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Posted on 03-17-2017

Training the Dog, a 2017 New Years Resolution

Here it is a new year again, and we’re all thinking, “what could I do to make myself better?”  Well, one of those things could be to make your dog or puppy a better-behaved member of your family. This can be accomplished with TRAINING.

Dogs and puppies come with behaviors that can make it difficult to live with them.  They are animals and don’t always understand what we humans expect of them.  This is where training can help, but where do you begin?  Finding a good trainer is the perfect starting point.

A good trainer should use positive methods to work with you and your dog. I compete with my dogs in agility, obedience, rally, etc., so I to go to trainers, too. My trainers observe the dog and me together. This helps me by catching mistakes that I make in cueing my dog, which then results in the wrong behaviors from my dog. With their help, we’re able to become a team and enjoy each other more. You’re probably saying, “I just want a well-behaved dog.” Well-behaved dogs need us to be clear and consistent with our behaviors, or our dogs become confused and end up doing a dog behavior, which is humans usually find inappropriate. 

A good example is a dog barking out the window at the postman.  What do most of us do but yell at the dog “NO” or “STOP IT.”  Of course, this does not work: you too are BARKING in our human language. A trainer would have told you a better way to help the dog stop barking is to get the dog’s attention and ask the dog to be quiet in a soft voice. Then when the dog stops and focuses on you, they get praise and a reward from you.

You should realize now that finding a dog trainer is beneficial and helps you improve your dog’s behavior more quickly. A trainer is a teacher for you. You’re the one that is with the dog the most, so you’re the trainer or teacher for your dog. Finding a good trainer/teacher can be difficult. I recommend talking to trainers by phone and asking about their training experience and methods, and then ask to observe a class or two.  Observing, you will see how trainers work with the people and dogs. It’s important that you like your trainer’s methods and their teaching styles. 

I hope I’ve helped you understand just like going to a personal trainer for you to feel and look better in 2017 a trainer can help you make your dog a good canine companion. You’ll be a team that everyone will admire in your community. HAPPY TRAINING!

Jennifer Underwood
Owner / Dog Trainer
2 Feet & 4 Paws FORWARD
650-787-2560 mobile

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