It is important that you try to see things through your dog’s perspective and to have compassion and empathy for them. Being in a new home or new environment can be scary and confusing. It is very important to be patient and don’t force them into a fearful situation. I hope that you enjoy this excerpt from the book and find this information helpful – To continue reading, check out “The Evolution of Dog Training” by Shannon Coyner on Amazon!
As humans, we often feel some stress when moving or staying in new places, but we have an advantage over dogs. We have verbal language (that other people know most of the time), so we can ask where the restroom is or verbalize a discomfort. Our brains also allow us to plan for the future and read signs to know where we are. A trained dog may have some advantage if they understand things like “sit,” “down,” “come,” “go potty,” but, if the new humans they live with do not use the correct cues (or words the dog understands) they may as well know nothing. In addition, some of our human rules are arbitrary, inconsistent, and change from situation to situation. We are supposed to maintain quiet in one type of building (church or library) but we are loud at others (at bars or at a party). We should greet some people with a hug but with others we should shake their hands. These rules are confusing for humans, so how do we expect dogs to keep up?
Our inability to see things through a dogs perspective causes many people to misinterpret dog behaviors as being aggressive or dominant. I once consulted with a family who thought their dog was becoming aggressive or dominant. The Cocker Spaniel, Joe, attacked another dog who came into his backyard with my client’s neighbor. As we discussed the dog coming into Joe’s backyard, I learned that the dog was known to Joe because she barked at him when they saw each other on walks. When the neighbor came into the backyard with the dog joe was startled which started the altercation. The other dog was not harmed. After we discussed the event, it was clear that Joe responded similarly to how a human would respond if an unfriendly neighbor snuck into the yard uninvited. People have shot other people for this exact crime.
To continue reading check out “The Evolution of Dog Training” By Shannon Coyner on Amazon or Barnes&Nobles.com!
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