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Saturday, July 7, 2012

Why Wolfie Has a Hard Time Learning

I just don't know what is going on!  Everyone can teach their dogs stuff and all I want Wolfie to do is to come to me.  I say "come" and he doesn't come.  I say "come" and he doesn't come.  I yell "COME" and he walks away.  What gives?  Why can't I teach Wolfie anything?  Can't Wolfie learn?


The answer is, of course, Wolfie can learn.  Just about all dogs can learn.  The problem is that we don't understand how to teach Wolfie.  The good news is that the answer is really simple.

Just like people, some dogs are smarter than others.  Just like people, all dogs have different prior life and learning experiences before their first day of class.  Just like people, students have different levels of respect and obedience towards their teacher.

On "Day One" of teaching Wolfie anything, we first have to understand where he has the ability to learn the lesson we are about to teach.  To do this, we have to determine "where he gets it" and "where he doesn't get it".  This will determine where we begin.  This is very similar as a child going to a new school and the principle determining which grade that student should enter.  

In this example, I will use the simple command of "Come" to determine where I should start to teach Wolfie...

First, I have to pick a base point to see if Wolfie already understands the command.  I stand about six feet away from Wolfie, go down low and say "Come".  I now watch to see what Wolfie does.  He doesn't do a thing and just sits there.  I will try once more.  I get down low and say "Come" with the same response.  This tells me that this is too advanced for Wolfie and have to drop down a grade.

I now put a leash on Wolfie so that I can help to show and guide him when I ask him to come from six feet.  I go down low again and say "Come".  This time I give the leash a very slight, brief tug in my direction.  Wolfie now begins to walk towards me.  As he slows, I give the leash a very slight, brief tug again to encourage him to continue to walk to me.  He reaches me and I give him a big "Good Wolfie!".  I now know where I can start teaching him.  

I continue the process with the leash until I no longer have to guide him with the slight tug.  From this point, I can continue the learning process by increasing the distance between Wolfie and myself.

As you can see, once I find the place where Wolfie is able to learn, his ability to grasp the lesson will progress rapidly.  This will work with any lesson you want to teach Wolfie.  For more information, please contact The Best Dog Trainers in South Florida.

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