Dog training is the easy part and training the human is the difficult part. As a professional dog trainer, I know all the little tricks, timing, body language, and motivational techniques to train dogs. I take a leash pulling, jumping, out of control dog and teach them to walk nicely on a leash, ignore distractions and come every time they are called. The difficult part is teaching the owner to maintain the level of training once we are finished. If the owner is not invested and follows through as instructed, the dog is going to ignore, sniff, leash pull and lunge at dogs. Basically, they will revert back to the old behavior because the owner doesn’t want to correct their dog.
I see it in our group classes and it is disappointing. The dog won’t stay on a place, won’t listen to the owner and gets into other dog’s faces. The owner says, “My dog is naughty.” Their dog is not “naughty”, the owner just refuses to correct the dog. I can take the dog and run him through all the obedience; sit, down, come, place and heel. The dog listens to me fine because he knows I follow through.
We specialize in remote collar training. It works great if you push the button. If you don’t push the button or are inconsistent you have a dog that will not listen and does whatever he wants. Consistency is tapping the dog, when you say, “sit, down, come heel, and place” All I ask owners to do is to tap every time you give a command for 3 weeks. Conditioning sets in by then and you find you don’t need to use the training collar as often. It gets to the point where you only tap the dog when he is distracted and you need to get his attention.
If your dog is giving you the paw when you are calling him and continues to sniff the ground you have problem. This occurs because the dog is in charge and not you. How do we fix this? Training, structure and consistency. Never give your dog a command you are not willing to back up. If your dog will not come when called he needs to be on a long line. The second time you say come there needs to be a tug on the leash. In the home nothing is free for the dog. He needs to work to eat and receive attention. Make him wait at the door. You go through first and he follows. If he runs through the door first, there better be consequences.
You have to have consequences or your dog is going to walk all over you. Your dog is not naughty – you are not following through. You are not having consequences and you are letting the dog misbehave. When someone tells me their dog is naughty I know it’s not the dog it’s them. Don’t be that person, follow through and be consistent with your dog.
For more on following through, here is further reading.