For the most part dogs do only what they
have been taught to do, or what they get pleasure from doing. The
handler, not the dog, is responsible for the dog's good or bad behavior.
- You are in the waiting room at the Vet. The door opens and another
dog comes in.
- Your dog leaps out from under the chair and starts barking furiously.
You pat your dog and say "there, there, don't worry, be a quiet
- Or: You take the dog in the car and he jumps around crying and
performing. You say, "shame, quiet down now, don't be afraid".
What you are in fact doing, UNINTENTIONALLY,
is praising him with YOUR actions and YOUR tone of
voice for his behavior, and so he thinks you are pleased with him
and he will therefore repeat the behavior next time under similar
circumstances. What you should have done was to correct him with
a smack or a sharp "NO" command, and then praise him once he is
quiet and settled. That way you do not condone the bad behavior
Likewise, you find a doggie land mine on
the carpet, and you call him and smack him, or you find your best
shoes chewed up and you call the dog and smack him or yell at him.
Obviously after a few such incidents the dog will think twice before
responding when you call him. Thereby you are UNINTENTIONALLY
training your dog NOT to come when you call him.
If you have to call your dog for something
unpleasant such as giving him medicine, or bathing him, first of
all praise him for coming and then give him his tablets, that way
you won't teach him not to respond when you call him. When your
dog doesn't perform well during training, ask yourself "how did
I teach my dog to do this incorrectly?" Or if he suddenly starts
making mistakes in an exercise, which he previously always did correctly,
ask yourself "how did I confuse my dog?" Remember that if you allow
your dog to perform unwanted behavior repeatedly without correction,
he naturally assumes that you approve of it, and therefore carries
BAD BEHAVIOR MUST BE NIPPED IN THE BUD BEFORE IT BECOMES HABITUAL.
A handler, who repeatedly issues increasingly louder commands, teaches
the dog that it isn't really necessary to obey until his master's
voice reaches full crescendo!!!
CONSISTENCY It is most important to be consistent in your
- Don't give your dog an old shoe to chew if you don't want him
to chew your new shoes.
- Don't allow him to jump up when you are in your old clothes
if you don't want him to jump up when you are dressed in your
He doesn't know the difference. Don't allow
him on the furniture if you don't want him to jump on the furniture
after he comes in all covered in mud. Don't feed him tidbits at
the table if you don't want him to beg from the dinner guests. If
he does something wrong, make sure you let him know he is wrong,
each and every time he does it. If he doesn't sit straight, don't
praise him, correct him into a straight sit, and then praise him.
How is he to learn to do something correctly if you praise him when
he does it incorrectly? How is he to learn not to pull on the lead
if you correct him only occasionally?
People who are not consistent in their training
confuse their dogs to the point where the dog doesn't know what
you want him to do. If you are truly consistent in your approach
to your training, the dog will learn far quicker and will be one
hundred per cent sure that what he is doing is what you want him
to do. Think of the examples given above in UNINTENTIONAL
TRAINING and CONSISTENCY, and then ask yourself how
many other similar incidences apply between you and your dog.
I have Veterinarian Certificates on the temperament and mental
stability of each of my boerboels. The temperament tests are done
every six months.