Why Can't You Train Your Dog?
One of the things you hear often about dogs - particularly when compared to cats - is how trainable they are. You’re never far away from hearing or reading about the police dog who sniffed out vital evidence, or the guide dog who makes life so much easier for their owner.
Those stories do make it a lot harder for those of us who are used to picking up today’s newspaper, shredded and still wet, looking at a mildly abashed dog and wondering if they’re even the same species as those good dogs.
After awhile we’ll stop feeling annoyed at them and turn the focus on ourselves. “Is it something about me? Why can’t I train this one here? He’s adorable, but look at him trying to bury a sausage in a hearth rug. Where am I going wrong?”
In truth, training a dog is rarely as easy as the professionals make it seem; if you’re having problems it may not be your fault. There are many reasons why it might not take, initially.
Problem: Training Is Too Sporadic
We’re all increasingly busy these days, and it means we lose time everywhere. We sleep less, have less time in the kitchen and - much though we try to avoid it - often lose out on time with our loved ones. This can include the furry loved ones that bark and wag their tails, and if we don’t get time with them then we don’t get a chance to train them.
In training, regularity is essential. Even if it’s slow, progress is best supported by a pattern; so once a weekend and on a chosen evening in the week, take some time to run through a few commands. Every month, try to add a new behaviour. This is what will make the difference.
Problem: Your Dog Lacks Stimulation
Like people, dogs get bored. If you go to work each day leaving the pooch alone, the chances are they will act out. What may help here is having a doggy daycare facility they can go to. If they have the chance to play during the day, and even just people and other dogs to be around, they’ll be the better for it. They can exhaust themselves having fun during the day at the likes of DogiZone while you go about your day, safe in the knowledge they are having the time of their lives.
The benefit of this is that, when it comes to training, your pooch won’t be overwhelmed with a huge amount of pent up energy. Instead, they will be more receptive to your commands and should pick things up faster.
Problem: You’re Inconsistent
Sometimes, the problem might not be the dog - it might be you. It’s not a pleasant thought, but if you’re going to get to the bottom of this issue, then it’s one you have to confront.
If you give your dog mixed signals, then they will never be able to learn right from wrong. Be consistent always. If you want them to sit before they get their dinner (which is just good practice), then they have to sit every time.
Don’t let it go on the occasions you’re tired or just can’t be bothered to persist; you have to hammer home the message that this is how things are done. Keep this attitude up and you’ll see results in no time!