frustrated- kiss dog training

Sometimes clients become frustrated when their initial concern isn’t immediately addressed (or worked on specifically):

  • A dog that jumps.
  • A dog that pulls on the leash.
  • A dog that doesn’t listen.
  • A dog that is “out of control”.
  • A dog that doesn’t like men, children, house guests or other dogs.

While these behaviors might be driving you nuts, they are not and cannot be the starting point for a successful dog training experience. Instead, we start with teaching a dog and its human to pay attention.  Not only to each other, but to the environment around them. We start with resource control (hand feeding) inside your home or in a group setting.  We then move on to more distracting environments. Moving forward to each new or more difficult task will be determined by your dog’s success or failure, and that depends on the work you do during the time between each session.

 

Lets Start at Step 1 and I promise we will get to Step 13

We typically work for more than two months and meet up to 5 times.  Each problem behavior is different, but a month of work is usually the minimum. It’s important to take one step at a time.  Handle something simple first and then move on to the rest.Dog trainers are not magicians, Jedi Masters or “Whisperers” of any kind. We are simply teachers: We teach other humans how to train dogs. Your success is dependent upon your work, your consistency and your ability to practice what we teach you.

 

Here is an Example… Dog Reactivity on Leash

Session #1

 
We will first start with in the house work, probably hand feeding… So we can teach the dog about paying attention and impulse control. Next we will cover what to do when house guests come over again impulse control and how to set routines. And we also talk about energy and and how a dog with to much will be very hard to train 😈 Then we leave and give you two weeks to practice homework!
 

Session #2

 
When we come back we introduce the leash in the house… Teach the command Stay and Leave it (but this time on leash) So that next time when we actually go for a walk the dogs knows the command we are going to attempt to use. We also introduce the dog to the backyard and driveway on a long line so that we can practice recall and coming back when called or pulling on leash!
 

Session #3

 
This time when we show up we actually show up and go for a walk. Now we are not at this point quite ready for the dog-dog reaction but we are ready to learn management techniques of how to avoid and add distance around dogs to successfully walk the neighborhood and begin the process of paying more attention to you than scanning the neighborhood for dogs!!!! We also work on other aspects of Stay inside the house!!!!
 

Session #4

 
The big day! We bring a dog to the session and we start the real work of being able to be in the presence (albeit and in some cases extreme distances) of dogs! We play games like leap frog and follow the leader and by the end with a lot of treats we can be in reasonable proximity to the trainers dog… But they aren’t all that reactive so there is still on step left…
 

Session #5

 
We meet a local park or area with lots of dogs… The trainer leaves his dog at home so there is more one on one coaching when we encounter dogs, squirrels , kids or other distractions . We start to put the commands Leave it and Watch Me to the test and trust me the distraction level is going to make this easy in home command way harder but by the end of the session we should be showing marked improvement….. At least with ignoring dogs and paying attention to you!!!! We even learn games like Park Bench Bingo but you are just now getting to your problem of dog-dog reactivity!
 Dog Thinking KISS Dog Training
Hopefully you see that this is a process and some clients will even need more than 5 sessions! I focus on dogs getting rewards for making the correct decisions vs. correcting a dog for incorrect decisions…. Yep, it takes longer, takes more work and God knows more homework, but in the end you have a dog that you understand, trust and will only put in situations they can handle… All the while knowing how to keep working towards your goals….
 
After reading this blog I hope it becomes clearer why you can’t always just start working on the problem and why building blocks and patience are so important in the idea of dog training!!!!
 
Mike
 
 
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