Dog Training Hard Truths – Challenges to Face
Misconceptions about dogs and training give us many dog training hard truths. The fact is that these are things that most owners who want to train their dogs or get dog training have to face in one way or another.
Which dog training hard truths someone will have to face in their own journey really depends on so many things. Everyone’s path is different and where everyone starts is different as well. There are struggles for everyone, but it’s not always what you’d expect.
Breaking it Down
Dog training of any kind will require change from an owner or handler. The level of training your dog has, skills that maybe you’re struggling with, that’s all a reflection of your knowledge about dog training, the experiences the dog has had through their life, with a sprinkling of genetics thrown in, and of course a cherry on top. With the infinite variables that all of those factors have, I’m sure you can see how different things can be from one person to the next!
Examining Some Dog Training Hard Truths
- All dogs need training to be good canine citizens. As an animal they don’t know how to act in our modern world. It’s up to us to teach them.
- Your dog’s behavior is a reflection of your skills and knowledge around dog training.
- The actions of your dog are always your responsibility, for better or worse.
- Dog training requires maintenance. This is not a one and done thing.
- Mistakes and accidents happen, it’s up to you to prevent repeats and get help if you’re unsure of how exactly to do that.
- You can either have upfront cost (buying a well bred dog from a reputable breeder) or cost down the line (adopting an untrained dog who’s behavior issues potentially landed them in a shelter).
- Dog training is work and is a commitment you have to follow through until the end. Half measures are not enough.
- Rewards are required for change. Your dog does not work for you out of loyalty, love, or because you’re the human.
- You will have to change things in your life (at least temporarily)
- What your dog needs is often not compatible with the life they’ve been provided.
- There is no one size fits all method of dog training.
- There are zero quick fixes.
- You will have to step out of your comfort zone to have a well trained dog.
- Love isn’t training. No amount of it will overcome obedience or behavior challenges you might have with your dog.
- Putting off training doesn’t do anyone any favors. All bad behavior that is allowed to continue will strengthen and be harder to fix in the future.
- I’m a dog trainer, not a miracle worker. Results you get with your dog depend on a slew of variables, some of which are not under our control (genetics, actions of other people, etc).
- I can train your dog, but without change and upkeep at home, that training disappears.
- Sloppy training = sloppy results.
- At times you will face your own weaknesses, bad habits, and past actions. It can be very difficult, but you’re writing your story as you go and your future doesn’t have to be the same as the past.
- You have the power of change, you just have to commit to it.
- The majority of problems with dogs will not go away on their own, instead they will get worse.
You don't have to do any of this alone.
My job as a trainer is to guide you and support you through dog training hard truths like these. There will be times you might feel like quitting, might feel like you’re not good enough, or might feel like you’re a failure. Frustration is normal. Feeling like you suck at training is normal. Mistakes are normal. It’s all part of learning the new skill of training your dog.
The training space that I try to provide everyone focuses on getting you closer to success. Sometimes this means we’re simply streamlining things in the training process to better suit your lifestyle, but other times it might be us focusing on how a mistake or attitude is holding you back or making things more difficult than they should be.
I strive to meet everyone halfway. It’s a team effort, not only between you and your dog, but with me as well. Believe it or not I want to see all of my student and dog teams succeed and reach their goals! A major stumbling block for everyone though is many of these dog training hard truths. The beauty of it though is that you get to choose your hard.
Dog training is hard. So is living with an untrained dog. The choice is yours.