When obedience focused dog training lets you and your dog down

When a dog gets overexcited and charges the door when guests arrive, what do most of us do? We tell our dogs to sit. What do most of us NOT do? We don’t tell out dogs to remain calm in a meaningful way. 
A dog can follow obedience commands (sort of lol!) while barely hanging onto their sanity and making a ton of impulsive choices from minor oops’ like jumping to serious infractions like biting and fighting or running into the street. But for the sake of our human sanity and for our dogs’ safety this solely ‘obedience focused’ school of thought is no where near good enough. We can and we should expect sooooo much more from our dogs and from ourselves. For example, I don’t want an overexcited or impulsive dog who sort of listens, sometimes, but still makes a lot of excited or anxious choices and is tuned out and disconnected from me.... do you? I want a dog who CALMLY makes good choices and chooses CALM polite manners and behaviours over impulsive and naughty acts. This is the difference between obedience focused training (performing obedience commands while in an over excited/over aroused state) and state of mind focused training (maintaining a calm state of mind in all situations including during obedience work). It just depends on where we, as handlers, owners, trainers, choose to focus and place the most importance. Fancy obedience tricks can be really impressive to watch but without solid calm state of mind training, obedience doesn’t mean a thing in real life situations.

Kristen Cameron