DIALOGUE, NOT DOMINANCE, WINS OVER DOGS -- AND SAVES THEIR LIVES, TOO
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DIALOGUE, NOT DOMINANCE, WINS OVER DOGS -- AND SAVES THEIR LIVES, TOO
by SBH Clay

Part 9 - In the September 2005 issue, three Denver women wrote:

(1)               An unexpected benefit of your training method was an increase in my own well-being. I'm a graduate of six previous dog training classes, one of which was agility training, which relied on giving treats to our poor, fat Labrador Retriever, Phoebe -- for which she worked with great avidity. She agilely jumped up on the table where the treats were kept, feeling that the best course would be to procure them herself. And wasn't she agile to be able to get up on that table, weighing as much as she did? The other classes were based on dominance in one guise or another. Dominance sets up a power struggle and engenders anger if you don't win. Being keeper of the fat lab and two other "incorrigibles," I spent about eight years being angry with them about one thing and another. Within two days of implementing the "that's right/you're all right" technique, I became aware that I, too, was much more all right. I felt benevolent. I felt kind. It was a wonder. That feeling has persisted in my dealings with the dogs. In addition, as that methodology was instituted at the time we acquired Phoebe, an adversarial relationship was never established, so there was nothing to repair. Another huge benefit. Phoebe still chases the cat, but it's only been two months since we learned Dialogue. We have a long row to hoe with four dogs, but I am kind and benevolent, and that's half the battle.

 

(2)               Yogi is a huge, beautiful, magnificent German Shepherd who was attacked and injured by other dogs on more than one occasion in his young life. His resulting fear of other dogs turned into very dangerous assault behavior (he had killed one small dog). We were fearful of losing him. After just four months of Dialogue, last week, an amazing incident occurred with Yogi and another dog. The other dog, Buck, is a 30-pound mixed breed. Buck was on his own property across the road. Yogi didn't know Buck's intentions, and, as you know, it's been Yogi's method of operation to attack first and ask questions later! Our 120-pound German Shepherd was getting ready to pounce on a 30-pound dog, but before anything disastrous could happen, my husband and I were able to talk Yogi out of attacking -- verbally -- with Dialogue! Yogi made some "Scooby-Doo" sounds, but settled down and sat -- no leash!  I wouldn't have believed it if I hadn't seen it with my own eyes.

 

Note from author: I recently learned that a couple of weeks after this incident, Yogi spent a week at Wapiti Run, where Moore often babysits former pupils. Yogi not only behaved appropriately with the other dogs -- including a super-energetic, eternally playful, young German Shorthaired Pointer who batted at him and bounced off of him -- but he obviously was having the time of his life. He never chose to separate himself from the other dogs, even to sleep.

 

(3)    Harley is a beautiful, adoring, and adorable Rottweiler with a checkered past that left him with great insecurity, causing him to bark wildly at other vehicles on the road. Dialogue has been helping him and helping me to understand him. I now understand that the why of Harley's anxiety is not so important as reassuring him with Dialogue. He only barked at two trucks (after a visit to Wapiti Run) on the two-hour drive home, and they were minor barks. I pray that more and more dogs come to know Dialogue.

An article on Judy Moore would not be complete without quoting the appreciative client who wrote the foreword to Dogs Deserve Dialogue. There, Fay Golson of Dallas sums up what I've been trying to say in too many words, with her pithy observation:

"As I write this, my puppy Oscar and I have been training with Judy for about a week. The progress has been remarkable in that short span of time. Although far from perfect (I know that will come later), he gives me his full attention when his name is called and asks what to do next. For a five-month-old puppy, this is quite an accomplishment.

"I have owned dogs since childhood and have bred and shown dogs for 25 years. I feel my previous experience with obedience training was one of power and submission, a disservice to the wonderful dogs I have been privileged to have in my life. Judy has broken the barrier of miscommunication between man and dog. She knows their language and trains them with methods that allow for mutual respect. It is a lesson from which we can all benefit."

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