Dogs are wonderfully forgiving creatures. Past wrongs seem to be quickly forgotten; after an angry moment, relationships are almost instantly restored. I think that we humans have a great deal to learn from dogs regarding forgiveness and moving on.
Any good dog trainer knows that the consequences of a dog’s actions will decide whether he wants to try to do a behaviour again or not. But there may be more to training your dog than rewards or punishments. The process we use when we teach our dogs matters too. Being honest, consistent, and true to a good training process can make all the difference in the world!
Canine Nation is a series of essays about dogs, behaviour, and training. For years I trained my dogs using well-worn methods by the Monks of New Skeet, Barbara Woodhouse, and others. All compulsion based, dominance focused methods that worked well enough until they didn’t. They led us to a dangerous confrontation with our 18-month-old dog Vince. That forced me to re-evaluate everything I thought I knew about dogs and training. My 16+ year journey through changing how I live and work with my dogs is reflected in these essays. You can read them at the Life As A Human website. They are the basis for my podcast episodes.
From the Hill is a series of more informal essays on various dog related topics – training, behaviour, professional trainers, social media and more. They are a bit more personal. A bit more rambly. They come from a more philosophical point of view. Just an outlet for my reflective side to come out. They are generally more off-the-cuff thoughts that occur to me from time to time. These essays can be found here under the Writing menu. Just click on “From the Hill” to browse through them.
Guest Authors – From time to time I ask other dog people to allow to post their writings. I am grateful to know some very smart, very insightful people. Some are dog professionals, some are academics, some are dog owners and dog lovers Most are all of the above. I am pleased to have them sharing their thoughts here!