Today’s topic is: So you stopped training your dog. Training a dog diligently every day is a hard thing to do. I know it’s something that I aspire to do, but even I miss days of training. I know this past month has really presented me with some unique challenges, and because of that, it wasn’t easy to train every day. Now, I did find a way. It really is about forming habits though. Anytime one of your dog training habits falls off, you have to get back on that horse. So I have a few things to share that I think might be useful for you to hear if this has happened to you. And if it hasn’t happened to you, when it inevitably does.
Don’t Be Hard On Yourself
The first is don’t be hard on yourself. These things happen. You do need to go back and plan on how you’re going to make this happen. But don’t be too hard on yourself. I think it’s worthwhile sharing with you all that I’ve done formal training on adult dogs that didn’t have any training for years and had good results.
I’ve also trained dogs that maybe had a little bit of training in the first six months of their life. Six years go by, and the family decides to pick up and start training again and received good results there too.
If you’re trying to get stellar results, you’re trying to have your dog be a top performer. Then practicing every day is obviously imperative because you’re competing against people who have incredible dogs and who also have this incredible habit that they’re trying to form. But if you stop training for whatever reason, get back on that horse and know that your dog will be okay. You are still going to be able to get most of the results that you want, even if you have to take a little bit of time off.
Ease Back In To It
When you do that first session with the dog, after you’re starting your habit back up again, ease back into it. I had a client that had some pretty unfortunate circumstances happen in their life. This is why their dog training kind of fell to the wayside for a little bit. So what I did today for them was make an effortless session that would bring a lot of success. That way, there could be a lot of success for the dog, too. The dog is still looking at the world and seeing what can and can’t be done. What yields reward and where the boundaries are. So ease back into that first session. Make it simple for yourself. So that way, the dog can get back on track and figure out the communication you’re using. Make sure that you’re using your communication to the best of your ability.
Don’t forget to reward yourself at the end of the session. Maybe that’s a cup of coffee. How about a back rub? Or watching Tik Tok videos. Whatever rewards you. If you know what you get a lot of pleasure out of, I would have your dog training session and put that thing right on the other side.
So then, that way, there’s a little signal to your brain to remember to do this the next day and keep putting that reward there. I think that it’s worthwhile to do. I know for me, I love eating breakfast. And one of my favorite things to eat is bacon. So sometimes, after I have a dog training session, I go sit down and have breakfast. And there are my super crunchy pieces of bacon that I’m eating. That helps me remember that when I train dogs, I can eat afterward. Even if it is subconscious, that can be really useful.
So to kind of sum it up, don’t be too hard on yourself. Make sure that you ease back into the training session, reward yourself, and know that you and your dog will be fine. Just get back on that horse and get after the training.