The Gift of Positive Training

I think it goes safely undisputed in the Positive Training Blog Hop community to say that positive training is a gift to our dogs. It is gentle, positive and just simply right. This month's blog hop, hosted by Tenacious Little Terrier and Rubicon Days discusses the Gift of Positive Training. The list is long, but the biggest gift that positive training has given me personally is that it has helped me conquer my fear of dogs.

Fear of dogs? Don't you have three, big, fluffy barkers? Why yes, I do. 

I've always loved dogs. When I was a child, I looked forward to pet sitting for my mum's friends and dreamed of owning my very own beagle one day. That doesn't sound like much of a fear, but truthfully I was also very scared of dogs. Every dog I didn't already know was something to be feared. 

Not knowing a dog's language very well, I couldn't distinguish a happy bark from an anxious bark, and thus feared all barking dogs. I didn't know that ears flatted against the head could indicate fear and tail wagging came in all different forms. The fear that I carried around with me well into adulthood started when I was three. I stood waiting outside the front door of our home for my mum. Along came my family's Husky/Wolf mix, who (I now realize in retrospect) was fearful of humans and had some issues of his own. I must have been too forward with him, as he bit me on the arm. It is one of my earliest memories. It didn't break the skin and I have no doubt that he gave me all sorts of pre-bite warnings that I didn't understand. Nevertheless, that ingrained a fear of dogs inside my mind.

Fast forward to today and things are very different. I can distinguish between a happy "oh I'm so excited to meet you" bark and a "get away from my property, you make me uncomfortable" bark. I know how to calmly interact with dogs I am just meeting for the first time, and I am empowered with the knowledge of positive training to know how to kindly reward a dog once it has done its meet and smell routine. It took having my own dogs, and practicing positive training with them, to get me to this place of comfort.

This month's blog hop includes an awesome giveaway for puzzle toys, treats and a book that I know for a fact would be poodle approved! a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. I'm so glad that you've had so much success overcoming your fear with positive training! I've never been afraid of dogs, but I've definitely learned a lot more about interacting with them safely from training my own dog.

  2. You've done an amazing job with your dogs. I love that you have three now and I miss our walks. I hope that we can get together in the New Year. This weather blows!!!

    It's been fun getting to know my dogs and teaching them; it's not always easy to raise dogs, but it's fun and with each dog, we get better and better. They teach us so much.

  3. Love, love, love that pic of you and the gang! Kudos for overcoming your fear. 💗

  4. Look at those beauties! I'm glad you've worked past the fear. My mom was bitten by a German shepherd as a child. It's tainted her relationship with my dogs, but we've made progress!

  5. I absolutely love your take on the prompt, and it's so inspiring to hear that you've overcome your fear! It reminds me a lot about how I think dogs perceive us... "I'm not so sure about this other animal, but as time passes I'm starting to get it!" :)

  6. It's such good practice for all of us to keep learning what our dogs mean by the things they do (pulling, barking, whatever). So nice that you worked through your early experiences and have dogs now. I wish that for everyone who grew up fearing dogs.

  7. what a terrific picture! Love is all around.
    Probably the best training for kids and dogs is positive. Learning to fit into a family (or country) by learning what is expected is the same for all. Learning what to do (positive) VS what not to do (punishment) is the difference between active and avoidance. We want kids and dogs to do it for love, or because it's right, not to learn from fear. Thanks for this post. LeeAnna who is poodleless right now but not forever. (I hope)

  8. Collies are so sensitive that only positive training methods should be used. But there are still those who choose to follow Cesar Milan.

  9. I used to be a bit afraid of dogs too. I agree it helps so much to understand them better, but it's taken me a lot of years to learn all that. I think I still find myself hesitating just a bit with an unfamiliar dog.


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