When to Correct Wolfie

I am never quite sure when I should correct Wolfie.  If I see he is about to do something, should I correct him?  If I come home and he has destroyed something, should I correct him?


The timing of Wolfie's correction is very important.  Unlike humans, dogs live in the "here and now".  For the most part, the past is the past, water under the bridge, spilled milk, etc.  Wolfie's focus is on the sights and sounds of right now, so correcting him for something in the past will simply confuse him.

Humans have the notion of "consequences of our actions".  This means that we understand when we are corrected for something we did in the past.  Wolfie does not.  He only understands what he is doing right now and how you respond to that right now.  So, here are some quick tips to remember when you are correcting Wolfie:
  • Only correct Wolfie if he is in the act of doing something bad.  If he is jumping on you, barking at the back door, on the furniture; you can correct.  This is because you are telling him that what he is doing RIGHT NOW is wrong.  Since Wolfie lives in the RIGHT NOW, he will understand and learn from your correction.
  • If you know Wolfie is about to do something wrong, you can correct him.  This is the same concept of "Don't even think about it!".  Wolfie is already thinking of the inappropriate act, so he will completely grasp why you are correcting him.  Although his action hasn't taken place yet, his intention of performing the action is in the hear and now.
  • Never, never, never correct Wolfie if he already did something bad and is not doing it now.  If you can say (hypothetically speaking) "I am correcting you because you DID something", you are focusing your correction on the past while Wolfie is focused on the present.  Wolfie will misinterpret your correction and will be confused as to your intentions.
Now, I know that we humans get really mad at our dogs sometimes because they did something while we were away and we have come home to find it.  We are just going to have to understand that correcting Wolfie because of a past action will only confuse him and might even make matters worse.  My biggest advise to you is to take a deep breath and step back.  For more information, please contact The Best Dog Trainers in South Florida.

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