Advanced stuff

How much fun is training?  I for one love training and think it's a blast; that is since switching from force training many many years ago; with positive training you can actually have fun.  It should always be fun and if it's not then you are not doing it right.  If you aren't having fun and your dog is not having fun then you should stop and re-examine your training method and regime.  It should be fun and it should be very rewarding.  I love the moment when a dog "gets it," and when the behavior sinks in for good.

Perhaps we should change the word altogether; maybe saying and thinking "training" has a bad connotation to it.   If you think more on the lines of learning or educating or teaching tricks it possibly sounds more fun.  Everything you teach your dog is a behavior so no matter what you call it you are teaching new behaviors.  From sit to jumping hoola hoops; they are all behaviors. 

It can be very rewarding teaching a dog; and the sky is the limit.  You could teach your dog a new behavior forever; how cool is that?  I remember teaching Jessie some cool new behaviors; ones that I would have considered as very advanced.  She learned them like it was nothing and was ready for more.  The more you teach a dog the easier it is for them to learn new behaviors.  Which can then leave you struggling to think up new behaviors to teach. 

Educating our canines is one of the easiest ways to connect with them.  It can make the difference for them as far as easily understanding every day life or struggling to understand.  I've worked with dogs before who are well into their adulthood that have never learned how to learn; it can be a challenge to break through.  With a great deal of patience all dogs can learn to learn and when you see a fined tuned team (dog and owner) working together it can be pure magic.  The connection between the two is intense; as if there is an invisible line connecting them together.

Even after all the years of training and teaching I am still thrilled to teach my dogs a new behavior.  They learn so quickly that it is almost unreal; and if you know what you are doing then the process is made even simpler.  Taking the time to learn how to teach your dog is something that everyone should do.  Even if you learned how many years ago; things have changed drastically so you'll need a refresher.  Force training was the way of the past; many trainers have left it there for good as it should be.  A whole new wave of positive canine educators are emerging; the have learned a new way, a method of teaching that requires no physical force.  Positive educating methods use brains, patience, a gentle hand, guidance and a reward system replacing yanking, yelling and forcing. 

There is no need to yank; there is no room for a physical correction.  Our job is to educate and the new and improved method of that is to educate.  Don't let the big hype training on television ruin all the hard work that the positive folks have done.  Pain, anger and frustration have no room in educating our canines.  Have fun with it; heck it all about spending more time with your best friend.  :)