The topic today is the two skills that bring families together. I had an opportunity to work with a family today that is trying to come together. They’re trying to integrate their two families. They have three dogs, two of them belong to one of my clients, and one of the dogs belongs to the other. We have a Pit Bull, an Australian Shepherd, and a senior Husky in the mix.
It seems that the Pit Bull, which is an amiable dog, has a hard time being around other dogs and is either being aggressive or just trying to play too rough with the other dog. So these families want to have some solution in place as they can begin to integrate their families and move in together. So I proposed a straightforward plan of how exactly we’re going to do that.
Two Dog Skills
The two skills that we’re going to use will be primarily the ones that we’re going to teach the dogs. That would be how to walk on a loose leash and how to stay in place. Now, many of you know that I’m constantly preaching about how a dog should stay, play, come, and heel. While I am going to teach my clients all of those, I feel that the walk and the place stay will be crucial for making this a success for this family.
A lot of times, if dogs can walk together in a pack and respect their owner enough to move with them and ignore the other dog, it makes it much easier when we ask them to stay in the same room with another dog and respect us enough that they leave the other dog alone.
Putting these two skills back to back does help solve this problem. Just teaching one of these skills would not be enough. Let’s look at it from the perspective of one of the dogs, especially the Pit Bull. If he’s been living in this home for about five years and then a new dog shows up, and maybe he’s not friendly with other dogs. It would be hard to put them in the same room and put that dog into a down and stay while ignoring the other dog.
By far, the easiest way to get the dog to ignore the other dog is when he’s walking and paying attention to his owner while the other dog happens to be there also. I feel that the more that people try to do this and get it right, they will be successful. The two skills that bring families together.
Two People Skills
Well, the two skills that I’m talking about are dog skills. But what do people have to be able to do? The two main things that people are going to have to do exceptionally well are effectively leading the dog and setting boundaries. I’m primarily talking about good, solid leash work where they use the leash to get leverage on the dog to move it when needed. They have a training collar that they can use to set boundaries that the dog can understand. They’ll have to respect where that line is because there are actual consequences for disregarding the rules.
Probably more important than anything, they need to reward the dog in a meaningful way when ignoring the other dog. Whether they’re walking or they’re in a stay.
A Successful Family
These two skills of effectively creating boundaries and being good at reinforcement will be the keys that my clients will need to get right for the dogs to succeed. But the dogs will have to be very skilled at good walking and good stays. And then if we add in the other two things, the coming when called and the play. I can see that there’s going to be a lot of success for this family.
If this is you you’re trying to bring families together and integrate your dogs, I would highly recommend starting place training and loose leash walk training for your dogs today.
Well, that’s it for today. I appreciate everybody reading this on my blog, and I hope you’ve been finding these tips helpful.