Walk into the room, flip a switch. Lights! Turn the knob and the music is louder. Wouldn’t it be great if things worked that way with dogs?
Strangely, there are any number of people who would tell you that it does work that way with dogs. A quick check of the Internet will find you any number of trainers who can teach a rock-solid stay in less than an hour. They can get your dog to stop jumping up in a matter of minutes. And they can teach your dog to “respect” you in just one easy lesson.
They might as well try to sell you fairy dust as well.
Our dogs aren’t machines whose behaviours can be switched on or off by using a few simple training tricks. Oh, sure, you can get something that LOOKS LIKE it got you the results you were looking for but the reality is that behaviour is more complex than that. There is the dog’s history to be considered, its breed, its internal drives, what it has been taught, and what it has been rewarded and reprimanded for in the past.
Anyone who tries to tell you they have a simple fix for your dog’s behaviours is either ignorant of how behaviour actually works in animals or thinks you are a fool who is all too willing to part with your money.
We send our children to schools for years. Those who need behavioural help from therapists or other professionals will spend months or years getting help. Should we really think expect our dogs to just “do what they are told” because we say so?
To me that seems a little foolish. And shame on some dog trainers for catering to fools.