Committing to having a well behaved, furry member of society requires dedication to the entire well being of a dog. A great first step to achieving this goal is to enroll your dog in training classes. Not only does this help you to teach your dog good manners, but it also helps you to build a working relationship and line of communication with your dog that will carry throughout their lives
Many training programs offer sessions for dogs about once a week, but that alone is not enough to ensure their ongoing success in the real world. In order to set your dog up to be the best dog they can be, training doesn’t only happen when you are working with your trainer – training is a lifestyle that needs to be integrated into your every day activities with your dog.
So, how do you do this? How do you take training away from the classroom and make it an integrated part of your lifestyle? It starts with laying clear boundaries and expectations for your dog in the home. Set a bit of time aside every day (all you need is about 15 minutes) to reinforce your basic commands and engagement with your dog in a low distraction setting. Making sure your dog understands what cues you are trying to ask of them helps to make sure you can begin to transfer them to real world distractions.
Utilize daily activities with you dog as a chance to train. When out on walks, work known commands with some distractions around. Always be prepared to reinforce and motivate behaviors, regardless of if you are ‘intentionally’ training. Make a conscious effort to work with and train your dog in areas you want to ensure they have solid foundational commands – parks, shopping centers, dining patios. Just because you are not in your training mode, it doesn’t mean that training is going to subside.
“Just because you are not in your training mode, it doesn’t mean that training is going to subside.”
Every experience your dog has is an opportunity to learn something new. Having this mind set while having a dog helps you to internalize the notion that dog training is not a task to be completed and finished, it doesn’t end when the treat bag goes away. Training is a lifestyle and a commitment to your dog that helps to ensure their ongoing success as they grow. Utilize each moment as a chance to shape a behavior and condition your dog. Make your training fun and exciting so that every day, you look forward to creatively integrating your training exercises into your life!
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What is your training lifestyle? Share below!