How Much Progress Can Your Dog Make in Dog Training
By Jason Wright
December 11, 2023
If you’ve gone through the process of training your dog before, you probably understand that this task takes a lot of work, time, and patience so that your dog can fully understand which behaviours are acceptable and which are not.
Given the amount of time that has to be dedicated to dog training and the effort required from the entire household, many owners can question whether training is necessary or how much progress their dog can make. Dog training is not only needed but also a requirement of a responsible dog owner.
By taking the time to train your pet, you can prevent unforeseen accidents from occurring, provide your dog with a happy and healthy life, set boundaries, keep your pet safe, and build a strong bond with them. If you’re preparing to start the training process or have a pet with poor behavioural traits and are wondering just how much progress it can make through training, this blog post is for you.
The Foundations of Dog Training: Why It’s Important
A common misconception of dog training is that it is a tactic solely used to teach your pet how to behave. While this is an outcome of training, dog training is centred around building trust and communication between you and your pet.
Your dog will learn proper behaviour and acceptable and unacceptable behaviour through consistency and practice. However, during this time, they will also learn your signals, commands, and body language, just like you will learn theirs. This allows you, the owner, to understand when your dog may feel scared, nervous, or triggered, allowing you to say the command in a timely manner to keep your dog calm and relaxed.
Some may question the importance of training; however, it's necessary to provide your dog with essential life skills, ensuring they respond to commands and, in turn, making everyday situations safer and more manageable. For us, the proud dog owners, it's a course in patience.
The Benefits of Proper Dog Training
As mentioned earlier, dog training is not just about obedience; it's about tapping into your dog's potential, creating a harmonious living environment, and creating a connection beyond mere commands.
Whether your goal is to build a stronger relationship with your pet or work on some of their behavioural issues, here are some of the benefits that can be achieved through consistent work with your dog:
- Enhanced Communication: Beyond mere obedience, training establishes a unique language between you and your dog. It's not a repetition of commands but rather a more silent understanding that creates a strong bond.
- Improved Safety: Commands like "stay" or "come" aren't just tricks. They're powerful tools that can be lifesavers, preventing your dog from wandering into potentially hazardous situations.
- Stress Reduction: Imagine a home where your dog knows the rules, understands your cues, and confidently navigates their environment. Training achieves just that, creating a more relaxed and stress-free living environment.
- Social Adaptability: Dogs, like humans, thrive on positive social interactions. Through training, your dog becomes a well-behaved pet, making outings and encounters with other dogs and people far more enjoyable.
- Preventing Unwanted Behaviors: One of the more common reasons dog owners focus on their pet’s training. Training helps either prevent or combat undesirable habits. From the notorious shoe-chewing sessions to excavating the garden, training helps redirect your dog's energy toward more acceptable outlets.
In embracing these benefits, you're not just instructing your dog what to do daily, but rather creating a more welcoming environment and helping your pet to live a happy, healthy and safe life.
How Much Progress Can Your Pet Make?
So, whether you’re leaning into training to prevent behavioural issues or build a strong connection, you may wonder, “How much progress can my dog make?” This comes down to a few elements:
- Consistency: Working with your dog for one hour will not change any behavioural issues or build a strong bond. Instead, by committing to your pet and working with them on a consistent daily, you’ll be able to see change and progress. Failure to be consistent with your pet will only create a lack of results.
- Correct Your Pet’s Behaviour Right Away: Your dog may try to test the limits and push boundaries; it is important that you remain consistent with your training and commands, providing a correction to your dog’s poor behaviour right away. For example, if your dog leaves their threshold without your command or gets up on the couch when they are not allowed to do so, it is up to you to correct them, in a timely manner, allowing your pet to understand that their poor behaviour will not be tolerated.
- Continuing to Work with Your Pet After Training: Sending your dog to work with professionals can help it achieve great progress, especially if it has challenging behavioural issues. However, that progress can falter upon their return home if you do not continue to work with them and correct their behaviour. While professional dog training is a great tactic, it only works if you’re willing to continue the work when your dog returns home.
- Master Your Energy: As mentioned earlier, training your dog helps develop a form of silent communication between you. As you're watching your dog’s behaviour and cues, they are watching your energy as a way for them to understand how to respond and react. When training, be sure to have a calm, patient, confident presence and energy, helping your dog understand cues and follow your lead.
- Start Small: To prevent any frustration, especially in the beginning, it’s best to start in an environment with few distractions, working on smaller commands with your pet. As you build trust in them and they feel more confident, you can work with practicing these commands outside of the home where more distractions are present.
- Practice in Different Environments: Building on our previous point, once your pet has achieved a cue or command in one environment, continuing their training in other environments is best. This will help them to progress and develop ideal behavioural traits, no matter the environment that they are in.
While dog training may seem simple or mundane to complete when your dog is young, it is an ever-evolving commitment that must be made to your dog every day. The training will get easier over time, and you and your dog can better read and understand each other, picking up on energy and cues.
Your dog’s training and progress are linked directly to how committed and willing you are to work with them. While they may have minor setbacks or difficulties, it is important that you continue to work with them or seek professional advice when necessary so that they can continue to make progress.
The iTK9 Way: Helping Your Dog Achieve Progress
Training a pet, especially one with serious behavioural problems, takes a great deal of work and consistency. And sometimes, it’s best to seek professional advice or services to help your pet progress and understand certain commands and acceptable behaviour.
If you're struggling to work with your pet or unsure where to start, our trained professionals can help. They fully commit to working with them safely and effectively through behaviour, obedience training, and continued learning.
We do the hard work for you to attain a happy home and a healthy relationship with your pet.
Included in all of our programs are the following;
- In-Person Learning: Midway progress training video, two go-home lessons.
- Online Learning: Owner education course, instructional training videos, iTK9 member community, e-books & additional training resources.
- Owner Support: Photo updates of your dog training with our team and access to our team for questions & support.