18 Jan 2009, Posted by Sensei Joseph in Sensei Joseph's Blog, 0 Comments
Discipline as relating to dogs is to train by instruction and exercise; drill. Or to bring to a state of order and obedience by training and control. This is really what most of us are after when it comes to our dogs. If its not, than you may find you have more behavioral issues then most. Discipline is a cycle of learning, practicing and applying. The repetition of this cycle is meant to strengthen you abilities no matter what subject your dealing with. In order to progress, one must practice. In order to practice one must be motivated. With our dogs motivation can mean a great deal when it comes to changing behaviors after they develop.
When we are sure of what we want, we can then work to get it. We must be able to look past the frustrations of teaching and learning, and not let them inhibit our efforts. We must also always keep in mind the positive that will come from our efforts and diligence over time. The time you take to teach now, will come back to you in the form of a well mannered and tolerant dog. Change is inevitable and we must be the facilitators of this change. If you want to change the way your dog(s) walk on the leash, you must first change the way you walk on the leash.
“Practice is the best of all instruction.” – Aristotle
No one has ever gotten better at something by doing it less. Always progress your practice at a reasonable pace. One may be born with natural abilities, but we must still practice to be good. In the case of leash walking, you wouldn’t want to walk less because they pull on the leash, you would want to walk more so they learn not to.
The dog pictured here (Milo) was a good example of these methods at work. He HAD a major preoccupation with chasing lizards while on the leash, making it nearly unbearable to walk him. As of today, he is now taking regular walks with his family in a much calmer state of mind. He is even able to walk calmly off leash although rules are rules, and the leash is necessary. The point is, that with some willpower and positive intention we were able to let him understand how we, as humans, really wanted to approach this walking thing.
“Discipline is learned in the school of adversity” – Gandhi
Working with this sort of behavior takes discipline. If you do not have this, it is suggested to summon your will power. In the process of teaching you will learn the necessity of discipline, tolerance, patience, and good intention while teaching our dogs.
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