As September creeps upon us and things slowly have been returning to more of a “pre covid” normal, many dogs will soon be returning to days spent without their humans around or experiencing this for the first time. Adults are returning to work, summer vacation and days off are coming to an end, and children are returning to the classroom for another year of learning. With this happening some dogs will experience stress and some may show signs of Separation Anxiety. Hopefully they do not have a wild time like Kevin in the classic Home Alone.
It's been said that anything worth doing is worth doing right. And what is right, in our books, is to use baby steps to achieve our goals. With anything, there are always steps to learn something. We don't just know how to do algebra. First, we learn our numbers, then adding, subtracting, multiplication and division. Then we get weird and start adding letters in. In order to be really good at advanced math, we have to master the basics first. Think of a marathon runner - they don't just become one overnight. As a baby, they start by pulling themselves around, then crawling, and finally, they take their first step. Once they are older and the desire to become a runner is born they start with small distances and build up stamina for greater lengths and durations. We have found the same theory applies to most any goals - personal or in dog training. Look at the end game and then break it down. What are the little steps that make up the big picture? Not sure how to do this?
Here at Canine Coaching, we have an unpopular opinion. We hate the term socialization. Oh boy, we can hear the gasps from here. Bear with us for a second - we do have our reasons.
A common term used in dog training is generalization. Unfortunately, many pet owners do not know what a trainer is talking about when this word is thrown around. So what is it? According to Merriam Webster it means “to give general applicability to”. Simply speaking, it means teaching your pet that a behaviour can be done anywhere, anyway. Generalization plays a HUGE part of having a well trained dog and is something everyone should strive for with their dogs.
A common problem we see in ALL stages of students is people who have a habit of repeating a command, over and over and over. Don't feel bad or alone - we see it with brand new puppies learning a new command in our Basic Obedience class all the way to Off Leash clients in a new distracting area. Depending on the situation we have a few different ways to help people stop having to repeat themselves and getting better, more efficient responses from their dogs.
Samantha is the Owner and face behind Canine Coaching. She believes all dogs (both young and old) are capable of learning and are happier being well-mannered members of the family! Samantha resides in Central Alberta with her Husband on their acreage with their two German Shepherds Tori and Baron.