Importance of Foundations

Foundations are crucial as they help keep the dog in a zone whereby, they can learn and respond, if the dog cannot stay zoned and focused throughout the learning of foundations, then everything else will just fall apart.

So, foundations sort of keeps the door open so that the dog can respond to what they need to and that he can continue to learn.

Foundations help a dog learn and understand faster, it teaches them real life skills and gives you something solid to build on. There really is nothing you cannot teach once you have the foundations in place and once that foundation solidifies there is nothing that can break it down.

There are three steps to building foundations:

Step One: Leadership

  • Someone has to be in charge/control
  • They have to take care of things that should be you
    • You must be confident
    • You have control of the rewards

Step Two: Problem Solving Skills

It is important that you teach your dog to problem solve but appreciate that it is impossible to do this in every situation they may face. 

But it is still important that we teach them to think for themselves, to have some responsibility for their behaviour so that they can be successful out in the real world.

Step Three: Inner Self Control

Inner self control is called excitement. Many dogs when they have a behaviour they know how to do, will fall apart in high arousal situations, this is because they are lacking in the inner self control.

We will come back in a while and go over these three point is more detail.

Teaching Foundations

This is about creating simply good habits in your daily routine every time you interact with your dog you are teaching them something so by learning to set expectations and habitually do the right thing you will teach the foundations very quickly.

When you are.

  • Feeding your dog
  • Letting them out to toilet
  • Letting them out of the crate.

You are basically giving them those everyday rewards that they look forward to, you can teach them foundations by just learning how to change your behaviour and require things that you would rather see.

Solidifying Foundations

It takes time to solidify foundation behaviours, once you get that foundation set, each time you are successful, think about how you are putting new layers of bricks on top of each other to build onto more levels of brick making it stronger and giving less chance of it falling apart so each time you are teaching your dog that he must have control, problem controls and must go though you.

The next stage is to take it on the road.

 – Start with your back garden

– Front garden

– Pet store

– Local Park.

Do not change what you are supposed to be doing even though your dog is probably not going to be as good out in the real world as they were at home, but that is how we build that foundation and solidify it.

When you are.

  • Feeding your dog
  • Letting them out to toilet
  • Letting them out of the crate.

You are basically giving them those everyday rewards that they look forward to, you can teach them foundations by just learning how to change your behaviour and require things that you would rather see.

Understanding Leadership

Leadership

  • Confident & Consistent – The Rock!
  • Control all the good things
    • What your dog sees as a reward.
  • Communicate when things are good.
    • Acknowledge good behaviour
      • Verbal
      • Verbal with pat
      • Verbal with resource
    • Communicate when behaviour is acceptable
      • Ignore unwanted behaviour that is not self-rewarding
      • Interrupt unwanted behaviour that is self-rewarding.
    • Communicate when behaviour is unacceptable
    • Ignore unwanted behaviour that is not self-rewarding
    • Interrupt unwanted behaviour that is self-rewarding.
    • Establish through regular a routine

Leadership  is crucial to foundation and your entire relationship with your dog.

Leadership is not about being.

          – Dominant

          – Alpha

          – Nor placing the dog in a submissive state of mind.

Being the leader is all about the one who controls all the good things – the rock of the relationship.

The one who does not change  when the environment changes, that leader needs to be you and every human in your household. Your dog needs that and a dog needs to be confident that they have something that they can count on and they need to be able to count on you.

So being a leader is really simple, it is about controlling the good things, anything your dog sees as a reward you need to control it.

  • As far as permission going out of doors
  • Feeding
  • Treats
  • Furniture
  • Getting out of a crate
  • Having a lead put on
  • Going for a walk
  • Getting into a car or out of a car.

These are simple things you do every day and your dog needs to understand that these are not their rights they are a privilege of which you control them. To have a dog that has to think about what they have to do to get that is about having a good response in the relationship.

The other thing as a leader is that you stay confident, do everything with the attitude you expect it to turn out in your favour.

When you are confident you are going to project matter of fact and on doing so your emotions are going to get even more and your dog is going to be able to respond better with you together.

When you change your emotions and you get nervous or scared your dog is going to feed of that and they are going to reflect the behaviour, so you are going to have to ensure you remain confident, calm and in control at all times.

If the dog is nervous, you cannot project your nervousness or the project that you feel sorry for them by babysitting or cuddling them, you really need to have the attitude it is not a big deal.

Consistency is important, consistency goes up when you create good habits, so you create good habits as a leader, if you are habitual in your expectations, you are going to be doing it without really thinking about it and when you do that your consistency is going to go up.

So, no matter what happens in your environment, you need  to stay the same, no matter what happens, your dog needs that.

So be your dog’s leader, be the rock that he needs. They need to be able to look at you and how you are responding to scenario’s and situation’s and then they are going to reflect that.

So, you need to ensure that you do not change when you get out in public and you become the leader that your dog truly deserves, and your dog truly needs.

Not the leader that is inconsistently yelling and screaming, changing emotions or expectations, you need to make sure that you stay the same.

Your dog wants you to be the leader, they do not want to take over leadership, and dogs do not want to be dominant as people believe.

Being a leader is incredibly stressful your dog does not want that and even if your dog has a dominant temperament it just means that he is a natural leader.

It doesn’t mean that they are going to take over leadership, however, if you don’t take leadership, your dog has no choice but to take over because somebody has to be in charge and it will really stress dogs out and when they get thrown into that role as a result, you are going to create a lot of fear issues.

To be honest your dog does not deserve that.

So, become the leader that your dog needs, establish that leadership within your foundations, so that your dog can learn all those real-life maters.

That way they can truly become part of the family, be part of the pack, go out into the world and really enjoy themselves as well as you enjoying them.

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