When Not To Train
There are certain times that training should be curtailed. These times are sometimes the most elusive of all to not only understand, but to implement. It’s difficult for a trainer to admit that, “today, I am not capable of training” for some reason or another. It’s also difficult to say that in relation to your dog. i.e.:” My dog is not capable of learning what I am training today.”
There can be many reasons. The specific reasons can be found in the chapters “People Mood Swings” and “Dog Mood Swings”. Here, we will only note the consequences of them. Any and all of the reasons can and will affect, not only your ability to train, but your dogs ability to learn or understand the training. Learn to detect these times, and conditions, and also to deal with them in a mature manner. Don’t try to push through a training session, thinking it will get better once you’re into it. 99% of the time, it won’t get better, and 99% of the time, it will result in a counterproductive session.
Do not train for several hours after your dog has eaten. The reason is two fold. Just as an athlete does not train after eating, so too, your dog should not. No matter how much fun you make it, training is somewhat stressful, and this connotes into a bad combination when mixed with digesting food. The second reason pertains to a specific type of training. If you reward train, your dog will probably not be as excited about receiving the reward treats on a full stomach. This can affect the effectiveness of the reward training session.
Try to avoid training when you are not feeling good, or ill. As mentioned earlier, your dog can sense when something is different or out of whack with you, and this can result in a poor training session. Even if your dog is not affected by a slight change in your demeanor, there is the possibility of you not being able to conduct your own movements, the same as you usually do. This can throw off a novice dog, and produce poor results, which in turn produces
confusion on the dogs part, and disappointment on your part. Many dogs can sense this disappointment, and a further reduction in training quality is manifested.
This should go without saying, but I will mention it here anyway. Never train with a sick or injured animal. Even minor illness can be counterproductive, and possibly result in a worsening of the condition. Remember, stress can play a large role in prolonging an illness.
Varying The Training Locations
The old saying, “variety is the spice of life”, rings true in the world of dog training as well. Arctic breeds have a propensity toward “attention deficit disorder”, or so it would seem, sometimes. In reality, they just, plain, get bored with repetition, and redundancy, as do I, sometimes. Don’t you? In order to avoid this situation, there are several ways to keep your dogs attention…read more
How to Distinguish and Identify Dog Temperaments
As trainers, it is incumbent upon us to get to know our dog as well as possible. We need to understand their moods, reactions to specific stimuli, and the periods of their ups and downs. This includes everyday living experiences, not just during
training. These observations and understandings will help you in your training. Coupled with the above, is knowing what temperament you are dealing with. In order to deal with a certain temperament…read more
What to expect From Your Dog
Today, more and more, we find that people expect unbelievable feats of accomplishment from all aspects of life than were previously though reasonable. Many things contribute to this strain on humans and animals alike. Television, Movies, News Broadcasts, and sensational specials, depict animals in feats of daring, and performing acts that only the most advanced trainers should attempt…read more