My purpose of teaching people about dog psychology is to create a balanced relationship between humans and dogs. But what is a balanced dog? A balanced dog is happy, fulfilled, calm, well-behaved and obedient.
So, how do you get your dog to be balanced? It begins with, what I call “the magic formula.” It’s: Work, Rules and then Reward.
A balanced dog is fulfilled in his body, his mind and his spirit. If you pay too much (or not enough) attention to any one of these areas, your dog will be out of balance. If you don’t provide enough mental and physical stimulation, the dog’s excess energy will override everything else. The dog’s mind will not be able to focus and he will be totally out of control. If your dog gets nothing but constant rewards, then you’re combining the lack of mental and physical stimulation with a lack of discipline and that creates a situation where your dog will take control of the pack. If you provide him with work and rewards but no rules, you’ll get a dog that will never respect you.
Work is for the body, rules are for the mind, and rewards are for the heart. This is just another way of saying instincts, intellect and emotions. As humans, we emphasize emotions and intellect in our behavior. Our instincts get pushed aside.
For dogs, it’s the other way around. They live in an instinctual world where their intellect and emotions are secondary. So, if we give too many rewards or rules and not enough work, the dog will lose touch with his own instincts and his nature as a dog. If we approach a dog from an emotional or intellectual standpoint, we won’t be able to see the dog’s instinctual nature, behavior and what he’s communicating.
So, to put the “magic formula” in prospective:
• Work is for the body, which fulfills Instincts.
• Rules are for the mind, which fulfills the intellect.
• Rewards are for the heart, which fulfills emotions.
Do you now understand the benefits received by your dog when you do each one of these things? Now, you may be asking yourself: “How do these fit with creating a balanced dog?”
So far, we have been talking about methods. Now let’s look at goals. How do we really get to a balanced dog? We have to understand why we have to fulfill instincts first, then intellect, then emotions.
• Giving work, acknowledges instincts. This creates trust.
• Enforcing rules, challenges the intellect. This creates respect.
• Giving rewards, fulfills the emotions. This creates love.
You put it all together and you get: Work = Trust, Rules = Respect and Rewards = Love.
But, there’s something even more important going on here with this formula.
As a human, once you stop acting intellectually and emotionally, and start acting instinctually, you will realize one of the most important things in order to have a balanced dog. Your objective is not to make your dog trust, respect, and love you. It is to make yourself trustworthy, respectable, and lovable.
Dogs are the mirrors of our emotional state. It isn’t until we give them what they require from us, that we will get our dogs to trust, respect and follow us. Turn off your mind and heart, listen to your instincts, and then you will become the person your dog needs you to be.
Always remember: BP4 – Be: Patient, Positive, Peaceful & Persistent
If you continue to have problems, let me know if I can help.
www.packmantotherescue.com / 201-937-6123