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Showing posts with label Affection. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Affection. Show all posts

Sunday, 8 January 2012

DOES YOUR DOG LICK YOU TOO MUCH, ROUGHLY?

I let my dogs lick my face, as long as…

A -  I have invited them to do so;
B - They are not in an overly excited state;
C -  They have not been eating anything disgusting;
D - They lick in a respectful manner and know when to stop!


It is normal, healthy expression of joy and affection for a dog to give you one or two gentle licks as a greeting, or to share affection.

Licking behavior is instinctive in puppies. Puppies lick their mother’s face as a sign of recognition and respect. A mother dog will lick her puppies to groom them. A dog will also lick another dog to indicate subservience. 


My Australian Shepherd Tasha loves to groom my Chihuahua Carmen - when Carmen needs a grooming he always goes to see Tasha!


But when a dog licks in a dominating manner (never asks if you would like to be licked but just moves in and takes completely over) or incessantly licks in an anxious manner and refuses to stop it is time to put some limits in place.

Too much licking is not normal and indicates that your dog is either dominating you or is insecure and anxious. Left unchecked this behaviour can become obsessive. It can also indicate that your dog does not know how to relax. That is not good for the dog or you.

TO TEACH YOUR DOG LIMITS AROUND GIVING ‘KISSES’

If you enjoy getting a ‘kiss’ from your dog but would like to teach your dog that it needs to stop licking after a couple of licks and that it needs to lick respectfully (gently, slowly - not hyper and fast). First make sure that you are not inviting your dog to lick you when your dog is very excited - you can end of overwhelming and stressing your dog! To learn more you can read this short article Affection and Your Dog.

One - Make sure you are calm (without excess emotion), and ready to coach with fair, firm confidence. Don't be aggressive, annoyed, frustrated, angry etc., don't raise your voice in anger. To understand more about how you can make sure you are communicating properly with your dog you can read about the Sensitivity of Dogs and Communication.

Two - Once your dog has licked once or twice you can touch your dog firmly but quickly with your fingers - at its neck or waist, you can snap your fingers and say 'enough' firmly, but not with anger. If your dog is too rough in the way he licks you can follow the same methodology and say ‘gentle’.

Three - Then tell your dog what you would like it to do instead i.e. 'go sit' etc.

Four - Follow through...if your dog goes back to lick you again - don't get angry, simply correct as per the steps above.

TO STOP YOUR DOG FROM LICKING

If you do not want your dog to lick your face, your hands etc;

If your dog always licks your skin cream off, or is insistently / obsessively licking anything else… here is the proper way to it them not to stop…

One - Make sure you are calm (without excess emotion),and ready to coach with fair, firm confidence. Don't be aggressive, annoyed, frustrated, angry etc., don't raise your voice in anger.

Two - get your dogs attention, you can touch your dog firmly but quickly with your fingers - at its neck or waist, you can snap your fingers and say 'hey' firmly, but not with anger. Never touch or talk in anger as you then lead by the wrong example!

Three - Tell your dog what you want i.e. 'no, don't touch' and then say 'leave it' I have ten dogs - different breeds, from tiny to large - they all understand this type of direction...as do the dogs I work with for my clients.

Four - Tell your dog what you would like it to do instead i.e. 'go sit' etc.

Five - Follow through...if your dog goes back to lick you again - don't get angry, simply correct as per the steps above.

And by the way - dogs use the placement of their body to takeover and own space - you can too! If you lean or walk into the space your dog occupies your dog will naturally move out of your space - providing you are calm confident...this is also an excellent way of telling your dog - in a language it understands - to give you space. This helps your dog to further understand that licking and invading your personal space is not appropriate at that time!


Additional Assistance
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Notes:
Please note - this article is for information purposes and is not a substitute for an in-person Session with me. When working with dogs I use many techniques - it is important to note that this article may touch on one or several techniques but not all. I select the technique that I use for a particular dog based on my observations of the dog and an intuitive, instinctive assessment of that dog's and its human's individual requirements. For example when I am working with a dog that is hyper sensitive and very physically reactive I will not use voice or touch. I use a lot of therapeutic touch on some dogs, others require the use of herding techniques and so on. Each and every technique must be combined with:
  • an understanding of the real intelligence, sensitivity and capability of dogs;
  • an understanding of how to read a dog's face and a dog's overall body language;
  • an understanding of the full spectrum of ways that humans communicate and dogs communicate; 
  • understanding and recognition of the individual that is each dog - no two dogs are the same...taking a 'cookie cutter' approach to techniques is not the way to work with a dog;
  • a complete recognition and understanding of all the elements that feed a behaviour and create an issue:
    •  the vast majority of people can only identify one or two elements...which vastly inhibits the ability to resolve behavior issues;
    • behaviours do not exist in isolation - there are always many elements that feed a single behaviour, there all always multiple behaviours that create a behavioral issue;
  • self-restraint and discipline on the part of the human who is directing the dog;
  • sensitivity, awareness, intuition, instinct and timing on the part of the human who is directing the dog;
    • to understand, connect with and adapt quickly and effectively to a dog's learning requirements you must be able to employ the same tools a dog uses - acute sensitivity, awareness, instinct, intuition and timing;
  • kindness, endurance, consideration, patience, persistence, perspective, the ability and know how to let the past go, the ability to set realistic expectations at any one point in time;
  • the creation of structure, rules, boundaries and limitations for each situation at the macro and micro level;
  • understanding of all the elements that make up an instruction and direction to a dog...there are multiple steps involved in an instruction - not just one!
  • absolute honesty - if you cannot be honest with yourself you will not be able to communicate clearly with a dog.
These are just some of the techniques that I teach my clients - it is a holistic, all-encompassing approach. If you are missing any one element of the above mentioned your success rate will be affected to one degree or another in implementing the techniques offered in the article presented above.






Tuesday, 6 December 2011

IS YOUR DOG HUNGRY OR LOOKING FOR ATTENTION

If your dog is always hanging about you looking for food, whining for food, begging for food you might wonder is my dog really that hungry? Should I be concerned?

Well to figure out if your dog is truly hungry or just using food to get attention take a look at your dog…if they look to be a good weight - not to thin (no bones protruding, etc.) and not to heavy (they have a nice waist line) then you know that the demands are just that - demands. Check the chart below to assess your dog’s weight.




IF YOUR DOG IS OVERWEIGHT


Being overweight is as bad for a dog as it is for a human. Dogs can have joint problems, diabetes, heart problems and so on just as humans do from carrying excess weight. Just as obesity can seriously shorten a human’s life - it can also shorten a dog’s life. A dog that is overweight certainly lives a lesser quality of life!

Once again we have to be fair to the dog first and foremost - if you are feeding your dog a commercially manufactured dog kibble that contains grains the diet you are feeding your dog is causing spiked hunger pains - read this and then get your dog on a grain-free, toxin-free, carcinogen-free dog kibble, or you can make homemade dog food, or feed raw species appropriate food. Dogs require species appropriate diets to be healthy - mentally and physically.

There are several things you should do. First make sure that there is no medical reason for the excess weight, such as a thyroid issue - your veterinarian can do a simple blood test to ensure weight gain is not due to any medical issue.

If you are certain that your dog’s health is good, then you really need to take a look at your dog’s daily regimen…

A - Does your dog get enough exercise on a daily basis? When it comes to exercise, all dogs need exercise - small breed, medium and large breed dogs. For some dogs a daily brisk 30 minute walk might be ok, while other dogs may require two 40 minute to 60 minute walks a day…just like people, every dog is different.

B - Do you feed your dog too much food? Do you feed your dog the wrong foods?

And you really need to take a look at your habits - sorry, but this is often the root of the problem with your dog's weight. I can't help you and your dog if I do not push you to see how we affect our dogs!

C - Many people use food to show affection and love to their dogs...this can lead to significant weight gain, deterioration of health and quality of life as well as behavioral problems;

D -
Many people also use treats as their primary or even sole method of 'training' their dog - I do not recommend this! 

First of all dogs do not use treats as their primary method of instructing each other, they use body language and state-of-being as a primary teaching tool - we should too! 
Using treats only - the human never learns to be aware of the more effective, more natural ways in which to communicate with and coach/mentor our dogs - this is a great opportunity lost. When we learn to use other means more natural to a dog we open up a whole new world of awareness and connectivity in ourselves - we enable the best in ourselves and our dogs. I recommend that you read these articles to learn more...

    On Dogs and Opportunism
    Affection and Your Dog
    How Dogs Communicate
    Leadership


About 50% of Dogs in North America are overweight. When my client’s dogs are overweight I usually ask them a serious of questions and then provide them with information and advice on how to regain control of their dog’s weight.

One of the most common issues I see is that people leave food in their dog’s bowl 24/7. This is even more of an issue if you have multiple dogs - as some dogs have a built in sensor that tells them when to stop eating, other dogs will keep eating until there is nothing left to eat. Much like people!

Dogs are not grazers like rabbits, horses and cows. Dogs are hunters and are biologically evolved to eat their meal and then fast until the next meal. When we leave food out for them on a constant basis we create an unnatural condition. It is far better to feed your dog twice or three times a day. If your dog does not eat all of the food in their bowl within a matter of minutes lift the bowl up and offer a little less food next time.

To reduce your dog’s weight - don’t do anything drastic, just cut back their regular portions by a small amount and allow your dog to lose weight slowly. Once your dog has lost the desired amount of weight you can increase the food a tiny bit and maintain from there.

IF YOUR DOG IS UNDERWEIGHT


Again, make sure that there is no medical condition at the root of your dog’s inability to gain weight. 

Also make sure that your dog is not suffering from an infestation of parasites such as round worm. When my Boxer Robbie arrived at 8 months old his back at the waist was about 7cm / 3 inches across - he was infested with round worms! Once you are sure there is no medical reason and no infestation then you know your dog requires either more food or better quality food.

Just like people, some dogs have a faster metabolism than other dogs and require more food to maintain a healthy weight. You need to increase your dog’s intake of nutrient rich food stuffs - just make sure that you don’t over do it overtime. When you see your dog has gained enough weight make sure that you do not start to overfeed - you want to maintain a good weight!
UNDERSTAND WHAT GOOD NUTRITION CONSISTS OF

To understand more about what comprises good nutrition in a dog kibble, and some alternate food stuffs that are rich in nutrients, antioxidants, good quality omega fatty acids and healthy soluble fibre for your dogs you can read this short
article.
Coconut oil can be an aid in helping your dog loose weight as can turmeric / curcumin - all three have many other health benefits as well.

OK, so now we need to fix the whining and begging for food issue…

SO YOUR DOG WHINES OR BARKS AT YOU WHEN IT WANTS FOOD...

Did you teach it to do this as a little trick? Did your dog just start this own its own? Or perhaps the dog is a rescue and this is a behaviour that the dog already had. Or maybe your dog is a rescue and has been traumatized in the past by not receiving food on a regular basis.

No matter what the reason, you might find this behaviour to be kind of cute and endearing at first. But, unless you have also taught your dog the threshold - the limit, when to stop…this behaviour can be:

A - Habit forming;

B - May escalate to dominating, reactivity, anxious, neurotic behaviour;

If this happens, it can really get you irritated, which will make the dog more anxious = psychological damage to your dog and to you.

Yeap, not so good and definitely not cute any more!

SO WHAT SHOULD YOU DO TO STOP THE BEHAVIOUR?

FIRST LET’S TALK ABOUT THE PSYCHOLOGICAL SIDE OF THINGS.


When your dog demands attention and rewards (whether food, affection, toys, etc.) your dog is taking control of the situation - this is not good, as you have just surrendered control of the situation to your dog and in so doing have lost some of his respect for you as a leader. Please take note this is not the same as when your dog looks at you for direction…in this case your dog is not asking he is telling!

If your dog is a rescue, underweight or overweight and you feel sorry for him, you are adding and abetting this bad habit. Stop feeling bad for your dog - this undermines his self confidence and can make him anxious and if your lack of leadership continues your dog can become aggressive reactive…pushiness can grow exponentially.

If you are starting to feel annoyed or frustrated with your dog, you are only going to increase his will to bark. Your lack of control of your emotions reinforces his understanding that you are not in control of the situation. More reason for him to take over! If you yell at your dog to stop barking - you are barking too, and that is leading by the wrong example.

Please do not say to your dog ‘would you just stop that!’ or I wish you would stop doing that’, or ‘you are bothering me, quite it!’ If you do this you are not providing direction, nor are you embracing the role of leader. You are whining and complaining not providing direction! When we whine instead of direct, we give our dog a choice - you can listen to me or not. Just like humans, most will choose the ‘not’ option.

Before you read any further - read these two articles if you have not already. They will only take you a few minutes to read - but will really improve your understanding of how dogs assign respect to their humans and how our state of being can either work for us or against us in our endeavor to direct our dogs.

How Dogs Assign Respect to Humans

The Sensitivity of Dogs


SO WHAT SHOULD YOU DO?

Train yourself, coach and mentor your dog. If you ask the right way your dog will listen - he does not need to be trained…but you do! Get your emotional state under control, engage your working mode on and let’s go.


Before you attempt to direct your dog…set your expectations…

First - remember that your dog has been doing this for awhile - I have the experience to make change immediate, you probably do not so be patient. Be calm, be deliberately confident, be assertive but fair, and have the expectation in your mind that your dog will listen. You need to be consistent, persistent and100% committed to the direction you provide (your dog knows when your are not!). Your will must be stronger than your dogs.

Be prepared to give a full instruction. A full instruction consists of:
1 - Getting your dogs attention;

2 - Telling him what you do not what him to do;

3 -  Telling him what you do want him to do instead, and;

4 - Following through to correct him if he backslides into the unwanted behaviour. 

The leadership role is one of coaching and mentoring with fair, firm, clear direction. Never match your dog’s state but you do have to match the intensity of his behaviour. I see a lot of people doing only step 2. Then the poor dog gets in trouble as it goes back to doing the unwanted behaviour as its human has not provided a full set of instructions! Blame yourself, not your dog! 

Firstly, if you dog barks you have to disagree right away. If you wait and then address your dog he will not understand what you are disagreeing with. To disagree with the bark you can:

A - Say ‘shh’ or ‘no’;

B - Snap your fingers;

C - Or give your dog a ‘nip’ (take your fingers and form a claw like shape, quickly tap your fingers once against your dog’s waist or neck and say ‘no’ or ‘shh’

Remember that the energy behind the direction is everything. Your emotions must be disengaged, you must be calm, assertive-confident, never angry, frustrated etc.

Secondly, your dog should not be in your food prep space. When your dog learns to sit and relax quietly you can relax the rule, but for know he needs to exit stage left! The approach you take to communicate to your dog should depend on the sensitivity level of your dog. Some dogs see touch as an engagement to converse, be excited. Other dogs see voice as engagement. Engagement gives the dog the opportunity to argue and debate the situation with you - that is not what you want. You want to disengage and direct.

If your dog is very sensitive pointing your finger and calmly saying ‘out’ may be enough. If your dog is less sensitive and fully committed to perusing his course of action you need to intensify your direction to him.

The best method is to simply use your body to herd your dog out of the space and then show him where you want him to sit/lie down. This is using dog language rather than human language - a very clear and effective way to communicate. If your dog gets up simply herd him back to the desired location. It is better not to talk, touch or look - just herd.

If your dog begs for food, you can use the same technique to discourage the begging.

Remember that when we develop a habit it takes time, effort and commitment to get rid of the habit...affecting change may take hours, days, weeks or more. So to with dogs.

Further, your strength as a leader and affective communicator will determine how quickly the behaviour can be turned around. I can affect change immediately because I have trained myself to be aware, I use instinct and intuition and have a lot of experience working with dogs in all states of being. You will have to be patient and fair with yourself and your dog to achieve success as your experience is less comprehensive. Not to worry, just boost your commitment to achieving your goal and you will move along at a good pace.



Additional Assistance

If you require additional support and guidance I would be pleased to assist you via my In-Person or On-Line Services…

Dog Obedience Training and Behaviour Modification Services:
  • Unbiased Diet, Nutrition, Product Advice is available via this service
  • Diet, Nutrition Wellness Plans are available via this service



Notes:
Please note - this article is for information purposes and is not a substitute for an in-person Session with me. When working with dogs I use many techniques - it is important to note that this article may touch on one or several techniques but not all. I select the technique that I use for a particular dog based on my observations of the dog and an intuitive, instinctive assessment of that dog's and its human's individual requirements. For example when I am working with a dog that is hyper sensitive and very physically reactive I will not use voice or touch. I use a lot of therapeutic touch on some dogs, others require the use of herding techniques and so on. Each and every technique must be combined with:
  • an understanding of the real intelligence, sensitivity and capability of dogs;
  • an understanding of how to read a dog's face and a dog's overall body language;
  • an understanding of the full spectrum of ways that humans communicate and dogs communicate; 
  • understanding and recognition of the individual that is each dog - no two dogs are the same...taking a 'cookie cutter' approach to techniques is not the way to work with a dog;
  • a complete recognition and understanding of all the elements that feed a behaviour and create an issue:
    •  the vast majority of people can only identify one or two elements...which vastly inhibits the ability to resolve behavior issues;
    • behaviours do not exist in isolation - there are always many elements that feed a single behaviour, there all always multiple behaviours that create a behavioral issue;
  • self-restraint and discipline on the part of the human who is directing the dog;
  • sensitivity, awareness, intuition, instinct and timing on the part of the human who is directing the dog;
    • to understand, connect with and adapt quickly and effectively to a dog's learning requirements you must be able to employ the same tools a dog uses - acute sensitivity, awareness, instinct, intuition and timing;
  • kindness, endurance, consideration, patience, persistence, perspective, the ability and know how to let the past go, the ability to set realistic expectations at any one point in time;
  • the creation of structure, rules, boundaries and limitations for each situation at the macro and micro level;
  • understanding of all the elements that make up an instruction and direction to a dog...there are multiple steps involved in an instruction - not just one!
  • absolute honesty - if you cannot be honest with yourself you will not be able to communicate clearly with a dog.
These are just some of the techniques that I teach my clients - it is a holistic, all-encompassing approach. If you are missing any one element of the above mentioned your success rate will be affected to one degree or another in implementing the techniques offered in the article presented above.






Friday, 2 December 2011

THE GOLDEN RULE FOR DOGS

ENABLE THE BEST IN YOUR DOG

I firmly believe that the human-dog relationship should be as beneficial to the dog as it is for the human. 

In order to fulfill this mandate we must take responsibility as leaders and guardians to our dogs. I also believe that the human-dog relationship should be a partnership.

I see the leadership role as a state of being in which the human empowers themselves and their dog to live a happy, healthy life.

Abby, Jordie, Tasha and Sarah
A dog is willing to give so much to their human - but what is the human willing to give to the dog?  

To enable the best in your dog you must think beyond yourself, your momentary needs your emotions. I believe you must broaden your understanding of affection, leadership and partnership.

If you learn to look at every element of your relationship in a more dynamic and holistic fashion you can learn to combine what you want with what your dog requires.

To have a happy, well balanced canine companion the human needs to make sure that they fullfill the needs of their dog.

Just because our dog fulfills our needs it does not mean that we have automatically fulfilled our dog's needs. 

Many of us, with the best of intentions, do not realize (that just because we love our dog and ensure we provide it with lots of affection the best of food, treats, a comfy place to sleep, etc.) that we have not met our dog's needs in a way that will best benefit them. 

If you have acquired a dog simply as a fashion accessory or as a warm fuzzy thing to cuddle and have not understood that living with a dog involves much, much more - you are dooming your dog to a life of misery - although you may not see it that way! When we do not allow a dog to live as a dog we inflict great psychological harm and physical harm.

To achieve and maintain psychological and physical health dogs like people need to have the following on a daily basis:

#1 For the Body
Work = Exercise for the body - to keep muscles, ligaments and bones strong, to expend energy, to maintain proper physiological function…this also keeps the mind sharp too!

#2  For the Mind
Leadership = to stimulate maintain and evolve the mind structure - rules, boundaries, coaching and mentoring;

#3 For the Soul
Affection - affection has many dimensions and facets...

  • The most foundational, fundamental and selfless form of affection you can provide to someone you love (human or non-human animal) is to provide...
    • A safe roof over their head;
    • Good food, and;
    • Structure...
  • For without these three things a being will not be well adjusted or healthy.
    • The other form of affection - physical touch is - in order of priority last on the list.
    • This is not becasue it is not important, but instead becasue the other three are even more important :>)
#4 - Nutrition
A well balanced diet - that provides rich nutrition and quality caloric intake in balance with energy expended. Poor diet has impacts on physical and mental health!

#1 to #4 when combined together =  an overall safe and supportive environment.

It is my belief that in order to fulfill the needs of our dogs we need to understand and follow what I call the ‘Golden Rule’. The Golden Rule addresses Body, Mind and Soul.

Jacob and Carmen
SO WHAT IS THE GOLDEN RULE?

On a daily basis the human must make sure that they satisfy the needs of their dog's physical, psychological and spiritual requirements. 

It is very important to ensure that these three requirements are fulfilled in the correct order of priority, at appropriate times and in the right amount.

The order of priority is the basis for the Golden Rule...

#1 Work - fulfill the physical requirements of the body: exercise

#2 Leadership - fulfill the psychological requirements of the mind: structure, coaching, mentoring

#3 Affection - which as described further above is multidimensional with the last element being the spiritual requirements of the soul

If you think about it - this Golden Rule makes so much sense.

I know that I feel really lousy if I don't get enough exercise. Exercise helps our body rid itself of the tension (physical and mental) of daily stresses; it helps us stay fit, keeps our muscles, tendons and bones strong; helps to moderate our emotional highs and lows and makes us feel less tired.

I feel aimless, at loose ends if I have no structure in my life. For some this can lead to an overwhelming sense of insecurity, anxiety, depression.

And let's face it; a lack of affection in one's life is very tough on an individual's overall well being.

I love and cherish my dogs - to be true to these feelings I have for my dogs, I make sure that my love and respect for them translates into meeting all of their needs at the right time, in the right way. By doing so I also respect myself. In order to successfully follow the Golden Rule, I must be aware of what I am doing; I must be aware of my state-of-being; I must find balance and I must be the pack leader. By following this methodology, the dog and the human both benefit.

If you are currently meeting some or all of the three requirements, but in the wrong order or wrong amount you are likely to or already have a dog with behaviour traits that either annoy and frustrate you or may pose a danger to the dog, yourself or to others.

Let’s take a look at the big three in a little more detail…

EXERCISE

I always say that dogs have two types of energy; their daily quota of energy, and;
if they have not had enough exercise on a regular daily basis they can have stored energy in addition to daily energy;

They can also have a third type of energy - anxious energy! If your dog has anxiety issues it may also have nervous energy which results in chewing objects or itself, scratching itself, etc.

Dogs need to expend their energy to feel relaxed and calm. You cannot expect a dog with unspent energy to be focused and ‘reasonable’, happy or balanced. Dogs need to expend their energy on a regular (daily) basis.

Just as we find it difficult to settle down if we are revved up, so do dogs - even more so.

LEADERSHIP

Dogs require leadership - coaching and mentoring - leading by example from a calm, confident, firm, patient, fair and aware state-of-being. This is how well balanced dogs instruct each other - this is also how well balanced humans instruct each other! To understand more about leadership read about being your dog's Pack Leader 

AFFECTION

If you always share enthusiastic, excited affection with your dog you may be creating a stressed and overly excited dog.

Affection can be expressed in many ways - some of the best opportunities to share affection are subtle, quite moments of appreciation, of caring.
It is important to realize that providing affection in the wrong way or at the wrong time can cause behavioural issues such as anxiety, dominating behaviour and even aggression.

To understand more about all of the positive ways you can share affection with your dogs, read about affection and your dog Affection and Your Dog 

Sometimes it is easier to understand an idea or theory if we can see it in a visual format...below is a graphic representation of the Golden Rule...



Additional Assistance

If you require additional support and guidance I would be pleased to assist you via my In-Person or On-Line Services…

Dog Obedience Training and Behaviour Modification Services:
  • Unbiased Diet, Nutrition, Product Advice is available via this service
  • Diet, Nutrition Wellness Plans are available via this service




Notes:
Please note - this article is for information purposes and is not a substitute for an in-person Session with me. When working with dogs I use many techniques - it is important to note that this article may touch on one or several techniques but not all. I select the technique that I use for a particular dog based on my observations of the dog and an intuitive, instinctive assessment of that dog's and its human's individual requirements. For example when I am working with a dog that is hyper sensitive and very physically reactive I will not use voice or touch. I use a lot of therapeutic touch on some dogs, others require the use of herding techniques and so on. Each and every technique must be combined with:
  • an understanding of the real intelligence, sensitivity and capability of dogs;
  • an understanding of how to read a dog's face and a dog's overall body language;
  • an understanding of the full spectrum of ways that humans communicate and dogs communicate; 
  • understanding and recognition of the individual that is each dog - no two dogs are the same...taking a 'cookie cutter' approach to techniques is not the way to work with a dog;
  • a complete recognition and understanding of all the elements that feed a behaviour and create an issue:
    •  the vast majority of people can only identify one or two elements...which vastly inhibits the ability to resolve behavior issues;
    • behaviours do not exist in isolation - there are always many elements that feed a single behaviour, there all always multiple behaviours that create a behavioral issue;
  • self-restraint and discipline on the part of the human who is directing the dog;
  • sensitivity, awareness, intuition, instinct and timing on the part of the human who is directing the dog;
    • to understand, connect with and adapt quickly and effectively to a dog's learning requirements you must be able to employ the same tools a dog uses - acute sensitivity, awareness, instinct, intuition and timing;
  • kindness, endurance, consideration, patience, persistence, perspective, the ability and know how to let the past go, the ability to set realistic expectations at any one point in time;
  • the creation of structure, rules, boundaries and limitations for each situation at the macro and micro level;
  • understanding of all the elements that make up an instruction and direction to a dog...there are multiple steps involved in an instruction - not just one!
  • absolute honesty - if you cannot be honest with yourself you will not be able to communicate clearly with a dog.
These are just some of the techniques that I teach my clients - it is a holistic, all-encompassing approach. If you are missing any one element of the above mentioned your success rate will be affected to one degree or another in implementing the techniques offered in the article presented above.