Often it can seem overwhelming when working with a new dog. Whether you have a sweet 7-week old puppy or an older dog that you adopted from the shelter, each dog has his or her issues that need to be addressed.
You are helpless as you watch your 2-year-old dog repeatedly steal a tennis ball from a Labrador Retriever and his person while they are trying to enjoy a nice day at the park.
You apologize, go through the social gestures of telling your dog that he is “being bad” and you sheepishly walk him to the other side of the park, only to see him race after the ball and do it again. You leave well before you planned on leaving, but you don’t want to face the wrath of the seemingly nice person, and would not blame him if he blew up after the tenth time of your dog’s thievery.
Over the years I have seen a few families get rid of their dog after having a baby. I was shocked in one case and the other times I wasn’t as surprised. The time I was shocked the family was REALLY into their dog. I met them before their little boy was even a glimmer. They took the dog everywhere, and they treated it like gold. After their baby was born they called me in a panic because they just did not realize how much time their little boy was going to take and they thought their dog might not be happy.
As someone that thinks about dogs all the time, I am aware of collective gaps in dog trainer’s knowledge as a whole to prove “why” dogs perform a behavior.
There are numerous theories pertaining to dog behavior, but in reality many of them cannot be proven. There are deficiencies in understanding many dog topics that creates an inability to be able to definitively prove something in such a way that there can be no counter argument.
Tonight it happened again. I had a session with a client that thought their puppy “was screaming bloody murder” in the crate and were anxious to get my opinion about whether their puppy had separation anxiety.
If you are feeling frustrated or overwhelmed at all in your dog training pursuits, pay attention to the time you have when working with your dog, without setting specific training goals. You should look at the amount of time you have to train so you can find “quality” time to train where you can focus 100% of your attention on your dog’s behavior.
Do you have a puppy that has so much energy, is jumping on you, biting everything, pulling on the leash and just acting crazy?
This is a really simple dog training trick that works for puppies or older, over-exuberant dogs to calm them down and teach them to focus and be more composed.