Last time we discussed possible reasons why dogs respond well at training class but not in other situations. If you missed the first part of this article, you can read it here. Now that we listed some reasons, lets discuss them in more detail.
There is a lack of consistency at home and in between lessons. You have to practice at home in order to truly benefit from a training class, there is just no getting around this. If you don’t practice in between lessons and you don’t have mini training sessions at home, you are never going to gain control of your dog and your problems will continue to exist. By the way, your trainer can tell who works their dogs and home and who doesn’t!
There is a lack of follow through at home. When participating in training class, your dog trainer is right next to you, holding you accountable to a certain set of standards and makes sure you do things correctly with your dog. It’s up to you to set the same set of standards when you are in the home with your dog. In the home the roles switch, you are the one setting and enforcing the standards for your dog; so if you tell your dog to come, make sure they come, if you tell your dog to sit and they lay down, fix it!! Just practicing at home is not enough, we have to make sure we are practice correctly.
The dog is not being supervised correctly in the home. Most people are totally focused on their dogs when they are participating in a training class, however, life is full of distractions. Phone calls, kids, tv, making dinner, and all of the other things in our lives can constantly take our attention off of our dogs. These are the times when they are getting into trouble and we are missing our training moments. The more often your dog gets to practice chewing on furniture or or stealing things off the table, the more they perfect those behaviors. If you have a dog that can’t be trusted with a little bit of freedom and you can’t actively watch your dog, crate them.
Your dog’s current training state may be situational. By this I mean your dog knows when you are in “training mode” and does great while you are actively having a training session, but the skills have not yet carried over into daily life. Example – your dog has a great down/stay when you are training, but constantly breaks when he is told to down/stay while you are preparing dinner. The only way to increase the functionality of your dog’s skills is to practice and hold them accountable during these real life situations.