The program that we have implemented here at vanBuren Shepherds to assist us in our dog training, is called the Peaceful Solution Character Education Program. It begins with the very basics of how to deal with emotions, how to consider all of our options when we are stressed out, and teaches the handler that everyone and everything deserves respect.
The Peaceful Solution teaches the handler how to gain and maintain self-control at all times, enabling them to have the very best relationship with their dog .
Science has proven that a human must rehearse a new concept a minimum of seven times before they can retain it. It takes a dog an average of thirty times to fully comprehend what it is that you are asking it to do. Now imagine a handler that explodes at the least amount of resistance. If you have ever seen a child that has been verbally or physically abused because they made a mistake, then you can begin to understand how a dog must feel when he undergoes the same kind of treatment.
When we tell our child to clean their bedroom, but we haven’t shown them how to clean it, then we have set that child up for failure. If we expect them to do it on their own after only having shown them once then we are expecting something that just simply isn’t going to occur. The same concept applies with training a dog.
I can teach a dog the SIT command in my own home or back yard while on a leash and within a couple of tries they will usually start to understand the exercise. If I then decide that he sat 80% of the time on the first command and now I’m going to take him to a public park and give him the same command off the leash and he just looks at me and takes off running, so I become frustrated and yell at or slap the dog. You can see that it wasn’t the dog “doing something wrong,” it was my method of training that has failed the dog. This is what we call poor management.
You will know when your dog completely understands the command when he obeys the command 100% of the time on leash with distractions. Then you can move to the next level of his obedience training. If we allow ourselves to lose self-control then there is no need to move on with training the dog. We need to STOP!
These simple steps will build a bond between you and your dog. Your dog will learn to trust you, because you now know how to keep a cool head.
We also look to build up the dog’s confidence with positive reinforcement and discipline; while enhancing the handler’s confidence in the training. We believe before anyone begins to handle a dog for work, show, or even just as a companion, they should first have an understanding of Character Education.
This is why we explain to people that…”We communicate with the dog and TRAIN THE OWNERS.” Dogs respond well to a rewarding, consistent, and disciplined training program. Humans however can be reluctant to stay consistent with the training.
In our efforts to achieve these goals, vanBuren Shepherds also advises that all of our handlers take ‘self-control, ‘responsibility’ and ‘respect’ courses as presented by the Peaceful Solution. We intend that no dog leave our care having experienced any training that could ever leave them deficient in any way.
We highly recommend the Peaceful Solution Character Education Program. We not only use the program in preparing the handlers to deal with the frustrations of working with an unruly dog, but we also use this in our home and business.