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What IS "Dog Training", Anyway?

Ask 100 trainers this question, and you'll get 100 different answers.


I've always found the term somewhat limiting. It sort of implies a one-way trajectory of information, traveling from person to animal. As though the animal is a receptacle into which "training goes", and after which point we expect the animal's behavior to have changed in some particular way. Sometimes I like to think of it as "dog teaching". But this still connotes a "bestowing of knowledge" from only one party to the other. Certainly, to some degree, this is exactly what dog training is. But also, it is so much more. It is a continual feedback loop of communication circulating between human and animal, being processed and reflected back by each respective party, at all times.

With every single interaction between us and our dogs -- every word, every silent pause, every look, every movement, and every bit of energetic output -- we are communicating SOMETHING to our dogs. But what? And are we reading, at least relatively accurately, what our dogs are trying to "say" to us? What I hope to awaken in my (dog training) clients is an awareness and understanding of just WHAT it is they are communicating to their dogs, because often I feel what we mean to say to our dogs, and what we actually say to them, are two different stories. My aim is to teach people how to communicate with their dogs as effectively, and with as much conscious intention, as possible.

#dogtraining #training #dog #dogs #train #communication #learning #trainer #trainers

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