Persistence is the Key to Control
Persistence is the key to dog training. Without it, you don’t have control and you will not have a reliable recall. Persistence is to continue steadfastly or firmly in some state of purpose, course, or action – especially in spite of opposition.
The goal of being persistent is to have a continued effect after the cause is removed, or reliability. One of the things we teach dogs is the Place command. We train the dog to get on a cot and sit or lay down, and stay there until they are freed.
We train the dog for a couple of weeks and then we transfer the maintenance of the training to the fur parent. We have a lesson with the fur parent and then it’s up to them to work with their dog at home and through continued education with our Group Polishing Classes.
It is not unusual for the dog to test and see what they can get away with, just as a child would. For example, fur parents will say “My dog doesn’t like the cot” or “He will not stay on his Place.” This happens because the fur parent allows the dog to make the decision, “I am not going to Place.”
This is where being persistent comes into play. Dogs cannot be the decision maker in the relationship. If they are, they will not be reliable.
They will not come when called if they are distracted, they will not listen, and they will have bad manners. This is the result of allowing the dog to make the decisions.
If the dog will not Place, we instruct the parents to keep the dog on a leash and keep working with him. Make him get on the Place and reward when he does. Once the dog is on the Place, work on duration. Your dog should be able to lay on his Place for 30 minutes before being released. Once you start getting into the 20 minute make they typically will fall asleep.
Persistence is the key to dog training. You make the decisions and the dog obeys. It will not ruin your relationship with your dog, they will respect you. Persistence is not being mean, it’s called parenting – let me give you an example.
My son is required to wear either nice jeans or dress pants to church. He doesn’t like jeans and dress pants because he says they are uncomfortable. He wears sports gear (shorts, athletic shoes, sweat pants) all of the time, except when we are going to church.
He has a fit, but guess what. I am the parent and I require that he looks nice when we go to church. I am the parent and it’s one of the rules. I am persistent when it comes to looking presentable when we go to church, or get our pictures taken by a professional photographer, or attend a wedding.
Same thing when it comes to dogs. They don’t get to make the decisions, you do. You are the parent.
I recently moved and live on a lake now. I am training my 8-year-old dog to keep the ducks off of our dock and beach. I can do this because I was persistent with her when she was young and now, she has a reliable recall. Without a reliable recall, she would continue pursuing the ducks in deeper water and eventually drown. I can stop her and she will come to me when I call her.
The ducks taunt her and try to get her to swim after them because they know she won’t catch them. The will just paddle to deeper water, but they can’t taunt her because she listens and obeys.
If your West Michigan dog doesn’t listen well enough and you would like to have better control, the staff at Adams K-9 Dog Training and Kennel are only a phone call away. Give us a call and you will love your dog and love your dog’s behavior.
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