3. Limit your reactions
“Do not react to your dog’s reactions,” says Groiss. “If you react when your dog reacts you are reinforcing your dog’s behaviour. Remain unfazed and calm whether your dog is scared, anxious, pushy etc. This way you not only dismiss, and hence discourage, related behaviours and reactions, you also gain confidence and trust in the eyes of your dog.”
4. Stay calm
While you may be excited to see your dog at the end of a long day, Groiss says that it is important to remain calm when you arrive home. “Do not make a fuss when coming home,” he explains. “You do not want to behave as if it is a big thing coming home. You want to be casual. You want to communicate that you know what you are doing, that all is normal, that you have things to do and that you say hello when you are ready. This paints a completely different picture of who you are and what’s happening in your dog’s eyes than a crazy greeting on your dog’s terms.”
5. Take things slowly
Fido not responding as quickly as you would like? “Do not jump the gun,” says Groiss. “Build a solid foundation for any command/behaviour in a non-distracting environment first.” Groiss says that it’s important to approach training as a series of steps and slowly develop lasting behaviours. “Aim for speed in behaviours first, for duration second,” he says. “Once this is automatic and reliable, slowly add distractions. Do this and you get success, ignore it and you build a house on a very unstable foundation.”
For more from Bastian Groiss and TheK9Way check out their website.