Do you feel like sometimes it doesn’t matter how hard you try and train your dog, or how much time and effort you put in, you just don’t seem to be getting the real life results that you want?
Maybe you find that your dog will ‘behave’ for treats, but as soon as the treats disappear, they just aren’t interested anymore.
Sometimes picking up the lead is enough to send your dog into a crazy barking frenzy, so that all hopes of a calm walk go out of the window, making training almost impossible.
Ever seen (or owned!) the dog that goes to obedience class and walks nicely to heel alongside their owner? Hanging on their every word? Then the moment the class finishes the dog DRAGS the owner back to the car almost pulling them off their feet. But they were so well behaved before! Why don’t they do it in ‘real life’?
Well we are here to tell you that there are TWO key revolutionary training tips that will supercharge your dog training to give you those real life results you’ve always wanted. We’ve done it with our dogs and our student’s dogs and it’s a tried and proven method of training. I mean what’s the point in training ‘party tricks’ if they don’t transfer to real life right?
Tip Number 1 Ditch the Bowl!
Concept training is largely based around ditching the bowl. We don’t feed our dogs breakfast/lunch and dinner. WHAAAAAT?! I know right? Sounds a bit crazy?
But we can tell you now that all dogs LOVE to earn their food. They don’t want it in a bowl! It’s scientifically proven and it’s a concept called contra freeloading. So why do we feed them from a bowl? Because it’s convenient for us right?
And by ditching the bowl we don’t JUST mean delivering food in enriching ways like kongs/lickimats and chews. These are all GREAT and part and parcel of our calmness training – but it’s very easy to just replace a bowl for a kong – and we need to do MORE than that.
We need to be looking at ALL of the ways that we can reward our dog with their food IN ADDITION to enrichment.
Imagine if every piece of food that was usually delivered in a bowl, every single piece of kibble, had to be earned in some way – earned for NOT doing something.
So NOT jumping up – piece of kibble
NOT barking at the door – piece of kibble
NOT barking at neighbours – piece of kibble
NOT reacting to the dog over the road – piece of kibble
Now imagine that your dog loved kibble as much as they loved their favourite toy. Almost as much as they loved cheese and chicken?
OOOOOOHHHH! Gamechanger right!?
What if you could use that kibble in ALL of your dog training?
Think grooming, loose lead walking, recall, tricks, obedience…we could go on.
Ditching the bowl opens up SO many opportunities when its used to it’s fullest potential.
You can train with kibble or raw, pretty much anything that they eat day to day! It’s all totally possible. I have 7 dogs of very different breeds, and personalities, and they will all train for kibble – for my students it’s a way of life.
Tip Number 2 – Ditch the Routine
For some of my students ditching the routine has been enough of a change to almost totally eradicate most training struggles – it is THAT powerful!
Routine is seen largely as being a good thing. But it has it’s downfalls. Especially where animals are concerned.
Dogs are very good at pairing things with events:
- Lead means walk.
- Car means vets or car means walk.
- Knock at the door means visitor.
- Back door means garden and excitement.
- Even times of day mean different things.
Maybe your dog has other strange pairings? (tell me below!)
One of my students dogs would go crazy whenever her husband went near a window as he assumed he was going to swat a fly as he saw him do it once. Swatting flies was very exciting for him, so now any movement towards a window replicated that excitement in anticipation of a big event resulting in barking and lunging.
All of these associations are an ‘event’ to your dog. That anticipation leads to a peak in arousal, increasing your dog’s cortisol levels.
When a dog’s cortisol level increases BEYOND an acceptable level they often start to choose behaviours that perhaps are not particularly welcomed!
Barking, nipping, jumping up, pacing, lunging, humping. Maybe your dog chooses something else?
If this happens several times throughout the day, your dog’s cortisol level is eventually going to be PRETTY high. And when that happens, they inevitably make bad choices. It’s like the end of a stressful day at work. The stress has been building and building all day, you get home, and you snap. It’s exactly the same with a dog.
So because they are SO good at pairing we need to train them that everything is a non-event. We ditch the routine. This can be a work in progress and don’t expect it to happen overnight, but once you start to regularly ditch the routine, you will see some magical changes happening to your dog and their flexibility.
You can pick up the lead and put it down with no reaction. You can finally get them in the car. You can FINALLY have a calmer walk as they aren’t screaming before they’ve even left the house.
Now imagine you create a flexible dog by ditching the routine, and at the same time you start to create real life results by ditching the bowl!
GREAT THINGS will start to happen and life all around for your dog becomes that bit easier and that bit calmer.
If you want to know EXACLTY how you can start ditching the bowl and ditching the routine, along with all of the other fundamentals of concept dog training then we are starting a new Puppy Course on Tuesday 5th January.
This course is open to ALL ages, from older dogs to rescues.
We will show you how to get your dog excited about food, use it in training, how to build focus and how to show your dog to choose YOU over the environment – it’s JAM PACKED full of training tips and advice and what’s more, you get a private Facebook group with direct access to me any time.
Want to know more?