Updated: Feb 12
The biggest mistake most dog owners make is that they give their dog way too much freedom much too soon!
Think of your new dog, whether they are a puppy or an adult dog, as you would a teenager that just got their driver’s license TODAY. You would never let your teenager take a 2-hour trip to another city with a carload of friends on their first SOLO drive. That would be inviting a disaster for they do not yet have the skills, impulse control (self-discipline) nor the maturity to handle that much freedom that fast in an object that can hurt them.
Training your dog to be well-behaved and have good manners is no different. It is a mistake to let your new dog have the run of the house as soon as you bring them home. You need to have a plan of how you will introduce your dog to new environments and help them to understand how to behave inside even when left unattended.
Good manners dog training begins with limiting their options to make mistakes. Give them ONE room at a time. When they demonstrate they can handle the freedom of one room and not be destructive and chew on everything and go potty everywhere, then, and only then do you expand their access to another room in your house.
But just because your dog did great last night in the kitchen does not mean today, they get run of the whole house. That is way too much too fast and they WILL disappoint you. Part of the reason is if they do not have fantastic obedience commands in place, they do not understand impulse control and lack a set of routines to make good decisions from.
Obedience dog training is much deeper than having a dog sit on command. It is about teaching the dog how to learn. How to control their impulses and after hundreds and hundreds of repetitions, how to have a set routine. Behaviors are also routines, not just commands. The underlying value of great dog obedience training is that it creates a means for you to communicate with your dog and also establishes dependability and stability in your dog which is what enables them to have MORE freedoms not less!
K9 Culture dog training in the DFW area uses this process to help your dog understand appropriate behaviors and replace unwanted behaviors with desired dog behaviors. Without teaching your dog how to act it is unfair to get upset when they act inappropriately for, they are just guessing and don’t know any better…yet.
Once your dog can be dependable to not make mistakes in two rooms, then you allow them access to another room and so on. Remember when you adding more access to monitor them for a period of time so you can correct them when they do inappropriate things in a new room otherwise they may find a room in the house that they are typically “up to no good” in for they will come to view that room or space as the “anything goes” room.
The stronger your dog’s obedience the more freedoms you can trust them with and the happier you and your dog will be for you will not have to constantly being on the lookout for them or actively managing their every behavior.
If you have ever wished or wanted a dog that can go everywhere with you, dog training and obedience is what gets your dog there.
Have FUN with your dog!
The K-9 Culture Family
DFW’s Top Dog Trainer
A Dog That Is A JOY To Live With!