(A confused dog wants clarity. In the previous article, I talked about 3 ways that people get disconnected from their dogs. Not knowing what else to do when that happens, most dogs simply decide to become their own boss – the CEO. Those 3 disconnection events are confusion, overwhelm, and distraction. The following article is about how to overcome confusion.)
What do YOU do when you want the answer to some question that’s on your mind? If you’re like me, you just Google it! Easy peasy…gotta love Google!
Thing is, though…a confused dog can’t just Google it and get the confusion cleared up! Yet dogs have always been able to find answers in the environment…where Nature never lies to them. Dogs are super-savvy observers of their surroundings and that ability makes them great problem solvers.
How dogs find answers
What they see, hear, and smell, what people say and do, and the patterns they detect in events, all prepare dogs for what they can expect. Predictability is their security. And dogs are absolutely brilliant about using their observations to make choices. And so…with that in mind, it’s easy to see how YOU could also be a source of answers…how YOU could be your dog’s Google.
YOU, after all, can say to a confused dog, “I can see you’re confused. But don’t worry, buddy. I’ve gotcha!”
Think about this for just a sec…
Remember back when people looked for a payphone on a street corner instead of using the phone in their pocket? Or remember that time when people would ask for driving directions instead of just plugging the address into their GPS? [If you’re under age 25, then skip this paragraph!]
These days, getting an answer has become so streamlined for us that it’s easy to forget that dogs still learn things the same old way they always have: They observe what works to their greatest benefit, and then they do more of that and less of everything else.
The trick to training a dog
The trick to training a dog to do anything is to first know what question the dog is asking you. And then, if you can answer that exact question, you might persuade the dog to believe that your answer has value. And so the dog believes you and chooses your way.
That’s a massive over simplification, yet that’s really all there is to it. Understand the question and get the answer right. Be Google!
The genius of a smart dog trainer is the ability to make the dog feel like a genius. Proud of owning the right answer because he figured it all out on his own. While YOU smile at him smugly and gladly let him take all the credit. Because you know a win-win situation when you see one!!