Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Getting Back in the Game

No, it is never too late to start training your dog. No matter the age or level your dog is at, you can always start training, or in my case, retraining. I left for an extended vacation last month, and I came home to some surprise behaviors. One of my dogs had started to show fear-based aggression signs towards other dogs while on walks. I had thought that I had trained this behavior completely out of him years ago, but all it took was one month for him to go back to step one. This goes to show that dog training is a continuous commitment that lasts for your dogs entire life.
So I was faced with the challenge of getting back in the game. Challenge accepted. Luckily, once you have trained your dogs the basic commands and have a foundation of respect and communication on which to work, it is quite easy to retrain your dog.
What would originally take me months to do would only take me a week to redo. For example, I had gone to great pains to get my dog to not react to other dogs, it took almost six months of consistent rewarding and correction and desensitizing exercises. After being gone a month, my dog regained some of these bad behaviors, and it only took me about a week and a few treats to get him back on track.
So moral of this story? Training is a continuous game that will never end as long as you have a dog, though with practice it will get easier, and it's never to late to start.

  My (sometimes) trouble dog enjoying his vacation.