I’ve had a real struggle with one of my young dogs. Suzy challenges me every day in training constantly mis-behaving then running away. It’s very wearing. I was explaining my dilemma to an old sheep farmer.
“Bring her into the pen and I’ll tek a look at her,” he said. Within a couple of minutes I had his verdict.
“She’s no respect, she’s running rings round thee,” my shepherd friend opined. “Tha wants mek her back down.”
He took her off the lead and commanded her to heel. After a few strides Suzy bolted and the shepherd strode purposefully after her growling like an angry dog.
Suzy jumping, barking and refusing to come to heel. The old farmer followed her around the pen. Snarling under his breath he advanced on her wherever she went. After 10 minutes it was all over Suzy had nowhere left to run. The shepherd brought her to heel and started again. Suzy broke once more but the pursuit was over in a minute. The moment Suzy calmed down the shepgerd stroked her very slowly whispering ‘good girl.’
In less than an hour I saw Suzy transform from a wild unmanageable beast into a quiet, respectful young dog trotting happily at his side.
The old man had uttered no more than half a dozen words yet the change in Suzy had been seismic.
“It no use talking to ‘em like a babby,” he told me. Tha needs use a language they understand.”
In one sentence he summed up the training problem of almost every pet owner in the land.