- Setting your dog training goals
Setting a goal for your dog's training can benefit both you and your dog. It can help you solve or prevent behavioral problems. It can make living with your dog easier which can reduce the level of frustration in and out of your home.
Take the following questions into consideration as you set your goals for your dog's training.
1) What do you want to do with your dog? When you first get a dog, you have a dream of activities and achievements you want to do with that perfect dog. Unfortunately, your dog may not have the skills to do these activities, yet. Make a list of things that you would love to do with your dog but maybe your dog isn't quite ready to do. For instance, going hiking (maybe even off-leash if you are in a location that permits it). Or, do you want to be able to take your dog to pet-friendly places without your dog making a scene? Perhaps you want to compete in dog sports or train your dog to become a service or therapy dog. Figuring out what you'd like to accomplish with your dog's training can give you a good starting point.
2) What currently prevents you from doing what you want with your dog? Can you not take your dog for a hike with you because it has a poor recall and won't come to you? Does your dog bark and lunge at other dogs or jump all over people making it uncomfortable to take your dog with you? Make another list of what behaviors your dog exhibits that are currently complicating being able to do what you want to do with your dog.
3) Ask yourself what you'd like your dog's behavior to look like instead. Now we're diving deeper into how to change challenging behaviors. Choose one behavior that you want to change. What can you train your dog to do that is INCOMPATIBLE with the challenging behavior that your dog currently does. For instance, you can train your dog to sit politely instead of jumping up on strangers. The incompatible behavior to jumping is to sit!
Not sure where to start or how to teach your dog what you want? Consider hiring MuttSchool's CCPDT-certified dog trainers. We can assist you with goal setting and creating a training plan for any budget or time constraints.