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  • Writer's pictureDebbie Tayler

Are you waiting long enough?

Often when teaching a dog something new, they will balk because they are uncomfortable with what you are asking of them or it is scary. It is at that moment in time you need to be persistent. For example, today I was asking Meena to walk across some small round stones and jump up onto a rock. Meena is a puppy and the request was beyond her confidence level, so she started pulling back on the leash and jumping up and down. I kept a tiny bit of tension on the leash and let her expend energy while she jumped up and down. She soon stopped protesting and took a step forward, releasing the tension on the leash. I waited a second and asked for a second step. By keeping the leash taut and out waiting her, I allowed her time to get her mind and energy calm so she could overcome her fear and move forward.

It has been my experience that Owners (out of the kindness of their hearts) will not insist the dog complete the request because the Owners think maybe the request is beyond the capabilities of their dog or because they don't want to be mean to their dogs. The problem with letting the dogs avoid the request is it can trap them in insecurity. The dogs build confidence and self-esteem when they conquer their fears and learn new things.


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