There are few things more frustrating for dog owners than when they try to correct their dog for doing something wrong and their dog just doesn’t listen. Normally, the dog owner will continue to repeat the same correction or get mad and “ramp it up”. Their dog still won’t listen or become afraid and run away.
Instead of becoming frustrated and mad at our dog for their lack of response, we need to understand what is really happening. First of all, dogs clearly have the ability to respond to corrections. You can see this all day long with your friend’s “perfect dog”. A Mother dog corrects her puppies in the pack all the time and receives proper results.
Remember the old sayings like “A day late and a dollar short”, “The early bird gets the worm”, or “A stitch in time saves nine”. These all tell us that it is better to do something now than to wait until later. As humans, we can recognize a choice regarding the timing of related actions. That is why our legal system often refers to “the consequences of your actions” and it actually discourages immediate responses as “vigilante justice”. This is because we can understand what we did in the past.
Your dog does not think in the past. His actions are about the here and now. When he interacts with other dogs, it is always about what is happening now. My younger Shepherd may bark at my older Shepherd because he sees a squirrel; “There’s a squirrel, let’s chase it!”. He will never bark because “There was a squirrel on that log yesterday, I wonder if it is still there”.
We need to correct our dog based on current actions. This is can be hard for us. Don’t worry, Robin and I have a great dog training blog that explains the process of concurrent action and correction as well as other important practices you should observe. Please take a look at our dog training blog titled “How Do I Properly Correct My Dog”.