This coming week, Robin and I will be making our first visit to a new Home Dog Training client in Dahlonega. They had gotten in touch with us last week about their young dog, Candy. She is a Sheepadoodle. Candy’s mother took her to a Pet Store dog training class about six months ago when she was about eight months old. Candy has developed some new, bad habits and now requires more focused training.
The fact that Candy responds to the mother well, but not at all when any other family member tries to command or direct her is one of the most problematic aspects with Candy.
The rest of the family has avoided participating in any training activities up until now. One of the mother’s initial questions for us was if the rest of the family’s lack of participation in Candy’s training regimen could be causing some of the problems.
With over 5,000 dogs that Robin and I have trained, it is copiously clear to us that dog training is a family activity. What if, as a child, your mother was the one who constantly reprimanded you and told you what to do, while your father came home and had nothing to do with you and could care less what you did or said? You’d most likely develop into a “messed up” young person.
This same scenario can be expanded to include your dog when your family members play different roles in relation to your dog and their behavior.
Dogs enjoy following the rules and perform at their best when consistency is maintained. The dog assumes and anticipates that if one family member interacts with him in a certain way, the subsequent family member will also interact with him in that same way. The dog will experience an inconsistent environment if a family member behaves otherwise.
Your dog interprets inconsistency as weakness and a lack of leadership. The more inconsistent you all are, the more your dog ignores and disobeys your commands.
Since your dog does not “understand” inconsistency, he simply thinks you are crazy. The family members’ frustration grows, and it may even reach the point where they engage in harmful and physical behavior. It could reach a point where the dog is given away.
The dog is not at fault, and none of this needs to occur. Have a family meeting before getting a dog to go over roles and responsibilities for the whole family. We always advise you to include the following.
- Confirm that the family, as a whole, wants a dog.
- Develop some household rules that everyone will abide by. Here are a few typical guidelines:
- Will the dog be permitted to enter any specific rooms?
- Is he permitted to use the furniture?
- Does it bother you if he jumps?
- Will you permit him to act out in the house or not?
- Everyone must agree to participate in the socialization and training of the dog.
- Determine who will feed, toilet, and walk him. Note it down!
- Decide how you want your dog to behave when guests enter the house.
- Ensure that everyone is aware of the cost associated with these new
- The “free time” of some family members will now be “Dog “.
- Construct an arbitration procedure to settle disputes when different family members are treating the dog differently.
“Everyone in your family” is your family. One for all and all for one. That doesn’t change just because you include your dog in the family.
If you need assistance with dog training, contact us at (770) 718-7704 by phone or text. Our email address is [email protected]. For more than 18 years, we have had the privilege of serving as your neighborhood dog training specialists. We are prepared to assist you and have trained more than 5,000 wonderful dogs and excellent families.