Sunday

A Thousand Books…

There are a thousand books on how to communicate with your dog and they all say the same thing in one way or another.  While I’m not getting into the book business, I can only tell you what works for me.  Elaine is taking Annie to  training and is starting to communicate with her and I know of a few other people that are also starting some training with their dog.
Again, I am not the expert but I've seen some pretty funny things.  I have told this story a thousand times and even in front of Elaine…She was in the kitchen and “ask” Clancy to go outside…”Clancy, let’s go outside…Clancy come here…Clancy…Clancy…Clancy…CLANCY don’t make me come over there and get you…”  I am upstairs and laughing under my breath at the debacle.  I walked over, leaned over the railing and said…”Clancy – outside” he nearly ran to the back door, right by Elaine.  I walked down with a smile on my face (I know better) and said, He doesn't understand and in short, too many words, wrong order and who is in charge?  Elaine is very good natured (whew) and after I explained it to her, it sunk in.  In some of the reading I have done on dogs, everything leads to usually one thing.  Who is in charge? 
Always watching...
Weather we realize it or not, we are part of their pack, are we in charge or are they?  I believe if you tell them “NO” they will try it again and again and if they get away with something one time out of ten, they rationalize in their mind that they won.  It’s like trying to herd cats or having a room full of two year olds.  Even with Clancy, I need to be vigilant and always make corrections.  He knows I am in charge and I can even give him the evil eye and he will bow his head and look away which is submission but that stubborn streak is always close.
Now the problem…in the pack of the dog world, there is one alpha male and one alpha female, the male being in charge.  In our unicorn, rose colored glass world, we want to treat everything with grace and respect but in the dog world, “they” want to be followers and need to follow us which makes it much better and easier.  Remember in the outside world, the strong is in charge and rules for the furtherance of the pack and species and in our world we should be the alpha in charge.  I remember once going to training and the instructor said to a student, “control your dog” a little confused she didn’t know what to do and the instructor said, “you're in charge, not the dog” and it sunk in.
All dogs want to be the leader, it’s in their nature.  It’s nice when someone takes care of us and provides us with guidance and security and in the dog world, it’s the same but the alpha needs get the respect.  Once we establish our role, theirs falls into place, but we must establish it and hold it.  Remember in the animal world, someone always tries to buck the system and the leader needs to re-establish on a constant basis, we are in their world, not them in ours.
A reserved and shy dog was once staying with us and it was hard to crack her shell.   We were in the family room and one of my dogs misbehaved.  When the correction was made, the reserved and shy dog jumped in my lap, which it had never done.  Why? Because she felt secure and safe, the pack was now established to her and she was no longer confused.  
Most women allow the dogs to control them and I always believe it’s their loving nature, but they can be taken advantage of too.  Usually, if Elaine calls any of the dogs, it’s 50/50 if they will come and if I do, they know they need to obey.  It’s not a man or woman thing it’s a control thing.  We have a female friend that has several BC’s and she is in total control and the dogs mind impeccable, and it shows and the dogs are a delight to be around.  Nearly everything the dogs do is for a reason and to check on how far they can push it.
Remember, it’s a safety thing, you don't want your dog to bolt out the door or get itself into a situation that it can’t control and it depends on you to protect it, just like the alpha of the pack.
Remember, I am not the expert but this works for me, get a good book, read and control and put on your big boy/girl voice.  Life will be so much easier on everyone.  If the correct order is established it’s something they want and need.  I have said it many times…” Someone will be in charge and it does not need to be the dog”  Ken

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