Tuesday Training Tip: What Do You Want From Your Training Experience?

Mama Sally:

Dog training has evolved in many ways over the years.  Dog owners today have so many options when it comes to training their dogs.  It can be overwhelming for an owner to be sure!

One question that you might ask yourself is what do you actually want from your training experience?  You can get all kinds of results from various training options, but what do you really want?  When you have a special needs dog, I think that how you answer this question is going to make all the difference in the world.

None of my dogs have been “robot” dogs who were perfect in their behavior.  We had the occasional mishap at home or out and about, just like any other dog and owner.  However, all of my dogs have been really wonderful dogs with great manners who could go anywhere with me, and almost all of the time, they would do exactly what I wanted them to do.  We were able to have guests in our home easily, and our dogs responded well to our rules with or without distractions.

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Happi on “Picture Day” at Lindsay’s preschool

Rugby is the exception to my personal dog experience because of his special needs, but I have still wanted all good things in training him.  It’s just been more challenging living with him, but I have still wanted him to have a great life with us, and for us to become a team together, where we understand, trust and respect each other.

Together, we have forged a great relationship overall, and much of that great relationship has come through the hours that we’ve spent just working and training together.  I would hate to have missed out on the relationship that we have.  Holding the leash and teaching Rugby new things has given him a deeper respect for me, because he has seen consistency from me, so he has learned that there will be a predictable outcome for his behavior, which has helped him learn to feel less anxious about life.

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If you have a special needs dog, most often, you simply want the nutty behavior to just stop!  I completely understand that, because there are days where I feel like I live at “Nut Central” with Rugby James!  However, please understand that training is definitely a process, and that process just takes time.  Instead of feeling frustrated that you can’t get instant results, know that you are getting some wonderful by-products: trust, relationship, teamwork, respect, and just plain fun as you work together!  Those intangible rewards are part of the process, and those rewards really are simply priceless!

Rugby James:

When I first commed to live wif the Mama, I didn’t know what kinda Mama I was gonna get.  Lil doggers doesn’t getsa choose their Mamas, and sumtimes, a dogger can get one what isn’t very good.  When you get gived back a lot, it makes you really nervous when you go to the next home.  I never did know what maked the Uprights give me back, sos it maked me worried a lot when I went to the next home.  When that keeps happening, it is really hard to relax and stop being worried.

When the Mama and me has worked togedder, we’ve had ups and downs for sure.  We still make mistakes along the way, but it’s a whole lot better now, because we trust and respect each udder. We can work frew fings easier and it’s more fun, on account of we really know each udder now.

Training is like one game after anudder, and the Mama makes the games fair and consistent sos I know that I can win!  That makes it lotsa fun for me, and I’m always ready to train on account of I lubs to have fun!!  If you hasn’t trained your dogger, you can’t imagine the fun what you’re missing!!   Go find yourself a good positive reinforcement trainer what can help you build this kinda life wif your own lil dogger!!

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