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Establishing a good relationship with your dog

Got any (breed specific) insights that you would like to share? Pitfalls to avoid?
Gerry Molloy
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Joined: Wed May 13, 2015 1:57 pm

Establishing a good relationship with your dog

Postby Gerry Molloy » Fri May 01, 2015 1:35 pm

An article on RSPCA.org.uk (Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) points out the necessity for setting down ground rules as to when and how you interact with your dog. These could probably be described as basic building blocks in training your dog in terms of behaviour in his/her relationship with you.

It seems that doing it right makes for a better behaved and calmer dog and relationship.

The authors recommend following a couple of very simple rules:

Start all interactions
You decide when you want to talk, pet or play– remember you are rewarding whatever your dog is doing at the time. Unless you want a dog that jumps up or nudges your elbow ignore these behaviours. Instead teach your dog that sitting quietly is the best way to get your attention!

Initiate interactions whenever you like, except for when your dog is demanding attention.
Don’t talk, pet, play or even look at your dog if he/she demands attention from you. But don’t just ignore your dog – remember that it is just as important to teach him/her what does work to get your attention!

Finish all interactions
You decide when you want to stop talking, petting or playing.
Give a signal that you wish to stop, say a word such as “finish” or “enough”, and then ignore them until they settle down. Always use the same word, so your dog learns it’s meaning.
When you come home only say hello if your dog is quiet. If your dog is excited or greets you over-enthusiastically, ignore him/her until he/she settles and then say hello.

If your dog is worried about something and you always respond by giving attention, they may become anxious when left alone. Not giving your dog attention ‘on tap’ whenever they ask for it will help ensure that your dog is confident on their own when you are not ‘available’ to give reassurance.

By following these rules you can make sure all interactions with your dog are positive and consistent. At the same time this helps ensure that your dog doesn’t become too dependent on you.

Acknowledgements are made to Dr Rachel Casey, Dr Emily Blackwell and Dr John Bradshaw.

https://www.rspca.org.uk/adviceandwelfa ... lationship

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