They aren't robots

Nope they aren't and I don't know how many times I've stated this fact. Long ago I expected my dogs to perform like robots; it is what my obedience teacher taught us. Times have changed and so have I; thankfully. My robot days are long since past; left in the cave with the choke collars. All people are different; just like all dogs are different and what one human expects from a dog, another may expect something entirely different. But as far as I am concerned; dogs should have wiggle room.

How often do your children come running immediately at your beckoning? Not so much eh? What about when your kids call you; do you run to them instantly, do you drop what you are doing and wait on them at their beckon call? I'm thinking; not so much either. So why do we expect perfection from our dogs? Are we asking too much from our canine companions when we offer no leniency? Do as I say the second I say so; hmmmmm.

Dog's have a mind of their own; they are their own dog. I know my dog's tend to have an agenda, and if they are otherwise occupied by a previous engagement it is up to me to figure out how to break through. Many owners call their dog "Fido Come;" the dog hears this on a regular basis but is doesn't mean anything. They hear it over and over but the end result is the owner walks away. This is how owners teach indifference. If you want your dog to respond to a verbal cue then you must empower your cue. A verbal cue must mean something; and it should means something good.

The quickest way to a dog who never listens is to never offer anything for them to listen to. "Come?" Why should your dog drop what they are doing and come to you? Is there something good happening? Do you have something yummy to give them? Or are they going to come; look at you and get nothing? That was a waste of their time and they learn this.

But even well trained dogs have off days; they are not robots. If I ask my dogs to come or go out and they are slow to respond; perhaps thinking twice about it or hesitating, they are only dogs. I have seen some very highly trained dogs baulk at their owners as they are pushed to perform on an off day. A flash head turn and hard stare delivers a clear message of "I'm not in the mood." Dogs; like us have bad days and when they do we should be flexible enough to accommodate.

Those who understand dog behavior and create a positive learning and interaction association get less non responsive behavior. If listening to you is linked with positive association there will be in turn more listening to you; correct? If you have created a "whatever" scenario, you speak and no one listens. You have things to say but your words have little or no meaning then your will have more non responsive behaviors.

There are two words that must always be listened to in my dog family and those are "here" and "NO." I reserve "here" for an super speedy recall if needed. It has been proofed and will be enforced immediately if not instantly responded to. This is a life or death verbal cue. And "NO" reserved to stop a dog in their tracks. I have tried very hard not to use this word unless I mean business; I do not throw it around willy nilly for every little thing. It has the same effect hearing your second name when your Mother was calling you as a child. "Sherri Lynne," was much more impactful than simply "Sherri."

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