Actual German Breeder and Trainer of German Shepherds and Rottweilers for more than 30 years!

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Forming Relationship before training dog

Forming Relationship before training your dog

Forming a relationship between owner and dog is the most important thing to do before trying to establish any kind kind of communication. A good relationship means to know about each other! Relationship will help the dog to recognize that the owner is an important source of information to him.
Forming a relationship with your dog, means that he needs to experience that all good things are coming from you! – only from you!
Treats, toys, breakfast, dinner, petting, praise, freedom (after being confined), play,
Therefor it is highly recommended that you do NOT free feed your dog, or have him enjoy his toys all day without you in the house, yard or kennel.
Just imagine how the dog would feel about you, if any food (dinner, breakfast and treats) would only come from you? Eliminate the food dish- feed all meals from your hand.
Remember that we are talking about forming a relationship. So all the advise given is purely in a conditioning sense. No behaviors are required from the dog.
A relationship needs to be established whether you are working with a brand new puppy, or you are bringing a trained dog into your life.
Why would he consider being around some one that he doesn’t know anything about?
Why would he consider a stranger (that you are) as a source of information without having a history with him?
Would you take serious advise about anything from some one that you just met on the streets?
Think about it, maybe you would……but only after the stranger has established somewhat of a relationship with you! It might be that he gave you a lot of things that you like, that you have been running into him repeatedly? Since all good things happening to you when you meet with the stranger, he will not be a stranger anymore. He gains the image of a “person of interest”!
Now you will start paying attention to him, listening to him, and sharing with him. You trust him.
A lot of times we are faced with dog owners that do not have that “good start”- it is mainly because from the first moment on, they established the image of “don’t do this , don’t do that, I want you to do THIS, and if you don’t, something bad will happen”.

Sounds like the dog training that I did myself 30 years ago. Was it effective? – To a degree it was, because there was no comparison.
Was the performance of the dog fun, enthusiastic happy? Not so much.
Was it reliable? Depending of how much “scare the owner/ trainer could keep on the dogs mind , to a degree.
Things have changed, and a lot of Psychology wisdom is applied to dog training, at least in our way of training.
First thing, establish a positive relation ship!
Always have something good on you that you can provide at any time.
You are the all positive magician that pulls out the wallet miraculously and pays.
I go this far, that I got me a coulpe of vests for cheap at Good Will. They have deep pockets such as a hunting vest. I take his breakfast, pour it into the pockest, and we go for the morning walk. Every now and then, the dog gets a bit of it. Over and over. Nothing required, it is free money for him. Boy oh boy, after a few walks like that, I am the most important person in teh world. Plus, I don’t suck, I never have a demand at that point.
Needless to say, having demands for a yet untrained behavior, would really not be fair, nor successful!
Just let it be known that all good things come from you!
In addition, I suggest you play the “recall game” to encourage more interest in you!