Handy tip if your dog won’t lis­ten

South Waikato News - - SPORT -

It’s of­fi­cial – hu­mans are from Mars and dogs are from Venus. We’re on en­tirely dif­fer­ent wave­lengths. If I were to put this in hu­man con­text, when my lovely wife says ‘‘it is a nice day, per­haps you may like to think about putting out the wash­ing’’, I hear ‘‘gee cool day, don’t bother putting out the wash­ing, I will do it’’.

What my wife should have said was ‘‘get up and put out the wash­ing’’. That I can un­der­stand.

Can you get your dog to look at you more?

But what does this have to do with dog train­ing? Well I’ve spo­ken to peo­ple for whom stan­dard train­ing is not work­ing as well as they’d like – and I now know why. We are from dif­fer­ent plan­ets.

You see, a dog is bred to see things, and ev­ery so of­ten lis­ten. We hu­mans can’t stop talk­ing, so all our train­ing for our dogs is based on lis­ten­ing, which is ac­tu­ally much harder for them to do.

We teach our dogs from a young age to do some­thing that they’re not ge­net­i­cally made to do.

So what are we go­ing to do? Stop talk­ing. Now this may seem ob­vi­ous, but when was the last time you went for a walk and sim­ply showed your dog what to do as op­posed to say­ing it? I bet, never. You see or do you.

When you take your dog for a walk, say noth­ing. Give it hand sig­nals only and see what it does. My pre­dic­tion is that it will start look­ing at you a lot more as it is meant to be do­ing.

I started off talk­ing about how train­ing is wrong. Does this mean that we can’t talk to our dogs? No, of course not. Go ahead, just don’t ex­pect them to lis­ten all that much as they look at your lips go­ing up and down.

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