At Dogs in HD, when we say simplicity and consistency, we mean it.
Oftentimes the solution to many problems is very simple. But usually, people try to find an elaborate explanation of what is happening and a complicated solution that probably won’t work because of the person’s unwillingness to accept the root cause of problems due to the bloated ego. Or, because speaking up your mind would be socially unacceptable and that could push society’s “forbidden buttons”.
A few nights ago, I was walking my dog when I came across a lady with a Jack Russell Terrier. We both had our dogs off the lead but the moment we spotted each other, we decided to put them on the lead. By watching the little Terrier’s body posture, I decided to pass with my dog at a safe distance. While I was doing that, the lady said to another lady nearby: “I need to keep him away from other dogs because he will start lashing at them, there nothing that could be done, it’s the breed.”
For sure dogs from different breed groups behave differently and Terrier type dogs tend to respond with aggression towards other animals more often than other types. However, it all depends on how much control the owner has over the dog and if the owner gives any direction to the dog on how to behave.
My wife’s family owns two Terriers: an American Staffordshire Terrier and a Staffordshire Bull Terrier. During the walk, the Staffordshire Bull Terrier lashes at every gate where the dog is barking if he’s walking with anyone from the family. But he turns quickly into a completely different dog if I grab the lead!
Why? The reason why the dog behaves differently with me is that I do something that others don’t – I do not let the dog lead the walk. It’s me walking the dog, not the dog walking me. I observe him and I see when he is about to lash at other dogs. When I notice he gets tense, I anticipate it and block him demanding to focus on me and rewarding his cooperation. The moment he lashes out, I stop him and give him appropriate correction (non-violent of course).
It is not rocket science! It is something that anyone can do, no need for a dog expert. Of course, it all depends on the situation and the dog but the average dog I see around is nothing that seems serious: just a lack of discipline and unwillingness of the owner to control the dog.
Anyway, not every single person is like that. It pleased me a lot recently to see a girl trying to train her dog and teach him or her not to lash at my dog. She was demanding her dog to sit while I was crossing the road and she rewarded the dog for behaving well.
Teaching your dog simple things and demanding those things on a daily basis can have a tremendously positive impact on your dog. You will discover a totally new experience when walking your dog.
Small things applied on a daily basis can make a drastic change in everyone’s life.
A few weekends ago, Minister of the Interior came to give a speech in my town (I live in Italy). What I have appreciated from his speech was that part where he said that there was something that the government couldn’t do and he needed the citizens’ help. It is nothing difficult and requires little effort but it could make a great impact. Things like asking ‘please’ and saying ‘thank you’, working with a smile and treating others with respect. To finish his statement, he mentioned something he had witnessed that touched his heart. He saw a young guy on the underground giving up his seat to an elderly man standing. The Minister concluded his speech by saying that it is time to reintroduce civic education at school.
I agree completely: a human without manners cannot teach manners to a dog.
Small and simple things applied consistently impact your life and the life of others around you.
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