Transcript: “Why Train, Revisited”
Hello, my name is Bennie Copeland.
Back in 2007 I wrote an article titled, “Why Train?” It was a short article that broached a subject that is very close to my heart, because training is how I make my living. Over 7 years ago I felt strongly enough about training that I wrote an article to state my opinion. I feel stronger now than I ever have.
I feel that the relationship between people and the domesticated dog has changed immensely in the last 20 years and much of that change has taken place within the last decade.
People are going to court over their dogs, people are taking their dogs, more and more, to family functions and events, restaurants and retail businesses alike are much more dog friendly than in the past, and corporations, not just small businesses, are allowing employees to bring their dogs to work with them.
Dogs are becoming an integral part of our lives whether we want them to or not. Oh, and doggie daycares…I know almost as many people that bring their dogs to daycare as I know parents that take their kids to daycare.
In my article I wrote about people that leave their dogs in the back yard as if it was still commonplace. This is no longer the case. Not only are dogs being viewed as companions, they are being viewed as a part of the family. They are part of the family. They are our constant companions through the ups and downs, and the joys and sorrows.
Why is it important to train our dogs? In the past I wrote about developing a personal relationship. I also talk about ‘Love and Fear’ in a way that I want my dog to love doing things with me and never fear what is going to happen if she acts a certain way. All-in-all this is still a basic truth and yet I do not feel I answered the question…Why Train?
What I understand now is how much people view dogs as a natural part of the family.
How do we take this animal, as domesticated as it is, and communicate our expectations? If I am to set boundaries for my spouse, my children, my roommate, my friends, or anyone that would cohabitate with me, how do I communicate those boundaries?
With people it is a little different only because they analyze. People can decide if those boundaries are within their willingness and continue a course accordingly.
Dogs can’t analyze! Dogs are only reactive. Plus, dogs don’t have much of a choice nor do they have a voice. In other words, they have a language and understanding of their own, what gets them attention is what they think they should be doing.
Clients often tell me that their dog plays favorites in their household. Over the past 13 years training dogs I have learned it is not that the dog loves one person over the other. The dog wants to be around the person they understand the best.
In other words, it comes down to two simple things: Structure & Consistency.
The person that creates rules and is the most consistent with those rules is the one the dog wants to be with because they understand them better. In the member area of this website I go into much more detail about what structure is and how we, without even knowing it, are very inconsistent with that structure.
Or, on the other hand, we are very consistent at sending the wrong message.
Structure & Consistency
Structure is rules; Consistency is how well we abide by these rules and continue to follow the rules no matter what the situation. These are the two very basic things we have to communicate clearly with our dog and the more consistent you are the less likely your dog is going to test the boundaries.
If you have a behavior that is going on and you just can’t seem to ‘fix’ it, ultimately it is on you. What are you doing that the dog does not understand? Even worse, what are you doing that reinforces the behavior? The latter is the case over 90% of the time.
These are the core reasons to train: Structure & Consistency. When we learn to communicate appropriately we learn that dogs love rules (really no different than children) and when we are consistent with those rules, the boundaries are tested less and less.
Obedience is defined as the willingness to obey. When a dog knows and understands the rules (structure) they are much more willing to obey. When a dog knows and understands that the rules will always be the same (consistency), they are less likely to test the boundaries.
If you are here, reading this letter, scanning this website, then you are a part of this ever-changing dog-loving, family fusion. With all of these changes going on, we need to change how we communicate now. If your dog is to be a happy, integrated family member, then you have to take the time, and take the responsibility, to create a wonderful member of the family.
This website is designed to work at your level of communication. For the beginner we have many free avenues for you to learn basic lessons to start the process for basic structure and consistency. We build on that in every aspect of making your dog a great part of your family, thus fusing your dog and your family together to create one great entity.
As you gain knowledge and want to further improve on the basics you have learned we have much more in-depth training, in the member’s area. Through video, audio, and all the way to personal consultations from a professional trainer and behavior expert (in the training section of the website) you can learn as much as you are willing.
Building blocks! With my clients, the more they understand about communicating with their dog, the tougher I get. I can get down to the nitty-gritty details and I love to do that when a client really takes off and wants to have a fabulous dog. And yet, I can just stick to the basics, and the client can still have a wonderful relationship and create a strong bond with their dog, as well. It is up to you and it is my goal to have a website that reaches every level training and understanding.
Good Luck & Enjoy,
Founder Club Canine of Nashville
Co-Founder CK9 Media, LLC