to be inattentive. On the contrary, that is the stage in dog training when he must be the more attentive and focused on you.