If anyone is having behavioural issues with their dogs, then they need to watch the video below. I have never seen a trainer take command of a situation and have the student dogs eating out of the palm of her hand so quickly.
Well Ok…I have misled you a little, but I stand by what I said. This is a fantastic video that shows nature at work. More importantly, we can take so many lessons from the pack mother and how she interacts with her pups when unwanted behaviour is present. Ask yourself if you behave anything like this when your dog is misbehaving? From my eighteen years as a police dog handler and trainer, there were many things to compare with what I was taught back in the day.
Right from the outset, our mother is set upon by her pack of hungry pups. Immediately recognising that this type of behaviour is unacceptable, she springs into action! A series of assertive barks and moving into the pup's space forces each pup to reassess their demanding dinner method. There is no way these pups are being fed till all are showing submissive traits and behaving calmly.
LESSON: Ask yourself, ‘How often do you give into your dogs and reward unruly behaviour?’ Do you feed your dogs when they are jumping up at you, trying to steal the food from the bowl? When your dog is barking, demanding to be let in, do you let your dog in the house?
This is Dog Manners 101! Do not reward demanding behaviour only reward your dog when it is calm.
Don’t Accept ‘Close Enough is Good Enough'.
Who noticed that there were a few troublemakers in the group? The mother would never accept most of the misbehaved pups or those who were half acting calmly. Every puppy had to be submitting and calm.
LESSON: Never accept half-obeyed commands or worse still, ignored orders. Your dog needs to understand that you have to be obeyed.
Use Spatial Awareness to be Assertive
You will notice our mother moves forwards toward the offending pups to get her message across. Dogs are hugely spatial animals; assertive leaders take space, and submissive pack members surrender space. This is so evident in this video as the pups quickly back off in most cases and maintains spatial respect.
LESSON: Whenever your dog is doing something outside your ‘pack rules’, don't just stand back yelling. Move forward into your dogs’ space and force them back. Jumping up on you and scratching at the door to get in are prime examples of times to do this.
Recognise the Pups Calming Signals
There are so many things these pups did once their behaviour was corrected by the mother:
- Surrendering space
- Moving into a submissive position (laying down)
- Avoiding eye contact (just like a child in trouble)
- Yawning (the complete opposite of being aggressive)
LESSON: Watch out for these calming signals yourself. After you correct your dog, if they display any of the above calming signals, you need to understand your dog is now trying to do the right thing. Back off and direct them into the behaviour you are seeking. If they still do not, then it might be because they do not understand what is wanted.
I enjoyed this video so much that I have watched it at least a dozen times now. There is so much to take out of it. If you are dealing with any of the issues discussed here, do not hesitate to give us a call. We have helped so many dog owners with their dog behavioural issues. We are waiting to help you.