How Will the Stop Wait Listen Rule help?
Dogs can quickly become confused if they are treated as anything except a dog so it is no surprise that they ‘act up’ in certain situations. All of your dog’s misbehaviours are a result of learned behaviours that are not natural or instinctive for him. Without proper guidance, and no way to ask for it, he has no choice but to show you his ‘disapproval’ by acting up. When you can recognise his needs, you can learn how to appropriately guide him, effectively correct him or re-direct him without making him feel wrong, then he will always reward you with his love, loyalty and consistently good behaviour.
When you can effectively use The STOP WAIT LISTEN Rule and your dog eventually understands what is required of him in certain situations, your presence alone will trigger the correct response from your dog without the need to talk too much, to shout or repeat “Sit” or “Wait” commands until your dog eventually has to obey you. There will of course be certain times when obedience commands are necessary or essential but it is much more relaxing and less stressful for you and your dog when he has been taught to know how to behave by knowing what is expected of him and is consequently a much calmer, happier dog.
As you feel comfortable using The STOP WAIT LISTEN Rule and applying the Back to Basics principles your dog will gradually get used to a new you and a new way of doing things. Gone are the days when you shut them away in another room because they won’t stop barking when the door bell chimes, or because they jump on your guests when they arrive at the house. Dogs are sociable animals and we can teach them to adapt to being part of our everyday life no matter what is going on around them, so in this example you teach them what you expect of them when they hear the doorbell and what they must do before your guests come in.
In another example, if you, your children, or anyone else around is excited and playing around, or there’s people shouting with loud voices, some dogs will take these situations as an invitation to join in or to try and calm the situation themselves with barking or nipping behaviour. When you understand that your dog does not understand our ‘animated’ way of communicating you’ll recognise that this can make him feel anxious. And if you have taught him that he must listen to you when you shout at him to stop (which he sees as the equivalent of barking), he will only continue to bark and act up each time the situation presents itself because as far as he’s concerned that’s all you have taught him to do.
As a further example, we love to hug our dogs but hugging isn’t natural among dogs and for some this can even be seen as an act of dominance so they may react negatively or want to avoid you. You don’t have to change your own personality but if your dog is not happy you will have to adjust how you do things around him, and in this example give him a break from YOUR need to continually hug or pet him. If this is one of the problems you face, let your dog work for your affection and they will naturally come to you in their own way and in their own time if and when they feel comfortable to do so.