Unexpected Mistakes in Dog Training

Photo courtesy of DreamEyce Studio

Photo courtesy of DreamEyce Studio

During our last training session, I was having Loker work for his evening meal He kept getting commands wrong and was being more of a “spaz” than usual. It was so frustrating that I had to remove myself from the situation and return after a small break. I could not understand why he was being so unusually hyper and not listening well. I began thinking of things I had done wrong or different and why he would be acting so strange when I realized that he hadn’t had a potty break in a few hours! He hadn’t gone out since we got back from the park and had drank a ton of water. No wonder he was acting weird… Poor guy… Silly owner!

This brings me to talk about things that people might not think of when they try and train their dogs.

  • Has your dog had a potty break recently?
  • Has your dog had a meal recently?
  • Are you training indoors or outdoors?
  • How well does your dog know the command?
  • Are there other dogs or animals around?
  • Are the treats you are using really motivating enough for the environment you are in?
  • Are you using a clicker?
  • Is your dog healthy?

When training it is important to pay attention to your environment as much as it is important to pay attention to your dog. During the learning process, it is a gentle balance between the number and type of distractions and whether or not your dog will be able to focus. This is why you begin indoors in a familiar area and  gradually add distractions or move to different areas.

If you ever get frustrated at your dog for acting strange it is best to stop (on a good note if you can) and retry later. It is not that your dog is “blowing you off”, it is rather that he is not comfortable enough to focus.