What is “Ruff Love” Really?

So I have a very naughty 11 week old puppy. Below is the video evidence to prove it.  I thought this would be an ideal time to talk about my Ruff Love program.

When Ruff Love was first released more than 10 years ago it received some pretty harsh criticism from many so called “gurus” in the clicker training or positive dog training circles.

Unfortunately I may have given the reader credit for too much common sense and left, what I felt was the obvious, out of the book.

For some reason people equated “Ruff Love” with keeping a dog hostage. I know some performance dog people do believe to create a drive to work you should completely isolate the

dog and the only time he is free is when he gets to his intended “work” for you.

Where is the joy in THAT?

If you know anything about me, you know that was never the intention of the Ruff Love program. As a matter of fact it says so in the book. The point of the program is for you to “supervise” the dog 100% of the time. If you can’t have your focus on the dog then he needs to be crated. If you have time to kill and can watch and monitor where you dog finds his reinforcement in life less crate time will be needed.

Having said all of that, I would caution anyone against allowing behaviours you will see in this video be repeated by your dog or puppy. I am happy to allow a puppy to have his joy and you notice I am there supervising, but don’t allow these rehearsals to happen over and over.

I allowed some of the behaviours to occur; one, because it made for good television and two, I am a professional dog trainer who is pretty confident in my ability to turn this puppy’s focus around although I will admit I have never trained one quite like Swagger. He totally lives up to his name!

Today after looking at this lovely video, I want you to tell me what does “Ruff Love” mean to you? Have you tried the program? How did it go and what were the results.
For those of you that can not view the video I have also posted it to my facebook page http://www.facebook.com/SusanGarrettDogAgility

Today I am grateful for Swagger who is already has me re-writing my puppy training journal.

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