Are You Training As You Live?
Updated: Feb 7, 2021
Are You Training As You Live With Your Dog?
When teaching your dog new commands and behaviors it is important to avoid a common trap many dog owners unwittingly do.
Many pet owners look at training your dog as an EVENT, as in you train your dog on a specific command for a specific period of time. This type of dog training creates unintended consequences. First, your dog quickly begins to associate when training time is and when it is not time to train. Your dog is much more observant than you may think.
To further complicate your training with your dog, many pet owners often train in the same environment which hinders your dog’s progress.
At K9 Culture Dog Training, we use the phrase Train As You Live.
In simple terms this just means, do not make training an Event but instead make it a Way of Life for your dog. You are not simply teaching your dog how to sit but instead showing your dog what sit MEANS and that it is not something they just do in the living room or backyard but instead, anywhere, and everywhere.
We often see dogs that will not sit in the grass or on concrete and the reason is the dog was usually taught to sit in the house and rarely if ever taken to new environments and trained in those same obedience commands. The reason this is so important is dogs learn by association or pictures and context.
It is important when we train dogs that we create a lot of contrast with dogs when learning new commands so they can complete them in different contexts and different environments. This is a key underlying foundation in helping your dog understand what sit means vs. just performing a task on command in a sterile or neutral environment that is always repeated in the same environment or context and in the same way. And if a dog can not sit with intense distractions present, the dog does not utterly understand the command yet.
When we break it down for our clients in the DFW area, we like to explain it that we are creating the ability for your dog to have lots of context or pictures, so that they are able to generalize.
Training as you live is about being consistent with rules, expectations, boundaries, and structure.
It is not fair to your dog if sometimes you expect them to follow the rules or a command and sometimes, they do not have to. A great rule to remember when dog training is there is no such thing as a “sometimes command” with your dog. They are always allowed to do something or they are not. If you sometimes let them decide if they want to obey a command or not; as far as they are concerned, they are always allowed to choose and that is not fair to your dog if you get upset when they disobey.
Do not make training an event, but instead be consistent. You will certainly have periods of time
that you will work with your dog while teaching them a new command or trick but once you’ve started teaching that new behavior it is important to continue to expect it as you live your normal everyday life with them. Thus, the saying: Train As You Live.
Have Fun With Your Dog!
The K-9 Culture Dog Training Family