I'll bet you $10 that the moment you got your first dog, someone advised training "the Basic 5". Someone somewhere decided that all dogs should learn five "basic obedience" commands: 1) Sit 2) Stay 3) Down 4) Come 5) Heel. As the Golden Rule in dog training, the Basic 5 is often heralded as the key to fixing serious dog behavior problems. Does this sound familiar? "Oh, that [scared/nippy/strong/unruly/etc.] dog just needs some basic obedience training!" Don't get me wrong! The Basic 5 a great idea. But, for the most part, it misses the point, and it's pretty useless for treating behavior problems.
Welcome to our first blog post at Progress: Dog Behavior Therapy!
Over the next few months and years, we'll share training tidbits, cool research results, and helpful videos/pictures to help you better understand & change your dog's behavior. It's our goal to help you and your dog create a better relationship, and we hope this blog will achieve that.
To kick off our first post, we'll start with one of our favorite areas of dog research: Enrichment! Almost everyone has heard of "enrichment", or providing social & physical interactions to boost an animal's mental well-being. Almost everyone with an animal naturally does this: bird, dog, cat, and even horse owners all give their animals lots of toys and playtime for enrichment. But in a 2010 study, researchers M. Fahnestock and her colleagues discovered that enrichment + dietary antioxidants can actually improve brain performance in aging dogs.
Behaviors can be confusing. Behavior modification doesn't have to be. Progress: Dog Behavior Therapy