Like humans, canines require more than their basic necessities to live well. Affection, companionship, various forms of fulfillment and fun are just as necessary to dogs as they are to people. Just like people, dogs feel better, and as a result, behave better when all of their needs are met including those that stimulate their bodies, minds, and hearts.
Renowned celebrity trainer, author, and founder of "the loved dog" training method," Tamar Geller, in a video entitled "Your Dog's Seven Basic Needs," discusses the ways that meeting a dog's needs can improve not only their behavior, but also the quality of their life. This and other informative and insightful videos on the PETA website (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals), introduces Geller's "Loved Dog" approach to training and can be found at http://www.peta.org/features/dog-training-tips-tamar-geller/.
According to Tamar Geller, dogs have a “mental capacity similar to that of an 18-month-old toddler.” Like children, dogs need to be engaged as much as possible and to be fulfilled physically, mentally, and emotionally. In her video, Tamar Geller details the seven basic needs of dogs, which include a "sense of security," (involving "consistency") "active companionship," "understanding the hierarchy," (involving clear "guidance"), "engagement and play", "excitement and surprises", "physical stimulation", "mental stimulation" and last but not least- "love and connection". A key component of training, or in Tamar Geller’s terms “coaching” dogs, involves tapping into and meeting their seven basic needs.
Janet and Cooper sharing some love after games of fetch and tug of war with a frisby!
One reason why a dog may exhibit an unwanted behavior is to express a need. Tamar Geller stresses the importance of communicating with dogs in order to determine what they are telling us when they act out. More exercise, time to socialize, or a game of tug of war with you may be the best means to redirect, calm, and reassure your dog at the same time eliminating an unwanted behavior. Tamar Geller’s approach combines these ideas with uses of positive reinforcement in order, not only teach dogs to be “well mannered,” but also to enhance the bonds and relationships that we share with them.
For more information about Tamar Geller, her book and philosophy “The Loved Dog,” visit http://theloveddog.com/. To view her training tip videos visit http://www.peta.org/features/dog-training-tips-tamar-geller/.