Fountain, Shield, Babelfish

At their simplest, training and guidance are just matters of being a provider of good things and a shield from bad things. This provides the motivation for our dogs to do what we ask. Then we determine how to ask in a way they understand. Consider the dog owner as the fountain of all things good: food, water, shelter, affection, access to exercise, learning, and adventuring. The responsible pet guardian is also a shield from pain, abuse, cold, heat, dangerous dogs or wild animals, and other potential dangers. The dog identifies us as the fountain of all things good and the shield from all things bad, and wants to do as we ask — and so we need to learn how to ask in a way the dogs can understand, but without sacrificing our role as their shield. If we hurt our dogs in trying to teach them, we stop being a shield from all things bad, and become a force from which our own pets need protection.

Dogs are among the more intelligent animals, but humans are definitely the most intelligent animals. Historically, however, people have required dogs to learn our languages and gestures, while putting little effort into  learning  the language of dogs.

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