Located in Rudy, Arkansas
Serving Fort Smith, Van Buren, and surrounding areas

“That’s NOT My Dog!”

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Roxie is a good girl

More than once, this has come out of a client’s mouth in response to the ease at which I can get behaviors.  It can be an ego boost to hear the surprise when I get a behavior quikly. But there are a few things to keep in mind as you begin your training journey with your dog.

1.     The most important thing to consider is I have been doing this for over 20 years.  I have been where you are, and I have tried a variety of methods to get the results I was looking for.  I have settled on the ones that work best for me and are most fun for the dogs I work with.

2.     I have also learned to see when my usual tricks are not going to work, and I have a dozen ways to get what I want to fall back on.  Because I have tried almost everything at one time or another.

3.     I read dogs well.  I have learned when a dog is too worked up for frustrated to understand what we’re doing.  I don’t sweat it much.  At least not with client’s dogs, because I don’t want you to sweat it.

4.     Dogs have bad days.  And weeks.  And months.  Usually this is developmental.  I find the period around 7 months old is particularly difficult for some dogs.  But any dog of any age can have days where they aren’t feeling it.  And unless it’s developmental, generally waiting until the dog is back to normal is the best bet.  Normal for me, by the way, is a dog that wants to train.  Because (as I mentioned above) my goal is to make training fun.

5.     I have bad days.  There are times I get frustrated because my dog isn’t getting it.    If you want an ugly example:  One day when she was about 7 months (see above), my dog developed a fear of mirrors. Instead of removing the mirror from the training room and taking a break, I tried to keep going.  After all, she used to play with the puppy in the mirror.  But she was having none of it, and I got frustrated with her.  And the saddest part is she knew I was frustrated.  It was not my finest hour.  I’m sorry, Rox.  I know you’ve already forgiven me, because that’s how you are.

I might be tempted to feel like I’m the “Super Trainer” for having been able to get your dog to do something you weren’t able to. But please keep it in perspective, and keep being patient with yourself and your dog.  It’s going to be OK.  You can do this.  Take a deep breath, and as they say, trust the process.  I’m here if you need me.