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Is your Dog a Librarian or a Smoking behind the Bike-Shed Rebel?

Generally, dogs pretty much fall into two camps; the librarian or the smoking behind the bike-shed rebel! I love this term and I credit Lauren Langman for coming up with it many years ago!

Which is your dog? Why does it matter? Well, it matters because depending on which camp they fall in will depend on where you should really be focussing the majority of your training to get the best from your dog!

librarian rebelTHE LIBRARIAN

These dogs tend to be extremely polite dogs. You know, they find it a delight in getting it right and don’t get pushy. They are the ‘mother may I’ types. They definitely don’t like to break the rules, OH NO!!! They are calmer in disposition, they find exercises where they have to show self control easy. In fact, they like to control themselves. Boundary games are an absolute breeze! ‘Stay on a boundary you say?! Pfftt, I can stay here all day!’ These dogs are very diligent.

The downside to a librarian? If we aren’t careful, we can kill the joy with these dogs. How? If we play too many games that involve testing that self-control or duration/static type behaviours. They can become unmotivated, flat and robotic in nature.

To keep the balance, librarians need lots of opportunity to let their wild side show. It’s in there, but it’ll need eking out! So, if you own a librarian, the games to focus on are anything that is movement based; orientation games, funder, leg weaves, spins, racing to food or a toy and being able to win it. And when it comes to dabbling in self control games, don’t test, test, test the self control – its already there! Test a little but release more.


If you have one of these, you’ll know! Think of the cartoon The Tasmanian Devil and you are there! They are a whirling dervish, everything is done at 100 miles an hour. They have insane drive and motivation to work. They are pushy! The find it hard to control themselves, boundary games are hard, being still is hard! They find movement fun and excel naturally at movement based games and behaviours.

The downside to a smoking behind the bike sheds rebel? Errrrr, its utter chaos….but these dogs are a lot of fun if we get balance is right! We just need to organise that chaos!

The games to focus on if you own a smoking behind the bike sheds rebel are essentially the opposite to the librarian! Lots of duration and stillness behaviours and self control games.

Which dog is better? Neither! Both have their struggles. Now, either being a librarian or a smoking behind the bikes sheds rebel is not fixed. You can turn one into the other if you’re not careful. If you see that happening play games that fit what you are seeing. It’s all about getting that balance just right!

Read more of our Thursday Training Tips HERE  and check out Devon Dogs calendar of Events HERE. During these times of the coronavirus (COVID-19), if you are self-isolating and would like some help training at home, check out our Consult Calls and use the coupon CONSULT20 to enjoy a special 20% discount.


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