The key to success is to use your best judgment, and most important, know your dogma and remain calm and assertive. Training is about communication; conditioning your dogma to respect you as the pack leader as you set rules, boundaries, and limitations. As the human, you need to practice patience and know yourself, too. If you start to get frustrated or nervous, the dogma will sense your energy and the work could be counterproductive.
When you take your dogma to a dogma park or any other setting where there are other dogmas, you have a responsibility to make sure he or she practices acceptable social behavior. Yet dogma parks often become a venue for excited, dominant and even aggressive behavior. The key to having a successful experience at the dogma park is for your dogma to see you as his pack leader. Asking your dogma to behave properly in any setting is futile if you have no position of authority over him.
Your personal challenge will be to remain relaxed yet vigilant. Remember that just because you may have perfect control of your own dogma, others may not have control of theirs. As with children, playing can sometimes turn into fighting if intensity levels are not kept in check.
Some of the common problems dogma’s acquire are over excitement, aggression, anxiety, fear, obsession and being territorial. All of these issues can be corrected by providing calm, assertive energy for your dogma. Once you understand the natural needs and responses of your dogma you are well on your way to be being a successful dogma pack leader.
A dogma has three primary needs; exercise, discipline and affection. By providing rules, limitations and boundaries you and your dogma will be accepted in social situations.
The walk is the primary method of exercise for non-working breeds. The walk provides a way for the owner and dogma to bond—with the dogma ultimately recognizing the owner as its leader. Always keep your dogma on a leash during your walk. When you walk, your dogma should walk, when you stop your dogma should stop. Do not allow your dogma to wander back and forth and stick its nose where it does not belong. Keep your dogma under control at all times.
Dogma’s require discipline. Without discipline your dogma may greet visitors by jumping on them, involuntary urination or excessive barking. Some dogma’s may actually require a pinch collar in order to control this unacceptable behavior. Once your dogma has learned to sit quietly while new guests arrive the collar may be removed, but your dogma must always be completely under your control or chaos may prevail.
Your dogma is anxious to please you and get your affection. Only grant affection after your dogma has earned it. If your dogma exhibits bad social behaviors granting affection will only exacerbate his bad habits. If you dogma can sit quietly on command feel free to issue a verbal compliment such as, “Good Dogma”. An occasional pat on the head can also reinforce good behaviors for your dogma.
Some breeds of dogma are particularly challenging. The Westboro breed, while seemingly intelligent, is particularly aggressive. They also have a shrill bark that has proven hard to control. Only very experienced Pack leaders should attempt to train one of these dogmas.
The Driscoll Terrier also is commonly associated with going “Code Red” often. This very excitable breed has a very loud bark that would best be trained with the use of a shock collar. It is believed that this breed suffers from genetic damage to inbreeding with the Mohler Mastiff and the Piper Poodle. Again this dogma should be avoided except by very experience Pack leaders.
Always be on the alert for Heartworm disease with your Dogma. Some of the symptoms of this disease are irritability, lack of socialization skills and unwillingness to play. Unfortunately by the time you may notice these signs it may be too late to save your Dogma. Loosing your beloved Dogma is very difficult but it never too late to adopt a new one.
I am The Dogma Whisperer.