Dogs are carefree, happy creatures who live in the moment and want nothing more than to play, eat, sleep, poop, and have cuddle time with their humans. We want to enjoy our dogs and be happy with them, so we allow certain things [jumping, nipping, growling during play, pulling on the leash, etc.] because we don’t want to hurt their feelings. Unfortunately, we’re setting the stage for a very unpleasant situation in which we can’t have visitors over, neighbors complain about incessant barking, and going for walks is a nightmare. The dog has taken control, and we’re left feeling frustrated and helpless.
The dog isn’t thinking about anything except what they want in any given moment. There’s no conscious thought about potential consequences; they just want something, so they go and get it. For example, a ball-driven dog sees a big ball across the street. He wants it, so he goes after it. He doesn’t think about potential consequences – e.g. oncoming traffic, other dogs, etc. He just sees something he wants, so he goes for it. This is what I call “passive thinking”.
Changing a dog’s state of mind from “passive” to “active” means making the dog become conscious of their actions and choices. It means making the dog start thinking, “What do I have to do to get…?” It’s a serious game-changer for even the most unruly dogs – and when it’s done using only energy and body language, it’s an incredibly powerful tool. I use this method all the time, and every time, owners are astounded at how fast their dog settles and starts to pay attention.
If you want to start earning your dog’s respect, if you want to take back your life, if you want your dog to pay attention to you, start making your dog think. Make them think about what they have to do to get that cuddle time, play time, walks, toys, food – whatever it is they want in that moment. And if you run into trouble, get in touch with me. I’m happy to come and help you out. 🙂
Have a great day, and remember to stay calm and lead on.