Time will pass anyway.
Sure, training takes time. And dedication. And consistency.
But if you want a good dog, a dog you’re elated to be around and proud to show off, there is no reason why that time shouldn’t start TODAY.
You’re with your dog everyday, anyway, right?
Stop reinforcing the bad stuff, start correcting it. And start reinforcing the good stuff.
Sometimes it’s easier to ignore the issues than deal with them, but if you stop letting the issues occur, not only will you not need to deal with them, you won’t need to ignore them either.
"Diet starts Monday."
How many times have you heard this?
Translate to: things are starting to get out of control again, so now we need to start from the beginning until things are back under control.
Sure, diets can work, but most people don't see long-term changes by following a "diet."
They see long-term changes by changing their lifestyle.
So, I had a tiny little leak in my basement. A seriously small little leak. So small that I didn't even notice it for a while, or just saw a few drops on the floor with no concern.
Obviously, like any responsible home owner I knew I needed to get this little leak fixed, but it wasn't my priority in my 100 year old Murphy's Law of a house that I purchased.
So I put a bucket under it and left the basement.
A few days later, this bucket was more than half way filled. I was seriously shocked because I had only seen a drop or two come from this pipe!
I swear, I didn't come here to complain about my house's problems, you have to see me in person to get that. 😂
Dogs work the same way as this leaky pipe.
If you remember from a high school psych class, an intrinsic reward is something that is internally rewarding--something that feels good. Because this reward occurs internally, the behaviors are automatically reinforced.
Intrinsic rewards are one of the biggest battles in dog training. In dogs, these are most commonly displayed as counter surfing, chasing animals, or jumping on people.
I have seen this happen a handful of times, and it is one of the most difficult things for owners to handle.
Your baby gets sick or hurt, and being the loving, caring owners that we are, we take care of them.
We nurse them back to health, we cuddle them, we spoil them.
And because of that, we derail their training.
When training our dogs, we sometimes get preoccupied with matching them. They are pulling, we want to walk faster, their energy is high, so we go high, too.
This usually encourages the behaviors that we are working on extinguishing or down-playing.
Instead, we need to learn to balance our dogs.
If your dogs energy is high, try going low.
If your dog is dragging behind you on leash, put a little pep in your step to encourage some energy out of them!
Be the Yin to their Yang, not the reason they go from high to sky-high.
We often forget that our dogs, our snuggle bugs and our fetch partners who happily wear a leash and lay on our laps are, in fact, animals.
While I don't subscribe to the school of thought that they are cousins to wolves and are basically just a domesticated version, I do think that we tend to forget exactly what it is we are inviting to sleep next to us at night.
Even though they have been domesticated and bred to live amongst humans, they are still ANIMALS.
Most people decide to get a dog to enhance their lives. To give them a friend to make their home a little less quiet when they get home from work. To give you a reason to exercise on the weekends rather than stay in bed. To teach your kids responsibility, while also giving them a friend that will play with them, comfort them, and always have their backs, right?
But sometimes it doesn’t work out like that.
So this all started with a tiny little boxer baby. An adorable little thing that stole my heart before I even brought her home. She was the cutest, super sweet, and always happy.
The biggest problem? She noticed everything.
Every bug in the grass, every slight breeze, every scent in the air. And all of these things she was noticing were overshadowing one important thing: me. Not that I was jealous of the bugs that she was more interested in them than in me, but if I needed her attention it was impossible to grab.
We went through all of the Petsmart training courses. I mean—so many courses that they created NEW ones to advance her training. She knew every command you could think of, but if there was anything even the slightest bit distracting around, I could just forget it.
When you are working with your dog, one of the most important things to remember is how much you and your mindset affect your dog and their mindset.
Meaning: if you are stressed, they are likely to be stressed as well. If you have faith in yourself, the work you are doing, the precautions you have put in place (i.e. muzzle, etc.) and your dogs efforts, they are much more likely to succeed.
Welcome to Everywhere Dog Blog!
Tips, tricks, and lessons learned from Everywhere Dog and their journey!
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