How To Crush Your 2022 Training Goals For Your Dog!
1.) Hire A Trainer!
It's so easy to fall for your internal ego that "we can do this on our own" but the fact of the matter is there are professionals for a reason. We know the best and most efficient ways to do things, we will be able to see the flaws in your training better than you, and we will be able to push and motivate you to achieve much more than you thought possible i a much shorter period of time. It may be expensive but it will exponentially increase your quality of life with your dog in a shorter window of time.
2.) Define Your Success and write out your Goals!
Instead of having broad goals like "less anxiety" or "more confident" look for the specific issues related to those general goals and where it's really inhibiting your day to day. Think "doesn't come called when scared" or "breaks out of crate when anxious". These will give you much more clear things to work on that will in turn solve the more broad goal.
3.) What Are Your Bad Habits?
Obviously we want to focus on our dog and their issues but it's equally important to stop our bad habits that may be creating these things in the first place. Struggling with arousal issues when guests come over but you're getting your dog level 5000 amped up as soon as you walk in the front door yourself? You're equally to blame for this.
4.) Don't Overwhelm Yourself Or Your Dog With Too Much At Once!
If you have 15 different nuisance behaviors you want to work on with your dog start with only 2 of them at a time. You'll be much more consistent about correcting them every time and as you work through the list you'll likely find that the others dissipate on their own as your dog starts to see you as more of a leader.
5.) Schedule Formal Training Time In Realistic chunks!
If you're a busy guy like me, it may be hard to commit to something every single day. Then on top of that when you fall of the wagon because your goal was unrealistic, it'll be even harder to get back on. Instead block out 3-4 30 minute training sessions a week that you can more likely stick to.
6.) Develop Your Dogs Food Drive!
It sounds simple but it isn't taken seriously enough. Get your dogs feeding right. NOW! Non food motivated dogs don't exist. If your dog is leaving food in the bowl when you are feeding or turning their head to a treat during training sessions they are being fed too much. Period.
7.) Ignore The Naysayers And Take Charge Of Being Who Your Dog Needs You To Be!
A lot of the boundaries that you will set will inevitably catch you some flack from family and friends. That's ok. What your dog needs is you to be the one to carry that burden of handling the hard things and to be the leader that we know you can be. For them. That's all that matters.