Hi all! My good friend, Andrea (a dog trainer in Northwest Indiana) has graciously written today’s blog post about something we’re all interested in: Well behaved dogs! (Thanks Andrea!)
9 THINGS EVERY DOG TRAINER WANTS TO TEACH YOU
Hi guys! I’m Andrea Kutzko, CPDT-KA and I am a Certified Professional Dog Trainer. I own and operate Andrea Kutzko Dog Training. Thanks and hugs to Pat from the best pet sitting service in the world, the Pet Parlor! February is National Dog Training Education month. Pat knows my mission at Andrea Kutzko Dog Training is to educate every dog lover about the joy that dog training brings to your life! Having a well behaved dog is not out of reach. Let a Certified Professional Dog Trainer show you the way. Here’s what you need to know:
- We won’t judge you.
Dog trainers don’t have perfect dogs either. We know what it’s like to raise dogs, especially challenging ones, and we have been in your shoes. Been there, done that is our motto. Dog trainers learn from their mistakes and are able to show you how to do the same.
- We’re here to teach you.
The student doesn’t have 4 furry legs and a tail. It’s you! Trainers may spend less than an hour with your dog each week. You, on the other hand, live with your dog so you have the chance to teach your dog when a trainer isn’t present. We give you the skills and tools so you can teach your dog to be polite in every situation.
- You dog doesn’t know better.
Dogs will ignore our begging and pleading to behave if you haven’t spent enough time teaching them exactly what they need to be doing. Dogs are good at sitting for treats in the kitchen because they have been rewarded many times for sitting in the kitchen. Spend time teaching sit in many situations. Practice sit while guests are over and even on walks. If you practice frequently and consistently, your dog will know better.
- Don’t waste money on dog treats.
Some of the best treats in the world include love, attention, playtime, and of course, chicken. Chicken is cheap, easy, and your dog’s favorite training treat. Check the price of popular dog treats and compare it to prepackaged chicken from the grocery store. Chicken is always tastier than dog treats. Make your rewards special.
- Use more treats.
Now that you’ve stepped up your treat game, you need to use more of them or maybe a bit more strategically. The more times you reward your dog for an action, the more he will repeat the action. Students miss out on easy, fun ways to train their dog by being stingy with rewards. Make treats smaller than your pinky nail so you can reward more times with less treats.
- Teach your dog to say please.
Your parents taught you to say please as a child when you wanted something. You can teach your dog to do the same. Start by asking your dog to sit anytime he wants something. Sit for getting out of the crate, running outside, and even eating breakfast. Have your dog sit before pets and before you throw the ball, too. Always making sure your dog says please will make him a polite dog for life.
- Keep your dog busy.
Busy dogs are tired dogs. Tired dogs are well behaved dogs. In the past, humans and dogs were very active together. These days, our dogs spend less time running and playing. If your dog doesn’t get a solid 30-60 minutes of cardiovascular exercise (and some brain games, too), he will get bored. Pent up energy can make dogs frustrating and difficult to train. Be sure to check with your vet about your dog’s exercise plan.
- Dogs are unique individuals.
I know you had the best Golden Retriever. He was so calm and relaxed around children. You remember him as absolutely perfect. Do not expect to bring home a new Golden Retriever that is an exact copy of your last. You will face new challenges, learn new things, and form a new unique relationship.
- Dog training never ends.
Dogs never stop learning so we can never stop teaching. If your dog is no longer given a positive consequence for an action, he will be less likely to do that action in the future. Dogs need practice to keep their skills sharp. Just like you continue to practice at the gym, keep your dog’s behavior in awesome shape!
As a professional, I have learned through consequence to practice my own advice. I know that my learning is lifelong as well. I continue to learn through continuing education opportunities so that I am able to share that knowledge with you and my students. I also remember that my dog is constantly learning and I’m sure to drop a treat once in a while! Thank you to Pat and the Pet Parlor for supporting dog training education!
Again, Thanks Andrea! Here is her contact information for those of you who are in need of a little assistance: