Living among a team of border collies has been a learning experience. From quiet observations of the goings on between a tortoise and a keen dog to open water swimming, dock jumping, sledding, trick training and more; communication shared through movement, facial expression, intonation and sign language.
There is compelling evidence that dogs and humans share many similar characteristics. Intelligence is dependent on physiological traits which is one reason science-based training is so effective.
For example imagine if most of your daily activities started with the someone calling out STOP! or NO! if you didn’t understand the word or the problem, you may become confused and not try anything at all. Many dogs spend their lives; i.e. from a dog’s perspective, turning over the food bin is a good thing. Not only are rewards of tasty morsels within, they get your attention. Most dogs love any kind of attention. If followed by punishment, they may wait until you are out of sight. In fact, it was once thought that when a dog jumped up, they should simply be ignored, and although this method often works, a dog treated this way may also lose their exuberance. A better solution is to teach an alternate behavior.
For e.g. when you “catch” your dog doing something good, provide praise, whether with food, play, or whatever your dog enjoys. I’ve never met a dog who didn’t respond to praise.
Meeting in the Middle
Dogs will be dogs. Take eating feces for example. I know dogs who faster than a speeding… but there is a solution to what is known as coprophagia. Similar to the trash bin; simply make sure the delicacy is unavailable at all times by removing right away.
Fortunately, practice makes perfect. The takeaway is that dogs are easy to train. All it takes is clear instructions and adjusting your expectations. The result is any dog can become keen on following instructions anywhere, any time, in any environment!