Dog & Puppy Training in Montgomery County, MD

Were you really confused just now reading the title of this blog post? Chances are your dog is confused by the concept too!

Most people yell “No” at their dog whenever things turn chaotic. But does it really work?

As humans we understand that “No” means “Stop whatever you’re doing” but your dog does not naturally understand that abstraction. To us, it’s obvious– we want that word “No” to mean:  sit instead of jumping on Grandma, come instead of chasing the cat, AND leave the food that dropped on the floor.

All of these are different behaviors in your dog’s eyes. If you want better communication with your dog and more obedient behavior,  teach him what TO do instead of what NOT to do. It is amazing how many behavior problems go away once dogs understand what is expected of them!

Instead of saying “No” once things have already gone wrong…be proactive!

Now, there is nothing wrong with correcting a known behavior. For example, say you are walking your dog. You’re about to cross the street but you need to wait for the traffic signal to change. “Sit,” you say to your dog…but he’s daydreaming about Lacey the Labradoodle across the street. Even though you’ve taught him “sit” and practiced it hundreds of times, he’s not doing it. In this scenario, it is completely fair and appropriate to say “No” and use pressure on the leash or a hand pushing down on his rump to enforce the sit.

The word “No” in this scenario has a specific meaning. It means a correction is coming, just as “Yes” means a reward is coming.

I can show you how to teach your dog the behaviors you want and hold your dog accountable for those behaviors.

german shepherd in crate golden retriever on placeWelcome to the very first FluentDog blog! To kick things off, I thought it would be good to address a very common question owners have. When should you choose private in-home dog training versus a board and train? 

Either type of training can be effective; it just depends on how involved you want to be in the initial teaching phase of training. No matter what type of training you choose, you will have to be consistent at home in order to be successful over the long term.

Should I choose a board-and-train for my dog?

With a board-and-train program, I am able to teach dogs their basic obedience commands in a short amount of time. If you are new to dog training, a board and train makes the learning curve easier when you get home, because the dog already has some knowledge of the commands, and I will teach you how to maintain them for life.  It’s the difference between learning algebra from a tutor versus your friend in algebra class. Board and trains cost more than individual lessons because you are paying for me to treat your dog like my own–3+ walks a day, mealtimes according to the dog’s usual routine, and many, many short training sessions per day. I also video my training sessions and provide daily updates to owners to keep owners in the loop on our progress.

Board and trains are great if you need to board your dog anyway for a trip you have planned, and you want her to learn some obedience skills while at puppy camp. However, it’s important to have realistic expectations. Board and trains are not magic. If you don’t maintain the training at home, the dog won’t either. 

Should I choose private in-home training for my dog?

Private in-home dog training is a great option if you want to train your dog from start to finish. I create lesson plans based on your individual goals, and I teach you how to teach your dog. It is an incredibly rewarding process–but it is certainly a new skill to learn. Remember, dog training is not only about teaching the dog…it is also about teaching the owner a new way of communicating with their dog. It involves body language, proper timing and how you structure your day with your dog. Private lessons are less expensive than board-and-trains, but the timeline is longer.

Having taught dogs and owners in a variety of settings, either type of training works for the dog. The option you choose depends on what works for you!

Interested in training? Find out what is included in FluentDog training packages, or schedule a call to tell me about your goals for your dog!

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