Dogs are not born trained to sit, stay, or roll over. If they are not properly trained while they’re still young, it can be difficult to turn bad behaviors into desirable ones by yourself. Sherry Boyer is an experienced dog trainer of over ten years and owner of Dog Behavior Rehab. Below, Sherry reveals some of her training secrets—tips that will change the way you think about dog training.
Put Down the Clickers & Treats
If these are your primary training tools and you’re not seeing improvements in your dog’s behavior, then it might be time to try relationship-based training. Relationship-based training may include the use of food as reward for some dogs, but it is not centered around it. This method of dog training relies on the premise of building a strong relationship based on respect and tailored to each dog’s specific needs. This relationship depends on the mutual respect between human and animal.
Pick Up the Leash
The majority of behavior problems we see in our dogs is rooted in what we perceive as disobedience; not coming when called, pulling the leash, and running off. These behaviors are not an act of disobedience, but an act of disconnect. When a dog is allowed to freely explore a new environment off-leash, his awareness of his owner, handler, or trainer flies completely out of the window. As experienced dog trainer Chad Mackin puts it, “if the dog doesn’t hear the command, or know it was given, he cannot obey and he cannot disobey. He can only do what comes naturally to him. The dog who isn’t aware of us, is not capable of being obedient.” Maintaining a strong connection to your dog at all times will vastly improve his obedience.
Find the Right Trainer
Training a dog using the relationship-based model is, in itself, a full time job. Dogs with behavior issues need undivided attention and hours of work each day. Understandably, you might not have enough time in your day to effectively work with your dog. A professional dog trainer can be of great assistance in evaluating your dog’s specific training needs and creating a plan that is sure to provide the best results.
Every dog is different and every dog requires a training strategy unique to their needs. You can find an infinite number of ways to train a dog. The one common factor is that every dog benefits from having a strong bond with their owner. A professional dog trainer can help to facilitate these changes, so don’t wait. To find out if you and your dog would be good candidates for relationship-based training fill out our Free Training Evaluation Form or call (408) 831-6433 today.