Why as means of explaining a behavior problem might be important and should not be neglected for more simplistic means for correcting unwanted/undesirable dog behavior. Certainly we as dog trainers concentrate our efforts on teaching dogs what we want them to do, however, if we ignore why a dog is performing or not performing a more desirable behavior, we miss why it’s important to educate owners on how to prevent behavior problems from arising.
It’s easy to often find what might be reinforcing a dogs undesirable behavior, it’s often the owner is inadvertently doing something to cause the dog to repeat the behavior instead of simply training a behavior that competes, for example, teaching a dog to sit instead of jump. But this is simply reacting to an undesirable behavior that could be prevented IF the professional dog training and behavior community concentrated their efforts on why dogs jump and why we should act accordingly when raising dogs.
I often see what i consider undesirable behavior, but i have to respect whether an owner considers the problem undesirable enough to put forth the effort to improve the dogs behavior. For example, dog doors, i’ve had dogs for most of my life, i’ve been learning about dogs for 12 years, i lived in a house that came with a dog door, i chose not to use it! I could write a paper with countless examples why dog doors can be detrimental to a dog’s behavior. I never see anyone mention why they can backfire when training dogs! I’ll give you one easy example, they can perpetuate lazy dog ownership and dogs who do as they please! And this does not often include learning good things! 😎