doggie dude ranch & training center

BOARDING | TRAINING | DAYCARE

doggie dude ranch & training center

BOARDING | TRAINING | DAYCARE

What Training Can and Cannot Produce: A Tale of Cookies and Coleslaw

Photo of Dog in kitchen
"If you already have a dog and need to improve his behavior, keep your expectations realistic. Your cat or livestock chaser (his raw ingredients) will always be driven to chase if left on his own."

As much as dog owners hope that their trainer is like a master chef that can transform their aggressive dog into a social one, or their cat chaser into a cuddling kitty lover…generally speaking it’s not going to happen.  No matter how talented your trainer is, they cannot take the raw ingredients for coleslaw and produce a chocolate chip cookie!

If you have the raw ingredients of cabbage, vinegar, salt, pepper, sugar and maybe a little mayo and a few other condiments, there’s no way that anyone can make a chocolate chip cookie out of that, no matter how good a cook they are.  Or vice versa.  If your dog is coded by his DNA to be prey-driven, territorial or willful, no amount of training can turn him into Lassie.  That said, however, just as a gourmet cook can take those raw ingredients for coleslaw and make a jaw-dropping, lick-the-plate version that would have brought even Julia Child to her knees, so can a good trainer make the very best out of the dog you have.  But they can’t make your coleslaw dog into a chocolate chip canine.

If you already have a dog and need to improve his behavior, keep your expectations realistic.  Your cat or livestock chaser (his raw ingredients) will always be driven to chase if left on his own.  Instinct will not be denied.  Professional dog training can help you control the dog’s instincts when you are there to control them, making the best of his raw ingredients.  But left alone…your dog’s raw ingredients (his instincts) will always determine the end product.  If he’s made up of coleslaw raw ingredients, you’ll never end up that cookie you might be craving.  Your choice, however, is between gourmet, mouth-watering coleslaw (with good training), or disgusting, inedible slop that stinks up the kitchen and that no one wants to be around.  But even though a coleslaw dog will never be a cookie, you can still enjoy his fabulous coleslaw-ness with just a few good training choices!

Now, if you don’t like coleslaw, realize this when you are shopping for a dog in the first place.  Know what you want and shop accordingly.  The raw ingredients generally show themselves if you are paying attention.  If you want a dog that is good with your cats– don’t choose a breed that was bred to chase and kill small, furry vermin — thinking that training will transform it!  If you want a dog to take to work with you and greet clients every day, or if you live in a home like Grand Central Station with a revolving door of family and new acquaintances, don’t choose a shy dog or a breed that was bred to protect his territory*.  If you are planning a family, look for a dog who’s got the raw ingredient of tolerance.  They’ll need it with kids and you can’t teach tolerance!  Training can teach the mechanics of sit, stay in your bed, come, don’t jump or don’t pull on the leash…but it cannot teach a dog how to feel about things in his world.  Being afraid of strangers, disliking other dogs, being irritated by children…those are part of the dog himself and training cannot erase them.

Are there chocolate chip dogs around?  Sure there are!  Lots of dogs are friendly, social, willing and eager to please.  Even so, those raw ingredients need to be put together correctly and baked carefully (through good training), or even they will leave a bad taste in your mouth.  The good news is that those raw materials really can be a chocolate chip cookie!   Of course, in my training business, I see more coleslaw than chocolate chips…

To summarize: DNA determines your ultimate dog and training can’t really change what DNA has created.

What CAN professional dog training do?  Well, let me tell you!  It can create an incredible bond of trust and loyalty between your dog and yourself – a bond so close you’ll feel you can read each other’s thoughts.   It can produce reliable obedience, even under distraction – a oneness that comes from this partnership.  It can create a sense of peace and well-being in your dog, with him knowing that you are the competent leader of the household and he can put his trust in you.  Most importantly, it can help each dog reach his full potential – whatever that is.  He can either become the most delicious, mouth-watering coleslaw known to man…or the penultimate chocolate chip cookie, worthy of foodie fame.  And both are great.

Trainers nationwide await to help put YOUR dog’s raw ingredients in their best possible order!

*see blogpost: “Breed Differences” on www.dogtalkdiva.com

Camilla Gray-Nelson

Camilla Gray-Nelson

Camilla has over 50 years experience with animals (she grew up on the farm!). She has trained, bred and shown dogs since 1989 and brings this broad background and knowledge of dog behavior to her clients and her business. Her life-long understanding of the animal mind helped her develop what has become her signature style of natural dog training and voice control, now simply referred to as the “Dairydell Method”. Camilla and her Dairydell Method have been featured in numerous newspaper and magazine articles, as well as on San Francisco TV’s Evening Magazine and View From the Bay. Camilla loves teaching – whether it’s dogs, their owners, or the horses you see her riding in Dairydell’s beautiful arena. When she’s not training, teaching or riding, Camilla is writing about her favorite subject: dogs and their people! Camilla holds professional memberships in both the National Association of Dog Obedience Instructors (NADOI) and the International Association of Canine Professionals (IACP).
Camilla Gray Nelson

Camilla Gray Nelson

Camilla has over 50 years experience with animals (she grew up on the farm!). She has trained, bred and shown dogs since 1989 and brings this broad background and knowledge of dog behavior to her clients and her business. Her life-long understanding of the animal mind helped her develop what has become her signature style of natural dog training and voice control, now simply referred to as the “Dairydell Method”.

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