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Al's Dog Training Tips

Reverse Engineering Your Dog For Potty Training

I recently had a conversation with someone who has a toy poodle, and I wanted to share part of the conversation.  Here, I detailed how she could go about figuring out what her dog really loves, then using that to make the potty training easier.  

Me: Let’s start from the beginning, maybe your dog enjoys petting, or maybe beef treats, or even salmon dog food.  There are so many options here, you have to determine “my dog has an inclination for one of these more so than the others”

Michelle: Well How do you do that?

Me: It’s really easy, let me give you an example.  If I asked you if you preferred $20 bills or $10 bills, you’d tell me $20 right? What if you couldn’t tell me though? I would have to make a determination through your actions by placing them in front of you and watch for which one you took more often.  I would also watch how you took it.  So you could go to the pet store and buy a few different types of treats.  Let’s say beef, salmon, and lamb, it could be any 3.  Then, you offer them to the dog one at a time and watch the dog closely to see if you can tell if one has more value than the others. Does that make sense?

Michelle: Yes.

Me:  You have to be empathetic in that moment, which isn’t easy to do, but that’s what a professional dog trainer will do.  

Michelle: Ok

Me:  So let’s look at the potty training now.  What’s the target?  Let’s say it’s being over the grass.  So you’ll use your non-verbals, which would be using the leash, or maybe picking up the dog and you have that valuable treat in your hand.  Then you take them to the target.  You need to deploy patience while you wait for the dog to do it, and the moment they do, you leverage the value of the treat and give it to the dog over the target. You should do enough of it so the dog thinks “this is a remarkable moment, I need to remember this.”  

I hope this was useful for you.  Don’t hesitate to send me a message at (832) 734-5189 if you have any questions about this. 

Happy Training!

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