I’m not sure if it’s right to blame dog owners for their naiveté, but I want to put this in writing to all past, present and future clients. In fact, reading this may sort some of you out from ever training your dogs with me. Other trainers tend to bend the truth a little bit in order to get you to sign up for 10 sessions, but I won’t be that guy.
The truth is that no one can ever train your dog if you don’t participate, and signing up for a 10 pack of dog training sessions will not assure your dog ends up well trained. I hope those of you who live in other parts of the world will also take note on this topic and see to it that you understand this important point of dog training.
When you start training your dog you’ll feel that this it’s sort of like painting your house – that’s to say that once you paint it, you can sit back and enjoy it once it’s done. Dog training is not like that. Once you start training your dog it is something that you should continue for the entire life of your dog. Sort of like working out; once you get into shape it’s gonna take a bit of work to maintain it, maybe not as much as the initial phase, but it’s still work.
A dog trainer is similar to a coach or teacher. He can give you the tools to train your dog, but you have to make it yours. It is something you should do even on the days when the trainer is not there with you holding your hand. Imagine that, you’ll have to do some work on your own. If you believe that training 1-hour once or twice a week is enough, STOP NOW!
The exercises you learn are taught to you and your dog during the training session – now it’s your job to practice and perfect this until your next session. Here comes the important part – once your dog learns it, he needs refreshers from time to time. Yes, your dog will get sloppy, so once the training sessions are over you need to keep practicing. Imagine if the Olympic athlete reached his goal and then stopped training. What’s the chance that he would be able to duplicate the feat if he didn’t continue training? – I’d say very slim!
So when it comes to dog training, get the basics, polish them and keep on training. There’s nothing more unfair to a dog than training him and then expecting him to remember things that he’s not reminded of. I have a mental list of all of the things my dog can do and I review them every week. Each and every day we do a form of training and at the end of a week everything is covered. If you want a well-trained dog, make it fun and continue the training. It’s like learning a language, if you stop practicing the language chances are you won’t be able to converse in that language after a year or so. However, the good news is that is comes back quickly.
Be fair to your dog and keep him focused. Using training as a form of play is the best way solidify your relationship.