Dog Training and Behavior Modification Takes Time
Dog Training~ It’s More Than a Blog Post
But he still doesn’t—or, he still does—(fill in the blank). I get it—I really do. You want your dog to be the best dog for your family, to overcome his fears and anxieties or just to be a good boy. You practiced some of my recommended training advice and even put a few good management tools into place, but your dog still does x or doesn’t do y, and now you think it didn’t work.
Maybe. Maybe you are trying the wrong dog training technique or following the wrong dog training tips. But maybe it’s just that the lesson or behavior you are working on takes much more time and practice, or even may never totally extinguish. Maybe you actually need a little more one-on-one coaching from a qualified dog behavior coach to help you with your timing, distance, or technique. After all, a dog training professional is likely spending hours a day, years upon years, working with a variety of dogs and their behavior, and hopefully they do have more experience and skill than you do. At least I would hope so, if that is what they are getting paid for. 😉
When you read a dog training blog with helpful dog tips, they are going to be broad strokes and not personalized or customized to your particular situation. They are meant to get you started on the right track and to encourage you to seek professional help if the tips and ideas fall a bit short for your case.
This was something I found very challenging when I first started to blog.
When I work with a client, they first fill out a very detailed behavior and medical form, with over 100 questions. I then work with the client individually for 2-3 hours filling in any gaps and working up a training protocol and treatment plan. If a client decides to continue with my coaching, we set up hour-long follow-up sessions. How could I possibly write a helpful article to the general public without all this information and follow-up?
Broad Strokes. For me, it boils down to the basics. I try to write helpful articles that shed a little insight into a dog’s psyche and what basic steps might help with the behavior or training goal. These are sound tips and recommendations, but are still not customized to an individual dog or situation. I try to be helpful when people comment or ask for help with their dog, but sometimes I just can’t offer a quick tip or suggestion without knowing the history. I just can’t—too many variables and unanswered questions keep me from seeing the whole picture. Luckily, I do offer phone/Skype sessions, as well as in-person sessions for those in the Toledo, Ohio area.
But, even when I work with clients, sometimes a client may feel frustrated at times that their dog still does x or doesn’t do y. The issue may be about owner compliance, or may just be a matter of time. Dog training, especially addressing behaviors such as anxiety or reactivity, takes a lot of time and patience.
I often think about sports when thinking of dog training. How long would it take you to become a champion downhill skier? Now, what if your coach spoke a different language? And what if you never skied before? WOW! Now, that’s you trying to teach your dog something new or to overcome a fear. It’s pretty impressive that we can teach our dogs anything under these circumstances. So you should be proud of the work you have accomplished.
One of the things you can ask yourself is if you are seeing improvement. If you are, you are on the right track. If not, reevaluate your training and management protocol. The biggest issue I tend to see is people asking too much of their dog too quickly. Say your dog is afraid of the vacuum cleaner. If you are trying to teach your dog it’s not a scary monster, yet your dog is running away or barking at it, then you are too close. If you continue down this too-close path, your dog will never overcome his issue. It may not be an easy behavior to manage or treat, but it can be done under the right circumstances. 🙂
The next time you feel frustrated about your dog’s behavior, take a good look at what you have done to modify his behavior. As a valuable member of the family, your dog is worth the effort and time it may take to help him with his behavior. A good dog training coach may be a great next step in helping you reach those goals. Good luck!
What is your dog’s favorite trick or activity? Tell me in the comments.
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