Pearls of Wisdom Dog Training
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I have always learned more from my dogs than they have ever learned from me. Many of my dogs have had issues that took some time to work through, but in doing so I have learned first hand how to deal with those issues & that made me a better trainer. Below are some of the my past & present dogs & what I learned.
RUFFIAN, I got her as a puppy about 1995, she was a blue merle collie. Ruffian was my first real trick dog that loved to learn & do tricks. She was very toy & game motivated. The major thing I learned from her was that you must find what motivates the dog as a reward. Back in those days I didn't believe in using food in training. The problem was that Ruffian didn't find being petted a reward, in fact she was demotivated by petting. She was very motivated by toys, but in some cases that was limiting. I decided that I had to break my food rule with her & in doing so I realized that it's not up to me to determine the reward, it's up to the dog. So, with food & toys we had a happy & productive time together. Funny, when she turned a year & a half she had what I call an Invasion of the Body Snatchers personality change, she suddenly decided that being petted was great. We had a wonderful 11+ years together.