What is “Competent” Training?

The short answer is “Identifying the Problem, Visualizing a Solution and Implementing a Change”. An example most dog owners can identify with is the housebreaking issue. Given an opportunity, most dogs are actually clean animals, barring medical issues. If they have been allowed to be “dirty” either in their crates or in the home, most people’s reactions are on the line of “He’s just doing it to be spiteful” or my personal favorite “But he just went outside!”.

Dogs don’t really ‘do’ spite. In fact, as similar as they are in the emotional spectrum to humans, this thankfully is one of the emotions they lack. As for the other, did the owner actually Witness the dog relieving himself outside? Did the dog relieve himself sufficiently before being allowed back indoors?

The ‘Problem’ is not the dog being spiteful and just because the owner opened the door for the dog to go out, it is an Assumption that is predicated on the owner’s inability/unavailability/unwillingness to accompany the dog and actually Witness the dogs’ adequate relief of his bowels.

The Solution? Come sleet or snow or driving rain, Go out with the dog, witness the event. Keep a log of times, quantities, proximity to feeding schedule and other events. The Change? Only one. Don’t let the dog have free reign of the house without close supervision. Which means he’s either on a leash with you, or confined to a crate where you can safely monitor his elimination needs.

The Competent Training question is a multi-fasceted one. Competent training is the delivery of appropriate instruction to another species in a way that is understandable and achievable. Competent training considers the individual dog, temperament, age, breed and environment. Competency is measured by output; it is not measured by any methodology.

Compliments of Linda Kaim of Coeur d’ Lion K9 Behavior Management 888-835-8620.

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