My biggest challenge with Murphy is day to day living.
We are still learning how to communicate with one another, boundaries and rules. I can tell him to get off or lay down until I am blue in the face if I want but he doesn't understand, at least not yet.
Training a dog isn't all tricks and commands... most of the training happens outside of training sessions. Your dog is always learning from you, what you will and won't allow, boundaries, rules.
An example is a game of tug, that isn't training... or is it? To me, it is. When I play tug with my dogs they learn the boundaries in order to play the game - a clear one is no teeth on my skin.
If they touch me with their teeth I can either
- ignore it and keep playing which tells my dog that it is ok to do that.
- let out a squeal or tell them no and end the game letting my dog know that they crossed the line and it won't be tolerated.
Right here with Murphy, it would be so easy to give in to him and give him the meal (believe me, I wanted to so badly!) But it is important to not. If I gave in he would know that crying and getting worked up gets him his food rather than calm behaviours.
Instead, I wait for him to be calm and then I ask for a sit and wait before he can eat.
Even though I am not actively training, Murphy is still learning and these are probably the more valuable lessons that he will learn ❤