Different Strokes for Different Folks


Different strokes for different folks…

What's the meaning of the phrase 'Different strokes for different folks? Different things appeal to different people.

What's the origin of the phrase 'Different strokes for different folks'?

This expression began life in the USA in the 1960s. The first person is known to have used it is the boxer, Muhammed Ali.

Here's an example is taken from the transcript of an interview he gave while preparing for his fight with Cleveland Williams in November 1966, in which he was explaining his boxing style: "I don't have any [big] punch. I just hit a man so many times he wished I had a punch." and, explaining his knock-out punches against Sonny Liston and Floyd Patterson, he said: "I got different strokes for different folks."

Ali went on to win the fight which saw the first use of his famous Ali Shuffle.

In the Dog Training World, the phrase “Different Strokes For Different Folks” it will always and definitely bring you into the hotly debated concept of Dog Training Systems.

However, I am not going down that lane. I am talking about being flexibility, ability and adaptability to the situation, see the different type of dogs as an individual, ability to improvise etc. Train your dog to be an obedient companion for life.

In the Concept of Positive Reinforcement Dog Training System, it entails the Training System of A + B = C!

In my early years of Pet Dog Training, I have many house rules that I think it's absolutely a SOLID NO for certain behaviours, such as sleeping on owner's bed, jumping on the couches, reward your dog for nothing, leashing your dog for a long extended period of time, feeding on dining table etc ...

However, I guess we need to learn to see the same issue at different angles and views.

Different Strokes for different folks is getting what’s appealing to different people.

Many years ago, when I was active in Competitive Obedience, I have made friends with many dog handlers, dog trainers and their advocates.

Regardless of our training philosophies, we discussed on how to care, manage and train our dog, be it in Dog Sports or Pet Dog Obedience.

In some instances, we do not see eye to eye. Let’s put aside all the Competitive Obedience Exercises, we want to discuss how we care, manage and train our dogs on a daily basis and for life skills.

Certain behaviours I would absolutely hold dear to, and to different people, the values of it, perceive differently.

Such as sleeping on owner's bed, jumping on the couches, reward your dog for nothing, leashing or crating your dog for a long extended period of time, feeding on the dining table etc.

Most of the trainers will allow… - Their dogs to sleep with them on their bed, Sleeping on your bed is a very personal thing, maybe for myself, I'm a concern with cleanliness and hygiene. Hygiene for the kids and for the family is so important.

However some study has shown, it is beneficial for the owner and dog as it helps the owners with better sound sleep.

- Allowing dogs to be on crouch. Here, I have a confession, I only allow my dogs to be up on a particular chair, where I make it an exception.

I have found it effective as my dogs only come and sit with me on that special chair. This is so important while I have many guests frequent my house and I can't imagine if my dogs just jump, land and sit with them whenever they like.

To have some management provides the avenue for the dog-owners relationship to build strong and close.

Since there's NO ambiguity, both my dogs and Me, does not have to have a second guess.

- Reward their dogs out of nothing, This is the most common thing I find owners will love to do. They reward their dog for DOING NOTHING! I must admit that I do not see a rationale in doing that.

This is like feeding freely the scraps from the table to your dog. This will reinforce the bad habit of begging at the table and refusing to eat its proper feeds. Such a bad habit can be very stubborn and hard to get rid of it.

However, if based on the notion of loving your dog, why would we refuse or reject any opportunity to feed our dog?

- Leashing or crating your dog for an extended period of time, and If you look into the actual purpose of a Leash and a Crate, you will have a good idea on the general purpose and how to use them correctly and effectively.

A leash has a sole purpose, that is to have your dog restraint and to provide safe hands on them. The dog might not know the danger, but I'm sure, we are all well aware of many dangers in the course of our daily life and activity.

The crate is to provide a safe haven for our dog to retreat into when they feel the stress or needed alone space to cope and de-stress.

All these general purposes are good, however, I do agree that on many occasions, you will see misuses and some warrant attention.

I would recommend we use the leash and the crate sparingly and appropriately, especially if it's been used to protect and safeguard our dog.

We have many ways, techniques, reasons to love our dogs. As long, you take care of their basic needs such as food, shelter and basic care, I'm sure you will be a relatively good owner that loved by your dog.

We love, care and express our love, appreciation and gratitude to our loved ones very differently. I would think it would very wrong for me to expect the ONLY way to provide TLC, Tender Loving Care to our dog is to my own expectations.

Have fun & stay positive!

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