I had an interesting conversation with Matthew Keenan a couple days ago. Out of it came some new awareness for me. I wanted to share it, and then I believe it will lead to some changes in our home page.
Here’s the background. Matthew runs a farm animal operation involving hogs, lambs, calves, chickens, and probably more. He said he wanted upwards of 700+ chickens, and that he’d like to pen his two dogs with them at night to keep predators out. The breeds were a lab/German Shepherd mix, and a Rotweiller mix. I told him I see no problem with that, if he goes through our four steps well.
Then it got interesting. He has neighbors on each side of him, both have dogs, and both sets of dogs have come in and killed some of his animals. I told him that we had prepared for “the neighbor issue,” in providing a printable .pdf at the bottom of our home page, which he can download, print, and give a copy to each of the neighbors, as a friendly way to get the message to them that there is a solution available, if they’ll just work with it.
But here’s the good part. I started explaining that all the neighbors have to do is patiently go through the steps with their dogs. Then I said, “The only way this can fail is if they lose patience and start to shortcut, or beat the dogs, or such.” I told him this has to be done patiently and lovingly.
Please hear that again: The only way our In-Sync process might fail is if it is not done thoroughly, lovingly and patiently.
Then it occurred to me. We’re not training dogs to not kill chickens. The dogs are training themselves! With the In-Sync process, all we are providing is a technique of controlling the dogs and the chickens in a manner and for a length of time that the dog figures it all out for herself, and comes to her own conclusions.
This realization makes it easier to understand why I’ve been saying that our methods don’t require that a person have great dog training skills. All one needs for this to work is: (1) the ability to hold/control/manipulate the dog in specific ways, and (2) a gentle, loving patience.
Any attempt to shortcut the time required, or to beat or discipline the dog in any fashion will backfire, and could possibly cause a failure to reach your goal.
How great is that?!