Is it relationship dynamic or lack of training?

Your relationship dynamic with your dog may be more of a problem than his lack of training. Have you been offering tons of treats for each and every thing he does right? Are you tiptoeing around because he resource guarding food, toys, or space in your home? Does he make you nervous, but you’re trying to be his friend? Is he a pushy, strong willed dog, and you’re a soft sensitive person?

The dynamic of the relationship you have with him might be what needs to change. Yes, there will be specific changes you will want to make with training and resources, but overall it will be you changing how you treat him. When he mouths your hand it may be him testing to see what you will allow. After you allow him to do that he may growl at you and not get off the furniture when you try to get him down. Maybe he stops allowing you to put leashes on him or touch his feet.

You decide how long you’re going to let all this go on and when things need to change. Something as simple as not moving out of your dog’s way when he walks past you, or making him get up and move when you’re trying to walk where he’s lying may help shift this dynamic. Giving him directions and not allowing him to make all the decisions may also be key. Stop asking if he wants to go for a walk; instead, you let him know it’s time to go. You may even want to limit the amount of attention you pay to him. If you’re talking to him and petting him each and every time you see him, maybe that needs to change too. Rather than leaving toys all around for free access, maybe you keep them up and only bring one out for interactive play with you.

These are just a few examples of scenarios where the relationship dynamic needs to change in order to help the dog change. Obedience training is only a small piece of the puzzle for some dogs. All the training in the world with the best trainer will not change how your dog feels about you in the comfort of your home when it’s just the two of you. You could also teach your own dog perfect obedience and still have a horrible relationship dynamic and struggle with major issues. The good news is that you can start to make a shift right away. If all these changes seem difficult to you, remember this is your part of the work! It will pay off.

Posted in Blog.