A Brief History of Dog Training

Lots of people have problems with their dogs. There are many reasons for this: the dog may be under-trained, the owner may be too busy and stressed to meet the dog’s needs, the dog may be temperamentally unsuitable for the owner, and in a few cases, the dog may be psychologically or genetically abnormal.

All too often, the solution is often worse than the problem: beat the dog up, if that doesn’t work, beat it up some more, and if that doesn’t work, put it down as ‘genetically unsound’. Even today, with everything we know about dogs, behaviour problems are estimated to account for up to 70% of dogs euthanased. And dog shelters are overflowing with dogs whose owners couldn’t handle them. Man’s best friend is getting a pretty raw deal.

Part of the problem is the upsurge of pet ownership in the last half-century. This, coupled with the increasing popularity of conformation dog shows, has led to a lot of breeding which is at best casual and at worst downright unscrupulous. Health and temperament have taken a backseat to looks, and the result is that many dogs no longer adhere to the temperament characteristics for which their breeds were once renowned.

Another part of the problem is our busy, instant-gratification lifestyles. We don’t really have the time for dogs, the time to train, the time to understand why a dog does one thing and not another. We tend to treat our dogs as throwaways: if we don’t get instant satisfaction, we get rid of the dog. If we’re prepared to have a go at solving a problem, we treat it more like repairing the TV than dealing with a possibly deep-rooted psychological ailment.

And this is a great shame, because in the middle of our hectic, stressful lives, it’s possible for a dog, even a problem dog, to be an island of peace and tranquility, a refuge from the madness, a little bit of nature in our homes.

At the Dog Zone, our philosophy is that resolving your dog’s behaviour problems should be a process which is deeply therapeutic and refreshing, not only for the dog, but for the owner as well…

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