If you are one of our clients you have heard us say that “the most important ingredient in the recipe of dog training is…consistency.” Without it, you have nothing.
Everything that has given you results in life, you have been consistent at. Think about it. The diet that worked was successful because you were consistent with it. Going to the gym once every two weeks doesn’t give you any results. You know why? Because it’s not consistent!
There are a few components to consistency when it comes to training your dog:
1. Training sessions must be consistent.
Putting yourself and your dog on a training schedule will help generate results faster. Let’s say that you are training your dog to sit on command. On Monday you have three, five minute sessions. Each of them are very successful. The rest of the week however, you neglect to do any sessions. When you revisit the sit command the following Monday, your dog may have forgotten everything it had learned. Of course, there is the chance that no regression would occur but if you had been consistent with training him/her every day during that week, your dog would be much further along.
2. The standards you hold your dog to must be consistent.
The rules you set for your dog are not “sometimes rules.” Meaning, if the rule is that begging at the dinner table is not allowed, then it is never allowed. That does not mean it is okay on Mondays and Fridays but not okay the other days. Keep things black and white for your dog. Never let me them try and get away with it. The minute you are not consistent with enforcing the guidelines is the minute you will start to see more and more behavioral problems.
3. Consistently reward desired behavior.
One of the biggest issues we see with our clients is they forget to reinforce or reward behavior they like. They become so accustomed to Fido coming to them when called that they assume they don’t need to reward him for that behavior. Just because your dog seems to always sit the first time it is asked, doesn’t mean you don’t have to reward him for doing it. If anything, you should be rewarding that even more because of how great he is doing! Remember, reward behavior you like consistently, even if you feel like your dog has it down solid.
The more consistent you are with your training, the better your results will be and the faster you will see them!