How do you feel when your dog does what you ask at once? It is a dream come true for every dog parent. Isn’t it?
“How do you achieve such level of compliance?”, might you ask. Compliance means to act in accordance with a request.
Let us step back a minute. Have you ever seen a mother tethered to her litter of puppies? The answer is “no”. Yet, she calls all her puppies at once when she senses a danger. And the litter complies.
I always wondered what’s going on behind such compliance. After spending hundreds of hours, learning canine psychology, I realized that compliance is directly related to relationship.
A mother’s relationship with its puppies is the primary reason behind such compliance. Of course, a mother’s love is unconditional and unmatched.
But the key takeaway is that your relationship with your dog determines compliance. Ask yourself, “Does my dog enjoy my company in the absence of food or toys? If your answer is no, you should focus on building (a mother-like) relationship with your dog.
There are two ways to radically improve your relationship with your dog.
01. By reducing conflicts. Don’t put your dog in unpleasant circumstances. Forcing your dog to take pills, bathing your dog unwillingly, taking away the ball that your dog loves without your dog’s consent are all examples of conflicts. You should avoid or reduce such conflicts.
02. By increasing reinforcements. Offering a treat when your dog least expects, finding and doing an activity that you both enjoy, by being predictable in unpleasant situations are all examples of increasing reinforcements.
By being mindful in your day-to-day interactions with your dog you can make or break your relationship.
Now, remember, you cannot have someone else to build that lasting relationship for you. If you aim for greater compliance you should be willing to invest in everything it takes to build that relationship.
By being your dog’s teacher (trainer) you’re moving a step closer to greater compliance each day.
Today, I’m grateful for my wife for being with me through my thick and thin.