Teaching The Dog
Today’s topic is the hardest thing I have to teach. So there are quite a few things that you can teach a dog to do. You can lead a dog to walk on a loose leash. To have focus heeling. You can teach a dog to come when called. Come when called sit in front and then get in heel position. You can teach a dog to run out away from you and then immediately down. You can teach a dog to climb a six-foot wall and retrieve something for you. Please bring it back, give it to you on one command, get and heel position. You can teach a dog to find things that have your scent. You can teach a dog to find something that has other people’s scents. And the list goes on and on and on.
What can you teach people? Well, there are quite a few things that I have to teach people. I have to teach people how to communicate nonverbally. How to use their voices properly. How to develop any exercises that will help them live their lifestyles. I also have to teach people about reward and punishment and how they work specifically for their unique dog.
The Hardest Thing
So that’s quite a list of things that I have to teach. Would you believe me if I told you that the hardest thing I have to teach is not on that list? So now I’ve probably got your attention. What is the hardest thing that I have to teach to people?
Well, I’m a pet dog trainer by and large, and I also train and coach people to compete with their dogs in the sport of Schutzhund. And it seems to me that for the pet dog trainers, the most challenging thing that I have to teach them is that they have to be prepared to train their dog. They have to make it evident to themselves that even though they’re not ready to have a dog training session, if they let their dog out and it’s loose inside the home, they have to be prepared, and they have to treat that as a dog training session.
This isn’t easy for people to do because people have busy lives. We have relationships; careers; we have children. We have things going on in our lives that pull our attention away from our dogs. But then we have the beautiful dogs that we get to live with and bring so much enjoyment to us. But unfortunately, those dogs do things that can frustrate us. This makes life a little more complicated.
But the not-so-easy thing to do is to be prepared to train your dog. So let me make it as simple as I make it for myself.
High Drive And Full Of Potential
So I am raising two dogs right now. Most of you all know I’m raising Jericho and Alpha. Alpha is a little bit over six months. Jericho is a little over four months. Both of these are working line German Shepherd dogs. Why did I even say working line German Shepherd dogs? Do a quick search of what a working line German Shepherd dog is. These are dogs that are high drive and are full of potential. But because of that potential, they are a lot to manage.
So I live with these dogs. These dogs right now are in my bedroom in their crates, and they’re going to get to go out one more time before I wrap up my day. They will use the restroom, and then it’s back to the crates they go. So when I wake up in the morning, there they are. They’re in their crates. And you know what I don’t do? I don’t immediately open the doors to the crate and begin to hope for the best. Because if I did that, they would both probably start biting me. Not because they’re aggressive but because they want to play. Then it would just be pure pandemonium from there.
So what I do is I have all the training equipment that I need over the top of the dog’s crate. I am making it obvious to myself that I need to train my dog now. Nobody likes having the dogs drag leashes around, including myself. But if your dogs are doing a lot of things that you don’t want them to do, having that leash on them at that moment, and having your treat pouch with their dog food around your waist is going to be a lifesaver in those situations. When you need to help the dog to understand what it is that you want.
Just remember, and this is the last thing that I’ll leave you guys with this week and as you go about training your dogs in this proactive approach that I’m asking you to take. You want to reward your dog for being right, and I don’t recommend that you discipline your dog all that much.
I do want your discipline to be effective, but I want you to reward your dogs for what you want them to do that will benefit you and your family. So what’s the hardest thing that I have to teach again is teaching people to be prepared. And the easiest way to solve that problem is to keep your equipment over your dog’s crate and put it on diligently while you’re going through the training process.
I hope this tip was helpful. Thanks so much for engaging with my content. I appreciate every one of you reading this.