Decoding Dog Behaviors: Why Does My Dog Act This Way? An Interview with Nick Franco | Pupford
March 23rd, 2021
Filed under Podcasts
Sometimes we watch our dogs do certain things and are left wondering... why in the world are they doing that?!
The best part is, as we strive to better understand why our dogs do certain things we can better understand how to stop those unwanted behaviors.
Although you don't need a degree in dog psychology, taking steps to think about the why will help you improve your dog's behavior.
In this episode with Nick Franco, we talk about why our dogs act the way that they do. Plus, we discuss some real-life examples of how understanding the 'why' can help us improve that specific behavior!
CONNECT WITH NICK FRANCO
In Nick’s words, he is an animal addict on a journey to learn everything he can about pet behavior, nutrition, and products so that he can spread the word and improve the lives of as many pets as he possibly can.
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OVERVIEW OF DECODING DOG BEHAVIORS: WHY DOES MY DOG ACT THIS WAY?
FIRST THINGS FIRST... WHY IS IT IMPORTANT TO LOOK AT THE "WHY" OF OUR DOG'S BEHAVIORS?
- The why helps us start with the end in mind… and it helps us come up with a specific game plan for our dogs
- Focusing on the why of dog behavior, helps us increase the speed at which our dog can learn and be successful
LET'S USE LEASH WALKING AS AN EXAMPLE... HOW CAN UNDERSTANDING "WHY" DOGS PULL ON A LEASH HELP US OVERCOME THAT CHALLENGING BEHAVIOR?
- Not understanding the way leads to excuses and lack of responsibility
- When we look at why dogs do certain things, it opens up our way of thinking to… ‘How can I make my dog want to do what I want them to do”
- When we see the why, it helps us understand the best way to give them the ‘how’
HOW CAN WE BEST IMPROVE OUR COMMUNICATION WITH OUR DOGS?
- Understanding that a good reinforcer, improves the behaviors you want to have occur
- Marking behaviors is so vital for giving our dog clear direction on what happened correctly
- Don’t focus on what we do NOT want our dog to do… rather focus on what we DO want our dog to
WITHOUT NEEDING TO GET A PHD IN ANIMAL BEHAVIOR, WHAT CAN PUP PARENTS DO TO BETTER UNDERSTAND HOW THEIR DOGS LEARN AND WHY THEY ACT THE WAY THAT THEY DO?
- Simply put, if something gets reinforced, that behavior will increase in frequency (and sometimes we do NOT want that)
- If we want to decrease the frequency of a behavior, how will you ensure situations lead to less opportunities of it occurring and how do you interrupt the behavior to reduce the frequency
- Often, we want to prevent the behavior from ever occurring while also practicing real-life scenarios BEFORE they happen
WHAT ADVICE DO YOU HAVE FOR PUP PARENTS WHO STRUGGLE TO KEEP THE "WHY" IN MIND AS THEY TRAIN THEIR DOG?
- Practice, practice, practice!
- You have to practice and plan so you can practice the scenario BEFORE you are in a real-life challenge
- Practicing leads you to better real-life results… education to application
- Effort is vital!
ONE LAST TIP FROM NICK
Always be thinking… how can I set my dog up for success so that it is SO easy for my dog to do the right thing?
Understanding why our dogs do certain things can help us better train our dogs and build stronger communication with them! practice, positive reinforcement, and improving our communication with our dogs, will all assist in our efforts to better learn from and communicate with our dogs.
How do you think your communication is with your dog(s)? Let us know in the comments below!