Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Unrealistic Expectations

Sometimes students have 'Potentially Unrealistic Expectations.'   Behaviors that they say they want, and that we can theoretically train... but there isn't actually enough time, commitment, or experience to happen.

That's one of the reasons we emphasize management.  Crates, Gates, Leashes, Kongs, Food Toys....   things to keep puppies and dogs from practicing incorrect behaviors, to keep dogs and puppies from making dangerous choices, and to keep people from getting stressed.

And then it comes down to percentage of reliability.  Theoretically we can train a 100% reliable animal.  In actuality, we'll just come close.  Realistically...not always close.

During our anti-counter-jumping training I emphasize not leaving anything up there, even when your dog is reliable. It's not worth the risk of a very sick (or dead) dog.   During our recall and off leash training....we say to be keeping the dog in a fenced area.    When we work with dogs who want to chase cars and tires....same thing, fences and leashes forever.  It's not worth the risk (to me!).  In some situations, an error can result in no longer having a dog.

At the other end of it, is the safety for the humans.  Super giant strong dog and the goal is to walk not with a head collar or harness?   Sure...we can do it. We'll train for it in class.  But I can't tell them to do it at home...I comment they should be using the extra tools.   One distraction too great....and the person could be severely injured. 

Ultimately I do have to tell the people that they are the ones to make the choices, but that I have to recommend the supervision and fences and leashes.  Because I don't believe it's worth the risk or potential for injury and expense.   

I'm all about safety!

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