They should come with instructions

Did you know that you could yank on your dog's neck forever and never teach them not to pull?  You could also push their butt down for years and never teach them to sit.  What you would might do is damage your dog; push a dog and they push back, pull they pull.  The other day I saw a woman attempting to get her dog to heel I would imagine as she yanked and yanked and yanked around the park.  The dog was just getting upset; not having a clue why his neck was being yanked on.  Heeling is one of the hardest things to teach a dog; very few average dog owners have the dedication and commitment to really teach it. 

The other day as Elsa and I were at a very busy marina.  It was the weekend so there were a lot of dogs out walking.  As I pulled into my parking spot I saw a man who was basically manhandling his German Shepherd.  The dog was wired by all the other dogs; you could see his it in his eyes by the dilated pupils.  The man was attempting to get his dog under some sort of control by pushing, pulling and yanking.  The more he physically maneuvered the dog the worse it got.  Why?  Because touch is a power stimulus.  Too much touching can bring on all sorts of bad behaviors.  Add to that, environmental stimulus and you have a bucket of crazy. 

In contrast, I met a little puppy the other day for a training session.  She was only 3 months old and had me smiling at her astonishing intelligence.  When I arrived, she of course got out of control excited and was leaping all over me.  I got on my knees as she was very small and ignored her; that is until she lay on the ground beside me which I rewarded quickly.  Within minutes she was choosing to lay on the ground instead of leap at me.  Touching her would have only made matters worse; so pushing is out of the question.  I chose to take advantage of her smarts and she was one smart cookie that one and as adorable as they can get. 

It makes me sad when I see owners growing frustrated; and their dogs being yanked around in frustration.  It makes me want to scream from the roof tops "ASK SOMEONE."  Sadly dogs don't come with instruction manuals, but they should.  Humans do not instinctively know how to deal with dogs and many will never ask.  The general consensus is that you just throw on a collar and yank around or yell at them to do those dog things that everyone expects from them. 

Even with all the information out there on how to's, many people go it on their own having no idea.  It is easy when you know how, just ask.