Why 'Sanity For Dogs'?
My ultimate goal in dog training is to have a dog that is not only happy and healthy but also well-balanced both physically and mentally. Sanity in this context means being mentally content and not under or over challenged.
A dog charging around uncontrollably, being over-excited or boisterous is not necessarily a happy and balanced dog.
You can walk a dog for hours but it can still be mentally under fulfilled, often resulting in boisterous behaviour and disobedience. A little bit like children that are under-challenged at school.
Intelligent and working breeds in particular often need more than food, love and exercise. Many dogs crave a certain level of structure, rules, discipline and boundaries to be truly content. Many dog breeds are born to please and follow, but will only do that willingly when there is a foundation of repect. Without clear guidance, leadership and direction they might decide to take over control and the lead (literally).
Chase instinct (wether it's wild animals, cats, joggers or cyclists) is all behaviour that should and can be addressed. The dog needs to learn to refocus on the owner and ot prioritise what's going on around them and what they want.
When anxiety is the reason for unwanted behaviour the owner needs to demonstrate confidence and that he/she is in control of the situation so that the dog can relax.
Over-stimulation (e.g. through excessive throwing of tennis balls) can also be an issue. THe owner becomes a 'ball chucking machine' and the dog demands for the ball to be thrown. This can be particularly detrimental to working breeds who thrive on structure and commands. Before you know it you have a dog that doesn't listen or only when it wants to.
It is important to remember that, unless the dog has a medical condition or experienced past trauma, disobedience and 'mentalness' are hardly ever the dog's fault.
It is our job as humans to teach the dog what we expect and want from it. How else are they supposed to know?
Sanity . . . soundness of mind, judgment and reason, mindfulness, stability, normality, focus. A good foundation for obedience.
Antonyms . . . mentalness, craziness, confusion. Often reasons for disobedience.