Most of my students got a dog (a rescue or a new puppy!), had a few weeks of wonderfulness (the honeymoon phase), and then….behaviors started showing up that were annoying. I usually hear that the problem started out slow – that it wasn’t a big deal initially. And some of them heard the myth about “they’ll outgrow it ” but…they didn’t. They actually grew INTO it, and the behavior escalated in frequency and intensity. That’s when things got real – as in “real bad”.
At that point, they attempted to use techniques that they remembered from when they had a dog as a kid, or maybe they got some advice from well-meaning friends or family. A few decided to take the bull by the horns and read a dog training book or two. Eventually, things moved beyond tolerable, and they started looking for a dog trainer, and that’s when they found me. And after about 7 minutes of working with me, they quickly realized that they were, whether they liked it or not, going to have to get some dog training skills if this relationship was going to work out. The good news for them is that with me on their team, they’re going to get what they need.
Three ways to live with a dog: damage control, management, training.
Damage control – This is when you are constantly putting out “fire.”
Management – is not training!
There’s a difference:
When you buy/adopt a new dog – have tools you need ready.
You control the environment the dog has access to – and you control the dog within the environment.
Obedience training is following commands.
Doesn’t have to be fully trained before you can control him through good management.
My dogs aren’t allowed to be free in the house until we are 110% sure they are calm and well-mannered in the home. This varies from dog to dog. Our 11-year-old female border collie Trigger was able to be off-leash at 6 months of age, while my rat terrier was not loose in the house until she was 3 years old.
There is no “one-size-fits-all” approach because every dog is different: some dogs are very compliant, while others will fight you tooth and nail.
Management – tether, exercise pen, crate
MANAGEMENT IS NOT A REPLACEMENT FOR PHYSICAL OR MENTAL EXERCISES:
Under no circumstance is a good management program all that our dogs need to produce good behavior. It goes without saying that our dogs need exercise and they also need to have their minds exercised. That’s why they thrive on good training.
We encourage people to find some dog sport or activity that they can do with their dog. Obedience training is a good start, but this can also include hunting, nose work, agility, etc.
If you are new to dog training, have a look at nosework. Every dog of every breed can do nosework. It is something you can do in your basement, your garage, or on your patio.
Remember, your dog can sleep in a dog crate, be confined to ex-pens and kennels all day, and generally be well-managed, but still have behavioral issues. That’s because the dog is not getting enough exercise and mental stimulation.
Tips for Management
The reality is that your training is either getting better or getting worse. It gets better because you enforce your rules and your aware what your dog is doing at all times, or it gets worse because you aren’t working on it
I raise all my puppies the same, and I want to share with you the big picture of what I feel is important about raising and training a puppy. This should also give you the overall picture of the life of a dog living with Kathy Santo.
•First thing that happens is a trip to the potty area!
•Using the puppy’s breakfast, I spend 15-20 minutes teaching impulse control games, and basic commands.
•When I’m making or eating breakfast, or at the computer, I’ll praise and reward the puppy for being quiet, and for laying on his bed in his xpen.
•At random points in the morning, the puppy goes back in his crate for 30-45 minutes. He’ll also get supervised free time, a short walk, many potty trips (!), and a few short training sessions.
For the rest of our tips for the rest of the tips on how to manage for the rest of the day, be sure to download our PDF printable below: