I have news for you; living with us humans is not that easy. Our dogs are tremendously patient with us and put up with all of our bizarre customs and wacky ways. They have abandoned their life in the wild to come into the human world and live with us. Although they don’t understand our language, can’t comprehend our lifestyle, and have absolutely no idea why we keep making them sit when they’re really not tired. In spite of all this, they still happily bound into our lives with endless unconditional love.

We on the other hand, are not so accommodating. We expect our dog’s to immediately understand a foreign language; to innately know that although we go to the bathroom indoors, they need to relieve themselves outside – no matter what the weather; and not put a tooth on any of our kid’s stuffed animals, even though they may look identical to their squeaky toys.

We simply don’t cut our dog’s enough slack. If you got relocated to Japan and had to stay with a Japanese family until you found a place to live, how long do you think it would take you to learn the customs and understand what everyone was saying to you? I’m thinking more than a few months.

We give your dog some realistic time to figure things out. And the process can move along so much quicker if we help him out along the way. Sure our dogs may learn how to live in the human world on their own, but it can be greatly expatiated if we just point them in the right direction. Too many dog owners concentrate on correcting the mistakes, and forget to praise the little victories. Constant feedback is always good and will really give your dog confidence, instead of being frustrated.

If you have a dog that jumps up on anyone and everyone, make sure you give him a “good boy” any time he’s got four paws on the ground. Learning is so much quicker with both positive and negative feedback (is he getting hot or cold?). As a general rule you should be praising your dog ten times for every correction you give. He needs to know when he’s doing well and when he’s on the right track. Just don’t be stingy with the praise. In my experience, even the worst behaved dog still does more things right than wrong. Remember, not doing anything wrong is right – so standing there, not jumping, is good and deserves praise.

Your pooch is not a mind reader. The more feedback you give him, the quicker he will get whatever it is you’re asking of him. Give it a try and you’ll quickly see how much quicker Fido will learn.

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