When having a consultation with new families and their pup, I will go over a list of our "Golden Rules." Of course, we cannot be with our clients every minute of every day, but a list of golden rules has been created to help guide them through the challenging times and sometimes frustrating obstacles that come along with training a dog. Our golden rules are based off of our experiences and the experience of trainers before us. While all dogs, families, and situations are different, these rules are universal and will aid in the behavior modification of any dog, no matter age, breed, or training level.
What you pet is what you get!
Remember: rewards come in more forms than just treats. Furniture access, affection, freedom, playtime, laughter and excitement are all rewards to your dog.
You are the leader and lead you must.
Your dog relies on you to be their leader and their protector. When they do not feel adequately led, they feel that they need to protect their home and family, which can lead to unwanted behavior such as barking, possessiveness, and fear aggression. Trust will not come from hugging your dog, but giving him guidelines and boundaries that keep him safe, comfortable, and happy.
Corrections must be appropriate for behavior change.
When corrections are too low or too high, they will often be counterproductive and confusing for your dog. Corrections should also be immediate, but never emotional. Corrections out of anger and frustration are not usually appropriate.
Consistency is key.
To achieve training goals, lessons must be consistent in all situations and from every member of the household, even children.
Training doesn’t end when the session does.
Training, as well as learning, doesn’t end when a training session is over. Your dog is constantly learning, so each moment spent with him is meaningful. Do not allow behaviors to occur that you wouldn’t want to see while class is in session.
Enforcing Boundaries is important.
When a dog realizes she can push one boundary, she is likely to push more boundaries and display unwanted behavior. Once boundaries are established and consistently enforced, overall behavior is likely to improve.
Every dog is different.
No matter the breed, size, age, or behavior issues; corrections, rewards, and progress are never “one size fits all.”
What are your golden rules? Post them in the comments, below!
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Tips, tricks, and lessons learned from Everywhere Dog and their journey!
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