Today he started by mentioning that a dog is not a creature of words. They are non verbal and that is why you need to think in terms of physicality; your tonal voice, what is your body language presenting, how is your dog perceiving you among others things. He mentioned that he would touch on the subject of defiance in dog training.
Defiance is an often misused word in dog behavior and training and things that are defined as defiance are sometimes not defiance. In his opinion, it is often a dog having a desire for that which they want and then disregarding everything else. He is not thinking about being defiant, he is thinking about what he wants.
What you say is less important compared to what the dog wants at the moment and when shaping the behavior of a dog, the goal in his mind is to get the dog to desire to want the same thing you want. We need to get to the point where the dog believes that our desire is stronger than their desire and then gradually shape that behavior and thought process to where the dog believes that they want what you want because you want it and they want it as well.
There should also be a payoff on the other side for this and this should be in form of our attention, affection, approval, pride in the dog and all these are important to the dog just like they are to a child. He shares about a dog that he just trained that had high energy but was not getting enough exercise.
This combination makes the dog hard to teach and train. In this case you need to let that dog clear their head get enough exercise and then begin the process of training. In this particular case, he helped the owner establish leadership. A dog wants to follow and obey something that is stronger than they are.
This implies stronger in attitude. The nature of dogs is to follow their leader and they want to turn over their authority to an alpha dog that is kind and fair but is tough enough to take care of them. If a dig can dominate you by simply walking past you, jumping on you and moving right through you with their boundless energy, then they start to feel that you have weak energy and turning their authority to you ceases to be an option.
So we need to demonstrate that we have the posture, attitude and vibe that am the boss. It does not have to happen all the time. The dog just has to know that you have it in you. This gets you on a head on challenge with your dog as you try to figure out who is going to win the battle. Things that do not mean much to us become very big things later.
For example if a dog wants to always go out or after the food, this becomes an obsession and they need a force to stop them, which should be your energy, your will and your leadership. Most people will grab the dog’s collar from behind and pull when they want to stop the dog from something. This is the worst way to gain control of the dog. By the fact that you are behind the dog, this is the weakest position you can be in; a follower position and as you grab the dog’s collar and pull, the dog will also pull against it naturally and this is called opposition reflex.
The powerful thing to do in such a case would be to step in front of the dog, face the dog, step 1 or 2 steps toward him into the space and use a low sharp voice. By doing this, they will most likely retreat because they can see you, feel you and smell you. We need the alpha leadership to override the instinct and desire of the dog and as the alpha, you need to win.
You need to win the smaller battles so that when you face bigger battles later, the dog will be conditioned to listen to you. For our dog, we are supposed to be the role model without losing our patience. You do not want to get frustrated and that is why it is important to train when it does not matter. Train when you do not have engagements, they there is nothing going on.
When you finally get your dog under control, give them something they want. Give them a reward for having given you their authority. The first time is hardest to get your dog’s attention but each time it gets easier as you repeat the exercise.