Who Do We Blame? – Dog Barker

No one. What am I talking about? I am talking to those of us that have that stubborn dog that wants to give us the obedience commands and eat the treats as we obey them. All the time, I train “people” and their dogs, and I would venture to guess 85 percent have passed their final test. Did the other 15 percent fail? Not in my eyes. What many would consider a failure, I consider a moment for retraining. For those who have taken the basic obedience with me and did not pass, I have always kept the door open for them to return. It is a win-win situation if everyone thinks about it. The dog gets additional socialization, and also gets to perfect their training.

Many dogs take to the basic obedience without a problem. They are the ones that their family began to teach manners from the moment they were brought home. Usually this is the quiet puppy that seems to just sit there at first, and when they feel safe and secure they open up and shows us who they really are. Puppies adapt quicker than adult dogs, and they usually take a few days. Adult dogs take a week to two weeks. Most of the best family dogs are the ones who choose their family. They are the ones that come to their future families out of the litter, or they choose their families through kennel doors and windows, or they just show up on your doorstep.

The few dogs that do not take to the basic obedience training are usually from a stubborn breed. One commonly stubborn breed of dog is the Shitzu. Picture a cat’s soul trapped in a small dog’s body. That is a Shitzu. There are additional breeds, but the Shitzu is the most common I run into. This dog requires a lot of patience. In rare cases, they take to training, but in most they tend to give the trainer the look of, “Yeah, right! You want me to do what? No way! You do it and I will eat the treats!” For those of us who have this issue, don’t give up. Come back and see me. We will see the training through.

What are some types of failures that allow dogs to get away with rebellion? Timing is everything. What do I mean by this? When a command is taught we use praise, love, treats, or the reward the dog desires, which could be a toy. It is when we reward the dog that makes or breaks the command. If the dog is rewarded, but breaks the command before they are rewarded and received the treat, they have learned to break at that point. An example would be the sit command. The dog is given the sit command, and just when they are about to take the treat, the dog stands up. There are many causes for this. The trainer could be holding the treat too far away, the hand is not closed around the treat, or the trainer could be pulling the treat away as the dog begins to break command.

Then there are some people who sign up for dog training and only complete the commands during the training classes, which are scheduled for once a week. I plainly explain to everyone who trains with me that during the week they should be working on the commands. Each week, we add two more commands, and then when the fourth week arrives we test on all the commands.

The success of your training depends on you. I would like to express to everyone who has trained with me, they can return to retrain their dog at anytime. I would love to have you.
By: Joel Allen