Sew Buttons On Your Underwear.
Filed under: Dog training, Helping fearful dogs | Tags: aggressive dogs, desensitization, dog training scared timid shy fearful rehabilitation counter conditioning desensitization, positive reinforcement, rehabilitating dogs, reinforcing fear, relationship based training, scared dogs, socialization, training dogs |
Anyone who has spent time with prepubescent or adolescent humans has had or heard a conversation that goes something like this after an adult makes a statement or request-
Adult: “It’s important.”
Adult: “I feel insulted when you talk to me that way.”
Adult: “That’s a rude thing to say.”
Adult: “I’m losing my patience when you say that.”
Adult: “I want you to stop that right now!”
An experienced adult knows that when an immature mind has latched onto the power of the word so, there’s only one reasonable response and that’s, “sew buttons on your underwear.” I learned this from my grandmother who understood that any attempt to discuss the inappropriateness of the so response would end up in a maddening loop. For a two-letter word so packs a double punch. It demeans the request and slights the person making it.
It’s a conversation style that I observe often between dogs and owners.
Dog: “I’d like to sniff that.”
Dog: “Hang on a second I think I should pee on that.”
Dog: “I’d like to get out of here.”
Many dogs give up and give in. They may have been punished for doing otherwise. There are others for whom the request is of such importance that they will keep asking until they are taken seriously. When that finally happens they may be labeled bad dogs or red zone dogs. Once that occurs their future hangs in the balance. Will they find someone who takes their requests seriously or someone even more adamant in their commitment to demean them by creating labels such as; dominant, stubborn, alpha or mean, for these requests?
No one enjoys having to take so for answer.