by Carmen LeBlanc, MS, ACAAB, CPDT

If you find yourself nagging, scolding, using leash corrections or hands-on force a lot, think about who is doing most of the work in training. It may be time to pass more responsibility on to your dog!

Consider this. Author Nan Kené Arthur writes, “A child might get better grades if an adult did his homework, but he would not learn the skills needed to function successfully in the world. The same is true for your dog. If you have been doing his “homework” through constant reminding or demanding obedience, telling him, “No,” a lot, or using leash manipulations and hands-on physical prompts (compulsion) to keep him in line, he will not have learned the skills needed to function in life. Dogs, like children, must learn to problem-solve when life comes at them, and providing your dog with motivation to perform behaviors through rewards will help him learn those skills.” You’ll be happy with your dog’s eager compliance and relieved to stop nagging and correcting.

An important skill in training your dog or teaching anyone: knowing how to respond to mistakes. Look for my next blog: Embrace the Mistake! (Hint: a dog’s mistakes are information for the trainer, not a capital crime!)