When I first learned about dog training, I focused mainly on the technical aspect. I get the dog to sit, I click the clicker, then reward with food. This is a foundation and is important, yet as with anything it becomes more complicated when you go down the rabbit hole. Many dogs I worked with would perform the command I asked but would do it on their own time. They just didn’t care enough about me. I was not meaningful enough for them to pay attention. This was a valuable lesson for me later on. I noticed that many people are excited to teach their dog how to sit, down, stay and all other commands. Let me tell you: If your dog has the wrong attitude it can be the hardest process to teach. On the flipside, when a dog wants what you have and is engaged with you then you have a dog who is easy to teach. There is a process that I teach my clients to proof behavior to reliably get your dog to do it all the time. This is beyond what I am talking about today. What I am talking about is creating a positive attitude in your dog when it comes to training. How does that saying go. “If you love what you are doing you will never have to work a day in your life (something like that). This is true when it comes to training dogs. When I first start training a dog I spend a lot of time working on his motivation levels and creating a dog that wants to learn. Now this is sometimes difficult with clients who want a quicker fix. Some do not seem to understand that if you spend most of the time engaging your dog with you in different locations then he will listen with enthusiasm. Instead they try to force the dog to want to listen to them by shouting commands and giving him a treat when he finally does comply after 7 times of asking for a sit. How do you know when your dog has the right attitude? He/she will be staring at you waiting for you to give them direction. When you ask them to sit, their rear end will hit the ground faster than you can get the treat out. So how do I accomplish this? Engagement.
Training sessions go like this:
Engagement sessions 1-2 minutes
Most people spend 10 -15 minute training sessions which are usually too long for many dogs. I spend 1-2 minutes of keeping the dog motivated. When she starts to show that she is extremely distracted or just not into the activity anymore then I crate them and bottle that energy up. I don’t want a dog going through the motions. You want every repetition to count.
So a day would look like this:
Now this might not be convenient for someone who works all day so I would do 2 training sessions before and 2 training sessions after work.
I want you guys to really focus on your dogs attitude. You will reap the benefits of your investment later on.