April 29

Simple Dog Behavior Training

General Training and Behavior


Keep Reading and You Will Find Out How!

In the next few short pages, I’m going to change the way you think about your dog training... 

Many of you ask:  Why is dog training so hard to do?  Are trips back and forth going to a group class or board and train programs the most effective way to train my dog or change my dogs behavior?

What you need is the Perfect MVP™ (Minimum Valuable Practice).  

The Perfect MVP™ is a skill which allows your family to learn and apply a new skill with the least amount of effort but has the greatest impact on your dog's behavior and training.

Not long ago we had a very successful pet services business with premium boarding and training, but I noticed a huge problem with the way the industry (and us) were working with family dogs…

We know different strategies now…where and when skills are taught is just as important as how they are trained.

We live in a time when it is easier than ever to train a great family dog and now it seems so obvious why it wasn’t working very well before… 

Dog Training Problems #1:  Lewin’s Equation 

Group or board and train programs do not consider the overwhelm most environments create for you and your dog.  

It seems obvious to say, if given a choice, would you rather do something the hardest way (I know you don’t mind hard work) or the easiest, as long as the outcomes can be the same?   Easy right!  

Consider this simple formula  ß=ƒ(P,E) behavior is a function of personality and environment.  

Think about this for a second…now breath a sign of relief.  Training your dog or changing their behavior has been unnaturally hard because of the environment that you and your dog have been exposed to….not YOU and your failure to make it work.

Surely there is a better way for our dogs to learn and make it easier on our your family…

There is...and I’ll tell you about it in just a second.

Dog Training Problems #2: Instructional design

Too much information and not enough wisdom.  

There is a huge difference between being efficient with your training and being effective.

“An ounce of information is worth a pound of data.  An ounce of knowledge is worth a pound of information and an ounce of understanding is worth a pound of knowledge” (Russell Ackoff)

You can watch a thousand YouTube videos and still not have a well behaved family dog.

Many people get stuck or give up changing their dog’s behavior because they don’t get results fast enough.  The problem is ineffective execution.  You have been taught in the wrong order and with the wrong basic skills.

This is the “old school” way:

  • Drive 40 minutes (one-way) to a large building and meet with 10-30 people and their dogs you don’t know exploding stress for you and your dog.  
  • Learn “Sit,” “Down,” and “Heel” etc. with little personal attention addressing your unique challenges with your dog’s unique responses to training.
  • Practice the wrong thing in the wrong order over and over until you get overwhelmed or quit
  • Struggle to hear and follow instructions while people watch your slow progress

This is the better way:

  • Acquiring the minimum basic skills in a home environment.
  • Practice structured, easy life skills in a controlled environment that facilitates learning.
  • Switch to immersive learning through actual interaction with people and other animals.

Dog Training Problems #3: Habit Change

The daily challenges you have in your home-the habits and challenges that families have with their dogs make it hard to stick with it.  Think diet and weight loss.  Why do so many people fail…personal habits.

The problem with most classes is that you need to squeeze a lot of information in a small amount of time.

You have to manage the new information, the new skill, pay attention to your dog, make sure that your family is on the same page….and learn new dog training habits yourself...

All at the same time!!!

It’s too much. 

People don’t learn this way, and it all becomes a big waste of time and you end up blaming yourself or just giving up because you are “obviously doing something wrong.” 

Unless you have had a lot of experience training dogs, new skills take time and focus to learn and become automatic. 

Movement, presence and observational skills need to be built over time (and in the right order) for you to be effective with your dog in real life.

So…basic obedience classes (as most of us have been taught) are NOT the best say to train your dog.

Let me explain:

I know what your thinking…

If obedience classes don’t work

If doing a board and train program doesn’t work

If training “sit,” “down,” and “heel” does’t work

What should I do?

I have developed a simple method that keeps problems from preventing you from succeeding.

You don’t need to be a “dog whisperer”

You don’t need an hour or more of training every day

More importantly, every member of your family (including your kids) can be successful.

About the author 

Craig Markham MA Family Science

You may also like

Use Dog Training Psychology to 10X your results

Dog Behavior Training-The Environment (Part 2)

Dog Behavior and Training-Instructional Design (Part 3)

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