Successful Dog Training Starts at Home!
Wouldn’t it be wonderful to take your dog places and have people compliment their exceptional behavior?
Have you ever been out at a park or picnic and think to yourself how great it would be if you your dog was there to enjoy the day with you? You want so badly to engage with them during those fun times, but the apprehension of not knowing exactly how things will go, may cause you to exclude your pet from valuable, memory-making moments. This is very discouraging and disappointing for people who dreamt about the perfect dog-to-be when they brought home that bundle of joy. Don’t get overwhelmed because you CAN have that dog of your dreams! You can become the envy of your neighborhood and be proud to take your dog anywhere. If you are anything like me, you strive to spend as much time with your furry companions as possible. This is not too much to ask and feeling anxious or wary about the “what ifs” steals the pleasure from the potentially wonderful pet/owner relationship. We all have enough to worry about in life without having to deal with feelings of guilt or frustration with something that is supposed to come with happiness and fulfillment. If this hits close to home, just know that change can happen and with a little patience and confidence, you will find success.
So, I know you are wondering what you can do to make this happen, but maybe you are overwhelmed with the information out there and have no idea where to start. That’s OK! If you feel unprepared or confused, you are in the right place. I’m going to share a couple of extremely helpful tips to remember when beginning to work with your dog that will be sure to help get you on the right track. It is actually easier than you may think.
How Long Should Dog Training Sessions Last?
Keep the training sessions short and productive. 15 minutes is a good time block for most dogs. Just like when we are learning new things, repetition is key! The more we do things, the better we get. It is exactly the same with our dogs. However, don’t bite off more than you or your dog can chew, so beginning with the basics, such as sit, down, stay, paw, come, etc. is the best way to start the bonding process. As far as the 15 minute guideline I recommend for training sessions, it is because dogs can find it difficult to concentrate and stay focused for long periods of time like many of us, I’m sure. What we don’t want to happen is for your dog to become apathetic or stressed from extended stimulation. If you notice these signs or you begin to feel frustrated, it is best to discontinue the session. Try to end on a positive note, as they are more likely to be eager for next time. Please feel free to perform multiple sessions a day as long as both you and your pup are up for it. Practice makes perfect, right?
Where Should Dog Training Sessions Occur?
The second tip to remember is to train your dog in multiple locations. This teaches the dog that certain behaviors are not just expected in the living room, but they must perform the same no matter where they are. At first, you will want to begin sessions in a distraction-free environment and then gradually work your way up to the point that location becomes less relevant. Begin at home with just you and the dog. Next, you could have your kids or family members present and going about their business. Then, you can work outside where there other distractions such as, kids playing, dogs barking, traffic noise, etc. Eventually you will find yourself enjoying time at the dog-park or family reunion and he is instinctively on his best behavior. Your dog’s new-found attitude will become second nature and how rewarding it will be for you both!
Do yourself and your dog the biggest possible favor by teaching them how to be the best family members they can be. Working so closely and continuously with them will create an unbreakable bond and they will thank you for it. Please know that we CAN help you achieve that bond. We can guide you with basic training, mild to severe behavioral issues, and problem-solving skills that will make the time with your dog the best it can be!