In my opinion, educating a dog is to allow him a good integration within his social group and the society in a more global way, on the other hand.
Why educate your dog?
To develop my point, I would say that for my part, the education of a dog only makes sense if it is carried out with respect, benevolence and full knowledge of the functioning of the animal. The desire to educate your dog must, above all, be driven by a deep desire to find, or sometimes find again, a balance in the relationship that you have with your dog. In no case should the dog be seen as an animal to be subdued at all costs and to be locked up in a strict framework?
Of course, some dogs will need a stricter framework than others, but to know this, it is necessary to observe and understand your dog before making adjustments or readjustments in terms of limits to be set. Indeed, if we try to solve a possible problem without understanding why the dog acts the way it does and the cause of this malaise and deviance, we will only mask the real problem by treating only the apparent symptoms. This will not be productive and especially not educational because the problem will always be present in-depth.
Let’s take a simple example: a dog destroys everything when he is alone. His owner decides to put him in a transport crate when he is away for a while. This can be a good solution, but only if it is accompanied by real work in parallel because the crate is only a “pedagogical tool” that can be used for a deeper rebalancing. Because a dog that destroys when alone is a dog that is anxious or does not manage its frustration or is bored, etc. And to understand where the problem comes from, you have to observe your dog, rebalance the master/dog relationship, review the right response to the dog’s needs, etc.
In short, for me, educating your dog means learning to observe, feel, read and understand a being that does not function like us so that he can live serenely with beings that do not function like him either. And to do this, mutual respect is essential.
How to educate your dog?
To educate your dog well, you must respect a few points.
The most important thing in education is consistency! Before you even begin to interact with your dog, you must define with all the family members what you accept and what you do not tolerate. Everyone must have the same attitude so that your dog can quickly understand what is allowed or not. I am thinking in particular of access to the sofa, jumping, play sessions, etc.
Moreover, your attitude also passes by your gestures and your postures; the whole must be coherent. A curved posture means (in dog language) play, cuddle or recall, while a straight and firm posture is more for static and calm indications, for example. You must be consistent and reliable so that your dog can trust you.
The intonation of your voice is also essential. Your dog must be able to trust you, and this is achieved by the intention you put in your voice. Exaggeration will be the order of the day, with high notes for praise, recall and play calls, while low notes will be used for prohibitions and requests to give up.
Respecting the dog’s needs
For a dog to respect you, you must respect him: it’s the basis! And to do so, you “just” have to respect his needs:
Primary needs: drinking, eating, sleeping (easy).
Social needs: to meet its fellow creatures regularly, to walk every day outside the garden.
Physical needs: to exercise freely (or at the end of a rope), to run and play every day.
Olfactory needs: to have the opportunity to smell new scents regularly and to stimulate his sense of smell as often as possible.
Intellectual needs: to learn new things regularly, to be occupied when he is alone, etc.
If all your dog’s needs are not respected, your dog will have shortcomings that he will sometimes try to fill by behaving in ways that do not correspond to your expectations. So be consistent if you want your dog to be calm, at ease and cooperative: take him out, spend time with him, play with him, take care of him.
Learning basic commands
To train your dog well, in my opinion, there are five basic indications that your dog must know:
Sit: to teach your dog to settle down and refocus his attention on you.
Not Move: to learn to stay static when you ask him.
Recall: so that you are not afraid to let go and so that he can exercise freely.
In the basket: for an immediate return to calm when there are excesses at home.
You let go / Stop: to teach your dog to give up and that “giving up is winning”.
Finally, I would like to talk briefly about educational methods. I consider that as long as the method is respectful, each technique will be good. As long as you respect the dog’s learning system, adapt to its rhythm and do not reinforce bad behaviour, everything is ok. In my opinion, you should not block yourself and limit yourself in the practice of a method if it does not work.
When a technique doesn’t work, you should always ask yourself why it doesn’t work, is it the technique itself, is it the attitude that is not adapted, is it the environment proposed during the learning that is not appropriate? We must always question ourselves and do what works, so we must be prepared to make mistakes, readjust, and rebalance with intelligence, respect, and consistency.
The education of the dog, all the answers to your questions :
Giving a command
The sit command
The lying command
The give or drop command
The give paw command
The command stays
Bring back an object
Barking on command
Learning not to jump on people
Teaching a puppy not to bite
Walking on a leash
Teaching your dog to cross the road
Do not jump
Not to bite
Teaching him to play dead
Rewarding your dog
Welcoming a puppy
Socializing your dog
Housebreaking your dog
Training a deaf dog
The clicker training method
How to punish your dog?
Does your dog dig holes?
Is your dog dominant: a myth?