• +401 B St. Laurent Blvd, Ottawa
  • info@ottawak9school.com

Giving cookies to dogs doesn’t work, right?

Getting more than compliance from your dog.

Giving cookies to dogs doesn’t work, right?

Chantal Mills one comments

When I was a so-called traditional trainer, when I first started training dogs, I really did not understand how using food in training could be as effective as what I was doing. I’ll be frank – I thought only the weak had to revert to using food.  Ah… how wrong I was!

I will NEVER say that punishment doesn’t work. I use it too. Ignoring a dog that wants your attention is punishment. Taking away an item your dog is guarding, is an example of punishment. Harsher punishment also works, and works awfully well. I know, I used it on my dog and taught others to do it with their dog. I also didn’t think I was hurting any dogs, nor did I ever consider it a problem if I made them uncomfortable in any way. In fact, I was untrained in recognizing the signs of discomfort and stress in a dog.

I continued to learn. That insatiable thirst to know more and more and more wouldn’t leave me. Though reluctant at first, I let my mind consider other ways to train a dog, and I allowed myself to consider training options that involved food. It was not easy to unlearn things I so fervently believed. It took a lot of time for me to let go of concepts and approaches that had made up the basis of how I operated. Even my dog was confused. But, I persevered. I really wanted to “get it”. My dog adapted and the changes I saw in him are what made me decide that I could not go back to what I was doing.

Today, I look for more than just compliance from my pets. That used to be the golden standard and what I used to get from my dog Everest. To get him to comply, I had to give a leash correction and I needed a prong. I don’t care about compliance any longer.  Nope. I strive for cooperation. I allow my dog to choose to engage with me and you know what? when you remove the threat of an aversive, that possibility of a correction no matter how light you make it, it is amazing how willing that animal becomes. That may be difficult for some to relate to. I expect that. Believe me, I would have scoffed at that notion 10 years ago. It may feel like you are relinquishing control. I get it. I would have thought so too a decade ago. However, today, I see that a relationship based on cooperation is not only kind and humane, but more powerful than a relationship based on avoidance.

My dog used to “talk back” to me a lot, but at least he did what I asked him to do. How is that success? I want more than a dog going through the motions just because I asked him to. Do I have all the answers? Nope. I wish. But I will never stop my quest for knowledge, I will continue learning from my mistakes, and I will strive to keep an open mind since that is what got me here in the first place.

Here is a blog entry from a fellow dog trainer that is well worth the read.

But We Don’t Give Our Kids a Cookie Every Time they Tie Their Shoes!

The Dog, The Gorilla, and the Gun

Ottawa Canine School No Comments

Here’s a good article that has some interesting things to say about the recent incident involving a child at a zoo:

The Dog, the Gorilla, and the Gun

What Does a “Force-Free” Trainer Do Anyway?

Chantal Mills No Comments

Don’t get the wrong idea! I’m a firm believer in humane and respectful training. You won’t see me giving the leash a good “pop” to get a dog’s attention, nor will you hear me tell folks that they should be the dominant one in their relationship with their dog. I used to do and say those things, but I’ve continued to attend seminars, workshops and read countless scientific based research and can no longer see the value in using intimidation and “I’m the boss” techniques in my practice. So this blog post entitled “Why I’m not a Force Free Trainer” caught my attention.  I wanted to see what the author, Sarah Reusche from Paws Abilities had to say about Force Free training and see if there was anything I could learn.
I found her entry very interesting and hope you will too.

https://paws4udogs.wordpress.com/2015/03/16/why-im-not-a-force-free-trainer

jedidog

What Every Pet Owner Needs To Know About Dog Trainers

Chantal Mills No Comments

Here’s a great little list entitled ‘What Every Pet Owner Needs to Know About Dog Trainers

I really like #10 – “Just because dog training is an unregulated industry doesn’t mean that some of us are not preparing ourselves and learning to train as though it was”. That is definitely our approach at the Ottawa Canine School! I strongly believe in continued education. It was crucial to my former career, and still is now.

Stop, look and listen!

Chantal Mills No Comments

Sharing a blog post that I found most interesting. What if your dog runs out into traffic?

http://eileenanddogs.com/2013/05/06/what-if-your-dog-runs-out-into-traffic/

Why do dogs hump?

Chantal Mills No Comments

Our latest YouTube video, in case you missed it!

Sign up and send us your questions – we would love to help.

123