Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Wednesday Doggie Day: Consistency

There are many lessons I have learned from being a Mommy to two dogs. Two dogs who are, very hyper, active, stubborn, dominate, do not like to listen, sound like any kids you have, but love their Mom more than anything.

I know my Mom has always told me one of the keys to raising well behaved children, is consistency. Until having Mungo and Otto, I did not realize just how important this is with dogs as well. In many ways dogs are similar to children and consistency is one them.

Dogs now when you are not being consistent. When you do not mean what you are telling them to do, they have some innate abilities that make us crazy. I think sometimes, they know more about us than we know about ourselves. Consistency is very key.

This can be very hard some days, when I have told them no for the 20th time, which they know I do not mean it so they will not stop, when I am frazzled, upset or not in a good frame of mind. They now this and will play on it. I have to remind myself, I have to stay on top of their behaviors, especially with the breeds an their personalities. If I do not, they are not going to be good dogs. I also have to look inside myself and ask what I am doing wrong for why they are not listening. Then I have to be consistent in my training.

If I tell them no and discipline this time, but not the next, the dog will also be confused as to what he is to do or not do. Right up front you have to decided what you are going to allow them to do and not do. Can they be on the furniture, do they sleep in bed or in a kennel, can they be around the table at dinner time or do they need to be in a down stay. When they do something, you have to decide right then and there, is this behavior acceptable? If it is not, then it needs to be nipped in the bud right then and there and every time they do this behavior. Most of the time, if you correct the first time and another one or two times, they will stop.

If you have an older dog that you adopted or even your own dog who is older, and has behaviors you do not like, getting into the trash can, putting paws on the counter, whatever it is, you will have to work more consistently with them, for longer periods of time and depending on what it is, not leaving them alone unsupervised. If you are gone, they are in a kennel or where ever it is so they can not do this behavior with out you there. Strive to take the temptation away from them. Do not leave things on the counter until they are well trained. You can get there even with an older dog, they can be taught new tricks.

If you are consistent, they will learn and stop. If you are not consistent, they will run your house. Dogs like order and discipline, it makes them feel safe, they know what they can and not do, they are less destructive. In the wild, if a dog is out of line, he could potentially put the whole pack in danger. Therefore, consistent disciple is always given for the order and safety of the pack. Your pack is no different. You are giving the dog what he is seeking any way, knowing his place in the pack and how he is to behave. If you give your dog consistency, you will be loving them and they will be a much better companion dog who you love to have around.

Saving the world one stick of butter at a time.
God's many graces be showered upon you,

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