| DOGS GOING HOME
Normally, the first part of training that slips when a dog returns home from boot camp is discipline, not technique or skill. It’s sometimes difficult for dog owners to
maintain their dog’s training level once they go home from my four-month- basic training course here at Reibar. It is, of course, a given that these dogs had the talent, drive
and skills necessary to complete the basic training course so that they could properly perform in the field.
When a dog senses weakness, or unwillingness to maintain a standard in his handler, he will quickly pick up on and exploit any of these human insecurities to get his way
and be in control of all situations at home or in the field.
When dogs go home from training they are going to attempt to get everything back exactly where it was before they left for training camp---that’s just a dog’s nature, not a
character flaw. So, it’s your job as owner/trainer to make every attempt to see that this does not happen.
Every hunter wants to love his dog and be loved by his dog and there is nothing wrong with that. You should know however, that emotion is the number one tool used by a
dog to gain the upper hand on their owners. You just can’t allow the need to be loved by your dog to overshadow your good judgment and allow the animal to get out of
control; he must always be made to perform to the level he has been trained. If you do not take charge the animal will make you hunting life as well as your life at home a
daily struggle. Dogs need to respect their owners before they can truly bond with them; any other so-called loving relationship is a very shallow one; if your dog respects you,
he will love you.
Dogs can actually train their owners, and usually do a damned good job of it. It’s interesting to watch how dogs can turn the tables on their owners. When dogs learn that a
certain behavior on their part will give them the desired response they are seeking from you, they will continue playing that card until you reshuffle the deck. The reason I
strongly recommend that all my clients come out and work with me as often as possible during the time their dogs are in training here at Reibar, is mainly to prevent that from
happening. It’s not just while the dog is in training that he needs discipline, it’s also in his everyday life where the respect level needs to be maintained. I’m not talking about
a dog that picks up his food bowl an hour earlier than feeding time trying to con you into an early dinner, or a dog that barks at the door so you take him for a walk. That’s OK,
as long as you keep it reasonable and not allow your dog to con you into feeding him dinner or taking him for his evening walk at 3 pm. I’m talking about the guy who made
his FC/AFC titled dog lie down on his cedar filled mat next to the dining room door while he and his guest had dinner, only to have the dog panhandling at the table within a
few minutes. That kind of behavior from a dog is certainly understandable, but not acceptable under any circumstances. He should have disciplined the dog in some mild
form and made him get back on his mat near the door. Instead, this hard core field trialer announced to everyone at the table that the reason his dog moved was because
there was a wind draft near that door and the dog was cold---that’s way too much “love”, folks. That particular dog was one hell-of-a people trainer.
That example is not unique; it’s very common, because most dog owners are far too emotionally involved with their animals to do what they already know is the right thing.
They prefer to forgive unacceptable behavior instead of disciplining the dog to make him a better citizen and hunting partner. “TAKE CHARGE”
have fun training