The following is a reprinting from our August 09 Newsletter. Due to the number of comments we received on the content I thought I would post it here on the blog as well.
I recently returned from instructing a dog training workshop. After each of my events I like to get feedback from the participants as to what they learned and what stuck out for them as the message they needed to go home with to continue making progress with their dog.
While gathering that feedback, one attendee mentioned how it really hit home for him that consistency was the key to getting the results he wanted with his dog. Considering that my niche is teaching people how to properly use remote collars for training their dog I was pleasantly surprised to hear this observation. More typical responses surround the concepts of timing, how to adjust the levels of stimulation properly or how to help the dog understand what the taps mean.
So the idea that being more consistent was what this gentleman was going home with was refreshing. And it really hit the nail on the head. The biggest reason I feel remote collars are advantageous over other tools is because they make it so much easier for dog owners to be consistent. For more information on training with a remote collar please contact us or check out this dvd.
Webster’s defines consistent as: holding always to the same principles or practice.
When it comes to dog training, this is absolutely the key to getting the results you want. Regardless of tools or methods, if you don’t remain consistent with your dog and what you expect of him, you can expect pretty poor results in his behavior.
Let me offer a few suggestions that can help you improve your dog’s manners and create the fun and easy relationship you want to have.
Each and every time you feed your dog, expect him to wait to dig into his meal until you give permission. This helps your dog see you in a role as the leader, keeps things calm during feeding time and teaches your dog some patience. If your dog charges the food bowl as you set it on the floor, pick it up and have him sit. If he charges when you try again, pick it up again and have him sit, if he charges again, repeat with picking the bowl up and having him sit. You get the picture. Follow this routine consistently, until his butt remains in place and only then give him permission to eat. After a few meal time training opportunities like this he will begin to act like the perfect gentleman as you put the bowl down for him.
Each and every time you have a visitor come to the door enforce an obedience command with your dog. You can choose to have her sit, lie down or go to her bed until she is in a calm state of mind. To assist in making this happen, put a leash on your dog and remind the visitor not to pay attention to the dog. This will help diffuse the excitement faster. Your dog is learning to calmly wait to be greeted rather than enjoy the pandemonium that typically ensues!
Each and every time you go out the door with your dog make him wait for your permission to go outside. You can have your dog sit, lie down or simply wait until you allow him to pass through. Using a leash for some restraint and your body to block his path will help him to understand you mean what you say when you tell him to wait. This practice will eliminate any bolting problems your dog may have and it teaches him to have patience and look to you for direction.
Each and every time you go for a walk with your dog, have her walk nicely by your side rather than leading the way and dragging you down the street. There are a variety of tools and techniques that can be used to teach this concept. The important thing is to always expect the nice walking behavior from your dog. By you taking charge of the walks your dog is learning to listen, follow your lead and be calm. These good manners are much preferred over the dog who is constantly out in front, peeing on everything, lunging at every passerby and barking at all the other dogs in the neighborhood.
Are you beginning to see the pattern here? As you become Consistent enforcing your expectations Each and Every time, your dog learns Patience and becomes Calmer. ; )
Consistent follow through on your part = A Well Mannered Dog Now that is good training and probably the most valuable lesson of all.
If you are interested in hearing more feedback from the training workshop, click here.