There are two perceptions to any conversation...the perception of each party. In the context of a human and a dog, very often the way the human and the dog perceive the same event are quite different. The most loving thing that we as humans can do for our dogs is learn to understand them and fulfill their needs as the pack animal that they are, and invest the time and effort necessary to learn to communicate with them in their language.
All dogs share a common desire for leadership, structure, and a clear understanding of what is expected of them in every situation. A dog that can rely on his or her leader to be calm, confident, and in control in any situation is a dog whose brain can relax and become the follower they genuinely want to be.
The foundation of a strong bond begins with communication, trust, and mutual respect. These three cornerstones are what all else is built upon, and the time and patience taken in developing this foundation is always worth the effort. Each dog is unique, and every technique or tool will not work with every dog. The key is to find what the individual dog responds best to and use that to form the basis of their behavior modification plan. The method that works best for an individual dog's nature, as long as the dog is not being harmed physically or psychologically, will allow both the human and the dog to move forward together more easily.
I believe that understanding the dog's brain and how they perceive the world around them is imperative to the success of any behavioral rehabilitation, as well as being able to adapt and find creative ways to help a dog and its' human move beyond the past and into the present.
Seeing a dog and its' handler succeed is one of the most beautiful things in the world. When the human truly has the desire to put in the time and effort needed to help the dog move forward, almost anything is possible.
- Jason Scarduzio
Owner, Carolina Canines