I wanted to add a quick post about what I think is the most important key to training your dog.
-Do Not Give Up
-Stay with it.
-Stay with it.
-Finally Stay with it.
When we got our dog from the Cocheco Humane Society in Dover, NH he was nine weeks old.
He had already been to one family and lasted a week. It was a family where the children wanted a dog so badly so the parents got him and the kids didn’t want to have any part in taking care of him. In the end a week later he ended up at the humane society. (I’ll blog about this later) He came with a certificate for a free training course at It’s A Dog’s World in York, Maine because he qualified for a behavior modification program.
We started out at the first training course which was a Basic Obedience dog training course. It lasted about six weeks if I remember correctly. After the course he was better, but still we thought he could use some more training. We paid for him to go to the Intermediate Obedience course at It’s a Dog’s World. This time he got it. He was well behaved – we as owners knew how to communicate and train our dog. (Who’s name is Buddy by the way).
So we started taking him to the dog park, for walks and to festivals. We noticed that when we were at the park he wouldn’t come back to us when we called even when there were no distractions at an empty baseball field. We did another training course at It’s a Dog’s World called “Come When Called”. This was a fun training program.
This one trained the owners how to get their dog to come when called and trained the dog to do as commanded. The training involved going out to a field (fenced in of course) and the owner would one at a time go hide in the field behind a tree or a burm. The trainers would release you dog and you’d call them with all the excitement and loudness you could. Your dog would come running, stop when they realized they couldn’t see you until you called again and they would finally find you. We also did indoor training where they would let multiple dogs off the leash and yours would have to come when you called and come to you. You’d then tell the dog to “go play” to let them know it was ok to go back and play. This was a check in portion of the training program.
Buddy is now six years old and is I would argue the most well behaved dog I know. He listens to both my wife and I, he does not stray far from us even in crowded situations. I trust him not to run away. He is gentle with people. He has a respect for us and we have a respect for him. There was a point after the first course that we thought this would never work.
So stick with the training, if you can’t go to courses at least get a book and read about training. The programs are not just to train the dog, they also teach you how to behave with your dog and get them to do what you want. Stay consistent. Just because the course is over don’t think that the training end. It never ends, you must continually reinforce the behaviors. In fact we continue to teach Buddy new tricks and he learns them with excitement and retains them.
In the end if you want a well behaved dog you must put effort into it and work with your dog. You both will benefit and other will notice. Stay with it, the training you are doing will pay off!
Here is a program you can purchase if you can’t afford the time to go to training: It uses positive reinforcement – the only training that I endorse. Check it out – Click here