Clear Signals

I took Indra to Petco today. I wanted to work her around distractions and other dogs and see how far we got with her being reactive towards other dogs. We’ve made so much progress until the day she got chased down from four Labs on a Trail over at Great Bear. I wanted to kick their owners so bad, thank God Indra is so fast that she outran them. They did not stand a chance, however the damage was done….again…
 So we went to Petco, I got some Bones for the dogs, went back outside and worked on her heeling, sit out of motion, down out of motion, re-call. She worked very well and after talking to a couple of people that were really interested in what we are doing, I decided to go back inside. 
On the way inside some people let their grossly obese Retriever Puppy out of the car. I was shocked to see a puppy in that kind of condition and it wasn’t all “just” fur. 
On top of that, the pup was pretty much doing what it wanted to do and the guy, handling the puppy was leaning over the puppy, repeating over and over again:  “NO SIR! SIT! SIT! I told you to BEHAVE, NO SIR! SIT!!!”
I was startled by his loud voice, turned around and then proceeded to walk into Petco. 
One thing I notice with a lot of people is that they do not give their dogs clear signals and wonder why they don’t listen. They lean over their dogs head, shouting into their face with four different commands, talking to them like they are children. People, dogs are not children, they need clear signals, they cannot understand what you are talking about and how would you like it, if somebody leaned over you, shouting, spitting into your face, talking a language you have never heard before.
Let’s say you came to Germany and wanted to learn what the translation for bicycle is. The easiest way for you to learn is to use a single word. If I was throwing full sentences of German at you, you wouldn’t understand a word I am saying and only be confused and probably lose interest. But if I showed you a picture of a bicycle and told you that that is a “Fahrrad” you’d immediately connect the word to the picture and learned something. 
As for dogs, don’t bend down and lean over their face. Some dogs just don’t like that and it is potentially dangerous to do that. Secondly, don’t say “Sit!Sit!No Sir, SIT, Sit, Sit!” because obviously, your dog doesn’t know what you want from him and if he does, he’s playing with you. Give clear signals and don’t use a command if your dog will not follow through with it. 
Anyhow, I went inside because I wanted to get her a new toy. In the back they had cut off a little section for training sessions. When I walked by I noticed the Retriever from outside. While the woman talked to the trainer, the man was standing over his dog, doing the same thing. I don’t know how the trainer could ignore the man shouting at the dog, yanking on the leash and overall just not knowing what he’s doing. I stopped, watched the entire scenario. I so wanted to go in there and show him how he could get a sit out of his dog and how to give the dog clear signals and how to carry himself. Body language is so important, I really don’t get why so many people lean over their dog, shouting into their face. 
However, hopefully the trainer is a good one and will not only help them with training the pup but also teach one or two things about nutrition…
Categories: Dog Training, Obedience

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