We were at a Dog Training revisit session with a family in Kennesaw on Thursday and the great Springer Spaniel we had left only two weeks earlier was now totally nuts.  During our first dog training session, the kids had been over at friends’ houses and only the mother and father were present.  The house was pretty calm during that visit and everything went great.  When we got there last Thursday, the kids were home and the place was a mad house.  There was running and jumping and yelling and all the regular things that kids do.  Nigel, their dog (and our student) was also running and jumping and not paying attention to a thing we were trying to teach.  At one point the mother looked at us and asked “Can our family be making our dog go nuts?”

It was hard not to laugh when I heard the question, but in my most calm manner, I replied “Yes”.

We always communicate to our clients that in order for their dog to learn what is right and wrong, they must establish a calm and consistent teach environment.  They must keep initial distractions to a minimum so that the dog has the greatest opportunity to focus on them and their leadership direction.  If there are all sorts of other things going on, the dog will not give them focus and their attempt to teach will fail miserably.  If they are going nuts, they can’t concentrate on gaining their dog’s focus.

So we explained to our clients that they can’t engage in the superfluous acts that make them go crazy and deviates Nigel’s focus from them.  It is critical that the entire family become calm and collected in order to provide the proper learning environment for Rover.  This is key in building a respectful relationship between the family and Nigel.  I am completely aware that this can be something that is hard to accomplish “in the real world”, but let me give you some suggestions:

  • The entire family must sit down and calmly discuss how you want your dog to act around you and your friends.  You must make a written list of rules that you agree you will maintain and enforce.  Do not make rules that you all can’t enforce!
  • Look at each rule and come up with a plan on how each family member will enforce that rule.
  • Everyone needs to agree to their responsibilities and the results they wish to accomplish. This is not only for them, but for the greater good of the entire family.
  • Everyone will have to work with the dog on a daily basis regarding one or more of the issues facing the family.  This might be something to do with barking at the fence or sitting when told.  Family members can work in teams so that they can show the proper level of consistent leadership required by Nigel.
  • Do not:
    • Play rough with your dog
    • Push, hit, kick, or do anything hurtful or frightening to your dog
    • Scream at your dog
    • Give Nigel treats “for being good”.  This is a bribe and does not build a relationship of respect.

Just take a deep breath and step back for a moment.  Stay calm and cool.  This might sound really easy to do, but when you have a crazy family; it is hard to do.

You can get in touch with us by calling (770) 718-7704 if you are in need of any dog training help.  We have a lot of good dog training tips at Best Dog Trainers Kennesaw Georgia.