Why Use the Stop Wait Listen Rule?
Using The STOP WAIT LISTEN Rule and applying Back to Basics principles will help you to teach your dog to look to you for direction, approval and instruction. They will learn to trust you because you will always be consistent and firm with the rules all of the time, and you are also being calm about it. Dogs always trust a respectful leader. Over time and with much practice, you will become more confident on how to achieve any appropriate behaviour response by being in control of yourself and therefore your dog. Being a trusted and respected leader is really the best gift you could ever give your dog; it is worth more to them than any tasty food treat or squeaky toy reward. This is the healthy, loving leadership that they will thrive on.
Any dog owner who consistently and effectively uses The STOP WAIT LISTEN Rule and applies the Back to Basics principles will always have a well behaved dog. You will learn how to quickly correct yourself and your dog if either of you react to any situation or environment. This all helps to prevent behavioural problems developing or existing problems continuing to escalate.
With The STOP WAIT LISTEN Rule and Back to Basics principles there’s no need to stop your dog feeling happy when they’re excited, or stop enjoyment of cuddles or treats. There’s no need to repeatedly shout to be heard or repeatedly over-use the word “No” (you can reserve the use of a loud sharp “No” for when you consider your dog is about to do something dangerous). You allow everything, including all the excited play and show of love and affection, BUT ONLY AFTER your dog has shown they can STOP WAIT LISTEN when you need it, and then go on to show you calm submission FIRST. You are conditioning them to associate that they only get attention, affection or a reward when they are calm.
When they don’t stop a behaviour, simply re-focus on The STOP WAIT LISTEN Rule and Back to Basics principles and learn how to redirect your dog’s attention onto you so you can instruct them on what to do instead. Your dog will learn that before any activity, or when approaching different environments, he must look to you as the leader who he respects, trusts and loves, and who will therefore protect him and make him feel safe and less confused and uncertain. To respect you and to trust how capable you are also stops any over-protectiveness of your dog towards you or anyone else when you know it’s not required.
A dominant territorial dog who barks at everything including people and dogs, whether they are anxious or not, has learnt how to control HIS environment and everything around HIS space to suit him because he still has to gain the trust of his owner who must be the only one to be in control of all environments and all situations. When he is relieved of his ‘duties’ and you have claimed your home and all other environments as your territory (remember you have to think like a dog), he will eventually see that all people and dogs are to be respected and he can relax because he has no need to worry or take control.