Companion Dog Training
Maintenance Program: Use it or Lose it
Excerpt from Devito and Ammen "The Everything Dog Book"
Dog training is a lot like showering. Thinking about showering or complaining about being stinky won't make you cleaner. You actually have to get wet and lather up. Even then, you don't stay clean forever. No matter how meticulously you scrub and how carefully you attempt to avoid getting messy you will never be free of the need to shower regularly.
Dog training, like showering, does work - but it must be repeated. Once your dog knows the basics, you can keep him in tiptop form in almost no time at all. Remembering and enforcing the "Ten Commandments of Dog Training" will ensure lifelong harmony with your canine companion:
- Always enforce the "No pulling on the Leash" rule.
- Only give one command for one action.
- Only give commands that you are prepared to enforce.
- Correct with firmness - not cruelty. Dogs live for the moment, so corrections must be instantaneous and not after the fact.
- Remember that a dog is like a bank - it only gives you what you ask for.
- Training is not necessarily what you try to teach - it is what a dog learns. Allowing a dog to misbehave is a form of training.
- Say what you mean and mean what you say.
- The more controlled you dog is, the more freedom he can enjoy.
- Regression is a normal part of the learning process. View regression as an opportunity to imporve the dog's understanding: the only way he can truly know what is right is by unsuccessfully attempting to do things the wrong way. Training through regression strengthens obedience.
- Love your dog and take pride in the relationship you have created, fostered, nutured, and developed. Remember you're responsible for the way your dog behaves!