It has been said that there are a million ways to train a dog. Spend any amount of time online and you'll quickly know this is true. So how can the average girl know which way is best for her four legged friends?
I honestly have no idea.
But I'm trying to figure it out. Although there is so much science in training, training is not an exact science. You will meet people who are pure clicker trainers or cross-over trainers. Some subscribe solely to one persons philosophies while disdaining all others. And the debates can get quite heated, to say the least.
My philosophy? No one is one hundred percent right one hundred percent of the time. For sure not me! I do think that dog training should be less about what the two legged member of the team thinks is the best sounding theory and more about what works for the four legged team member.
Each of our pups is so individual and what works for one won't work for the next. And the challenges for one will not be the challenges for another. For instance Meeka rarely barks. Except at airplanes of course! But when she does bark it just takes a little "uh-oh" and she quiets right up. But Maizey is a whole different picture when it comes to barking.
Since I needed new skills to know how to help her hit the calm button we took a lesson with a local trainer. It was invaluable. She gave us many new skills to use and helped me access some calming skills I had laid the foundation for but didn't know how to apply and use.
One of the new tools we are using is a Halti. Having never used a head halter on any dog, and certainly never expecting to use one on my little girl this took some getting used to. For me. Maizey was fine from day one and now rarely even fusses it at all. Now I know many out there in the positive world will frown on my use of such a "cruel" and "harsh" device. All I can say is results show the big picture and after hours of use now I can see it really does increase my control. More importantly it decreases her drive thus giving her more control. Along with the other things we learned in her lesson I am already seeing a quieter and more peaceful Maizey.
All theorizing aside, results are what really matter to me. Having a happy calm girl is what really matters to me. Will I keep doing all that I am now? As long as it works and keeps her happy and calm. And if it changes? Well, I'm really used to going back to the drawing board. I seem to spend a lot of time there!
- katie, Maizey and Magnus
- Lessons From and For 4 Legs has moved to a new address: http://www.lessonsfrom4legs.com. Where we will continue to learn life's lessons from my little Cavalier King Charles Spaniel's, Maizey and Magnus. Don't miss Meeka's lessons too, by checking the archives of my big girl rescue Rottie. They all teach me so much!