A few years back my brother and I sailed over to Cuttyhunk Island in Buzzards Bay.
It was the first leg of our trip to Martha’s Vineyard for the weekend.
Naturally some great food was packed up and we were looking forward to dinner.
My brother had been marinating a steak for about a day and was very excited to cook and eat it.
There was a little grill attached to a bar on the back of the boat. He threw the steak on and turned his back to grab the spatula. The second he turned his back a seagull swooped in, grabbed the steak and took off.
To make matter worse, the seagull made it about three feet and dropped the steak into the sea. I thought the whole thing was hysterical and still laugh when I think about it.
Mostly because of the look and response from my brother, which I can’t share here.
Anyway, seagulls, like dogs, like any living creature, are opportunists.
This is important to remember because we often get upset with our dogs when they are simply…...being a dog.
If you pay attention to my writing you’ll see that I never refer to good or bad behavior. Instead I always refer to it as acceptable and unacceptable behavior.
I write this way because dogs do not understand right and wrong. What they understand is safe and dangerous. The big problem is that a dog living in today’s world has no idea of the dangers they face.
Walking off your property can end in disaster.
Which is why I say every dog has to learn the words “YES” and “NO.’
The word “YES” is paired with a positive consequence like food. You use the word YES when you want your dog to do a behavior like sit, down, stay, etc.
The word “NO” is paired with a negative consequence when you need your dog to stop doing a behavior. NO would be used when your dog jumps, bites, digs or attempts to steal the steak off the table like the seagull did off the grill.
When your dog learns the word NO and you can effectively stop your dog from doing a behavior (like running out in the street), you’ll have much better control and YOUR DOG WILL BE MUCH SAFER.
Anyway, if you’d like to see how to teach your dog the word “NO” without expensive collars and complex instructions head on over to the Dog Training Inner Circle and get started for just $1.00.