Tuesday, August 30, 2011

The long term effects of training your dog!

Training your dog is more than just a duty - it's a lifestyle! Often folks will call with naughty dogs, and when I ask how many obedience classes they have done with their dogs they either say none, or one. And usually it's been years since the dog was in a class.

If you want your training to stick, per se, you MUST keep it up. A nicely trained dog for the house has done a minimum of two classes, and their owners practice and keep up the work once classes are done. The mistake folks make is they'll take one 8 week Beginner class and stop. It's silly because for dogs, learning obedience and good behavior is like us learning a new language. I took two years of Russian in high school. Once I graduated I never spoke it again, and it didn't take many years for it to all be gone. Today I can remember about 5 words.

Your dog is in the same situation. Folks will tell me "in class he was so good, but now he's doing this or that". Well, if the owners didn't do "continued ed" with their dog, the 8 weeks of training is not going to stick!

I find that dogs who owners have kept up their obedience past the classes, are much calmer dogs. They generally don't have any phobia's, fear or aggression because they know they can count on their owners to tell them what to do, and they know how to do it! I always tell folks that a nice down stay is like an emergency brake. If your dog is heading in the wrong direction, or acting up, simply telling them what to do instead, in a simple manner, can turn that dog completely around.

So keep up your training - do more than one class and keep practicing speaking "training" to your pup! Maybe even take a fun class now and then with your pup just for the enjoyment of doing something with him. You'll find years down the road that your dog is still one, very nice pup to live with!

Deb S
Everee, Eli and Corky

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