OBEDIENCE BASED ON RESPECT
Tam Cordingley, CSI Instructor, SAAB Member
animals, including horses, learn respect for authority within
minutes of their birth but then we humans allow them to forget.
The mare foals (gives birth) somewhat removed from
the main herd. Shortly after birth she bonds with her foal and teaches it
The young of all hoofed animals learn to nurse, run, and follow Mama closely
within the first 2 or 3 hours of birth. Instinctively, they respect
the first authority figure in their new life.
fawn is taught to lie motionless at a very early age. It is small and
vulnerable so nature gives it very little scent and its mother teaches it to
lie quietly, right where she left it, until she returns. This baby has
learned respect. If it moves she will butt it back down in no uncertain
Horses, goats, sheep and deer are creatures of flight. They need these
skills to avoid being eaten.
Why Dogs Must Learn Respect
Dogs are creatures of attack. They learn at a different pace. A puppy begins
to learn at 21 days of age. Think of a wolf pack. As the cubs begin to walk
they need to learn the pack rules. Don't wander away from the den, don't
soil the den, don't steal food from other dogs. In the wild, when Mom leaves
to go hunt, the pups need to stay put. The den must stay clean so the scent
doesn't draw predators to kill the babies. The pack has a distinct order.
Each member has a place in that order and so the family unit works well. The
Mom demands respect and enforces obedience from the pups by a low growl with
her mouth over the muzzle of the offending pup.
Dogs are great pets because a dog pack is very similar to human families.
The traits that make wolf pups fit into the pack makes dog pups fit into our
lives. The dam teaches the pups to be good pack members during the all
important 3-7 week phase/ This learning to learn period is what is missed by
the puppy mill puppy. Often backyard breeders sell the pups as soon as they
are eating, neither knowing nor caring that the dog is forever deprived of
this important dog education.
In our craving to be liked, we imprint foals, try to reason with human
babies, and allow dogs to grow up like Topsy. God forbid we make them
respect us. Dogs need leadership. They need to respect and obey a leader or
they are perpetually pushing to be the leader. Every pack needs a leader, a
deputy, and a pecking order. Even a flock of chickens respects the leader,
from which we get the term pecking order.
When a puppy enters your family it needs to be handled with respect and
with care and it must be taught to respect your rights. It is cute when a
puppy bites but it should never be tolerated. It shows a lack of respect for
you, the leader. From the time a dog enters your home it is your job to mold
the dog into a dog you want to live with.
adult dog may behave in a disobedient manner but if he is reminded of what
his dam and littermates taught him about pack order and respect, he will
strive to fit in.
Respect is a 7 letter word that speaks volumes. Think of respect within the
family, for God, for the law, for life, for each other. How many problems in
society could be resolved by respect for ourselves and our fellow beings?
Perhaps we can learn respect by teaching respect.
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