06 Jun

Up until few centuries ago dogs were kept as work "tools" & treated as such.

Once they became house animals it was decided that they would need "training" so they could live in the home and behave in and appropriate manner to the humans. 

For many generations this was done by force & coercion just like the way they taught their working dogs & livestock to do as they wanted. 

Until the last century no one considered this to be wrong as they knew no different. 

When scientists began looking into the workings of the mammalian brain using animals they realised that humans & many animals reacted in the same way when reacting to stimuli such as noise, pain & scent

. Until scientists began looking into brains of humans and animals to see how it works 

until very recently they were treated by law as chattels or possessions & not members of the family

Over the last few years there has been a switch in how dog trainers & coaches approach helping families learn with their dogs & puppies. 

As Neuroscience has evolved scientists confirmed that dogs and other mammals are sentient beings (just like humans). This is now being recognised by the wider population and being accepted by law.


This is learning with your dog & ensuring that you are both in an appropriate state of body & mind to be able to learn. If either of you are not & you attempt to learn (train) together it will be unlikely that you will achieve your goals.

Therefore if you want to learn something new or improve an existing skill together the timing is so important.

If you do not consider how you are both feeling you are unlikely to achieve the result you were hoping for & it may cause either of you physical or emotional distress.

In your dog:
Physical distress may not be obvious as dogs try not to show signs of pain
Emotional distress can be more obvious if you are aware of what to look for.

If you attempt learning in these situations it may cause discomfort, fear. frustration, irritation, anger, distrust & lack of communication. Any of these can hamper learning & concentration.

Think of occasions you may have been asked to learn something & you were feeling unwell or emotional.

Did this go well?
I am guessing probably no or at best not as well as it could have.

The graphic shows some of the things I would consider before a period of planned learning commences.

Your partnership is in the centre & the surrounding factors should be considered before continuing

Relationship - Very few people or animals can learn effectively if they do not have the basis of a good relationship. (think about your least liked teacher at school, how much of the subject do you remember?)

Suitability - Is the goal suitable for your dog? It may not be for reasons such as their: breed instincts, physical limitations, current emotional state or personality

Your why - Why do you want to achieve the gaol? Is it for: their safety, happiness or quality of life or your relationship or personal ambitions.

Their why - Have you considered why your dog would want to do what you are asking? Most animal's first consideration is "what is in it for me?"

Physical Health - Dogs do not show pain or other signs of illness until it is probably intolerable , so it is up to us to notice changes in their, appearance movement, temperament or personality which may be an indication of them nor being "well".

Emotional Wellbeing -

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