Mama Sally: One of the things that is probably the most frustrating aspect of working with various dog owners, is that they always want results, but often aren’t prepared to work, when they train their dogs.
Day in and day out, I am working with owners who are as sincere as can be, and who have wonderful…really terrific dogs. I honestly think that these are owners who sincerely want things to change I regards to their dog’s behavior. But, often when I come to a lesson, owners will tell me problems that they encountered while they were training, and many of those problems have the very same root issue: the owner was not prepared when they came to work with their dog!
When I work with someone’s dog, I am training right in front of my owners, so I am explaining what I’m doing, how to do it, why to do it, etc. They see the equipment I use and how and when I use it. I’m explaining and showing as I work with their dogs. However, once I leave, sometimes I find that owners go back to doing things with the same old habits and mind-set. That’s the definition of insanity isn’t it? Doing things the same way over and over and expecting different results?
Think about training your dog as if you were going to work. To do any job correctly and well, you need tools to assist you. It’s hard to make a phone call without a phone, right? To send an email, you’re going to need a computer, smart phone, tablet, etc. and access to the Internet. You get the idea.
Training your dog is no different. To perform any aspect of dog training, you’ll need to have the appropriate tools, or you just won’t make much progress. For me, as a trainer, that equipment will include a standard six foot leash, collar or harness, a bait bag, and treats of some kind.
I suggest that you write a sticky note for yourself that says, “GOT TREATS?” and put it on the door that you use to take your dog in and out for walks. Be sure to move the note every couple of days, because our eyes get used to seeing something and you’ll soon ignore the note. But if it’s moved every day or two….put at angles, etc., your eyes will go right to it on the door, and you’ll remember to grab the necessary things you’ll need to set your dog up for success!
Rugby James: I’m ALWAYS ready for work! I lubs to get to train, on account of that’s when I gets lotsa attention from the Mama and sum nibbles, too! That’s one fing I know about the Mama: if we’re working togedder, she’s gonna make sure I getsa get a paycheck!
Sumtimes I gets real dogger treats, and sumtimes I gets kibbles, and when I gets my paws trimmed wif the grinder, I getsa chickie footie! The Mama looks at how hard the job is that she’s asking me to do, and if it’s a harder job for me, I getsa bigger paycheck.
I can’t fink of very many times when the Mama has asked me to work and she wasn’t ready too. Mostly, we just plan ahead on stuff, so we can make the most of chances for me to learn how to do fings the way the Mama wants.
See, one fing I can tell you is that doggers needs lots and lots of practice on stuff to really figure it out and learn it down deep. Sumtimes owners fink that if doggers can kinda get the idea of doing sumfing a few times, they should be able to do it every time, every where. That’s really, really hard for a dogger to do, so you’re just gonna needsa practice for a long, long time wif your lil dogger….until they get it.
If I can say anyfing helpful to Uprights, it’s please, please, please be patient and understanding wif your lil doggers. They is trying so very hard for you! If they doesn’t gets it right, they probly just don’t get what you want yet. It just means that Uprights gotsa slow down and give their doggers more time and practice.
Here’s sumping important you hasta know: if doggers getsa get a paycheck only sumtimes when they is working, tell me why they should work ALL of the time for their Uprights? Doesn’t you wanna get paid every time you go to work? Well, if that’s what you want, please be fair to your lil dogger and make sure they getsa consistent command, hand signal, paycheck, correction, etc. Fair is fair, and when we can see fair and consistent treatment from our Uprights, we can learn to trust what they says and does. And to a dogger…..trust is everyfing.