Robin and I were at a follow up Home Dog Training visit with one of our training clients in Marietta last week and he mentioned that his Henry, his Olde English Bulldogge, just didn’t seem to get it. He was great with the dog training when we were out before, but as he started to work with his dog, it seemed like Henry just started to “tune out”. He asked us what was the matter.
We explained to him that like people, dogs need to learn at a particular speed and at a particular level. Unlike us, they can’t “jump ahead” or skip steps in the learning process. It must be slow, consistent, repetitive, and methodical.
When your dog “isn’t getting it”, it normally means that we are trying to teach him a command at a level above his current ability to learn. When this happens, we must back up to find a place where our dog can succeed and understand what we are asking him to accomplish. For our dog, there is no shame in going back a few steps to find a place where he can understand and please us.
Let me give you an example:
Let’s say that I am working with my dog to “come”. I have him in the house and am using a six foot leash to have him come to me every time I said “come”. Every now and then I have to give a little tug to get his focus to get him to move over to me. For the most part, it is working pretty well. I am so happy with with this progress and my dog’s ability that we go outside without the leash and I call him to come to me. He doesn’t do it. I try over and over again, day after day with the same results.
It isn’t that my dog is stupid or ignoring me, it is that I tried to move ahead too quickly for my dog to understand.
What I should do now is to go back into the house and reinforce the level of knowledge that I knew my dog understood. (“Come” from six feet using the leash.) Next, I will get a longer leash and practice from ten feet, then fifteen feet, and then twenty feet. If that goes well, I would go out in the back yard, with the leash, and repeat the process.
Keep it slow and you will get results.
Please call Robin or myself at (770) 718-7704 if you need any obedience, behavior, puppy, or socialization help with your dog. We have tons of wonderful dog training articles at Best Dog Trainers Marietta Georgia. You can quickly get in contact with us at Dog Training Help Center Marietta Georgia.