As you all know, Ashley loves her dogs and she’s been a pet mama for quite some time now. Plenty of the Frenshe audience has some furry friends of their own, and we’d be doing you a disservice if we didn’t get some pet content up on the site, ASAP. We spoke to Ashley’s go-to dog training expert, Tamar Geller, founder of The Loved Dog to learn the ins and outs of basic training. Geller’s method is famed and based on coming from a place of love and understanding your dogs’ needs. Keep on reading to learn more about the methods that helped Ashley with her own little ones.
The Loved Dog Method
“The Loved Dog method was created from my deep curiosity to understanding behavior, my love for science, my spirituality, and from my own trauma,” said Geller.
She reflected on her own trauma as a child, explaining that she was misunderstood and mistreated by her own parents. “It broke my heart that the people who were supposed to care and protect me were hurting me,” she said. “I see many dogs being hurt by their ‘PAWrents’, not because they are bad people but because they get bad advice from traditional dog trainers who tell them that their dog wants to dominate them.”
Geller is committed to helping dogs be understood so they would not have the heartbreak she had as a child. “I believe that people are good and they get dogs because they want to give love and be loved, and not because they want to have someone who is going to be obedient to them, someone they can dominate,” she explained. Love and connection are what they are yearning for. “Sadly, traditional dog training with the abusive devices of prong collars, choke chains, and electric collars are ruining that hope for that beautiful loving relationship.”
“Sadly, traditional dog training with the abusive devices of prong collars, choke chains, and electric collars are ruining that hope for that beautiful loving relationship.”
She noted that while she’s here to help a client’s dog, she has seen some unexpected miracles take place in the owner’s life.
“The Loved Dog method is about building the most amazing relationship between the doggie and his/her ‘PAWrent’, and in the process, a lot of healing and heart expansion takes place, for dogs and for their people,” she said.
“One of the most common mistakes I see pet parents make is that they teach their dog to totally ignore them when they are called, and they don’t know that they are doing it,” she said. This is something that Geller refers to as butt-dialing for dogs.
She detailed an experience with a friend who continuously butt-dialed her to the point where Geller decided to ignore her calls. Geller just learned to do so instead of answering the phone, even if her friend actually had intended to call. “Well, we do the same with dogs—people say their dog’s name all day when they are talking about their dog,” she explained.
“Do you want to take Roxy for a walk?”
“Did you clean Roxy’s bowl?”
“Where is Roxy’s groomer coming”? And so on…
“Each time you say Roxy’s name without connecting with her with a smile, a sweet gentle touch, a toy, or a treat, or anything fun, you in effect butt-dialed Roxy,” she said. “We all know that when we realize that someone is butt dialing us, that we stop taking their calls. Dogs do the same!”
“To this bad habit, we come up with a nickname for Roxy, so the only time she hears her name being said is when actually someone is talking to her, Roxy will be eager to come when she hears someone say her name,” she explained.
Meeting Your Dogs’ Core Needs
According to Geller, dogs and people have very very similar core needs. “All people, regardless of nationality, race, or financial status share the exact same core needs, and in the same way, all dogs of different shapes, sizes, and geography share the same core needs.
These core needs are:
- The need for safety and security
- The need for fun and variety
- The need to belong and fit in
- The need to be seen and be noticed
“We need our friendships to grow and develop, and we want to have the opportunity for growth in our career (or for a dog at the doggie playgroup). We have the need for love, the need for fun, and the need for social interactions,” she explained. “Needs are not optional, and if we won’t meet our dogs’ core needs in a way that is acceptable in human society, they will have to find their ways to meet those needs.”
For example, if your dog is stealing your underwear or shoes, you should consider if he/she has enough variety with their toys or if they’re bored with their current ones. On the other hand, they could be stealing your things because it’s the only time you’ll engage in some playtime or a game of chase.
“Try initiating fun games and fun activities for your dog, especially things you could do together, and most likely, your dog would not have to resort to stealing anymore, cause their needs for variety and for social play are being met,” she said.