In all honesty, I sometimes get mad at my pets. I'm not perfect. I am not a perfect companion to my pets, a perfect pet trainer or a perfect person. My pets aren't perfect either. However, when the dogs, cat or cockatoo exhibit a behavior that annoys me or makes me angry, I know that I am always responsible for my pets behavior. Anything undesirable that the pets do is, in fact, my fault. As their trainer, it is my responsibility to teach them how to behave in a way that fits in society and our lifestyle. I should also train away behaviors the pets have that make me mad. So when I get mad at them, I am actually mad at myself. Such is the life of a truly responsible pet owner. I see my responsibility as a positive pet trainer to take the negative, like a behavior I don't like, and turn it into a constructive bonding experience for the pets and I. This is the wonder of positive reinforcement training.
There is a long list of reasons why my pets exhibit undesirable behavior but it always comes down to being my responsibility. Eighty-five pound Huxley continuing to jump on people is a great example of an anti-social behavior that continues to occur because of my imperfections. I like Huxley to jump on me, when invited for a "hug." However, I am definitely guilty of laughing or otherwise encouraging many a Huxley jump it was not invited. I know better. I am horrified every time he attempts to jump on a stranger. I am responsible for this annoying and often dangerous bad dog habit. Accepting that Huxley's jumping on people is my fault is the first step in fixing it. Now all I need to do is perfect my own constancy in counter conditioning his jump. I make it sound so easy!
Welcome to First Mondays Positive Pet Training Blog Hop hosted by Cascadian Nomads, Tenacious Little Terrier and Rubicon Days. Please share your responsible pet owner positive pet training tips by linking a blog post or leaving a comment below. Any positive reinforcement training posts or comments are also always welcome. The Positive Pet Training Blog Hop goes all week long. Our next hop will begin Monday, March 2nd.