How to Train Your Dog by Thinking like a Dog

The Dogs Perspective

Training Philosophy

The term “training philosophy” is the method or approach someone uses in training a dog. Any training method or approach should focus on the dogs perspective – how dogs think. This is of the utmost importance. Why should this be? Because, it is the dogs perspective that really matters in dog training. We humans have some idea of how we want to train our dogs, but we need to communicate our human intents to canine understandings. Educating canine students is similar to educating human students. When teaching any student, the teaching philosophy should come from the student’s perspective because they are the ones learning the material. More importantly, dogs do not speak English, regardless what anyone else tells you about their dogs. The best way for them to learn is from their perspective – The Dogs Perspective. By thinking like a dog, your training opportunities are wide open.

The Five Special Senses

What does it mean to think like a dog? Well, first you must understand which of the five special senses is the most important for dogs. The five special senses are sight, hearing, taste, smell and touch. Which is dogs’ primary sense? Smell, a.k.a. olfaction, is the number one “go to sense” that dogs use to interpret the world. Olfaction is why “baiting” or using dog treats is so effective in dog training. Unfortunately, olfaction is our weakest sense, so we cannot communicate with dogs that way – nor do we want to. Can you imagine sniffing everything to communicate with each other?

Archie 2015

Which Sense Helps You Communicate with Dogs?

Three special senses that are the most useful in communicating with dogs are sight, sound and touch.  Which of these senses do you use the most when communicating with you pup? Do you always use the same sense, or does it vary based on the task you are doing? Is one of the senses not very useful when training your dog? Think about this next time you interact with your dog. When training from The Dogs Perspective, all five senses are necessary for communicating with your dog at different times while doing different activities.

Kathryn R. Gubista, PhD offers concierge dog training through Lucky Dog Training and has over 30 years of dog training experience. Kathryn is author of book series The Dog’s Perspective: How to Train Your Dog by Thinking like a Dog (soon to be released). Volume 1 is The Right Start, an easy to read, go to source of information for anyone wanting to train their dog.

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