No, animal communication is not magic; but when I make the right connection with a dog, it does feel like a mystical experience. What I do as an animal behavior consultant is so much more than what has always been referred to as dog training; it needs a new name. That is why I call this part of my dog training programs “Paw Reading”.
Every year, millions of Americans welcome a new dog into their home, particularly in the late spring and early summer. And every year, hundreds of thousands of dogs are given up for adoption, chiefly because they exhibit unruly behavior. Why? Because many people think they know everything necessary to train their companion animals, when really they have nothing other than a vague idea.
Ever tried to look for a dog trainer to help you with your dog? All the ads say every company can help you. Each web site you look at has a "master trainer" who is the best in the world. The different companies all use different methods and tell you theirs is the only method that works. And, a few of the trainers you talk to even tell you not to go to another company because it is no good. What is going on?
I recently read comments on a dog trainer’s blog and found it interesting how politically correct their references were to the subject matter. They nicely described their concerns as “pet peeves”. The subject was unethical dog trainers who falsely represented themselves to the public, harm the development of pets and made it difficult for honest trainers to compete.
Dogs learn much the same as we do – through experience, trial and error. They understand the connection between behavior and consequence. There are three common ways to get them to perform a behavior: luring, shaping and catching.
House training a dog takes the proper equipment, time and patience. It is not magic; if you do not have what it takes then hire someone who does. It will cost you far less than replacing your carpet. A half-hearted attempt that fails will cost you the price of a trainer and new carpeting.