Many times I get phone calls from people who want to know what kind of training I offer.
My answer is always, "That depends on the dog and the owner."
Not every dog will respond to treat training and not every dog will respond to a leash correction in the way desired.
Just as with people, every dog is a little different. In my opinion, it is up to a good trainer to feel out the most satisfying approach.
Since 70 percent of my work is training the people who live with the dog, it is very important to understand the dog owner. If I know that someone will be unable to give a strong leash correction, there is no need to even start any training in that direction.
If the owner of the dog is not comfortable with the training technique, he or she will not work with the dog. Once the owner feels confident working with the dog, everything will fall into place.
It is important that the dog and the owner look forward to training. Sessions should be short and spread over the day. Owners need to concentrate on their dogs, which means no TV in the background, no phone calls or children to distract the training session.
Once a technique is chosen, keep on working. Do not try new ways all the time. It is confusing for the dog if he gets mixed signals. Every family member needs to use the same commands and hand signals in order for the dog to learn.
Keep in mind that dogs learn more or less all their lives, and it takes time to make it perfect. Most important is the need to be consistent.
If you need any help training your dog, feel free to call.
Birgit Edler is the owner of Canine College in Juno Beach, which offers grooming, training and day care services for dogs and cats. Call (561) 626-0552 or e-mail Caninecollegefl@yahoo.com.