Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Doing Your Homework?

I know. It is tough to stay motivated to train your dog in the winter… either the weather is so great you want to go and play, or it is so soggy and cold you would rather stay inside.

So, what can you do to get things going again? Here are some ideas. If you are a past customer of mine, you have heard this before. But, if you haven’t trained with me, maybe I can motivate you to get out there and be more responsible with your dog…

1.) Set some quality goals and make some decisions.

For most breeds, a trained, adult dog is capable of a 10 minute Sit, 30 minute Down, and off leash control within a 100 yard radius of the handler/ owner. You could make a decision to adopt these objectives for your dog and start working for that kind of control.

2.) Take control of your schedule.

Start planning specific times of the week when you will train your dog. Treat these just like you would a business appointment. You make your schedule, it is yours, you are in control, therefore you can make time to train your dog. Don’t let life control you. Take control of your life and the direction it takes. Make time in your life for your dog.

3.) Make sure your dog has a good day every day.

I make it a point to have some kind of personal fun planned for my dog every day. That means doing something WITH my dog every day, not just letting my dog run around with other dogs. I want time where my dog plays with ME. Dogs are totally dependent upon us to have a good life. Play is just as important in the life of your dog as is the formal training. When you start enjoying your dog, and taking your dog places, you will be more inclined to also train your dog.


When my dog was young, every Saturday, I would get up at 6 am and drive 60 miles to train my dog. Some of my friends had formed an unofficial dog training “club.” We were all preparing to enter our dogs into obedience competition, so we would train together every Saturday. Because I had a group of people counting on me to show up and train with them, it forced me to get out there and really work my dog during my “day off.” Because I am accountable to my friends to work with them, it got me out there training my dog during the week. For the average pet owner, they don’t have a support system set up to help them train their dogs. That is why I offer Maintenance Lessons. If you know you are going to see me in a week or month, you are going to be more likely to get out there and train your dog. So, let’s set up some lessons!

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