“Dogs are wise. They crawl away into a quiet corner and lick their wounds and do not rejoin the world until they are whole once more.”
- Agatha Christie
If you’re having problems with your dog and you’re at your wit’s end, it’s important that you don’t panic. If your dog genuinely has a ‘behavioural problem’, then there is always a way to solve it. But to solve it, we need to diagnose the problem properly in the first place.
The problem with some behavioural books is that it is presumed that you know what to look for in diagnosing the problem. However, a lot of people don’t actually understand their dogs’ body language or behavioural traits, and so misdiagnose the problem. And when they misdiagnose the problem they will then use a completely inappropriate technique to try and correct the behaviour. When this all goes wrong, the dog gets the blame.
There seems to be a line between behavioural books and training books, and many styles of presenting the information. Training books are often like a manual, telling you what to do, and what results you should expect. Behavioural books vary wildly from the authors who suggest they have a magical insight and all dogs will fall into line to their touch, and those which are written in such a dry academic textbook way that it can be hard to fathom what they are actually trying to say.
These books seem to come from such opposite ends of the spectrum, it’s no wonder people can read many books and feel utterly confused. There are so many different approaches, it’s no wonder that the average dog owner can feel like they are drowning in a seas of conflicting advice.
We’re not suggesting authors have done this on purpose. In writing the articles on this website, it has been a real challenge to get to grips with effectively getting the information people need across in a clear way.
We can understand why it is so difficult to write a book that will help – we’ve often said it’s impossible to write a book to help you and your dog because it’s impossible for us to actually know your dog without meeting them! If we’ve never met them, or spoken to you about your dog, how can we make sweeping generalisations about how they should act?
When you are reading the next sections, make sure you follow the steps in order and take special care because we’re relying on you to also use your own common sense. We’re having to put a lot of trust in the human element – YOU!
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