A daily Dose of Dog Training:
An ongoing series.
If you’ve been following this blog for a while you know that I’ve been a professional dog trainer for quite some time and have been a non professional trainer for even longer.
Most of the clients I work with don’t tell me to "take my dog away and train it". A few of them do but most go through one of my smaller session offerings usually three to six sessions in all. The goal of this type of training is to get the owners to a point where they are comfortable reinforcing the commands with the dog in an ongoing fashion so that the dog eventually does enough repetitions to become trained.
The vast majority of my clients have quite a bit of difficulty in translating what we do in the "lessons" into what to do in "real life". That statement became amazingly clear tonight as I was walking one of my client’s pups around my neighborhood while I’m keeping it. This little dog is working on "come" or "recall" as dog trainers call it. So to practice it in real life tonight I hooked the pup up to a long line, grabbed my three other dogs, and off we went around the neighborhood. Every time the pup would drift off with the other dogs I would give it a small tug on the long line and give her the "come" command. After we had done this for about a half an hour she was doing it every time without any tugs on the line. The sad thing is that these clients have had a long line for weeks and just haven’t had the time to work on this with her. I was thinking while walking around tonight that within the next four days that I have this dog we’re going to manage to do about 500-600 repetitions of recall and she’s going to be pretty good at it by the time she heads back home.
Without sounding preachy here, practice like you live and your dog training will be FAR more effective and will happen much faster than you ever imagined. Now if I could just get clients to understand how this all works, the dogs and people would be much happier.
Austin Dog Trainer
Fidelio Dog Works