Building your relationship with your dog.by Jade Giuggio on 09/23/14
I love what I do. There are certain circumstances that can make me frustrated about my job. My goal is to build the relationship with your dog and through that there comes a respect and love with your dog like no other. When I see an owner/dog team struggle with their relationship I take that as a challenge to change, but sometimes what the owners want and what the dog is, don’t match. What I mean by that is there are owners who have goals for their dog. Maybe they want to be a therapy team, compete in agility or have hunting or show dog. And sometimes all they want is a well-behaved pet. But you have to consider the other side of the leash...your dog. They can think for themselves and have their own abilities and limits. I have struggled through this before with my own animals. Hunter my Shiba Inu, loves people and I wanted to make us a therapy team. As life and training went on with him, I realized he would not enjoy it. He has fears and I can work through them with him but will he truly enjoy it? Keira, my guide dog in training, does fantastic when working, but there is a chance that she won’t make it through the program. And as heartbroken as I’d be, I want what’s best for her. I’ve worked with clients that just want a mellow companion but their dog needs a job of some sort. It’s unfair to have a German Shepherd or Border Collie and expect it to be well behaved with out addressing their mental and physical needs.
I want my clients to enjoy working with their dog. Think back to when you were in school, what memories stuck with you, what material in school was easiest for you to retain? For me, and I think for most, it was when I had a teacher who had a great balance of challenging me, and making learning fun. When you find out what motivates your dog, you will see a drastic change in training. And training becomes more fun for you both. Your connection will be stronger, you will be less frustrated, have more patience and that’s where training can be a stress reliever for you both.
Do you struggle with basic commands? Try teaching your dog a few tricks and in between start adding basic commands. Does your dog love to play fetch? Add a solid drop it command and you can work on basics such as sit and stay before you through the ball again. Hunter loves to be off leash hiking. I work with him throughout the hike with recall and different commands, and his reward is being off leash hiking. There is a communication we have and respect for what each other wants. I want him to listen when I need him to, and he wants to run free, it’s a win/win. And we both leave the hike, happy and fulfilled. I set him up to succeed. I don’t throw him in a busy trail with lots of going on and expect him to be able to listen, he is a Shiba Inu after all, it takes time to develop.
When we have fun and enjoy working with our dog, our dog enjoys working for us. And to me the ultimate goal is a happy and respectful relationship from both ends of the leash.
Upcoming this fall and winter I am looking to hold a few classes to help encourage you to have fun!