A most common complaint from people about training their dogs.
You know, I’ve been working with horses and dogs for a really long time, about 35+ years I guess. And, for the past 25 years, I’ve been helping teach people how to have a better relationship with their dogs, and how to get results in a way that feels great to them AND their dogs.
Over the years, one of the most common ‘complaints’ I hear from folks is:
“I don’t have time to train my dogs.”
As a result, their dogs misbehave, don’t have good social skills, don’t respond to cues…you know, the really important stuff suffers.
Well, if you’re anything like me, and most dog people I know, life IS crazy busy.
It’s true: it seems like there is not enough time in the day to do everything we want to do.
And, often times, resolving those troublesome behaviors takes the back seat, because priorities rule.
Here’s another important thing I’ve discovered after years of struggling with the ‘no time’ problem:
We do NOT need to set up a ‘training session’ to train our dogs.
As a matter of fact, when it comes to basic life and relationship skills, it’s better NOT to have a ‘training session’.
Yep, you heard me right. After research and a discovery process to learn why my most admired dog trainers and handlers, and later my self, had success at this important foundation training, without training sessions, this was my conclusion. And, this is ONE of the key principles of dog training success.
Here’s how it works:
- Dogs naturally seek information and guidance from their people. (we are their “role models”)
- If relevant information is not received from us, dogs become worried, anxious or even frantic…this is often interpreted as unruly behavior, or ignoring behavior, or blamed on distractions.
- Being focused and attentive allows valuable dialog between a person and their dog. This is where the magic happens!
- Our own inattentiveness accidentally teaches our dogs to be inattentive to us and our requests. (Remember, we are role modeling how we want our dogs to behave)
- All throughout the day, every single day, each time you are with your dog: Be attentive and teach your dog important life skills as you live your life together.
What I’ve found is that we don’t need to ‘train’ our dogs until we move into specialty areas, like: herding, agility, rally, disc, obedience, conformation.
If we teach our dogs to be responsible members of the family as we interact in every day life, our dogs are automatically trained…AND future specialty training is crazy easy.
- Read my “5 Step Formula for Dog Training Success” book again, this time noticing how Mary incorporates Max’s training into everyday living and how effective it was for them.
- Each time you interact with your dog in any way, practice staying really focused on just your dog for a few seconds at a time.
- During those times of focus, add in some simple requests that teach your dog how to focus on you, how to be attentive to your body language, how to have impulse control by waiting for you to lead the action.
- Increase your mutual attentiveness by a few seconds each interaction, remembering to admire and praise your dog for being attentive.
- And remember to praise/reward yourself too!
In a week’s time, you’ll notice you and your dog are more attentive and responsive to one another … and that your dog is more willing to follow your lead and happily comply with your requests.
That will continue to get better over time, as you learn to become even more attentive and responsive to each other…creating a brilliant collaborative partnership!
Try it and let me know how it goes!