This is a guest post written by Reegan about one of her dogs Kel.
Can you build a better relationship with an older dog?
I would like to answer this question with a big YES! It’s all about the reward for you & your dog. If you are struggling, Steve’s Training in Drive System could be your answer.
First up, I want you to help me compare two things, which humans can relate to: –
- Full time Employee- Capped Earnings, limited additional earning potential & know what is getting paid every week, month, fortnight etc.
- Contractor- Opportunity to earn more, no earning cap, no day is ever the same, earning potential is what you want it to be.
My 10 year old dog would be classified as a Full time Employee based on the example above before I went to see Steve. She knew she was given a bowl of food morning & night, & this is what she
received regardless of performance.
Due to my training methods, our relationship had scars and wounds and wreaked of a little to no reward history when we went to see Steve. Kelly was worried she would do something wrong, & was a very soft soul. She was very close to me & knew exactly how I felt when I didn’t!
This has its ups & downs & she took the pressure from me. Which I didn’t know until Steve pointed this out. He was able to diagnose the issues & has helped me work on these to better our relationship and develop it further.
One thing was that I had too many words I used to praise & correct. “Good” – “Ok” – “Yes” – “Wow” – “Ahh” – “No” – “wrong”. I guess its obvious now that would be confusing for Kel but I didn’t at the time, but when Steve pointed this out to me I was surprised, & agreed it would be difficult to communicate what Kel needed to do!
How does she know when she gets her reward? And, did I reward Kelly enough? Answer was NO.
I expected her to work for a tiny amount of reward and never rewarded enough. I would do long sessions and she still wouldn’t be rewarded.
Would you work for Free? NO, & simply that was how she was looking at it. Working for a tiny reward when there were two bowls of food waiting for her at home free. There was also the fact that she could have made a mistake and that added pressure.
I went back & conditioned the markers and rewarded her consistently well so our relationship could be based on trust, not pressure. She was rewarded for her work and she worked better for a shorter time.
Kel was turning into a Contractor! Happy work and earn extra!
Kelly was a full time Employee for over 8 years of her life and now is a Contractor. She looks younger every-time I look her & know I have improved our bond & our relationship & given her quality of life and longevity to the future.
Can you turn your dog into a contractor?
Steve says : “When Kelly came to see me she looked her age, was unmotivated and nervous of making a mistake. Over time Reegan took advice on a diet change for Kel to raw like the examples in my eBook, added supplements specifically designed for older girls and boosted her reward system up to the clouds.
Kel looks amazing, at least 3 – 4 years YOUNGER than when I first met her, she is energetic and loves to work. If Reegan chooses to she could now retrained all her positions and tidy them right up, or she could also choose to let her live as she is, happy and well.
Well done Reegan, both dogs certainly do love the way you train now.”
Some more reading on this subject here