How Long Does it Take to Train a Dog

I had a chance to hear presentations from three different behaviorists this week. Two of them were vets specializing in behavior and they were all nationally recognized presenters.  There was a common thread in all of their presentations. First, during the course of training for problematic behavior that the dog never get to practice the bad behavior. What happens is that the dog becomes expert at anything it does over and over again. The second thing is to be able make a change in a dog’s attitude and behavior, we need to put the dog in a mental state where it can learn something new.

This to me is the foundation of any training. If we have laid a solid footing, it is easy to make a change. When I started training many years ago, I thought it took years to train a dog.  As I got better at it the time shortened it became a few months, and now I realize that it can often be done in a matter of weeks.  Of course there are certainly behavior problems especially deep rooted fear and separation anxiety that usually do take much longer that that.

Most people do not realize that if we do have a plan, are consistent and follow simple protocols, training and behavior can be improved almost instantly. Typically in my training programs, we encourage clients to lay this foundation for three to four weeks, then in a matter of a few days of training we can go from a level of the dog never minding around any difficult situation to it minding or at least be easily manageable in almost any situation.  

Remember to be successful, we always work to remove the cause, never punish the symptoms.

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