Monday, August 22, 2016

Tips for training humans with dogs

The most common misconception about dog training lies entirely in its name. 

As pet parents, it is our responsibility to train ourselves rather than our pups, and help them adapt to the human world. 

In honor of National Dog Day on Fri., Aug. 26, pet expert Alyona DelaCoeur of "Why Does My Dog," a video-driven website devoted to delivering bite-sized tips and techniques that aim to train humans who have dogs: 

--Dogs are animals. not little humans in fur. We are constantly trying to make dogs fit into a mold of the perfect animal, when in reality this does not exist. It is important for people to understand that animal behaviors are natural and each one serves a purpose to your dog, the good and the bad. Barking, growling and humping are all behaviors used to communicate. Chewing and marking are natural behaviors that all dogs exhibit. Dog owners need to be educated about when those behaviors are acceptable and follow rules, rather than stopping their natural habits all together

--You're the boss. Ultimately, the person makes the decisions and the rules in a house. It is important for that person to know how to set those rules and how to help a dog to understand them, while still keeping a positive and rewarding relationship with their furry loved one.

--Dogs are mind readers. Dogs can read us, everything from facial expressions to feelings to the smallest movements that give us away. However, we are not as skilled when it comes to reading our dogs. We are constantly misinterpreting behaviors or communication signals from our dogs. Worse, we try to stop those natural communication signals. Dog owners need to better educate themselves on animal behavior before they can properly begin training. 

--Dogs are very simple - people just complicate it. Most dogs follow about one step of causality, this happened first and then this happened. They form associations to things that help them remember how to act in the future. Dog owners need to learn what they can expect from their dog and how to properly give feedback. 

--Training overload. People are constantly bombarded with information on how to train their dog, what rules and commands to follow, and the common mistakes they make. We believe that through "Why Does My Dog,"  we can service out bite-sized tips on the most effective techniques, based on science, to empower dog owners to learn more about animal behavior and how they can improve their relationship with their furry loved one.

To learn more, visit

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