Your Mindset & the Relationship Bank Account
Think of the relationship you have with your dog as a bank account. Positive interactions pay into the bank account, negative interactions withdraw from the bank account.
Positive interactions are things like enjoying a reward-based training session together, playing together, enjoying a cuddle on the sofa…etc
Some obvious negative interactions are things like using stern words, force or intimidation etc, but also taking your dog to the vet and being present while no-so-nice-things happen is a negative interaction or perhaps having to remove a thorn from your dog’s paw etc… So, to a certain extent, negative interactions are unavoidable.
When negative outweighs the positive
If negative interactions outweigh positive interactions, put plainly, your dog isn’t going to find being in your presence very rewarding. They won’t see much value in being around you. This leads to things like things like a poor recall, pulling on leash, being easily distracted, zero focus, no interest in working with you…to name a few! Essentially where there is a behaviour challenge, what needs to be addressed first and foremost is the type of relationship you have with your dog.
The key thing to always have in mind is that you want to ensure the bank account is constantly being topped up with positive interactions.
So how do we do that?
It’s a change in your mindset! So instead of saying ‘I don’t want my dog to [insert behaviour], flip it around and say ‘I do want my dog to do [insert behaviour]. An example of this:
- ‘I don’t want my dog to jump up on me,’ flipped around ends up being;
- ‘I do want my dog to have 4 feet on the floor when he greets me.’
Solution Based Training
With this change of mindset it means you have now shifted to solutions based training. It gives you something tangible and something you can proactively train. Simply thinking about what the problem is gets you nowhere!
To finish with this week’s blog, I have a task for you!
Think of 5 things you don’t want your dog to do and flip it around and write down 5 things you can train instead. I will give you one more example so that it truly translates:
- ‘I don’t want my dog to get excited when visitors enter the house’
- ‘I do want my dog to remain calm and, on a bed, when visitors enter the house’.
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.