January is National Train Your Dog Month, so what better time to amp up your training skills? We're kicking off with a winter training challenge and this one...has a twist.
Human behavior change is my jam. I spent the majority of my professional career working in fitness as a department manager and fitness trainer. My role provided me with the opportunity to teach and certify up and coming fitness pros, supervise a big, energetic crew, and supply thousands in my community with the opportunity to get fit, have fun, and learn new skills. It's an important piece of why I love dog training - I like training with YOU.
It's Not Working
We have all had that moment, or likely many, many moments, where we feel like training isn’t going as expected. It's not working, we say. It’s very easy to blame it on the dog - she’s stubborn, he doesn’t work for food, he only does it when he wants to - and then we get frustrated. That frustration can lead us to look for new solutions and quick fixes.
While this may not be a bad thing (I love creativity!) there is a good chance that you are throwing in the towel before giving training, real training, a fair shake.
Training Works Like Training, Not Like Magic
Dog training is technical. It's creative. It's scientific. It's mechanical. And, it involves a learner who has their own things going on. So, here's the thing: if you find that force free training isn't getting the results you hoped for, there is a really good (like, really, really good) chance that you’re doing something, and quite possibly, many somethings, wrong.
Ouuuuch - I know it stings to hear that you're doing not-so-good, but get over it because we're going to get better. I will hear your frustrations, I will empathize with you that it sucks when you aren't seeing results, but for the love of dog, we have to assess and fix your skill set. You're raising an entirely different species. This is not easy.
So, don't jump ship, don't say that force free training doesn't work, don't quit, and definitely don't look toward electric or pokey devices to solve your problems.
Let's Up Your Game
We're starting with you because there is important work to be done before you strap on the treat bag.
Your dog (say hi for me) gets to kick back and reap the benefits. Woof.
Challenge 1: Quality Leadership
Want accountability? Share your challenge responses with me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Watch For It - Next Challenge: Self Assessment
Local Dog Adventure Blog
Join me and my 3-dog crew as we share our stories of training and adventure. Whether you're a newly leashed dog guardian, veteran handler, weekend warrior, cuddle on the couch sort, got yourself a fancy AF purebred or filthy, little mudblood, all are welcome in the Local Dog Tribe. If you want your pooch to think you're the coolest thing since sliced hot dogs, read on!