If so, you're not alone... And regardless of what you may have heard - or tried - dogs with unusual and/or repetitive behaviors can be helped with the right trainer. Learn more...
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There are many good reasons to train your dog. Living with a well-trained, well-mannered dog should be one of the best experiences of your lifetime. You’re going to love the companionship, the exercise, the pure fun, and the interesting adventures that lie ahead, and the good warm memories your dog will leave behind. Here are the top five reasons:
Trained Dogs Make For A Happy Home
I recently finished training a Weimaraner puppy, named Sadie.
When I met her, she was about 6 months old, and out of control. Things were so bad, the owners were on the verge of getting rid of her. The wife was actually in tears when I first met them.
When Sadie finished my Basic Obedience course. The owners could see the difference. We had worked out all the issues we started out with. Yes, she was still a young dog, full of energy, and still with some insecurities, but it was obvious that Basic Obedience had been accomplished. She was now a.) TRAINED and properly MANAGED; b.) no longer a terrible jumper; c.) no longer jumping and biting at your hands and clothes, or leaving marks on your skin and holes in your shirts; d.) no longer defensively barking if she saw a person or dog outside the front door of the home; e.) walking well on a leash; f.) no longer jumped all over you when you got on the furniture, or running all over the house flying from one piece of furniture to another all evening, risking injury; and d.) wanting you to pet her. The wife was now happy, the home was happy, and the dog was happy.
They now have a happy home.
Get To Spend More Time Together
Dogs with behavioral problems are often banished, such as being left alone in the yard, or in a crate for too many hours, or locked away in a room, or shunned. Not only does that not fix the problems, it actually makes them worse. Isolation is destructive to a dog’s personality.
I worked with such a dog last week. A 3 year old, male miniature Poodle mix. The behavior of concern was the hiding. He would randomly just leave the room, go down the hall, into the Master Bedroom, and hide in a far corner of the closet behind the clothes.
After the Evaluation, I explained how we would be able to turn this dog around. We discussed how dogs learn, and how to manipulate how dogs feel. I explained proper behavioral theory, in an easy to understand manner. I then gave them an 8 Point Behavior Checklist. We then discussed how to better manage this dog to reduce stresses that also might be triggering this flight and hiding behavior. I explained how our objective was to make this a happy dog, every day.
I spoke with the owner, after the first week, to get an update. Then again the following week. The dog has made tremendous progress, isn’t hiding, and is acting more relaxed. Everyone in the home is participating in the assigned homework, which is why things are moving along so well. This situation has been turned around. He has stopped the hiding, and the owners are much happier.
Training Helps Prevent Unwanted Behavior
Training is best started the first day you get your dog. Yes, we can fix things later on, but it is harder to do, especially if the owner has been doing a lot of wrong things for a long time. Let’s work together to prevent problems, and to not let the behavior problems you are already witnessing get even worse.
This is why it is a good idea to start lessons even before you get a dog! I offer preparatory lessons and consultations for dog owners, to get them ready for a new dog. For example, it is easier to house train a puppy if you start out right during the first few hours the puppy is home. Many times, I have met with owners a week or two before the puppy was to come home, so they knew exactly what to buy, and what to do. Every time, the house training went smoothly. It’s also why I recommend starting Basic Obedience at 4 months of age, instead of waiting until the dog is 2 years old and out of control. Fewer mistakes, fewer problems to solve.
Every dog/ owner team needs a Game Plan. I interview you to discuss your goals, evaluate your dog and your family situation, and then give you a step by step program to get you there. It won’t happen by chance. And having an expert, who’s been where you are, experienced or seen what you’re encountering (many times over the years), makes all the difference between success and failure.
I can “see” into the future, and know where a behavior or technique will lead 2 or 3 years out… both in a good way, or in a bad way. The idea is to prevent the problems, not fix them after they’ve already taken root. It’s kind of like the old saying, “If you find yourself in a hole… stop digging!”
Training Can Save Your Dog’s Life
I have heard many lifesaving dog training stories from my past students.
A Husky I trained had gotten loose from the owner, running towards a very busy street. An emergency! Consider this: Huskies, and their mixes will take advantage of you if you let them. They are not robots. Only this time, the owner’s daughter saw it happen, ran out the front door, called “Sit”… and the dog stopped in her tracks a few houses away and sat and stayed. The daughter then calmly went up to her, clipped on the leash, and led her back home. Training saved that dog’s life that day.
I have saved my own dogs lives with training over the years. On hiking trails. In busy urban situations. Everyone who has a dog will one day encounter a situation where a dog will disobey or get itself in trouble, and then the difference between tragedy and happiness, will be the amount and quality of training you’ve invested in your dog. That’s a fact. Police dogs run off, so do guide dogs, therapy dogs, hunting dogs, and pet dogs. They are dogs, and if you spend enough time in the field, off leash, or if your equipment breaks, or someone isn’t properly supervising, you will eventually be faced with this kind of emergency.
You will be panicked and lost if your dog is untrained. If your dog is trained, then you have stacked the odds in your favor that you will get your dog back safely.
Dogs Love Training
One of my primary goals when working with any dog is to help that dog have a happy day.
If we aren’t having a happy day, we have options to go engage in a stress relieving activity… Dogs don’t have those options without our help.
Untrained dogs tend to be neurotic and miserable, hyperactive, destructive, and continually in trouble. Some become aggressive, fighting with other dogs in the home, or even biting their families. Untrained dogs are more likely to be left at home, or abandoned to a back yard or laundry room, or even allowed to run away. They have boring toys, boring owners. All their supplies are wrong: food, bowls, beds, toys, leashes, collars, you name it. They are mismanaged, neglected, and highly stressed. That’s no life for an intelligent social species. In fact, keeping a dog stupid is cruel.
You will get great pleasure out of seeing a completed lessons, a completed training program, a happy dog that is no longer neglected or mismanaged. If your dog was a rescue, when you see the face of that helpless, scared, depressed or angry dog turn into a happy, relaxed, social expression, it is then all worth it. I have done that countless times.
Dogs like being properly trained and managed. Life begins to then get good, interesting, peaceful, happy, and loving. The owner’s lives also change in the same way. It is pretty darned amazing and satisfying to see a dog owner fall in love with their dog again.