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Walt Disney has a lot to answer for!


Roy and Sasha

I love Walt Disney films, the more fantastic the better and always a happy ending, so I can relax and enjoy the film knowing everything will turn out okay! My first dog knowledge came from Disney, unconsciously my love of animals must have been fueled by the wonderful portrayal of talking (and much more!) animals! Dogs that rescued their owners or each other, travelled vast journeys to get to their masters side! Who wouldn’t want a dog after watching a Disney film? Disney has sold more puppies than I can begin to count!

Today I know that it is partly because of Disney that I have so much work to do with pet owners, unconsciously they too have been given this magical image of dogs. Just think about this for a few moments and tell me you haven’t been affected?

I think there is a huge amount we can all learn about our dog behaviour, through becoming aware of the influence of Disney and other media, maybe not in the way we would like :)! I am going to do a series of blogs from this perspective, starting today, I would be most grateful for your feedback?!

Take titbit training, I spend a lot of training time convincing owners that the use of food for dog training is a good thing and makes training fun. Why would anyone believe that a young puppy or dog would not respond better if there is a treat involved? Well Disney is the answer! Owners want dogs to do stuff for love! In the film love between the human and the animal is instant, even if time passing is implied, it isn’t always apparent because of the limitations of the media.

I am not immune to believing my dogs love me, but I am realistic, the love only comes over time, the bond deepens and grows, it takes 2 years to have a good bond with any dog. There may well be an instant bond of sorts at the start of a relationship, all dogs want to be in a pack, but it is only over time that trust and true partnership can develop. Feeding a dog treats as rewards for correct behaviour will encourage a feel good factor around dog and human and therefore increase the bond. Plus when we successfully communicate with our dogs in positive way we are deepening the understanding and therefore the love and bond between us, I know this through some wonderful experiences, both with my dogs and by watching my clients!

In time as the dog truly understands our commands, viewing our commands as a fun way of communicating (not being bossed around) the training becomes less dependant on food. But I have never out grown enjoying a treat, from a friend or stranger:) and my dog won’t either! The problems come if we expect this from our dogs before we have earnt” it” over time!

Even Nessa can't get this ball in her mouth!

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