There are typically three issues that most of my dog training clients are dealing with. Maybe not always all three, but at least one of these is sure to be on their list.
The problems arise from a miscommunication between dog and owner and lack of practicing properly. As a trainer it is my job to assess the “team” and come up with better solutions. It’s important to teach the client as well as the dog and help bridge the gap between them.
A dog never pulled on a leash relentlessly until we attached a person on the other end. If a dog is tied with a leash he gives in to it when he reaches the end. We are guilty of teaching pulling by following our dogs on a tight leash. We can use tools, training and education to help with pulling.
One reason dogs don’t come is we don’t spend a lot of time training it. I ask my clients, “when do you ask your dog to come?” and they explain that every time he takes off they call him and he doesn't come back. It is the only time they practice calling him to come. So, in fact, they have actually inadvertently taught their dog that come means to run off in the woods and not return. We have to practice training what we want in situations that are easy for the dog at first.
Dogs love to jump because they are rewarded for it. The dog jumps up, people pet him. He might jump up, and we don’t like it, so we push him off. He likes that too because he gets interaction. What we reward our dogs get better at, so helping him not practice some things, is important too.
You can save yourself a lot of bad practice and headaches by scheduling a training session during a stay in one of our dog friendly cabin rentals.
By Nan Long, APDT
Owner DogWoods Retreat /Now And Zen Dog Training