The big Dobie lunged forward snapping and barking at the 190 some odd pounds of Saint Bernard standing nearby! Straining with all of his might, the Doberman kept the leash taught as his owner, situated about four feet behind his wild dog, struggled to maintain his grip! Just another day in the life.
I suppose the most bizarre thing about this scene to most folks would be that only moments before (this total behavioral freak out) the Doberman Pinscher was heeling beautifully, sitting admirably beside his owner, and performing “watch me” commands like a professional working dog. The owner was giving praise and the occasional treat at all the proper times. It was almost beautiful to watch. The dog looked like all working dogs do on Youtube – heeling briskly and looking at his handler – whenever the man stopped the dog sat perfectly. The doberman had excellent training. And nobody from our company trained it. In fact, during the entire time the owner was training his dog (this took place at the very beginning of our first session) I was gently but repeatedly attempting to explain that all that fancy obedience that the dog was performing masterfully DID NOT HELP AT ALL when it came to the dog’s Horrible psychosis! The obedience training did NOT help the Doberman to experience the world they way he naturally could or should through proper utilization of the right senses at the right time. You see, unlike most folks, I was 100% unimpressed with the Dobie’s quick heeling and fast sitting because nature and all calm, social canines would also be 100% unimpressed with that excitable performance!
The Dobie was dog aggressive and human reactive and the great obedience that the owner had taught his dog to do was NOT working to help calm his dog down enough to think and operate clearly in normal social settings. His great training FAILED in REAL LIFE. Here is a fact that I’m hoping the readers of this article can and will spread far and wide to anyone willing to listen (Share this article for the love of dogs)…Dogs can perform incredible feats of obedience and simultaneously be neurotic and out of control dangers to society.
The giant Saint Bernard (who was having his third session at our Dog Language Center) was able to walk very close to the lunging, frantic Dobie and maintain his cool. The Dobie, for all his prior work and prior tricks and obedience at the hands of his owner, was having an utter meltdown. But wait…there’s hope…Enter the Garrett Stevens Method!
Over the course of the session we taught the owner how to SLOW DOWN and TURN DOWN his typical training and, in turn, SLOW down his Dobie’s outrageous and unsocial behavior. Here’s another fact for any dog owner wise enough to consider it – Dogs are faster than humans and will certainly manipulate us by speeding up the action and speeding up their movement and ours. A skilled dog trainer or whisperer (or owner) knows how to SLOW the movement of the neurotic dog and influence the energy that way.
By the second half of our session the Dobie was walking calmly beside my own example dog. The Doberman was able to be smelled repeatedly and calmly led around the property. The owner was blown away at the differences and said so repeatedly. We are so excited to continue teaching the owner the way of the dog and the Garrett Stevens Method as we work with his Doberman.
Please remember: Excellent training and wonderful, trustworthy social behavior are two very different things!
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