Ask the Dog − voluntary handling

One key part of the Ask the Dog method is the concept of self-motivated handling. Dog-based training can bring about positive interaction situations and experiences between the dog and its owner, which will bring about increases in confidence. In part, all training is about interdisciplinary communication, and, in this course, we would like to emphasize the active role of the dog, as well as the messages that dogs send to humans. The performing of meaningful tasks together strengthens relationships! In addition, through simple exercises, both the dog and the owner will be able to get to know each other better.

Another important benefit of self-motivated training is the stimulus value that it produces. Training and handling based on self-motivation provide the dog with cognitive, social, and sensory stimulation. This stimulus value is based specifically on voluntariness, and the goal of stimulation is always to increase the well-being of the dog and provide it with opportunities for self-motivated motor activity or behaviour. In so far as mandatory measures are turned into stimulation, the dog receives a significant impact to its wellbeing – it no longer has to fear or become excited in vain about things that are taking place, but can simply relax and enjoy them.

The third benefit of self-motivated handling exercises is that practice does really make everyday life easier. If a dog ever gets sick or injured, the handling is much easier when it has been trained through mutual consensus.

As handling acts are built into interactive games, the dog’s sense of control grows, and it gains experiences of success. For example, a dog may be allowed to choose which exercise to practice, or it may also be taught to tell how long it wants the exercise to be practiced.

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