Often when people ask for advice about their dogs behaviour problems I hear
'but I dont want to be a dog trainer I just want a well behavied dog'
sorry to be blunt but
Dogs are always learning from us - whether we want them to or not
Sitting at the computer Ben comes over and puts his head in my lap
I reach down a stroke his head
Ben has learnt that putting his head in my lap means I stroke his head
Next time he tries that I dont pat his head
Hmmm thinks Ben, mibby she wants me to hold my head here longer??
He does and after a while I stroke his head.
Next time he holds his head for a longer time but still I dont stroke it
Hmmm, mibby she wants me to poke her with my paw?? yelp??
So you can see by me not paying attention at all I am free shaping Ben to bug me for attention
Is he being bad - no of course not
But if I want to stop this behaviour it is gonna get worse before it gets better as he tries to figure out what I want him to do
If you are a dog owner you are a dog trainer, get used to it
and as they are learning anyway isnt it better to teach them how you actually want them to behaive??