Simon Sez: Sure, whatever you say,
I'm always obedient!
Thousands of dogs end up in shelters every year. The main reason for this is owner lack of commitment. Puppy owners will try dog obedience classes and not follow through with reinforcement training at home. The puppy grows quickly into an unmanageable dog.
If you have a puppy or recently got a dog, understand that consistent, continuous obedience training is necessary to co-exist peacefully with your dog. Without it, life with your dog may be chaotic.
Consider dog obedience training a course you need to be enrolled in all the time. At first, you’ll be going to classes all the time. The better you get at obedience training your dog, the fewer classes you need to attend. But you can never drop out of the dog obedience training course. And failure means you may need to find your dog a new home. Can you put up with a dog like Marley from the movie “Marley & Me?”
Here are the reasons why YOU might fail dog obedience training:
Thinking You Can Train Your Dog Without Help
With the exception of professional dog trainers and expert dog owners, most people need help with obedience training. Questions arise all the time – how often do I need to train? How do I get the dog to stop pulling on the leash? How do I get my dog to come when called?
Find a few knowledgeable resources – the vet office staff, a friend with a dog, dog forums, a Certified Professional Dog Trainer, a dog training DVD, a dog training book, Internet web sites for dog training tips – and get the answers to your questions.
Not Getting the Dog’s Attention Before Issuing a Command
If your dog’s attention is focused on the squirrel crossing the street as you say “Sit,” don’t expect it to happen. YOU have to get the dog’s attention first. This is an issue with a puppy with an attention span of a microsecond, but think about it – puppies can focus – how long did he focus on the squirrel? You need to make yourself the center of his attention.
Lack of Patience
This is THE biggie, especially when you have a puppy. They whine, wiggle, jump, chew, bite, pull on the leash, and are generally puppylike. But even a young pup can learn to sit fairly easily. And you can move on from there, step by step. Dog and puppy obedience training REQUIRES patience.
Inconsistent Application of Commands
Training happens every day and is connected with everyday activities – it does not always need to be formal. Suppose you have been getting your dog to sit while you put on his leash or before you put down his food dish. Then you forget for a few days. Now the dog’s confused – do I need to sit or not? This happens when different family members attend to the dog’s needs.
No “Connection” with Your Dog
So you come home from work, let the dog outside, feed him, and then forget he exists. Or you go to the super pet store to buy dog food and don’t bring the dog. And you have no idea where the nearest dog park is located.
In other words, your dog’s not a family member, just a part of the home landscape. Maybe that’s the way you treat your other family members?
You can learn to train your dog. And you can both live together in peace. Think about the reverse of each of the reasons for failure described above. You do love your dog, don’t you?