“Dogs do speak, but only to those who know how to listen” ~ Orhan Pamuk
FRIDAY, MARCH 21, 2014 AT RUBY TUESDAY’S IN FORT COLLINS
Are you in or close by the Fort Collins area? Looking for a fun way to help German Shepherd Rescue of the Rockies?
Then stop by Ruby Tuesday’s in Fort Collins located at 110 Boardwalk Drive on Friday, March 21, 2014
Print out and bring the attached flyer and 20% of your purchase will be donated to GSROR!
That’s right, it’s GSROR Night at Ruby Tuesday’s
Just by stopping by the Fort Collins Ruby Tuesday’s for lunch or dinner, presenting the attached flyer to your server
You’ll be helping so many wonderful GSDs who are waiting for their forever home.
So why not take the family, invite some friends and help a great organization all at the same time!
Foster Homes Needed
In order for us to help save more dogs we need people like you to open up your home and foster one of our dogs until their family comes. A foster home provides a safe and temporary home for dogs while we search for their permanent home. Please click on the Fostering Guidelines for more information about our foster program. Some of our dogs come to us with behavioral issues, so we have found that previous experience with German Shepherds is helpful. If you have the desire and the interest, but are not familiar with German Shepherds, we ask that you fill out the application. Regardless of your experience with this particular breed, our dogs need good foster homes. We hope to soon have a program available to educate future foster and adoptive parents about the breed and provide training tips.
We want to thank you for your interest in helping GSROR by opening up your homes, families, and hearts to help a dog in need. Rescues would not exist if not for the thoughtful time and generosity of foster parents.
German Shepherd Rescue of the Rockies (GSROR) serves the public as a non-profit organization dedicated to the rescue of homeless and abandoned German Shepherd Dogs (GSD) in Denver, Colorado and surrounding areas. While providing loving and temporary care, the goal of German Shepherd Rescue of the Rockies is to find well-matched, carefully-screened, permanent homes and families for each dog. As a community resource, we provide nutrition information, referrals, education, and other services.
Brian’s Bite-sized Behavior Bits
Natural Energy Level
Click here to see all of Brian’s Bite-sized Behavior Bits
Our children are counting on us to provide two things: consistency and structure. Children need parents who say what they mean, mean what they say, and do what they say they are going to do.
– Barbara Coloroso
I love the quote above and believe that it applies to us as dog owners just as much – if not more – than it does to us as parents. Consistency and structure are both of paramount importance in raising a stable dog. In this installment of Brian’s Bite-sized Behavior Bits we will focus specifically on the role consistency plays in our training.
I have found that one of the most common frustrations shared by dog owners is their dog’s lack of responsiveness to commands. One minute, an owner asks her dog to sit and the dog does so obediently; the next minute when the owner asks her to do the same task, the dog doesn’t bother to do anything but stare back at her owner with a blank look or, worse yet, roll her little doggie eyes and walk away. What’s up with that? Have you ever felt like you were banging your head against a wall wondering why your dog only sometimes comes back when you call her instead of every time? If so, you are not alone. I have been there plenty of times myself and I can tell you that there can be many reasons for a dog’s lack of responsiveness, but the main culprit is a lack of consistency. Allow me to explain what I mean…
If I ask my dog to sit and she doesn’t so I ask her three more times before she complies, I have taught her that I will ask more than once and that she only sometimes has to do it. If I do this over a period of time, she will learn to be consistently inconsistent – just like my reinforcement habits. If, however, I ask her to sit and she doesn’t so I gently guide her into the position instead of asking again, I am starting to teach her that I will only ask once and she needs to do it the first time. If I do this on a regular basis she will learn to obey commands the first time I give them. In either scenario, my dog’s behavior is simply a reflection of the quality of my reinforcement: if I am consistent, she will perform consistently; if I am inconsistent, she will perform inconsistently. Similarly, if I am vigilant to reward her whenever she obeys, she is more likely to be obedient in the future.
So, how can we use this concept in our favor? By becoming aware of the need to be rock-solid predictable in how we train our dogs. We have to realize that if our system of rewards and corrections is sloppy and haphazard, we have no right to complain about non-compliance. So today and every day hereafter, give special attention to being as predictable as possible in every interaction you have with your dog. If you ask her to sit, only ask once and then make sure to follow through with a reward for sitting or some additional guidance to help her into the position if she needs it. If you ask her to come to you, make sure she’s on a leash or long line so that you are in control of the situation and can guide her back to you if she gets off track. If you tell her to stay off the couch, don’t let her get on the couch – even if she is batting her eyelashes at you and looks as cute as a button – she can be as cute as a button on her dog bed, too.
It’s not about being perfect because training and relationships never are. It’s about being specific, deciding exactly what you want, and then being a supportive but dependable partner for your pup. Stay steady and true, because clear expectations provide security and direction. It also creates a dog that is reliable and listens when you ask her to do something. Instead of getting frustrated the next time your dog doesn’t listen, resolve instead to be absolutely predictable with your follow-through for the ensuing week and then revisit the scenario – my guess is that you will see a drastic improvement in the results. Most training problems (and the related tears of frustration) stem from consistency issues, but if you will put this wonderful ally in your corner you’ll soon have people asking you “how did you get her to listen to you so well?” Then, you can smile and simply reply, “I say what I mean, mean what I say, and do what I say I’m going to do.”
Content Copyrighted 2013. Brian Bergford. All Rights Reserved.