Dog Training Tips

Don't Criticize, Clarify

Motivation and clarity must always be considered from the perspective of the receiver. It is our job, as our dog’s teacher to consider how they best process information and help them to learn what we are teaching.  Dogs are almost never too stubborn or lazy. However they can be unmotivated or unclear.

“A non-doer is very often a critic-that is, someone who sits back and watches doers, and then waxes philosophically about how the doers are doing. It's easy to be a critic, but being a doer requires effort, risk, and change." ~ Wayne Dyer

It's easy to sit back and criticize your dog for their poor behavior, but what have you done to help them change? What changes have you made to your behavior to help them learn what you expect from them? Don't just criticize... 'Stop jumping!', 'Get off!', 'Stop barking.'  ... Get involved and help them learn. They can learn and they will learn if you work with them.  If you aren't seeing progress, don't blame the dog; consider the other possibilities... are they sick?  Are you using a training method that works for you, but not for them? Are you consistent? Are you clear? (Really? Or do you just THINK you are being clear?) Are they getting good nutrition for their body and mind?  Do they get enough exercise?

Get a training book. Get a video. Take a class. Hire a private trainer for a lesson or four. If your dog isn't behaving the way you expect them to, there might be other issues which may have nothing to do with the dog auditory function or their willingness to please.

Things to consider: How many times in the span of a minute do you repeat your command?  (If it's more than once in a minute you might be confusing your furry friend.) What changes in your body posture? Tone of voice?

Do you reward or correct consistently?

Are your expectations clear? Or is it okay to be on the furniture with the immediate family, but not when Grandma visits? How is your dog supposed to discern that?

A private trainer can be very helpful in getting to the heart of these questions quickly. With canine life-spans being what they are – SHORT! – time is precious. A professional dog trainer can get you and your canine companion on track to a less criticized, more fun lifestyle.

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