How Long Does it Take?

November 14, 2002

 

 

There is a lot of misunderstanding when it comes to teaching dogs to be obedient. Dogs have no sense of duty. They do not feel that they owe you because you house and feed them. Dogs can be very affectionate, but that does not mean they want to obey you, especially when they are distracted.  Parents take their children to hockey practice, baseball, football, etc., from grade school through high school, and still their kids need to practice to make the team. No one questions this, but people seem to think their dog can learn it all in a few weeks. Dog owners actually get disappointed or aggravated when their dog does not listen to them, but have much more patience with their children. A dog learns slower than a child, because they cannot reason. Dogs can only learn by repetition and consistency, not by reading books or going online. Big difference! You are very emotional with your dog, and this makes for a difficult time when it comes to controlling them. Work towards calmness, and your dog will respond better, and behave when you come home, and when friends come to visit.

  Your pet does not have to prepare himself to go out and get a career after school, but he does need to learn his job. For his own safety, he must learn to obey you and respect your property, and his boundaries. Otherwise, he could get hit by a car, or electrocute himself, or get in to all kinds of trouble. With an untrained dog that does not listen to your commands, he will run loose, worse case that he goes into traffic, as well as chewing not only your valuables, but wires in your house that can cause serious injury if not death. To learn all of these obedience traits takes time. Usually one year….sounds like a long time, but think about it. A one year investment for a ten year return is pretty good! Your children go to grade school, high school, and college, sixteen years of education, and then move back in with you because they can’t find a job! Cut the dog a break….

   A builder starts off with a foundation, not the roof. You must first teach your dog the basics with a leash and training collar. Obedience collars replicate the action of the mother dogs corrections to its pups. This process will take several weeks of practice until the dog understands he must respect your wishes, and not do what he wants. Do not be in a hurry to test the dog off leash. This is where people make their mistake. Use the lead to control the dog, inside and outside when needed to teach him what you want. You do not see people riding horses with no reins in their hands, no matter how well the horse is trained, so give it some time, and the dog will listen to your voice and respond accordingly without the lead and collar. Show him, don’t expect the dog to figure it out on his own. The trainer can give the dog a solid foundation. Build on it, do not crack it by putting too much on the dog too soon. All good trainers have patience and a solid work ethic, which is the reason the dogs perform well for them. Be like the pros, and your dog will listen to you even when they are distracted or excited. There is great pleasure in having a well trained dog. Go for it!

 

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