The secret to a BOMBPROOF and well behaved dog…
It’s All About Some Simple Doggy NEUROSCIENCE Hacks (And Is The Complete Opposite To Conventional Dog Training “SIT” “HEEL” “STAY”)
So, who has had that experience of going to a puppy class?
You turn up for the puppy class on the first day and first thing on the agenda is training your dog to sit?
Now, who has had the realization that actually training your dog to sit does not influence…..
…..whether they end up barking and lunging at dogs on lead
…..whether they are cool calm and collected in the house
…..whether they are completely bombproof around noises
…..whether they walk nicely on a lead
…..whether they come when called, or
…..whether they choose to focus on you.
Who’s had that realization? Because for sure we had that realization.
The second realization we had is that sure you can train your dog to sit and your dog might sit beautifully at home, they might sit beautifully in the class and then you ask your dog to sit on a walk and do they always do it?
Is it 50% of the time?
Is it less than 50% of the time?
What we’ve realized is that training a dog to sit does not prepare them for real life.
Training a ‘Sit’ does not prepare them for day to day life.
It doesn’t prepare them for that dog that’s going to run up to them unexpectedly on a walk and roll them over.
It’s not going to prepare them to be able to listen to you when there’s a really exciting squirrel over there and you want them to respond to you.
It does not prepare them for life.
So the real question is what does prepare them for life?
Well, what we have come to find is that actually, we shouldn’t bother training behaviours.
We really shouldn’t bother training tricks for the purpose of preparing our dogs for life.
Sure we do love to teach tricks and we get really passionate about that too, but actually to prepare our dogs for real life we have to shape their brains.
Train Concepts, not behaviours
We have to shape their personalities and the way that we do that is something called Concept Training.
The way that we like to look at dogs’ brains is that actually they’re made up of concepts and all the concepts make up their personality as a whole.
Concepts might include optimism, focus, calmness, and self-control.
How skilled they are at any particular concept influences the choices they make in day-to-day life, and all the concepts combined make up that dog’s unique personality.
“to prepare our dogs for real life we have to shape their brains”
So, for example, it might be that calmness is one of the concepts that we focus on and some dogs are more naturally calm than others right.
It might be that optimism is another one of the concepts and that is where some will see something new or different or slightly strange as a good thing, they’re optimistic.
Others will see that same thing it as a bad thing and they’re pessimistic and that again is naturally individually varying.
The cool thing is is that all of these concepts are dynamic. All of them can change over time, we’ve just got to know how to do it.
This personality can be molded and changed over time by focusing on the individual concepts.
So for example, your dog might not be all that focused at the moment…you know what gamechanger…“There’s a Game for That!”
We might play some FOCUS games.
We’ve got games designed for focus and, in turn, by playing the games it enhances that concept of focus, they become more focused on you and they are better able to deal with day to day life and make great choices.
Equally, it might be your dog is a little bit pessimistic right now.
Well, you know what?
There’s a game for that!
Optimism games, in turn, boost optimism, make your dog’s outlook more optimistic and, therefore, in day-to-day life they are totally cool about…..
…..that loud noise that suddenly happens
…..the dog that kind of freezes in the distance and gives your dog ambiguous signals
…..or that strange looking guy with the beard and the wizard’s hat!
This is concept training.
It goes way beyond training behaviours… training a sit, training a down, training a stay.
These things do not transfer to success in day to day life.
If you’re not building your behaviours (your sit, your recall, your down, etc.) on a foundation of having a personality type that is suited to the world that they live in, then they’re not going to happen in real life.
They’re not going to happen on walks.
They’re not going to happen in the face of distraction.
They’re just not going to be useful in any way.
“Concept training goes way beyond training behaviours”
The good news…
If you focus on games, train concepts, enhance and shape their personality…. that is how you achieve real-life transformation and real-life results with your dog.
So, forget behaviours, forget the sit, forget the down, forget the stay… play games, train concepts, shape their personality and you’re onto a WINNER!
Here’s to the Gamechangers!
Tom & Lauren