Because of all those “Christmas Puppies”, January is known as the beginning of “Puppy Training Season”. Robin and I have already been inundated with “puppy training requests”, so this year appears to be no exception. We love to get out there to visit with new clients and work with their cute and fun little guys. It is important that we start “the puppy and puppy’s owner” training as soon as possible.
We were at a new puppy training client in Kennesaw yesterday, working with her and her beautiful Rottweiler puppy named Delilah. We worked on the “standard puppy issues” that included pottying, paying attention, simple obedience, and situational awareness. As is always the case, we needed to make sure that our client was not overwhelmed with the information being provided and was confident and excited with the success she was achieving with Delilah.
The good news was that Delilah demonstrated that she was an excellent listener and very good at following our client’s instructions. We could easily observe that our client was on her way to be a great teacher and Delilah was on her way to be a great student. With that said, we also noticed that even though our client knew that Delilah was going in the right direction, she was frustrated because things seemed to be moving slowly. Our client was wondering why it couldn’t go faster…
We explained to our client that puppies can be really great students because they provide us with a “clean slate” on which to teach. Their inquisitive nature provides them with a natural willingness to learn and explore. The unfortunate thing about puppies, at least for us as their teachers, is that now we have to teach them everything. In other words, “their textbooks have never been cracked”.
As their teachers, caregivers, and protectors, our initial task is to set up a hierarchy of goals for our puppy to achieve. These goals must be simple for our puppy to grasp and easy for them to accomplish. My suggestion for all new puppy owners is that their first goal for their puppy is proper potty training. Our puppy can accomplish this goal when he only goes to the bathroom when we take him outside. Our ability to accomplish this is to understand his schedule, our actions impacting his schedule, and diligence in learning his schedule based on our actions.
If you didn’t notice, one thing that I did not include in the above plan was an absolute time frame for success. Success is based on our ability to stick to the plan, learn from our mistakes, and improve our process. We focus on our goal (potty outside) and work our plan (get Delilah out to potty). Our constant actions enhance our knowledge of the problem. This, along with our continual repetition of the plan will move us closer and closer to our goal of “no potty accidents”. This will allow us to succeed. And, note that “time” is not needed or even considered to achieve success.
Remaining patient and being focused on what we need to accomplish are the most important factors in everything we want to teach our puppy. Often, things like “Sit” or “Come” might be quick to teach. On the other hand, things such as “Stay” or “Off” might take longer. If we focus on our “wins”, we will feel confident that our “work in progresses” will succeed too. So, what if some things take a little longer? Who cares? We are sure we will succeed and have a great puppy!
Keep to your plan and focus on your process creating improving results. Understand that if you are always improving, success is inevitable. Just, don’t look at your watch!
Please call or text us at (770) 718-7704 if you need any dog training help. You can also email us at [email protected]. We are blessed to have been your local dog training experts for over eighteen years. We have trained over 6,000 wonderful dogs and excellent families and are ready to help you.