Hello Beautiful Wonderful Dog Owners of the World!
In today's blog post, I am going to talk about one of the single, most important things when it comes to dog training. Potty training? Nope, covered that. Leash walking? Not quite. Good manners when guests are over? Keep guessing.......
Think you got it? If you guessed Consistency, then you've hit the nail on the head. If not, do not fear, Dog Trainer Megan is here to explain to you all the reasons why consistency is so important when it comes to our four-legged friends.
Consistency can be one of the hardest, yet most effective ways to see results when training. When applied to all aspects of training your pup, you'll be surprised how quickly you can accomplish your training goals. Let me paint you a picture real quick. Imagine that you are raising a small child (maybe you already are). When the child is with mom, he is not allowed to draw on the walls with crayon. But when he is with dad.....that little boy can get away with just about anything. This makes it very difficult for the child to learn what the rules of the household are, right? Dogs are the same way. When each family member is treating the same behavior different ways, the dog has a hard time learning if a behavior is acceptable or not. A classic example of this is a dog jumping up on people. Maybe some owners don't mind their dog jumping on them, yet they do not want their dog jumping on others. Well, you can't have it both ways; you have to choose one or the other - in most cases, not letting the dog jump - or the dog will ALWAYS jump on people whether you want them to or not.
This same concept can be applied to anything in training. If dog is not allowed to pull with one of it's paw-rents but can get away with pulling the other paw-rent all the way across the park, then the dog will always pull.
Lets say their is only one owner. I'm going to use the example of potty training and crate training here. If your puppy pees outside, but never poops outside, then you go inside and he immediately poops once he is running around, you need to start waiting outside until he poops (if he doesn't, he goes back in the crate and you try again later). Once he has pooped, then he gets the reward of freedom in the house and you can rest assured that he won't be pooping anywhere in the house. If you only enforce this method half the time because you forget or feel bad and want to give him playtime, he will never learn the appropriate place to poop.
Bottom Line: Consistency is the key to successful training. Whether you are by yourself or out on the town with your doggo, you must consistently enforce training. If you don't, then manage your dog by not giving him the opportunity to behave inappropriately. For example, if you have guests over but you don't want to work on your dog not jumping on guests, then put him in a room (or preferably in a crate), so he does not have the opportunity to jump and you don't have to worry about not being consistent.
Thank you for reading today's post! Have a topic you want some advice on? Leave a comment and I'll add it to my list of posts to write. :)
Now please enjoy this pic of my boyfriend, Daniel, and one of our dogs, Sativa. He works hard to be consistent with our pups' training because he knows if he isn't, I'll kick his butt ;)