Training Your Dog: Does It Really End?
Basic Obedience training is very important in a dog's life. I look at this a foundation, a good place to start with your dog. This builds a foundation you can build on in real life situations. Using what has been learned is maintenance.
Just like people if we don't keep using skills, we know it can become weak. As I discuss with clients to keep using the new skills the dog has learned even after sessions have ended to help strengthen them like muscle.
There are many ways to help strengthen new skills with your dog. Your dog has been trained to "sit" you can use this when you are going to open the door. Use this when your dog is having the leash put on. You are sitting down to put your shoes on, that is a good time to cue your dog to "sit". Think about when you are walking and you need your dog to stay there to prevent the dog from lunging into the road. When it's time for your dog to eat, that is a good time to cue your dog sit.
Set up a time and do a complete run through of everything your dog knows. If you notice a certain skill was not performed well, that once is quite possibly weak. It needs work and you can set a goal during the week to work with your dog to strengthen that skill.
I often ask clients to put an index card on the refrigerator as a reminder to work on their training goals for the week. This helps to keep goals met and keeping a good log of what was worked during the week.
Basic skills are like building blocks for both you and your dog. If you ever wonder why your dog is lying down when you asked for a "sit" that would be a good place to start. The dog needs to understand the difference between both.
Have fun with your dog and remember maintenance is important to strengthen those skills now and into the future with your dog.
© 2021 Mecca Curtice, CCDT, CTDI Behavior Specialist