I LOVE these YouTube sensations that hail from Hungary and are upbeat and fun to watch. And not just because they are entertaining, but because I hope people look at them and say, "I wish my dog could do that!" These videos give people and dogs something to aspire to! And the great things is - it's completely possible that the average American pet dog and their owner can (and SHOULD) learn some of these fun and useful tricks.
The Bark Magazine’s Lisa Wogan tracked down the head trainer for the viral dog videos from Hungary, Nora Vamosi-Nagy. According to this excerpt from the November/December 2010 issue, explaining the Mirror Method credited at the end of the video
“The Mirror Method has three parts. The first part is being the leader in the group or the pack. We don’t like to use the term ‘pack leader’ anymore because ethologists say that dogs are more like children; they look to us more as parents than leaders. But still if you are a parent to your child, you have to have some sort of leadership. You have to have respect in order for the dog to do what you say.
The second part is teaching, and we believe the best way today is clicker training. In the school, we teach in groups of 12 and the dogs are off-leash. By clicker training, I mean shaping. We teach every owner to shape something with the dog. They don’t have to use shaping in every teaching but they have to learn to shape. Because once you can shape something to the dog you start to look at the dog a different way, you start to see things that you didn’t see before, and start to use your hand and your movements consciously.
The third part of the method is lifestyle, which is very, very important. It’s not just taking the dog for a walk or physical activity but also you have to make the dog’s brain work and, most important, is to let the instincts work. If the dog is not mentally engaged, it can get sick and ill.”
I particularly like that the third part of this ‘training method’ is lifestyle. One of the things that we work very hard on with our PureSpirit clients is incorporating our dogs into our lifestyle. We want them to be a contributing member of the family. We try to get people to think about what kind of jobs they can have their dog do and what kinds of expectations they should have for their animals.
Give us a call and we’ll work together to encourage your dog to help decorate and put things away, not just shred and destroy. We really don’t want your dog to have to be banned from the festivities this year!