Every Dog Every Day
1. We ALREADY know how to live TOGETHER
All our households are different, all dogs come with a different package of DNA and our relationships are unique.
There is no such thing as simple and easy ways to train, just as there was never an idiot’s guide to rearing children.
Unless of course you want to rear idiots.
Can we learn online or from a book?
I do believe we all have innate skills of caring and rearing and it is often expert advice that seems to blind us to our own inherited knowledge. People and dogs have lived together for over 30,000 years, we have co-evolved and are continuing to do so. Dogs bred 200 years ago did not need to be friendly with strangers and in many cases quite the opposite was the purpose. But this has now become a desired trait and we have selected dogs as pets that carry this trait in varying degrees.
Our past history with dogs was very much based on utilising their hunting skills for our table which today is often a burden for the pet dog living an urban lifestyle. It has become a trend to select a dog for its appearance but it would be more advisable to select by inherited behaviour patterns. Some extremities may not be appealing to the eye, but the extremities of behaviour are a lot harder to live with than appearance.
We may choose a breed because of their perceived status, such as the working collie, cocker spaniel or labrador, but we actually buy the whole package. We cannot just choose their wonderful, intelligent abilities and working outlook without the need to control movement or hunt for birds.
It is common to view potential dog- friends with tinted spectacles where as the very thing that attracts you to them is the same thing that makes their sharing companionship vary from hard to almost impossible. Breeds come and go in fashions and trends. Winning Crufts or the latest block buster movies featuring a particular breed has never been good news for the breed as a whole.
Childhood was not particularly doggie. A single pet household from German Shepherds, who did an excellent job of protecting us from other children, through to Toy Poodles.
My first partner was a Cavalier, Dickon, and he began a lifetime of service to the species, enabling people to increase their understanding of dogs and enjoy the special relationship that can be experienced with dogs.
Collies live well together, each finding their own space.
Over forty years of training people with dogs, over forty years of successfully competing in dog sports, over forty years of working dogs and over thirty litters of house reared puppies.
This practical experience combined with a desire to explore outside the box has matured into a veritable encyclopaedia of dog stuff. I am also quite good at it!
Now that I sit with my back leaning on this 40-year-ridge and look back over my gathered knowledge, experience and skills I have no doubt that dogs deserve every atom of effort, time and compromise that we can give them.
The debt is on our side and needs rebalancing.
I hope you will be able to add your coinage to the scales as well.
Dogs learn so much from each other
I have complete trust in dogs to try and find solutions, meet us over halfway and whatever you invest in your relationship will always come back wrapped in sunshine.
Dogs are superb learners and even better teachers when we give ourselves the time and space to listen to them.
The learning experience is part reading, some video and part experimenting, mixed with a lot of observing, healthy questioning and some evidence seeking. The learning is about gaining depth to your understanding, broadening your perceptions and enjoy time with your friends.
We cannot separate the different life stages of dogs and provide pertinent quick-fix solutions. How you rear your puppy depends on the future direction of that puppy. How you integrate a second hand adult dog into your life depends on their history and your lifestyle. I feel insulted when a simple recipe describes how to achieve no- pulling lead walking, it insults the complexity of the dynamics involved and dismisses the variation and individuality in the relationship.
In my long history of teaching people teaching dogs I have always respected that every person has a desire to understand and is not just seeking a quick fix. Only on one occasion has a client found their solution and asked to be excused from the rest of the course. No one has said “don’t bother with all the guff, just tell me what I must do to fix the dog”. The downside to enabling a person’s seeker circuit (desire to learn, explore and discover) is that it can become a little addictive. It is certainly highly reinforcing and the more we dis- cover about dogs the more we want to explore over the next ridge. Smashing!
Learning about dogs is more than the name of my business it has become a lifestyle, passion and motivator.
The project, should you choose to undertake it, will take you along a path that will not just introduce new landscapes but see the existing view, through new eyes. You will build your youngster’s ability to live with companionable ease in our very confusing world. Increasing their contentment is innately reinforcing for us and more importantly the journey will build a close and unique relationship with each and every dog that walks the path with you.
The competitive sports in the Olympic Games are based on “honing the skills required to live in that society”. That is exactly our project: honing Life Skills for your dog, teaching them to your youngsters.
You may choose a cover to cover approach, in which case you will have read this section and experienced a little flush of excitement and anticipation of the forthcoming learning.
If you were looking for that instant solution or prefer the dip-n-taste type of learning then you probably will have missed this warning and experience a little disappointment.
Ah well, there you are then.
Connection is begun with the puppy and matures through the life of the dog. Expect some disconnection during the teen months.
EVERY DOG EVERY DAY
10 Chapters in this book
Kay has been involved in training dogs for over fifty years. From teaching lifeskills for all types of dogs to top level sports and working dogs.
Kay leads the way in developing innovative and creative techniques that deliver connection and effective teaching for both dogs and people in a blend of passion, joy and enthusiasm.
The constant thread has been a passion for learning about dogs and effective teaching.