When I was a child, I made the biggest mistake with my first dog, Heather, a Shetland Sheepdog, when training “come.” I want you to learn from my mistakes so that you don’t make the same ones. I want you to have to a dog that “comes” every time you call him or close to that.
I received my first dog when I was about 8 years, and Heather was just a puppy. I think she was about 2 months. I was a child, so I had normal child controlling behavior.
When I wanted my puppy to do something, I wanted her to do it now. Unfortunately, as adults we still retain this quality. However, it doesn’t work very well with puppy training. Hiram and Garrettsville is where I practiced most of my puppy training. I lived in Garrettsville but loved the Hiram Field Station.
M biggest mistake affected much of my future puppy training. Hiram puppy owners will benefit from knowing this. When Heather didn’t come, I felt anger and fear. However, I didn’t process these emotions in a healthy manner but instead projected them onto her. I yelled at her.
My puppy learned quickly that if I felt anger, she would be better off avoiding me rather than coming to me. Overtime the more stressed I became, the less my puppy would “come.” Of course my stress level increased and I felt I was loosing all control over the situation.
I learned it pays to be happy or least act happy when my puppy comes to me. Overtime my pup would learn that coming pays off and good things will happen. Heather learned that bad things happened when she came so overtime she came less.
Remember do not yell at your dog for coming to you even if it took him a long time to come to you. If you want a good and reliable “come” command with your puppy, reward your dog EVERY TIME he comes to you.
Learning about this affected my whole future of puppy training. Hiram and neighboring cities became inspired by my training knowledge as I spread the knowledge to other puppy owners.
Next time you feel anger or fearful while you are training your dog, know it is okay to feel that way. However, be conscious with what you do with these emotions. Taking a break, punching a pillow, going on a run, breathing, changing your thoughts to more positive ones are all healthy ways to deal with your emotions.
Yelling at your dog is not the healthiest way for you to deal with your anger and fear. It can also have dire consequences on your success with your dog training. Hiram friends will benefit from seeing you make conscious choices.
You will in turn help them during their struggles with their puppies because being a role model is the best way to inspire others.
Johanna Teresi, Hiram Puppy Training, Four Legged Scholars LLC, Hiram, Puppy Training