Volume 11, Number 1
What Should I Do When.....?
Many of the questions I get from new clients fall in the catagory of:
"What Should I Do When....?"
This sentence always ends with a dog doing something that we never want to see happen: my two dogs get in a fight, my dog nips my visitor, my puppy pees on the floor, my dog chases a deer etc.
The one thing all of these situations have in common is that whatever you do at this point will have little effect. It's all just damage control.
That is why my usual answer is something along the lines of: "Well don't let that happen!!!!"
Could This Fight Have Been Avoided If You Interrupted Sooner?
In dog training, timing is everything!
So it’s not what you do when
your dog is acting out that matters, it’s what you do before! There is often a split second before your puppy squats to pee, your fearful dog decides he can’t get away and nips, your two dogs go at it etc, when you can still redirect them into more appropriate behavior. This is where training happens. Your dog learns that when he has to pee, he should run to the back door. Or when his brother is getting on his last nerve, he should sit and look at you and you’ll deal with it for him etc.
Do you have a dog who does something completely unacceptable? Can you think of a way to re-direct him to a more appropriate behavior before he loses his mind? Sometimes you need to put in some foundation training first (stays
, watch me, and leave-it etc are all useful for redirecting). Once you have a toolbox, you just need to get your timing right.
You’ll know you’ve got your timing down when your conversation with your dog goes from “What did you do?!!!” to “Don’t even think about it!’.
First Champion Agility Student!
Congratulations to Raquel Burke and Rottweiler Chance on earning their PACH (Preferred Agility Champion) on Saturday, February 4th. Raquel and Chance are the first team I've trained that have completed an agility championship. A huge accomplishment!
Chance started his career in Puppy Pre-School and he still acts like I'm a long lost friend every time he sees me (good that I can still get a Rottie fix now and then!). Next Raquel and Chance started agility with me and trained through the Excellent level before taking a break to finish Chance's breed championship. For the last couple of years, they have devoted their time to agility competition becoming a super reliable team. Chance is one of those special teammates who earnestly tries his hardest every time he steps in the ring. He never loses his connection with Raquel.
One of the joys of being a dog trainer is watching those special relationships develop. Way to go Team Chance!
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