Tuesday, 21 October 2014

The magical art of dog family dynamics

I changed the title so many times I am grateful I wasn't using pen and paper.

What I did decide was to definitely not call it dog training.

Training dogs is a fine art that many succeed and excel at.  Yet few master the art of dog family dynamics.  I am often one of them, just like I fail to succeed in weight management in the pet dog.  To find that key for each situation, to find the answer that means no fat dogs and no dogs ending up in the rescue centres.

Lets start with the dog.

Few dogs are one thing as the books would have you believe.  Many of the fearful dogs I know are also expert manipulators.  All of the dogs I know are multi faceted not so much a horse for every season as a dog for every human, a dog in a family of four will be a different dog for each person in that family even being different when the family is together to when there are two of the family together.

Then you have life stages which of course is adjusted by circumstances, change and seasons.

Throw in diet ( yes of course dogs are what they eat though that conjure up strange images in my mind for many of the dogs I walk haha), hormonal state, exercise levels, boredom levels, health and family relationship dynamics.  Then random circumstances thrown in just when you feel you are getting somewhere.

Then we have the humans.

The dog may have lived with one human to then find itself part of a two human family with different rules, new routines, new households and maybe even a new dog/ cat etc.  That two human family may become a two human one baby household etc. New jobs, older parents moving in and you can already see how life is not as simple as one would seem for dogs and humans.

All it takes is one of those humans to have a firm idea very different from your own and training/ management can become frustratingly difficult.

The skill of training dogs, of all animals, is not simply finding a solution to the dogs 'problems' its finding a workable solution that will work with the families dog human dynamics.  A workable solution where each human has their own weakness and strengths, time restraints and emotional mechanisms taken into account and using them to everyones advantage.

Lots of 'problems' can be solved by very simple basic behaviours.

That blog will be next and I know the title already, phew!





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