Is Your Dog a Brat? You Might Need Boarding Training!

I did a consult yesterday for a board and train  client. After trying class training, private dog-training lessons and even in-home training for their dog, it wasn’t getting better. I watched the dog interrupt us repeatedly by barking, jumping and trying to knock things off the shelves and pull pillows off the sofa. In fact, about halfway through the lesson they told me, “He’s just a spoiled brat!”

Sound familiar? It happens with children all the time. We’ve all seen the child who just couldn’t settle while the parent was trying to get something else done, maybe it was in the market, or during a conversation with a neighbor, or possibly when guests were over. Often the same scenario occurs with dogs and their owners. It happened to this particular client last weekend when they had a dinner party. Their dog barked so obtrusively for attention that it not only disrupted the evening, but it got to the point where it frightened the guests. So the client decided it was time for more dog training.

Boarding training was looking like a good option.

Not only was the dog rambunctious to the point of being disruptive, but also the client tried repeatedly to tell it to sit. “He knows it” hollered the owner…. “Sit ..sit .. sit .. sit” ….., finally I stopped him. And in fact they had prior training and learned all the commands, Sit, Stay, Heel, Down, etc. But even after an in-home dog-training program , the dog wasn’t any better so they did a consultation with me to decide about sending the dog to boarding training. I showed them how to get the dog to settle without loud corrective reprimands and in short order he was laying nicely on his mat most of the rest of the session.

“How did you do that?, they asked.

Dog training is a combination of actions and consequences. Think of it a trial and error on the part of the dog. Your dog tries something and if the result is more satisfying than unpleasant, then the dog tries it again. What I did was a combination of doing nothing (that in and of itself was unpleasant to the dog) at just the right time and then of course reinforcing the better behavior when the dog tried something that I preferred to its acting like a spoiled brat. Which brings me to my real story.

Your dog really is a brat!

We have a great client with a very nice little dog; however the dog has a rather significant excitability problem. It has escalated to the point where the dog is just outright aggressive. They did some training and it just wasn’t getting any better. So they took the dog to a Board Certified Veterinary Behaviorist. After a detailed consultation the diagnosis was in, mind you from someone absolutely qualified to make a complete behavioral evaluation. “Your dog is a brat! Go back to the trainer and follow their instructions.”

So if your dog really is a brat, possibly all it needs is some well planned training and follow through on your part at home. Of course the fastest way to do that is to enroll in a board and train program  so that we can make as much progress as quickly as possible without the opportunity for your dog to regress due to inconsistency. After all, the last thing you want is for the doctor to diagnose your dog as a brat.

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