Today’s topic is: Solve the problem from their perspective with your intelligence. So this quote, solve the problem from their perspective with your intelligence, is quickly becoming one of the many sayings that I use. I like this saying because when we look at problems, we are looking at them from our perspective, and why not? Humans have great views on a lot of different things. And it’s a great way to go about solving a host of problems.
But when it comes to training your dog, I believe that you can solve the problem from your dog’s perspective. It will help you get the answer you’re looking for much more quickly. It will benefit you if you look at it from their perspective, with your intelligence, not necessarily theirs. So let’s break this down just a little bit.
So a dog has senses just like we do. They can feel, smell, they can perceive motion, they can hear sounds, and they can taste things. And some of us probably believe that our dogs have some sixth sense on top of that.
So they can do all those things. Now they’re very similar to us, is what I believe. But there are some fundamental differences. So when you’re taking a look at the problem, you want to imagine yourself, at the very least, from your dog’s eyes. And if you can from your dog’s nose, even though that one’s going to be hard. But then you should also take a look at what my dog feels right now.
So there are three good questions. What does my dog feel? What’s moving? That they can see. What can they hear? And what can they smell? These are great questions to help you to understand the experience that your dog is going through. And so you begin to think about that. You can now look at the problem in a brand new way and figure out why they’re having difficulty with a particular thing.
Let me share an example that most of you guys have heard me share before, but I think that it’s worth repeating. A lot of people walk with their dogs, and the dogs are out in front. And for the record, I’m okay with that if that’s what you want; if you want your dog to walk ahead of you, more power to you.
If your dog is happy and you’re happy, then I’m delighted. But let’s say that you’re one of these folks, like me, that wants your dog to walk generally in the heel. They’re side by side with you and that there’s no tension on the leash. I want you to begin to think about what should the dog smell while they’re here? And what should the dog see while they’re here?
So what should your dog smell? Well, if you’re starting with a dog, your dog should probably smell a portion of its meal, if not treats. So that means that if you’re walking the dog on your left-hand side, that your treat pouch should be over your left hip. That way, there’s a cone of scent coming down there that’s enticing your dog to follow along in this high-value area.
Now, what does your dog see? Dogs can see color when it comes to vision with your dog, but they can’t necessarily see the colors that you and I do. It’s not like red disappears, it’s just not red the way we see it, but there’s still some color to it.
A dog has low light vision, and it has an incredible eye for motion. So if you’re walking along with a dog, your dog should be able to see your legs quickly moving. That’s why you might hear me say, “move with a purpose.” Because if you’re moving with a purpose and the dog is side by side with you, their eyes will pick up on the motion. And that’s going to help you with a walk quite a bit.
So remember these two things. What does a dog smell? And what does the dog perceive moving? It shouldn’t be what they feel because your dog should feel nothing. There shouldn’t be any tension on the line if your goal is loose leash walking. And then possibly your dog should hear your cheerful voice as they’re along your side. So you can do this little exercise that I just spoke about to kind of figure out how you should train the dog from their perspective. Get an exercise going that leverages their ability to smell, their ability to perceive motion, and understand what it is that you want them to do.
So, to solve the problem try that out with any of the things that you’re thinking about, and you’re going to see how you’re going to begin to have more and more success with your animal as you consider their perspective.