Dog as Training Partner: What You Do Every Day Counts

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by jtclough on May 25, 2010

It’s amazing what you actually do every day and what you think you do everyday.  As a professional dog trainer I hear things that people would like to do with their dog every day.  What actually happens paints an entirely different picture.

As a happiness project with your dog as your training partner I’d like to suggest you think about the routines you do daily.  Actually write them down.  No one has to see them so you can be honest.  Unlike when people come to me with a dog that is a bit out of control, you don’t have to feel like you need to paint the picture different than it really is.

Without this step it will be impossible to really get to a place you want to be.  You can tell yourself all you want that it’s about the dog’s unruliness when it really is about the fact that you don’t take one extra minute and show your dog what to do on a regular basis.
You do it, but on an occasional basis.

That doesn’t mean that in your head you haven’t done it, or would like to do it.  The difference between thought and action is easy to bridge once you do it, but difficult to realize that it makes a big difference before you do it.

What you do every day matters.  For you and for your dog.

If you take your dog for a walk once in a while and wonder why the over excitement happens there is your answer.  What you do every day matters.

If you are too busy to take the time to help your dog into a sit after jumping up on the new designer t-shirt you just put on, you yell at your dog to “get off me!”…. proceed to push the dog out of the way and continue about your business, then wonder why your dog does it over and over again after yelling about it…..

What you do every day counts.

Use the less than one minute rule for your happiness and to train your dog.

Take the less than one minute to tell your dog “off” or “down” or whatever that word that automatically comes out, and then take the few moments for the next step.  “Sit”.  We all know when you take the time, even if your dog needs a little help with a tap on the rear, you can get your dog to sit.  And it actually does take less than one minute.

If you do that every day it matters.  Soon you will have a dog you can say “sit” to BEFORE the jumps happens and guess what?  No jumping, no paw prints or hair on the newly donned outfit and you end up with a well behaved dog.  Much more of a happiness feeling than the yelling every day.

Stop yelling at the dog.

I’ve been guilty of telling myself I do something every day when I really don’t.  The habit is one that is very easy to fall into.  Yelling was one of those habits.  For a long time I thought I was practicing what I tell other people to do.  Stay calm, tell your dog what to do and then follow through by helping into position and rewarding with some sort of small heartfelt praise.

It wasn’t until my spouse pointed out one day how great I was with everyone else’s dog but did I know I yelled at our own dogs every day?

Yikes.  That one stopped me.  No.  I didn’t realize it but the truth of the matter was once he said it to me I began to be aware every time I yelled at the dogs…. and he was right.  I yelled at the dogs every day.

As well behaved as they are, I took my frustration out on them when things weren’t going perfect.

That has certainly changed when I realized how important what you do every day matters!

How your dog can help you with a daily achievement of happiness.

Taking less than a minute to follow through with a simple sit for your dog can change your frustration level in a very large way every day.  What things do you find yourself doing every day?  What would you like to do every day instead… what small change can you make that would make your day feel happier?

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Exercise and the Active Dog | Sled Dogs
January 18, 2011 at 8:52 pm


1 Gary Guller May 26, 2010 at 5:25 am

Sweet article!

2 Anna May 26, 2010 at 9:42 pm

Can’t wait to get a dog someday and actually use this advice:) I love how you turned dog training into personal advice about how we can be happier. Looking forward to reading your blog.
.-= Anna´s last blog ..What would you do if you knew you could not fail? =-.

3 Jana Rade May 29, 2010 at 9:20 pm

This is so true. Dog’s don’t come with a remote control. They are there all the time and they learn all the time too, whether we want them to or not.

Dog walks is one of the most important things one can do for their dog. We do that religiously EVERY DAY. Doesn’t matter how busy we are, what the weather is …
It became part of our life, it’s as natural as brushing one’s teeth in the morning. Can’t imagine a day without it. And it does show. Our dogs are relaxed and calm, because they know their time of fun is sure to come.

Another thing I learned is that training a dog is really a way of life, rather than few minutes every day. Yeah, training sessions are great to teach your dog new things or reinforce the old ones. But I do find that it works best when what your dog learned during the training is also part of the every-day life.

Yelling at my dogs? Well, I do have to admit to raising my voice sometimes. While not the best idea, it does work though, particularly since it happens seldom. It is however my goal to never yell at my dogs. Well, if we were already perfect, what would there be left for us to do? 😉
.-= Jana Rade´s last blog ..Reader Question: Understanding Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) =-.

4 forex robot June 6, 2010 at 12:15 am

nice post. thanks.

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