We are 10 today!

What an amazing celebration!

To my utter surprise Leaning from Dogs has been going out for 10 years.

Thank you, all 3,881 followers.

How many recall the very first post? I guess hardly any one of you.

Well here it is again!


Parenting Lessons From Dogs!

Much too late to make me realise the inadequacies of my own parenting skills, I learnt an important lesson when training my GSD (who is called Pharaoh, by the way).  That is that putting more emphasis into praise and reward for getting it right ‘trains’ the dog much quicker than telling it off.  The classic example is scolding a dog for running off when it should be lots of hugs and praise for returning home.  The scolding simply teaches the dog that returning home isn’t pleasant whereas praise reinforces that home is the place to be.  Like so many things in life, very obvious once understood!

Absolutely certain that it works with youngsters just the same way.

Despite being a very dominant dog, Pharaoh showed his teaching ability when working with other dogs.  In the UK there is an amazing woman, Angela Stockdale, who has proved that dogs (and horses) learn most effectively when being taught by other dogs (and horses).  Pharaoh was revealed to be a Beta Dog, (i.e. second in status below the Alpha Dog) and, therefore, was able to use his natural pack instinct to teach puppy dogs their social skills and to break up squabbles within a pack.

When you think about it, don’t kids learn much more (often to our chagrin!) from other kids than they do from their parents.  Still focusing on giving more praise than punishment seems like a much more effective strategy.

As was read somewhere, Catch them in the act of doing Right!

By Paul Handover.


Despite all our dogs being our very dear family, I still miss Pharaoh.

Let me close with a photograph of him.

What a fabulous animal!

18 thoughts on “We are 10 today!

  1. Pharaoh was and continues to be the most beautiful German Shepherd I have ever seen. This photograph of him shows him looking absolutely joyful, although he looks like he’s in a Paddy Wagon. I’m sure this brings back special memories along with the hole that is left when our pets are no longer with us. I too have only recently learned how much better positive reinforcement is than punishing what I considered bad behavior. Peaches is my last chance to put into practice what I have learned and it is actually easier to reward the desired behavior than deciding how to punish. It is actually a source of joy for me when she understands what I want and does it because she wants to.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. He was a tremendous dog, Belinda, and we miss him badly.

      We were traveling in a steam train and were at the station of Buckfastleigh in South Devon. The principle of positive reinforcement was first brought to my attention by the woman who initially trained Pharaoh and me. It’s a very sound practice!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Congratulations, Paul! Many happy returns! Great point on the positive reinforcement aspect. So many things are like that – simple but not easy.


  3. Congratulations with your 10 years in here and I hope for many more, Paul 😀
    Positive reinforcement is the only way to raise both kids and dogs, I agree so much.
    It is never nice to say goodbye to our fur family, it can be really tough, I know.


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