This is the final post of a 6-part series. If you haven't read the others, here are links to the first, second, third, fourth and fifth posts. This post discusses the last of 5 meta-lessons that form the basis of the training I've done with my youngest dog Wyrm.
It’s wonderful when I ask him to do something.
It’s an easy opportunity to get things he wants.
When people think of a trained dog, what they imagine is a dog that does what he is told. I want more than that. I want a dog that wants to do what he’s told, a dog that actually looks forward to being asked to do something.
Often when people ask their dog to do something, you can plainly see that they don’t really want to do what they are asked. They may do it, but only begrudgingly.
When I ask Wyrm to do something, he’s thrilled. That attitude is the end result of following this 5 point master plan.
As I outlined in the last post, I’ve already taught him that the way to get what he wants is to figure out what I want. When I ask him to do something, I make the figuring out part pretty simple. All that is left then is for me to notice when he does what I ask and to demonstrate my gratitude. As with the previous lesson, the noticing and the gratitude (reward) are what make all the difference. Your dog won’t have an enthusiastic attitude towards making you happy if you don’t have an enthusiastic attitude towards noticing and communicating that happiness.
There is only one way that I’ve found to teach your dog this attitude, and that way is through the 5 step process I’ve described in this series of blog posts. There isn’t a shortcut to having a dog that wants you to ask him to do things. You have to play your part. You and your interactions with your dog are the largest drivers for how he behaves. The only limiting factor preventing you from having the dog you want is how good of a partner you can be.