If you’ve been reading my email newsletters for some time now, you probably already know that I’m not a big believer in New Age remedies or holistic healing. However, there is one “universal law” that seems to hold true when it comes to dog training: The Law Of Expectation. Okay–I just made that up. I don’t even know if there actually is a Law of Expectation. But according to “Adam’s Law of Expectation”: Your dog will respond to commands and his environment in a manner that is consistent with how you expect him to respond. I’ve seen this time and time again, when working with clients.
For example, an owner’s dog shows possessive behavior over a bone or a toy. The owner apprehensively tries to take the bone away, but their dog responds by possessively guarding the toy and may even run off with it. Game over. Then, I approach the dog and calmly just take the toy. The dog gives it up without even thinking about responding in a possessive manner. And the owner is left with their mouth gaping open, followed by the often-heard surprise remark (so well-known to professional dog trainers) “Why doesn’t he do that for me?” He doesn’t, because dogs are experts in reading body language. Even better than humans are. And they will react in a manner that is consistent with how you expect them to act.
Thus: Adam’s Law of Expectations. If you act confident when you give commands and EXPECT that your dog will react accordingly–then he will. (Assuming you’re using the right techniques). If you act without confidence–forgetaboutit! Your dog will instantly know you’re not someone to be respected. And if you’re not someone to be respected, then your dog will not bond with you, listen to you or want to please you.