Five second rule for petting dogs

Woof! Dog Training - petting a dogI attended Grisha Stewart’s seminar on BAT (Behavior Adjustment Training) this past weekend, and she shared with us a great idea called the “5 Second Rule”. The 5 Second Rule says that we should pet dogs for a maximum of five seconds at a time, in order to give them a chance to tell us when they’d no longer like to be pet.

It’s amazing how much we bulldoze dogs when it comes to their body language. Often times, even our own dogs, are not particularly fond of the things we do – petting them rudely on the head, hugging them, pulling on their fur, or sometimes just petting them in general when they’d rather not be touched. If we pay attention to their body language – and give them choices – they will clearly answer the questions, “Would you like to be pet right now?” and “Would you like me to pet you some more?”  [Read more…]