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Positive planning

To me, being positive when working with dogs means lots of different things. It means thinking of dogs in positive terms and speaking to them nicely. It means being kind and empathetic and using rewards and positive reinforcements in our interactions with them. And it means responding with understanding when things aren’t going to plan.

But it also means being positive in the way we plan and the ways we arrange and manage our dogs’ lives.

The word positive is represented by a plus sign and the word negative by a minus sign. So when we’re doing positive planning for our dogs, we should be looking to add things that enrich and improve their lives, not to control everything they do by making their world tiny and taking things away from them. Working positively could mean scatter feeding their food instead of feeding from a bowl, or taking them on a different walk and letting them sniff - it doesn’t need to be something massive. It’s all about choice. It could just mean letting them decide what they’d like to do - even if that’s nothing at all! Negative training plans seek to reduce and limit the dog’s experiences to make them fit our expectations or control an unwanted behaviour. Making them work for their dinner or constantly walk close to heel, and stay quietly in their bed when you’re not interacting with them.

That’s not what I’m all about.

Let me know if you’d like some help creating a positive plan for your dog, whatever that may look like for them ❤️

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