In the last blog we discussed why your dog needs a job and how to make sure their needs are being met. Once you are checking those boxes of enrichment, exercise, diet and communication, where do we go from here?
Take a look at one area of your life with your dog that you wish was a little different. This does not have to be a drastic change. Find that behavior that is mildly annoying to you.
Do you dread taking the dog for a walk because he jumps all over the place when you pull the leash out? Your dog takes you out at the knees when walking down the stairs or going through the door?
One of the big pieces of dog training that is often overlooked is the human part of the training. There is a human attached to every dog we work with, and if the human is not successful, then the dog cannot be. Let’s talk first about quick wins for the people in this scenario. Positive Reinforcement for everyone.
Start with that one tiny annoying behavior. What can you ask your dog to do instead of what they are currently doing? “Sit” is usually a good place to start. Take that one annoying behavior and be consistent in the new expectations. If you leash your dog once a day, then that is one time each day they have to practice this new behavior. After 2 weeks, that’s 14 new repetitions and you are almost to a replacement behavior for that one annoying thing. 2 weeks sounds like a really long time, but thats 60 seconds of effort each day for 2 weeks. If you leash your dog more often, then you get to 14 reps faster, and you are well on your way!
Once you have mastered that tiny annoying behavior, move on to the next one. Feeling like a really awesome dog trainer? Try to tackle a bigger problem.
These easy behaviors become your dog’s “job” when you want to interact with them. Staying consistent in your expectations of your dog helps them to succeed, and allows you to enjoy your time with them that much more! It also raises the expectations for your dog, and they are clear in what is expected of them.
Tell us one tiny annoying thing you are going to tackle this week!