Wits End Dog Training: helping you to help your dog be the best it can be

Wits End Dog Training, helping you to help your dog be the best it can be.

Wits End Dog Training | Specifics

A friendly smile - It's important for your canine to meet and greet others with a polite manner and friendly smile

1. Meet and Greet

My dog will, with good manners, allow a friendly person to approach and speak to me

How do we get specific with this skill, how do you help your dog acquire it?

Systematic progressive desensitisation is the official description. Which means gradual exposure to the various stimuli in a controlled careful manner. Early socialization is the easiest way when the puppy is open to new information and has very little to compare with. However the brain is amazingly plastic and with careful attention to detail even quite elderly dogs can learn to not fear something that seems to be a long held concern.

Systematic progressive desensitisation -
"gradual exposure to the various stimuli in a
controlled careful manner"

In an ideal world breeders would only breed doggy parents with a sweet disposition. Unfortunately, here in the real world, some breeders although declaring a concern for a healthy and happy gene pool actually have a very short term view, do not care very much and are in it for the money. Other breeders do care, but apparently not nearly as much as they want to win in the show ring. Although every breeder claims to breed for temperament (which the general public takes to mean a gracious friendly temperament) many breeders actually select for beauty, or at least the breed definition of beauty, and what I will, politely, call sassiness. Sassiness, when combined with an experienced handler, equals a dog which will show a spirited personality in the show ring and win the coveted ribbons and prizes. Unfortunately, for most families, sassiness is the last thing they want in their home, or in a pet. Life can become very difficult for most people who take on a dog like this when they do not have the handling skills of a dog professional. Think of a teenager with an “attitude”.

"So the most important thing to do is to train your dog to perform a solid repetition of sit, down and stay."

Then continue to train your dog to perform these tricks in very distracting environments with other dogs present, cats, birds, and as many different people as you can find. I am involved in dog rescue and I have come across dogs who are sensitive to Pacific Islanders, African Americans and East Asians, short people, tall people, children, slim people and big built people...
So these are all different distractions for different dogs…
Now think about children, a toddler walks differently to a three year old, who acts differently to a five year old or a seven year old, a nine year old boy or a thirteen year old girl... you get the picture!

Now think about what these people might be wearing...
How about a pair of black baggy jeans and a big black hoody sweatshirt where you can not see the face…
Or a long swirling skirt…
Or scarves or bells on their wrists...
Or an umbrella… crutches…or a bag lady...
For some dogs all these people are potentially dangerous if they have never been exposed to them in training.

Take the time, invest wisely, your dog can get amazingly good at this, but not if you just leave him in the back yard!!

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