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Focusing on Consistency- Part 1 The Agenda
*Note- this will be the first of many posts in a series dedicated to the consistency that must be displayed while performing obedience training with our dogs.
I have a lot of clients who just want to obedience train their dogs. Most just want a friend or a well behaved pet and some want to move on to trials and competitions. Whatever the eventual goal is a few factors should always remain the same.
~Always train on the dogs agenda, not ours.
Just because WE want him to learn how to lay down in the next ten minutes with the cherrios we have in our hand doesn’t mean HE is capable of learning that fast, and even likes the way cherrios taste!!!!!! My point is, would you be able to write a 10 page purposal on a new bussiness adventure in 15 minutes for the left over pocket change i have totaling 58 cents? NO and nor would you want to!!! The first key in a successful training relationship is to work on his agenda. This is not “giving him power” or making him “a dominant dog” that is a bunch of bull and is blown way out of context (sorry, off my soapbox now)
As a responsible dog owner, our dogs partner and trainer we have to take into consideration him as
A. An animal
B. A sub species of animal AKA Canis Familiaris
C. A breed of sub species example being Pug, or German Shepherd
Only once we fully grasp this concept can we adequately acknowledge the training needs of our friend. We have to work with what we have, and each dog is different. This is one of the reasons we do not have an one method for our training, its impossible to if you want to have a good positive working relationship with your canine. It’s easy to just be a bully and say “It’s my way or the highway” like many trainers do but why, this is your partner, your friend, and you brought him into your world and choose this job for him. The least you can do is do it on his agenda!
We train with our dogs so that we can build a better relationship with them, i particularly focus on communication, consistency, and respect. These words can be defined a number of ways but the way we define and apply them is what gives you and your dog the ultimate relationship. Our work needs to be clear and consistent, we must do the repetitions the same every time and we must communicate it to the dog in the language they understand. This combination is what leads to the mutual respect that is demanded in the training relationship.
While we strictly train on the DOGS agenda, we must have a PLAN as the trainer. Our next part will be focusing on the plan.