This is something I see again and again. Owners asking their dogs to do something they aren't able to do.
Now don't get me wrong I am guilty of this too. I am far from perfect and this isn't about making people feel bad. This is about making you and your dog a closer knit team with a higher level of success.
So what am I talking about?
A perfect example is recall. The dogs are sniffing and into something and the owner calls them. Now, I can pretty much guarantee that the dog will not respond. If they do....well done you and DO NOT take that for granted because that is super hard for our dogs to do!
Now if we just waited for that dog to stop sniffing and their head to come up off the floor they are more capable of being able to listen and carrying out a successful recall.
Remember our dogs training is like educating a child. It takes time and consistency. We tend to ask far to much of our dogs and we focus on the negative rather than the positive.
I sometimes have people comment about how their dog knows exactly what they want them to do but they ignore them or because they are stubborn. Dogs do not have the mental capacity to be stubborn. It simply means your motivator isn't enough, the distractions are too high and we haven't done enough ground work.
I had this this morning with my own dog Hope out on a walk about class. We went to somewhere she hadn't been for a while and there were other dogs on the class. We were going through a swing gate and I wanted her to sit and wait until I opened the gate and told her to go through.
First of all she was super sniffy when we entered the gate. Her sense of smell is amazing and due to that swing gate being the only way to access the woods their is lots of information for her to gather via smell. The other dogs had also just gone through before her.
If I had asked her straight away to sit she wouldn't have been able to because she was busy gathering that information. Once she had finished I could ask her and she was able to carry out the behaviour.
When thinking about dogs not being able to carry out behaviours I like to compare it to taking a child to a party then expecting them to sit down and do maths homework. How is that going to end?? Not very well I think!
If your dog isn't able to carry out a behaviour. Look at the environment, look what your dog was doing. What was preventing them from doing so? We then need to help them be able to achieve this behaviour either via changing our timing, using control and management or altering the environment.
You also need to know when to fight your battles and when it is better to give in and try another day.
Fancy doing some training in the outside world? Why not join our walk about classes to help create reliable behaviour out and about. You need to have attended one of our courses or had a 1-1 session. 9.15-10.15am every Wednesday morning. Only six places on each class.
Drop me a message if you would like to join in the fun.