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Psychology 101

Psychology 1

Psychology 101

Psychology No 1

Dog psychology is an important aspect of training. Knowing how your dog thinks will help you to train by taking advantage of pre-existing instincts.

We covered how the dog can be controlled on the lead using its natural inclination to scent. Each breed has its own strengths and weaknesses, which can be used to your advantage when you teach your dog to perform for you.

An example: A Collie is used for herding sheep, but its temperance will be useful in agility work as it is very careful to watch its masters mannerisms.

In practice: I was climbing Ben Nevis with Bonnie and I pointed to my left when a couple were coming down the path. As we met the girl asked: “Did your dog move over when all you did was point?” I replied yes.
This is psychology at work!

Psychology 2

Psychology 2

Psychology No 2

The first few days after I got Bonnie, I took her to meet her vet. When we were talking, the vet said: “You have a very clever dog, while we talk she is constantly looking at you.”

“As she is a collie, you are going to make sure she is busy all the time as she could become destructive.”
Here is a lesson for all dog owners. YOUR DOG IS VERY CLEVER.

Sometimes dogs are very destructive, but remember, a dog is only happiest when it is tired. It will fall asleep spontaneously and dream about all it's experiences it has had with you that day. (Bonnie yelps, barks and throws her legs about in her sleep) The more time you spend with you dog, the happier it will be and the easier it will be to train him or her.

If you dog tends to be destructive you need to play more together. If you were locked in a house all day and only had ten minutes away from the house per day, what would you do?
Does this sound like prison to you?

Why do it to your dog if it has not even committed a crime?

Psychology 3

Psychology 3

Psychology No 3

Your dog will pull on the lead as it wants to be the lead in your pack. In the wild this is acceptable. Think about dog sled teams, in which the musher wants the dogs to pull and encourages the dogs natural instincts. You are part of your dog's pack and it wants to impress you with it's ability to hunt. (It is after all a wolf in sheepdogs clothing). You will never take this instinct away from the dog – you will damage the dog emotionally if you try.

You are only commanding it to wait so that it can work for your pack. You are the Alpha Male/Female and will never give this place to the dog. This position is earned by the dog who provides the food and shelter, so the dog already accepts that.

So, the dog is allowed to be a dog, provided it is safe to do so.


Psychology 101




Psychology for a dog includes its needs for shelter, sleep and food. Next it needs to work (or play), track, scent other dogs and map its hunting area to fill those needs. Our interactions with our dog should give it peace and fulfilment. In this way its psyche is in balance. Our development and our dog's development are also in balance.

Learn from your dog how to work, relax and play.

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