12 CANINE COMMANDMENTS
Dog training and behaviour is very logical. All that’s needed from our side is a logical mind and being conscious of how we reward or reprimand a particular behaviour.
- Depending upon the consequences, a behaviour increases or decreases. If a behaviour is rewarded it’s likely to increase and if a behaviour is ignored it’s likely to decrease. Did you know your dogs are constantly observing you!? A well-socialised dog is one who knows how to read the body language of other dogs and people.
- Dogs learn from association. We should always call out our dog’s name to come to us for good things. Never punish/scold a dog on a recall, else they will think twice before coming to us.
- Choose training methods that encourage your dogs to learn from inside out, no external tools are ever a substitute to thoughtful teaching. Please do not use prong collars/electric shock collars or choke chains.
- Give enough room to your dog to escape from any situation, if it’s stressing them. Dogs either flight or fight when stressed, make sure they always have an option of flight available.
- Don’t miss out on your dog’s warning to back off. Never scold a dog for growling. When we scold our dogs for growling, we create dogs who learn to bite without a warning.
- Kids and dogs should always be introduced under parental guidance. Children have to be taught how to touch and play with dogs. Sometimes the mishandling from the kids’ side and lack of understanding of body signals of dogs trying to back off can go unread by a child resulting in a bite.
- Dogs just like humans also learn through experiences and exposures in life, so make sure you give them safe exposures. Train your dogs early on in their lives. Don’t wait for bad behaviour to form.
- Let’s learn some of their language and teach them some of ours. Dogs can learn close to 300 words and all we humans have to do is understand their body language and learn to read 30 odd calming signals in them.
- Dogs love their routine, please do not change their walking & feeding times according to your convenience, else you will end up with boredom or excess energy both major contributors to behaviour problems in dogs.
- Give your dogs a reason to long for your company. By doing different activities with our dogs our level of bonding makes our dogs want to spend time with us. A beautifully bonded human-dog relationship takes time and effort from our side.
- Brush your dog’s coat minimum once daily. Introduce them to being groomed and touched in all extremities. Dogs who are desensitised to being touched are so much more confident around doctors and groomers who constantly handle them.
A dog’s love is EUPHORIC, please be the person they think you are.
(Priti Chauhan is Dog Behaviourist & Trainer at K9 Companions, Pune. Follow her on: Facebook: Priti Chauhan-k9companions india; Instagram: @k9cpmpanionsindia; e-mail: email@example.com)