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 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!
- STOP whatever you are doing – take a time out
- THINK about the situation – and deal with the emotions at the time
- OPTIONS need to be weighed out – consider what consequences will come from a negative decision verses the rewards for a positive one
- PROCEED with the right choice – make an educated decision based on your final goal
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.