Okay, if you are wondering whether sometimes this approach to dog training doesn’t work – the truth is that that can be the case, but let me reassure you that it doesn’t need to be that way. There is no such thing as an untrainable dog. However below are the top ten reasons that it wouldn’t work, and the resolutions to these problems:
Top 10 reasons this approach to dog training wouldn’t work
- You don’t actually do it (self explanatory I would think! I am a dog owner trainer, so the onus is on you to carry out what I taught you)
- You do some of it, but miss some of it out, thinking it’s not as important (or it will be okay if you skip that bit).
- You do it for a while and then stop.
- You keep listening to advice from other people (who mean well, but don’t necessarily know what they are talking about).
- You mix this method with command based stuff (e.g. telling off a dog when they are attention seeking – therefore the attention seeking works and they stay in charge)
- You rushed it – so you didn’t allow your dogs the time & patience they need to be able to make changes in their behaviour.
- You expected too much from them. There are certain situations which are just very difficult for a dog to feel okay about, so if you keep putting them in these situations that’ll make it difficult for your dogs to focus on your leadership position and relax.
- Your dog is quite a willful character, and poses countless challenges to you. After a while you gave up (and gave the leadership role back).
- Other people in the family didn’t do their part.
- There is an unidentified medical consideration
Now this is specifically the method of training that I teach I am referring to, because I know with every fibre of my being that it works. Every dog is different, and some make it more challenging for you than others would, but there is always room for improvement. I’ll repeat what I said earlier: There is NO SUCH THING AS AN UNTRAINABLE DOG. There ARE countless other methods of dog training out there that I know wouldn’t work in most cases, because they don’t take into consideration the fundamental nature of the dog, so do not cover off enough things that are important to our beloved four legged friends. However this method is different.
The (mainly obvious) resolutions to the above scenarios:
- Commit to doing the method properly – give yourself a defined period of time that you will stick at it and then look for the difference in behaviour then. You’ll then feel motivated to keep going.
- As above.
- Take it back up again, make sure you are following everything, and again try a defined period of time so you can see the difference in that time.
- Stop listening to others. Smile and nod when they offer their unsolicited advice. If you aren’t sure whether it’s good advice or not, just ask me!
- When you are timing your greeting (after every separation until they relax) you need to ensure that you are not giving them attention on their terms. That includes commands. So stop using commands. Gently move them away or isolate if it’s something you really need to discourage.
- It’s a marathon, not a sprint. The fundamental nature of the dog means that survival is a big issue here, they aren’t going to hand the responsibility over to you until they are sure you can do it.
- Can you create a calmer environment for them for a while? Avoid them being around loads of people loads of dogs etc. You’re going to need to be patient as it will take a little longer if there are big triggers for them. Get back in touch as I will be able to give you some ideas of little tweaks you could make.
- You need to be more stubborn than your dog. Full stop.
- Send them to my refresher event (tickets here)
- This is listed last because it is highly unlikely to be the problem. But if all else fails it may be worth checking to see if there is an underlying problem. Ask for my thoughts before you take this expensive action though.