Has your dog been acting out or acting up during this quarantine? If that is the case, you are not alone! In fact, Reese Witherspoon's own pooches have been acting a bit naughty…
“Get over here! Louis!” Reese calls out. “Pepper, why are you barking at the neighbor? What did they say to you?!” she asks her other pup. “Sorry Ed!” she shouts apologetically at the neighbors.
“Hi everybody!” Reese says, waving. “I'm here with my dog. This is Pepper… I don't know about you guys but aren't dogs acting funny during this quarantine?”
Reese continues, “I thought I would ask Tamar Geller (She's a dog trainer and a dog behavior therapist who just understands the minds of dogs), ‘What is going on with our dogs?!'”
That's a very good question! Tamar Geller has some advice as to what's going on with our beloved pooches during these dog's days in quarantine.
Tony McEwing of Fox 11 News Los Angeles has two rescue dogs and has not personally experienced this stranger behavious due to his own schedule remaining mostly unchanged. However he would like to help his Reese and his viewers out, so he asks her the following question:
- What kinds of behavioral problems are people experiencing?
“Well, the thing of it is that we are all stuck at home and we see our dogs more. So, it's not necessarily that the dog is all of a sudden changing their behavior, it's that we have the time now to notice it. So, people notice a whole new experience with the dogs, such as barking, jumping, needing attention… But it's really about the noticing part.”
Tony's white pitbull Dexter and dark-furred german shephard Lola are shown, relaxing. Tony continues with another question:
- I know one of the problems some dog owners have been having is that the dogs just stopped listening to them. What do you do to get them to listen to you again?
“Well, so what's happening is that oftentimes we communicate with our dogs when they're misbehaving and we ignore them when they're actually behaving well. So the dog, in order to get attention, has to jump on you, has to bark at you. One of the main things I teach my clients is: If the dog is asking for attention, you do not want to give their attention in that moment if they're jumping on you, if they're barking at you.”
“What I need you to do (and it is the toughest thing for people to do) is to notice when the dog is asking for attention, when they're quiet, when they're sitting, when they're patient with you. Most people then overlook the dog, so I had to come up with a different way to teach people how to notice themselves and how they react and how they communicate with the dog before they even ask the dog to change.”
Tony finds this information interesting because he believes his own reaction would be (like possibly many of our readers) to perhaps try and get his dog additional training. However, he realizes that, according to Tamar, it's not the dog who needs additional training, it is the owners need to train themselves. Tamar continues:
“What it is, unbeknownst to us, we reinforce behaviors in our dogs that we do not want. So, here is a game that I invite everyone to do, and it's the Name Game. We all know the saying, ‘Do not use God's name in vain.' I'm not comparing dogs to God, but I am saying do not say your dog's name in vain, meaning catch yourself. How many times you say your dog's name without actually talking to your dog. You're going to say, ‘Did Oliver eat? Did somebody take Oliver for a walk? Where is Oliver?' And meanwhile Oliver (Tamar's own golden retriever) would be looking to see, ‘What are you saying? What are you saying me?” and I'm not talking to him.”
“So, unbeknownst to me, I'm teaching him not to pay attention to me when I'm saying his name. Once you start to catch yourself when you're saying your dogs name when you're not talking to them, you may now have the opportunity to have the possibility to catch yourself when you are giving attention to your dog at the wrong times. The most perfect example: The dog is jumping on somebody and the person looks at the dog to say, ‘What do you want?' but that right there is what the dog wanted: the attention. And you do not want to give the attention at the wrong time because when you do you are training your dogs.”
“You see, dog training is not about what we've been taught: obedience. That is not what dog training is about. Dog training is about: Are we teaching them to pay attention – that they get attention when they are doing the wrong thing? Dog training is about life skills, not about, ‘Sit, Stay, Calm Down and Heel.” Dogs are very much like toddlers, and we don't teach toddlers obedience. We teach them when we are going to give the toddler attention, and it's usually not when they throw a fit.”
“But now let's do the same thing with a dog. So the Name Game: Learn how not to say the dog's name unless you're tlaking to your dog. Instead what you want to say is a nickname. My beautiful child. My furry child. And start teaching yourself, ‘When do I give attention? How do connect?”
If you would like to see the interview between Tony and Tamar, you can do so below. If you would like to get even more great advice by this celebrity dog trainer, visit TheLovedDog.com today, including the answer to whether your dog should wear a mask during this pandemic.
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