Helping Families Raise Happy and Reliable Dogs

Al's Dog Training Tips

Laying Bricks

There is an author I follow on Instagram. His name is James Clear and he wrote a fantastic book I encourage you to read called “Atomic Habits”. This author had a post the other day that included a phrase we all have heard before: “Rome was not built in a day”. It was the second part of his post, that really got me thinking:

“They were laying bricks every hour”.

As dog trainers, we are trying to build great things with our dogs and help you do the same with your dogs. When going through any of the courses with my clients, I am just laying these little bitty bricks, but I am relentless at building them.

When you’re thinking about the things you are trying to build with your dogs, think about it in the sense of laying bricks to build Rome. Whether you’re trying to build a world class competition dog, an agility dog, a herding dog or an obedient pet dog, you are actually laying bricks.

Training does not just take place during a training session or course, but on a daily basis by putting down those bricks and building something phenomenal. I can’t encourage you enough to lay those bricks daily.

This evening I was training with a family, who just signed their dog up for a course. They asked, how often they should be training.

Well, they should be training as often as they possibly can, because there are two aspects of the training. They have to be laying those bricks that help them get better at handling their dog, as well as the bricks that teach their dog how to handle any circumstance.

For example, how do we teach dogs to be safe in the kitchen, particularly, when using the stove or opening up the oven door. It’s so important for the dog to have a reliable down stay.

How do you accomplish that?

First teach your dog where to down and what the reward for staying is, as well as the consequence for not staying.

Then open the oven or turn on the stove.

Remember to lay those daily bricks in your dog training and build something you can be really proud of.

Happy training! Have a great day!

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