I've heard that a tired dog is a good dog. Will exercise solve most of my dog's problems?
It’s true that exercise is an essential need for dogs and a very important part of their health; however, exercise is not a substitute for training. In fact, for most dogs, vigorous exercise for extended sessions only helps them get into better shape which means they have increased their endurance and require even more exercise as time goes on in order to “tire them out”. It’s important to provide the right TYPE of exercise for dogs and the right AMOUNT. To learn more about this subject, check out this blog.
After training a dog, how long does the training “last”?
Animals learn and change their habits throughout their life. This continual learning is important because an animal in the wild that stops learning won’t be able to adapt to its environment and survive. Because of this innate need in dogs, it’s important to “always be training”. When it comes to training, if you don’t put your dog’s skills into practice regularly or to provide consistent follow up, they can start to slip out of their good habit and develop unwanted behaviors. This is why we believe in having a training-first community where we build long term relationships with our clients and their dogs. Dog training isn’t just a “one-and-done” activity – it is a lifestyle.
What's the most common training mistake people make?
One of the biggest mistakes people make is in thinking that training only happens when they are providing focused attention in a training session. However, training really happen continually throughout the day. Because of this mistake, owners accidently reward unwanted behaviors without realizing it and miss opportunities to reinforce boundaries.
Do you use only positive reinforcement?
No. Reinforcing good behaviors is definitely important and deserves focus. However, it’s equally important to correct undesirable behavior as it is to give rewards for good behavior. If both are not done when needed, then the dog will continue to be confused as to which behavior you want and a good habit will not be formed.
Do people have naughty pets because they treat them like their kids?
We, humans, love to “anthropomorphize” dogs. That means we give them human traits, emotions, and intentions. It’s the only way most of us know how to relate and connect with them. However, sometimes this “spoiling” behavior causes people to be afraid of setting boundaries with their dogs. Spoiled dogs who have no boundaries set tend to be more anxious or frustrated than dogs with clear rules even though they may have access to everything they want. To read more about how to show your dog you love them, click here.
How do I get my dog to stop barking at visitors?
Dogs bark for many different reasons when people come over. It can be excitement, anxiety, fear, aggression – or even a combination of these (depending on who is visiting!). The best way to get your dog over this is through conditioning – this means teaching your dog that when he hears people approaching, he needs to access a calm state-of-mind. This is often achieved by creating a pattern in which your dog learns to go sit in a specific spot or on their bed when the doorbell rings or they hear a knock. This helps them know what to do and refocus their energy.
Should I DIY or should I hire a professional dog trainer?
We can chat all day about the benefits of professional dog training…we’re obviously a little bias. But if you’re considering a DIY approach this may be the best option for your family and your dog. The best advice we can give is that whatever you choose, make sure you do plenty of research to educate yourself on the best possible approach, develop a training plan and be sure that you are willing to commit the time and patience you need to be successful. To learn more about whether DIY training is right for you, click here. Otherwise, we offer several free resources on our site to help. View our video gallery, or download our FREE training guide.