Saturday, March 5, 2011

The Paradigm Shift for Training and Living with Dogs

This weekend I had the opportunity to meet some wonderful authors.
One of the authors that I met was Jennifer Arnold. Below is Butch. Butch travels with her and the photo below is of Butch giving a woman a hug. (from an online clipping I found) My daughter got the same type of hug from Butch but I didn't get those photos yet.

I have a prediction and it is very simple : Jennifer Arnold and her method for teaching dogs will become THE predominant method for training dogs in less than 5 years. Either she'll have a weekly dog TV show someday- or someone who teaches her methods will. She is a beautiful woman with great emotion and a great heart and so I hope it is her on my TV screen.

For those of you that have dogs, you need to read about her and buy her book. There are not that many books that I shamelessly promote but Jennifer has a message and I am 100% behind it.

Dogs rock!! Dogs can detect a seizure before onset. Did you know that dogs can be trained to detect cancers? If the dog smells your breath it can detect several types of cancer. Dogs can detect cancer sometimes at a 98 percent accuracy level. Now I don't know about you- but I want dogs going around and sniffing me out. I want a dog to suspect I have a problem and then I can go get the catscans and whatnot.

Jennifer's methods for teaching dogs is referred to as the Choice teaching method. Her method does NOT involve chock collars, dominance toward a dog or punishment. Her method uses positive reinforcement and getting the dogs to Choose to follow your commands. I've seen the rise and fall of business books from 30 years ago that advocated the 'dominance' and carrot/stick approach to managing people to the books of today that advocate teamwork, shared vision and positive reinforcement. Her method of teaching is a true WIN/WIN for human and dog. Jennifer's Choice teaching method will be the new paradigm for training dogs in the future.

I did not know that living on a farm would cause me to fall in love with dogs. I thought I'd fall in love with chickens, lambs, cows, etc.
But alas, we have gone from 1 sheltie to:
1 sheltie, 2 border collies, 1 Great Pyrenees, and 1 akbash/anatolian sheppard.
I never would have guessed we'd have 5 dogs living with us with thoughts of adopting a few more.

Thanks to Jennifer Arnold I now know that it's ok when my dog doesn't sit right away. He or she will sit- but normally not within 5 seconds. But I know they are thinking about it.
When I tell my husband to sit- it takes him 30 seconds or so to sit. So why would I expect a dog to sit within 3 seconds? Because we think that dogs should be quick to react to our commands?

Not only did she help me see the world through our dogs eyes, but she made me feel sane. Those who have been long time blog readers know that I will swear our animals are talking to me. And the animal that I swear talks to me directly through eye contact is Rocky the Great Pyrenees dog. At first it scared the heck out of me but I now think it's because I just connect to this dog more than any of our other 4 dogs. After reading her book, I know that Rocky and the other animals on our farm are talking to me and I should continue to listen to them. I should also spend more time with Rocky and see what he has to say about life. I think I could learn a lot from him.

If you haven't taken your dog into your arms and told him that you love him lately, you should. They won't care that you haven't hugged them in a long time and they will forgive you.

Dog are a farmers best friend.


Sue said...

I love this. And you. Even tho I'll never own another dog as long as I live, I still love it.

Donna OShaughnessy said...

Great post. We have a great pyrenees who I know would die for me. I'll hug her hard next time I go out

thestorypoet said...

This is one of my favorite pieces written by you. And I still contend the dogs knew (I hadn't asked)to head downstairs when the mop came out!