Online dog training videos Feb 2014 - Page 6

6 My Everyday Dog Training Tools by Doggy Dan 2. Reading The Situation The Online Dog Trainer (Tool: The Energy Meter) One of the most important tricks of the trade in dog training is learning to pick up on the very subtle message that your dog is giving you when you are working with them. Dogs – just like humans – have emotions, however they are unable to communicate the way we are used to. So when they are stressed, bored, frustrated or scared they exhibit signs expressing these emotions but obviously can’t use spoken English. This presents a problem for them if we simply ignore them and plough ahead regardless with our training. Learning to read your dog means that you are able to adjust anything you do in training to suit their specific situation. Now this may sound quite straight forward yet one of the big issues that I have found with people’s training routines is that the dog is simply not coping with the situation. When your dog becomes too excited, fearful, or focused, something happens that means that nothing that you do is going to work. Put very simply, you could say that the adrenalin kicks in. Adrenalin is produced in your dog’s brain during stressful times leading to the flight-or-fight response that they have. Either they will try to run away or it’s time to stay and fight. Neither of which are very helpful when you are trying to train your dog! So one trick when working with your dog or puppy is to avoid this state no matter what. And one way that helps is if you think of what I call an Energy Meter, which goes from 1 up to 10. I call it the Energy Meter because when your dog is asleep they are down at a level 1 and when adrenalin kicks in they are up at around 8-10. Now the problem is, in many situations people are trying to train their dogs and alter their behavior when the dog’s energy level is up at around 6-8. This is simply too high. As soon as your dog gets a blast of adrenalin everything goes bang! Breathing rate increases, heart rate increases, muscles tighten and go to work overtime… The leash goes tight and you are almost pulled over, their eyes are on stalks, they start barking and running around out of control. If you are inside the house your dog could be barking madly at the window, barking or shaking under the bed…