How dog training is like dieting
People go on a diet because they realize something needs to change. Usually it is for health reasons. The desire to improve one’s appearance or perhaps to make fitness activities more fun and easier. People too, start dog training because they realize something needs to change. Usually there is a new puppy or behavior issues with an older dog or maybe they just want to make life with their dog, more fun and easier. Both endeavors usually start with great enthusiasm. With a little concerted effort, progress can be seen right off the bat. You might drop 5 pounds in the first week or two. That’s exciting! This diet thing is working! With your dog, they are learning some basics like sit, down and come. That's exciting! This training thing is working!
Then some time passes. The diet is getting a little harder to stick to. Some of the old habits start creeping back into your life. The weight loss slows or maybe even reverses. This diet stuff is hard!
With your dog it is much the same. He "knows" how to sit, lay down and come when called, well, sometimes. You've slacked off on the training or maybe quit all together. Now it looks like he obeys just when he wants to, stubborn little guy. This training stuff is hard!
Things in life that require a lot of practice also require a lot of persistence and dedication. Giving up too soon just doesn't cut it. Learning how to create, develop and maintain good habits is one of the most important life skills we can accomplish. Once those habits are solid, they serve us! We no longer have to think about it. It's what we do. It's who we are. We can largely run on autopilot. A diet is no longer a phase. It's not what we do for a few weeks. It's a lifestyle change with ongoing rewards.
Training your dog is no longer a phase. It's a lifestyle you share with your dog. It's how you communicate with this wonderful creature from a different species. It makes life better for you and the dog.
And when you fall off of the wagon, you can always get right back on. Your body is ready, willing and able to respond to your healthy lifestyle plan. And your dog is ready, willing and able to respond and partner with you in Reward-able Opportunities, sometimes called dog training.
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I am a dog trainer in Riverside California. My specialty is Companion Dog Training. Helping your dog to live in your home.