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Coton Connection, Issue #018 - Who's in charge?
July 12, 2011
|Welcome Coton Lovers:
Tips for naughty Cotons:
Hope everyone is having a fabulous summer. I am in the process of moving (twice) and it's been quite an interesting transition. Turns out that Cotons are pretty resilient and Luc is thriving in our temporary home until our permanent one is ready. He's made lots of new friends and doesn't seem to miss all of our "stuff" as much as I do.
BUT, we did have some behavior problems at first. He decided to show me that he was not happy being left alone in a new unfamiliar place whenever I left the house. It took a little time and patience to get my good boy back. It reminded me of this article and I thought I would share it with everyone this month.
Here's an excerpt from a Secrets to Dog Training article I found very helpful - especially for those with new Cotons or who find yourself sometimes wondering who is in charge - me or my dog?
There’s a difference between disobedience and incomprehension. If your dog isn’t obeying a command because he doesn’t understand what it is you want him to do, that’s not a behavioral problem at all; it simply means that you need to spend some more time together in training.
True disobedience occurs when your dog deliberately does not obey a request or command, although he has full knowledge of what it is that you’re asking him to do (and you know this because he’s performed it reliably on several occasions beforehand). Although this may seem like a relatively minor inconvenience, it’s actually a pretty serious thing – not only can it be dangerous for your dog (for example, if he’s heading towards a busy road and ignores your ‘come’ command), but it’s also detrimental to your relationship with your dog.
Disobedience is rooted in disrespect. When your dog deliberately does not obey you, he’s saying, “I don’t respect your authority enough to do what you want me to do”. If you allow him to get away with this, you are allowing him to form the habit of passive-aggression. This is not something that can just be left to “fix itself” – the problem will worsen, not get better, if you leave it.
It’s very important that your dog recognizes that you outrank him in the social hierarchy of the household. The concept of alpha status is one that you need to be familiar with in order to maintain a healthy, functional relationship with your dog. It may sound cruel from a human perspective, but your dog is happier when he knows that someone else is in charge of making all the decisions – including his day-to-day behavior and obedience levels.
It is not possible to have a good owner/dog relationship if he does not understand that you are the clear-cut authority figure: he must know that he’s beneath you in the chain of command. Your first step in dealing with generalized disobedience is to reestablish your dominance. Here are some tips on doing so:
Another fantastic way of counteracting disobedience is to start – and maintain – a basic obedience training plan. You don’t have to do anything fancy or super-demanding; just ten minutes a day of learning and enforcing commands. This can drop to five minutes a day once your dog is completely reliable with the commands.
Here are some tips for a good training program:
For more information on typical doggie behavior, including a fantastic resource for training how-to's and loads of detailed information on preventing and dealing with problem behaviors, check out Secrets to Dog Training . Written by a professional dog-trainer, it's an absorbing guide that deals with all the subjects a responsible dog-owner could ever want to know about - well worth a look. To visit the Secrets to Dog Training website, just click here.
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Thanks for sharing!
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Gale and Luc
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