Nature VS Nurture
I often tell clients that we will do our best to reach their dog's genetic potential - so what does this mean? It means to have realistic expectations and understand genetic limitations.⠀
For instance I’m 4’11 and the chances of me going to the WNBA is similar to teaching a Labrador Retriever to protect you in a home invasion - wishful thinking at best. Now there’s nothing wrong with this, my heart is not broken because I didn’t become the next female Muggsy - but rather I directed my time and energy into something I can actually achieve despite my genetic disposition. Why am I saying this?⠀
Well if your dog is scared of thunderstorms/fast movements and/or the vacuum cleaner that they see everyday UNDERSTAND this - your first GOAL should be building your dogs confidence. Why?⠀
Well nothing is going to be more reliable than your dogs instinctual reaction to stress when you haven’t focused on teaching your dog how to cope with stress. ⠀
Too often I see trainers and ill-advised owners throw a prong collar on a 6 month old puppy when it’s already fearful of the world. Which majority of the time just makes the world more scarier because you haven’t done enough positive reinforcement. This is an all stick-no-carrott approach and, my friend, it will come back to bite you in the butt literally and possibly physically speaking.⠀
Stop trying to put a round peg in a square hole and realize your dog has potential and that potential doesn’t need to be compared others to determine their worth. Focus on the dog in front of you, the rest is just noise.