Dog Training – You Get What You Give
Every day I teach people how to teach their dogs. I work with people privately and in classes. My clients come from all walks of life. Some have trained many dogs, others are training their first. No matter how much experience a person has training dogs, there is one factor that determines if a dog’s behavior will be changed by the training. That factor is – how much time is being dedicated to the training.
Change Requires Doing Something Different
We have all heard Albert Einstein’s definition of insanity, “Doing the same thing over and over again, expecting a different result.” When dogs practice undesired behaviors, the behavior continues to get worse. The only way to change an unwanted behavior is to do something different. For example, if your dog jumps on you every time he sees you and you then pet him, the jumping will continue unless something changes. If you start to ask your dog to sit before he jumps or if you ignore him when he jumps, you have the opportunity to change the behavior. However, it is important to also realize that a behavior will not change overnight and it will take consistent repetitions (which means TRAINING TIME) to get the new behavior to “stick.”
Do Your Homework: Practice Skills Daily
When people come to me for a private session or classes, I will send them home with homework. The homework is designed to be the step work to reach the goal that the client has for the dog. Usually, the homework consists of skills that the dog has not learned and the person will need to practice the skills daily so the dog can learn them. The dogs that make the most progress are the dogs that have people who practice the homework daily. The dogs that struggle to succeed can have some specific reason that they are struggling but almost all of them have one thing in common- they did not have consistent practice between their sessions with me.
Build Your Bond While You Build Skills
Dog training is like everything else in life – you get out of it, what you put in. If you want to get in shape, you must exercise regularly. If you want to play the piano well, you must practice. Fortunately, when you take the time to train your dog, not only will your dog learn new skills, you will be strengthening your bond with every practice session!!