By Tonya Wilhelm
Have you ever started an active dog training program, and ended up not seeing the results you thought you should have?
One of the most commonly overlooked aspects of a dog training program is having great management skills. Effective dog training starts with great management.
You will want to do whatever you can to prevent the behavior you do not like, or don’t like, from happening. This will allow you the opportunity to teach your dog the reaction you would rather he have.
If you have good management in place, it will be next to impossible for your dog to “misbehave,” leaving you plenty of opportunities to reinforce good behavior.
Puppy proofing is vital if you want to make sure that your dog or puppy does not eat anything he is not supposed to. Puppy proofing your home is the same idea as if you were to bring a baby into the house. You would not allow the baby to reach the stove, so you should make sure your puppy can’t either.
Baby gates or shut doors are a great example of good management tools. They allow you to keep your dog out of rooms you don’t want him to enter. A baby gate at the top of the stairs or start of basement stairs can also save your dog’s life from a potential fall.
Hollow treat toys or safe chew treats are excellent ways to keep your dog busy when you are unable to entertain him. Dogs, particularly puppies; are very active and love to chew and gnaw on items. Teaching your dog about rewarding and appropriate things to chew on is essential if you want to save your table legs.
Treats and rewards are your friends during dog training. Each morning toss a handful of your food or treats into your pocket. You can then reward your dog for good behavior no matter where you are. If you have rewards on you at all times during an active training program, you will not miss
any opportunities to let your dog know he made the right choice.
A leash and harness are excellent management tools in dog training. When you are busy in your home office and would like your dog to stay close, you can hook him to a harness and leash and place the handle of the leash under your chair or foot. He can be close to you, and you can quickly grab his leash and take him with you if you decide to go in another room, or he needs a potty break and walk. You can also provide one of his stuffed hollow toys or safe chew treat during this time for chewing.
Exercise and human play are essential management tools in raising a well-behaved dog. I consider these two items a package deal because I do not consider running around the yard without a person useful exercise. After all, if you are not there, the management is not in place. Your dog will pick up all
kinds of bad habits without your supervision and direction.
Crates are another great management tool you can use. If taught correctly, a crate can provide a safe
and puppy-proofed area for your dog to sleep in while you are away, or not able to keep that constant eye on him. It is also an excellent way to travel with your dog to prevent him from moving around the car, and it also helps prevent motion sickness.
If you find that your dog keeps “making mistakes” then check your management. Good luck and get training!
Tonya Wilhelm has been voted one of the Top 10 Dog Trainers in the United States. You can find out more about Tonya at GlobalDogTraining.Com or by visiting her social media pages on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, Pinterest or youtube.