THERE IS NO FREE LUNCH!!!! (Or EARN WHILE
There is no free lunch! Your dog must earn everything â€“ and I mean everything! â€“ by
first responding to the simple requests you make, i.e. sit, down, stay, etc. Only actions
that you initiate are acted upon. For example, if your dog drops the ball at your feet
wanting to play, no play. Play is always initiated and carried out by you only. It must be
your idea, not his.If he nudges you for a pat on the head, he doesnâ€™t get one. He only gets
patted and rubbed when you, the pack leader,decide the time is right.
All activities â€“ meals, going outside, play, even attention, are initiated by you. (This
does not apply in the initial stages of Clicker Training, for at that time we are going to
reinforce for offered behavior, until we have put what ever skill we are working on, on
cue.) In addition, the dog must obey a simple obedience command before you allow him
to engage in any of these activities. Request a down before dinner, going out, playtime or
any activity your dog likes. You must go through doorways first. Use your body to block
the dog instead of a sit, stay command. The body block is easy and is in the dogâ€™s own
language. As you open the door and the dog tries to push past you, simply move your
body to block him. Continue in this fashion until he looks up at you in wonderment, and
submission. When he hesitates and looks to you for permission, then release him. If the
dog is going outside, just open and close the door without letting him out. When he
finally looks at you and steps away from the door, reward him with a treat, or by letting
him out. Do this consistently so he learns he must wait for you to say okay, and not
simply rush through the door.
If you put your dog on the payroll, and are consistent, he will learn that all good
things and all necessary things come from responding to your requests. All you ask of
him is compliance, which is well within his abilities. You will impress upon him that you
are the leader of the pack without having to lift a finger, scruff a neck or raise your voice.
Not all dogs require 100% No Free Lunch. But most can benefit from being on the
payroll at least part time.
When I feed my three dogs they are asked to â€œwaitâ€ while I put their bowls down.
Sometimes I then walk around the house. They continue to â€œwaitâ€ until they get a release
word. Then they can eat. Dominant dogs may always need to earn everything, 100% of
the time. And why not? It is very easy and no stress!
Copyright 2000 Ganley/Lyon