Whether it be dog training or behaviour modification, there are no quick fixes when it comes to training your dog. I often say to clients, its like baking a cake, if you miss out some of the ingredients your cake won’t come out right and its the same with dog training.
Choosing a dog to become a member of your family is a commitment and a lifestyle change. Training your dog takes a lot of time and effort, dogs need and require, good leadership (calm & stable) guidance, consistency, routine, boundries.patience and love, everyday (365 days a year), not just once or twice a week.
Dog owners often tell me “I have been searching on Google or watching a dog training program on TV, they say if you do this or that it will solve your dog training problems” Then when they act upon what these programs or articles suggest and it doesn’t work, they become frustrated and disillusioned.
The truth is, there is a lot of good information on dog training on the web but there is also much more mis-information on there as well. In fact I would go further and say for dog owners it’s more like, “information overload”. While some dog training techniques work on some dogs, they don’t necessarily work on all dogs. That unfortunately is something these articles and TV programs, don’t tell you.
As for what you see on TV, it is just that, its TV, the programs have been cut and edited, many hours of training, have gone in to make that 30 minute program you have just watched. So while these programs maybe helpful, it’s not real life.
All too often human expectations are too high and whether they realise it or not, dog owners are setting their dogs up to fail, by expecting them to know and do too much too soon, without effectively teaching their dog the basic skills in other words, what is expected from him/her. Owners then often become frustrated and angry because their dog isn’t doing what they want. This outcome is not good for the dog or owner,
Here is a good example, generic it maybe but its something I come across on a daily basis, initially dogs learn much better in a one on one situation with no distractions.
So you have been practising at home and your dog now does most things you ask of it, so off to the park you go, as soon as you get out the gate, you find your dog, won’t listen to you, pulls on the lead and generally acts the idiot but you persevere and make it to the park. There you find your dog is no better. You become angry, frustrated and maybe a bit embarrassed so you turn around and go home, all the while your dog is like a bouncing ball on the end of the leash.
So what went wrong, you set your dog and yourself up to fail, this is where socialization comes into play, I am not talking about socializing with other dogs now, I am talking about situational socialization, in other words taking your dog out to different places and practicing your basic commands, just as you did at home but with more distractions. Dogs hear, see (especially at night) and smell a lot more than humans do, so for them it’s far more exciting getting out and about, there is so much more to see and do, it’s all about training in short burst, getting your dog to focus on you, you being calm, having fun and knowing when your dog and yourself have had enough.
Its a way of Life, not a quick fix with temporary overkill, is a great article and a must read for any dog owner.