Training your dog is really about teaching him or her to make the ‘right’ choices in life. The term ‘Choice Architect’ was coined by Behavioural Economists, the bods who analyse how to arrange products on supermarket shelves to influence what you and I buy. But the concept applies equally well to how you can train your dog.
You have the power to influence the behaviours your dog chooses
By influencing the options available; you can make ‘bad behaviours’ harder for Fido to do and ‘good behaviours’ easier for him or her to do. Here are a few examples …
Stack The Odds In Your Favour …
Clever dog trainers give the dog freedom to make choices … but stack the deck in their favour by narrowing the dog’s options! Kathy Sdao (Dog Training Guru) cites a lovely example of how her friend each morning lays out two outfits on her daughters bed, then asks her which one she’d like to wear to Nursery that day. The daughter chooses between acceptable options rather than unacceptable ones. Being a choice architect for your dog means you make ‘bad behaviours’ harder to do and ‘good behaviours’ easier to do.
Being A Choice Architect Makes Training Fun!
When you decide to be a “Choice Architect” you get in the mind set of creating opportunities for your dog to choose the ‘correct’ behaviour. This gets your dog’s brain working; makes life more less fraught and, means you become a source of praise and rewards for Fido’s good behaviour, rather than a source of reprimands and threats for bad behaviour. And, let’s face it, it’s tiring to be constantly saying “NO” to your dog – instead, you can architect the environment so Fido chooses correctly and you can say “YES!”
This article was written by Joy Matthews and inspired by Kathy Sdao’s wonderful book “Plenty In Life is Free”. If you have any questions or would like help training your dog, contact Joy@Joyfuldogs.co.uk