Starting the Year on the Right Paw: Dog Training Tips To Bring Into New Year
One of the first things you do as a new pet owner is basic training. From teaching leash obedience to proper potty spots, every dog parent wants their pup to be an A+ student. So, what does that mean for the dog mom who might’ve slacked on puppy training and now has a 3 year old fur baby?
Lizzy Sonoda, from Pawsitive Vibes Dog Training, explains if there is an expiration date on training your pups and answers common misconceptions when it comes to dog training.
Lizzy is an expert in dog training after many years in the business. She started her training of animals in Hawaii with marine life, but overtime found her true love in training dogs.
Lizzy says it’s never too late to train your dog. She says “I work with dogs of all ages, and I just had a 10 year old German Shepherd that was really reactive that I worked with and it’s never too late to start working on behavior.”
As busy dog moms, it can sometimes be hard to find the time to actually train your dog and work with them on new skills. That’s often the excuse of why we haven’t already had them trained.
However, Lizzy says that not having enough time is a common misconception with dog training. In fact, she claims that the dog training can hardly take any time at all if don’t want it to. “I’m a huge advocate of putting it into your day. It’s a lifestyle change. So, instead of having her lay down next to you when you’re working on making your really cute bandanas, have her sit on ‘place’ instead of just laying on the floor next to you. There’s so many ways that you can involve it into your day. ”
If you’re someone who wants to train their dog, but doesn’t know where to begin, then it might be in your best interest to hire a dog trainer. “It’s me being able to teach you how to work with your dog. So, dog training really comes down to people training. It’s absolutely people training, and like 5% of it is actually working with the dog, but most of it is me teaching you how to be comfortable and confident with your dog’s behavior, and how to work with them and communicate with them properly.”
Answering Common Misconceptions About Dog Training:
Is punishment effective for dogs?
Yes and no. According to Lizzy, “you need a good balance of positive reinforcement alongside strong discipline.” She says we need a way to communicate that a behavior is wrong, but it doesn’t have to be in a really aggressive way.
Should dogs always be walking behind you to show obedience?
“No. Just because your dog is walking behind you doesn’t mean that they are obedient. They’ve just learned that that’s where they are supposed to walk. As long as they are yanking on the leash, they’re checking in, they’re responsive, that’s great.”
Are only certain dog breeds trainable?
“No, all dog breeds are trainable. Every dog breed is trainable. It might look a little different depending on the dog’s personality and genetics of where they get in their training, but the only untrainable thing I’ve worked with are humans. Your dog can be trained, but can you be trained to work with your dog.”
Are boy dogs harder to train than girl dogs?
“No. It’s so personality based, so genetics based. Every dog is an individual.”
Will dogs grow out of their bad behaviors as they age?
“Yes and no. They grow out of the teething, they grow out of the crazy zoomie land shark phase. Most dogs grow out of those puppy behaviors at least.”
Does feeding your dog human food spoil them?
“No, that one thing is not going to spoil your dog. It’s going to be everything else that comes with it. Spoiled dogs just don’t have boundaries, they never have to listen, they get to do whatever, beg for food, take it off your plate, that’s when they are spoiled.”