How many of you have tried to lose weight and maybe incorporate a good habit for a short time to lose a certain amount but then as soon as your old habits surface, the weight comes right back. There are a variety of ways to get a quick fix to the problem but if you don’t have a sustainable plan, the weight comes right back. It is so unfair! Most people say it takes 21 days to form a habit, however, what happens after the 21 days are up if you don’t follow through?
Dog training is very similar. During a 6-week class or weekly private lessons, we can recommend practicing daily and give you tips and suggestions to fix the problem behaviors and incorporate good behavior choices at home. However, after the class or lessons are over, if you haven’t incorporated these commands and tips into your lifestyle, many dog problems resurface.
A lifestyle change takes time and commitment to be successful. One popular method to build habits is called the 21/90 rule. The rule is simple enough. Commit to a personal or professional goal for 21 straight days. After three weeks, the pursuit of that goal should have become a habit. Once you’ve established that habit, you continue to do it for another ninety days (or 3 months). That 90-day timeframe will create a lifestyle.
“On average, it takes more than 2 months before a new behavior becomes automatic — 66 days to be exact.In other words, if you want to set your expectations appropriately, the truth is that it will probably take you anywhere from two months to eight months to build a new behavior into your life — not 21 days.” Phillippa Lally, European Journal of Social Psychology
My suggestions to help incorporate good dog manners into your lifestyle are
1. Reward the baby steps-dog training is a journey, not a destination. You will take 3 steps forward and 2 steps back some days but as long as you are always moving forward you are making progress.
2. Don’t focus on perfection. Focus on building a relationship with your dog. Laugh at their mistakes and laugh at yours. Find humor in some of the situations. Sometimes laughter really is the best medicine.
3. Record your progress-many times you don’t realize how far you have come unless you write down where you started from. And then Celebrate the small successes as often as you can. That will encourage you to keep moving forward!
Tell us about your dog training journey and what has worked well for you to incorporate training into your lifestyle.