And How Does That Make You Feel?
By Deborah Jones, Ph.D.
The phrase “and how does that make you feel?” is pretty much a stereotypic response that you’d expect from a therapist. But as a dog trainer you probably don’t use that phrase very often. It’s particularly unlikely you’d address it to your dog. But that’s exactly what we should be doing; keeping a close eye not only on what our dogs are doing, but more importantly, on how they are feeling.
Dog trainers spend countless hours working on training specific and precise behaviors. They obsess endlessly over small details, plan out session after session, and troubleshoot solutions when problems arise. They understand and implement training plans based on operant conditioning principles, splitting behaviors into small parts and providing appropriate reinforcement. And yet, for all that care and attention, things still go wrong. The dog doesn’t learn the desired behavior…
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