Common Core Math, and Other Things Your Dog Doesn’t Understand
I went to school in the “olden” days when we had to learn and memorize our multiplication and division tables.
I remember flash cards and memorization.
We were taught to put the big number on top and the little number underneath for multiplication.
And, to put the little number in front of the big number for division.
And then to multiply and divide from there.
It seemed easy.
I am sure it was taxing in its own way; but because of our generation’s superior memorization skills it wasn’t really difficult.
Common Core Math
Common core math, makes me want to rip the hair out of my scalp and anywhere else I might find it.
I don’t understand it, or the reasoning skills of why it is better, at all.
I apologize to those teachers out there who think this is easier, but it is absurd from the standpoint that most of us parents now cannot help our children with their math homework.
Thankfully I don’t have two legged children, but I do visit a few and when faced with a common core math question I would rather baptize a cat than try and figure it out.
So instead I rely on Google to help me answer any problem they are having.
I remember my sister used to tell her daughter, “I went to school, I paid attention, I did my time; now it is your turn.”
I think I would have to feel the same way!
The Things We “Expect” From Our Dogs, Are Like Common Core Math
I think the things that most people just “expect” their dogs to know is like common core math is for us… they just don’t understand it…
Sure, sure, sure… I am certain that I am not too old to learn a few new tricks.
And, I am certain that I could be taught, and I could learn common core math (although I have no desire or need).
Just like your dog can learn obedience skills; but you have to teach these skills to him.
You have to TRAIN for that!
So Let’s Talk About What We Expect
Most people expect waaaaay too much from their dogs.
But I find a few common denominators (please excuse the math pun 😉 when it comes to dog training.
Most people expect their dogs to be born knowing not to use their voices. Or to automatically know that when they shout “QUIET” or “SHUT UP” that the dog miraculously knows the meaning of these words and will then cease barking.
The truth is the opposite.
Most dogs are born with a voice that they use to alert their pack of impending danger, and as a means of communication (like when they are frustrated at you).
Very few dogs are quiet all of the time.
Being quiet especially through exciting distractions (like a leaf falling or the neighbor dog running through your yard) has to be taught and then conditioned by adding more intricate distractions.
For more on teaching your dog “quiet” click on the link.
Leash manners is just another set of complex behaviors that most people expect their dog to learn in the womb.
This too, goes against your dog’s instincts.
Dogs are busy people, they want to run and dash and investigate.
Being on leash is not a normal thing for dogs.
They would much prefer to frolic and run and check in with us when it suits them.
But, due to the world we live in, this isn’t safe. The amount of dogs being run over by cars and dog fighting would be horrifying.
So, we must teach them to be on leash, respect the leash, and not pull.
This is very complex for dogs, and is not easily taught.
Most dogs never truly conquer this behavior within their life; reliably with no training collars.
The majority of people give up and never take their dog out for walks, or they put up with pulling, or they use training collars for a lifetime.
And, nothing saddens me more than seeing an old decrepit dog on a prong collar or worse an electric collar 🙁
Leash manners must be taught.
For help click here.
Just like the other problems can be instinctual, so can jumping.
Dogs jump on us as a way of greeting.
They also jump and leap on and over each other during play.
Dogs don’t understand that jumping up on their humans and other humans is a bad behavior.
They are just being dogs and engaging you in a greeting.
Dogs must be taught through training and communication, and occasionally teaching them an incompatible behavior (like sit or down) that jumping is not something that we enjoy.
I teach my dogs that keeping all four on the floor is what I like; and by doing so they will be amply rewarded.
And, by teaching them a good down on command, they simply can’t jump!
For more help with a jumping dog click here.
The Truth Is…
The truth is that dogs really don’t come hard wired knowing anything we really want.
Dogs are a completely different species with a completely different set of rules and regulations.
When we see a problem, we need to realize that we probably haven’t taken the time to teach them the things that we desire.
It isn’t their fault, it is our fault for expecting them to adhere to human guidelines.
And, provided that you are consistent and don’t let the problem get out of hand and become a habit (click here for why habits are hard to break) most of these thing are easily taught with time and patience!
Spend 15 minutes a day (I sometimes like to break it up into 3 5 minute sessions) teaching your dog something new, or working on existing obedience and you will see a HUGE difference in one month; I promise!!
I have been a professional dog trainer and pet sitter for over 20 years. I am a Certified Professional Dog Trainer, through the international Certification Counsel of Professional Dog Trainers. I have trained and worked with police, Schutzhund and personal protection dogs. I trained Assistance Dogs in a men’s prison and ran my own nonprofit organization to take adult dogs from shelters and to train them to assist children and adults with disabilities, at no charge to my clients. My nonprofit organization and I were nominated for several awards of merit and even made the front page of the Denver Post. I was a veterinary technician for many years, where I learned about all aspects of health and preventative medicine. I have trained and worked with exotic animals and cheetahs. I introduced a temperament testing program in my local shelter and sat on the board of directors. I volunteered with my dog “Mr. Snitch” and helped local children learn to read. I have attained obedience titles and several blue ribbons. I am constantly in search of ways to continue my education and excellence when it comes to animals, their behavior and their health.