Benefits of Consistency in Dog Training
Think about this from the dog’s perspective… This morning I jumped on my human and I got petted and lots of attention. This afternoon when I jumped on my human I got yelled at and shoved out the door. Dogs can’t tell the difference between “home clothes” and “work clothes” and don’t understand why they got punished. This is where trust can fail between dogs and their owners.
Behaviors such as biting and nipping is another example of inconsistency between family members. One person may allow rough wrestling or mouthing but another family member is more sensitive and cries, yells and punishes the dog for the exact same behavior. Dogs need consistent rules, guidelines and structure to thrive. Inconsistencies will fail your dog!
Think about going to work and getting new instructions for the same task every day or getting reprimanded inconsistently. It would make you frustrated, angry and have little trust in your boss. That is the same way your dog feels when you give them inconsistent messages.
Another example of inconsistency is rewarding your dog when he “sort of” does something. If you are training your dog to lie down, you reward him when his whole body is on the ground. In the future, if you give him a reward for “lie down” BEFORE his whole body is on the ground, you are being inconsistent.
The benefit of consistency is that practice makes perfect. Martin Deeley shared the best quote with the IACP; “5 minutes a day is better than 30 minutes on Sunday”
All dog owners start on the same page. Even as dog trainers we need to take our puppy to puppy class, socialize them with people and other dogs and work through their adolescent behavior just like our clients. There is no shortcuts in dog training.
If you put in the work, you will reap the benefits of a socialized, well behaved and enjoyable dog. If you continue to make excuses, ignore the behavior or get frustrated and yell at your dog, you are breaking that trust and bond that your dog wants to have with you. A quote by Tyler Muto stated, “communication travels through BOTH ends of the leash.”
Use the leash to help your dog learn how to live in our world and remember to be consistent with all verbal commands, hand signals and that all interactions are similar to help set your dog up for success!