Its not working

I was watching a person in the park the other day trying to get their dog to walk beside them.  They were yanking, yanking, yanking and more yanking.  First I was saddened to see this then I started thinking what a strange bunch some humans are.  This person has been trying to get her dog to walk beside her for a very long time and it just is not working.  Then there is the person who yells and pushes her dog down every time it jumps.  It jumps, she pushes and the cycle continues.  The dog that won't stay in the house, when the front door is opened the dog is out of it.

Many humans just keep trying the same ole.  Do they take the time to sit down and think "why is this not working?"  Nope, they just keep plodding away, making the same mistakes and going no where.  Funny isn't it?  Now, it's not just the inexperienced dog owner who tries the same illogical steps over and over again.  Many dog trainers do the same thing. They know how to train a dog, but only one way and if it doesn't work they just keep trying.

The big secret about successful training is flexibility, the astute reasoning ability to change and try something new.   Then of course there is the fact that not too many people understand how dogs actually learn best.   Working with dogs is a never ending learning session.  They are all so different and the tiny differences in each can sometimes go unnoticed by the amateur.  I've watched training classes led by other trainers where one of the people/dog teams is having an issue.  The trainer just says keep trying.  As I watch from the sidelines I am chomping at the bit to explain what is going on with the pair and offer up a different line of approach.

What I am trying to get at is that all dogs are different.  What works for one might work for another but chances are you'll have to switch it up a bit.  Dog reactions to external stimulus can be vast.  Their reaction to our action boundless.  With each individual dog comes a highly personalized brain so to bunch them together like a bushel full of dog brains is human error not canine.


  1. I appreciate your knowledge, Sherri. I'm learning lots. I've been in training (socialization and obedience) with my Standard, Lexie for about 8 months. The same dogs and humans attend weekly for the most part. We love our trainer. I find that the calmest, most obedient and fun loving dogs are those with a human and the other end of the leash who a calm, smooth, firm voice, praise often. The yankers, etc. have very erratic, whining pooches. The trainer is not afraid to correct the human. Some times the correction is learned sometimes not. Even the humans can be a puzzle, as you point out :)


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