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Training a dog can involve lots of unrealistic expectations

Training a dog can involve lots of unrealistic expectations from us all and quite often we are looking for a quick fix and will make the dog stop the behaviour almost immediately.

Sadly, this is very unlikely to happen as helping a dog to change their behaviour will rely on lots of different things.

Firstly, there is the dog factor – what type of character does the dog have, what it has already learnt and whether they see there is any benefit in changing their behaviour.

Secondly, there is the owner factor – what is their experience in previous dogs and what their expectations are. What time do they have and do they have the “want” to teach their dog.

Thirdly, there is the relationship between the two other factors. If there is too much “love” from the owner’s side or the dog is too “needy” of its owner, then this is not healthy and quite often complicates the learning process. Age is of course another factor to consider. A young pup will be distracted, and an adolescent is thinking of other things. Naturally when we teach, we also consider the age and ability of the owner and what they can manage.

Every dog and every dog owner are different and although we can use similar methods to help them, there is no such thing as a quick fix. Quite often, the dog gets there despite what we say and do, but sometimes they will never achieve the ideal we first had when we got the dog, and we must adjust our expectations. Barney has never got over his fear of humans thanks to the trauma he experienced as a pup. No matter what we do, he will often revert to the scared youngster who we took on. Therefore, we have adjusted what we want from him. He loves the seaside and playing in water is something that he enjoys but the fear of a person appearing would cripple him. And so, when the Chichester secure dog park opened their swimming pool, we were happy to take him and see him having fun without the fear factor. In fact, the increase of secure dog walking fields over the past few years have been life saving for many a reactive dog. They are exposed to new smells and experiences, can sniff out where other dogs have been, but owner and dog can relax knowing they are safe for that precious hour.

Using my experiences of living with Barney over the past 10 years, I have been able to help many rescue dogs and reactive pups. At the Walkabout Way, I offer personal experiences to support you as help your dog alter their behaviour. This starts of by working with me on a private basis at my own secure field. If we need any distractions, then I can use my younger dog who loves everyone, and my husband will handle him as directed by me. Once we think your dog is ready, then you will be invited to join one of our lifeskills groups to practice the skills you have been taught. But we never rush this and sometimes, the dog is never ready – you may just need to practice your “ninja” skills whilst keeping your dog below their threshold.

If you are looking for a personalised dog training experience helping you with your dog and your lifestyle, please do give me a call and we can chat about what we could do together. I offer a range of packages designed to help owners or we can design one just for you because as we know, not all dogs are the same.


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