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Thinking Dog Theory Of Training

by Vicki Chaney         
          Before we begin I would like to talk a bit about our theory in training. Our theory is based on all that's natural for your pet and you too. Its basis lies within something that has been used since life began. It's a universal language spoken by all living things. You use it everyday, most times without even knowing it. You speak it, you hear it. What is it you ask?

          Think about this a moment. You're walking down the street and coming in the opposite direction is a perfect stranger. You notice this person looks happy, friendly. What tells you this? As this person gets closer you find yourself smiling at this person. Why? What made you do that?

          The answer is body language. Your dog is especially well versed in this language because it's the first one he learns to speak and understand while still with his canine family. Our dogs are especially sensitive to our body language. Your dog hears every word you say even when you don't realize you said it. In reality, our dogs learn to communicate with us long before we learn to communicate with them.

          We send many messages to our pets without being aware of what we are saying even though our dogs heard us loud and clear. Often times we think we have said one thing, but with our body language we have actually said another. As a result, many mixed messages are sent to our dogs causing them a great deal of confusion and stress.

          It is also stressful for the dog or puppy to be telling you things, with his or her body language, and have you not respond to what they are saying. Remember, body language is the puppy's first language, one he has spoken since birth, and you are speaking it as well. So, the puppy must be terribly confused when you don't respond to what the puppy is trying to tell you.

          It is our belief that many of the behavior problems seen in our pets stem from this confusion. As time goes by the puppy or dog may try more outrageous behavior to get its message across to you. As the puppy's behavior becomes more outrageous, the owner becomes increasingly angry (believing that the puppy is doing this behavior on purpose) which causes the puppy to become fearful of the owner.

          The puppy can't understand the owner's behavior; because to the puppy, it is only trying to tell the owner something is wrong. The owner's anger is viewed by the puppy as being unfair and as having nothing to do with the puppy's behavior; henceforth, the puppy's behavior doesn't change. If you really think about it, how many puppies, or dogs, or humans for that matter, want our loved ones to come home to scream at us, throw things at us, or even hit us?

          Frustration is a normal reaction when we can't understand why something is happening, normal for us and normal for our puppies and dogs. Frustration causes different types of behavior in us and in our dogs.

          When we are faced with behavior we can't understand from our dogs we have found that if we just take a little time to try to see it from the dog's point of view we find that the dog is not understanding what we want. Once we realize this, we try a different way of communicating our desires to the dog. When we get our point across to the dog, we are then able to modify or change the dog's behavior by changing the way we communicate what we want.

          It is important for you to understand your puppy's body language as well as becoming more aware of your own. If you were to take one of my classes, I would be helping you to teach your puppy your spoken language so that you would be communicating in both languages (verbal and body language). You will be surprised by how much both people and dogs have to teach and learn from one another.

Should you have a concern regarding the health of your Beagle(s), you should contact your veterinarian. All information on this site is presented solely for educational and informational purposes and should not, at any time, be considered a substitute for seeking or receiving veterinary care for your Beagle(s).