Get Real with Your Dog

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Be real — with your training expectations.

Successful dog training doesn't happen overnight. It will take time, consistency, and patience. If you think big and expect big, you may be disappointed and give up. That won't get you what you want and could put a strain on your relationship with your dog. Ask yourself these questions:

  • What do you want your dog to do? Focus on what your dog should do rather than what you want your dog not to do. For example, your friends popped over for a visit. Your dog won't leave them alone. Jumping, barking, and being a general nuisance. When asked what you want, you may say, “To stop it!” Rethink this to: “I want my dog to calmly lay on his bed.” This will let your dog know what he is supposed to do when people visit.
  • Is the bad behavior natural for dogs? Barking, digging and jumping are perfectly acceptable behavior in the dog world, so it may take longer to stop than other behaviors.
  • How long has your dog been doing the bad behavior? Habits are hard to break. It's said it takes us 21 days to break a habit. This can be the same for our dogs.
  • Can you and your family be consistent? Once you take up the training process, you shouldn't stop. Your dog needs you to be as consistent as possible. The rest of your family as well.

Once you’ve narrowed down what you want, decide if it is realistic for you to teach and your dog to learn. Does your dog know all of the basics, such as sit, stay, come, down, and leave it? If your dog hasn't gotten those down, start there.

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