Lately in some of my classes, I’ve been facing this issue which is new to me. It’s had me puzzled and very frustrated, and I try all week to think of resolutions to help put it at ease. Here’s the issue: an owner comes in with a dog that we’ve been working together on for weeks, and the dog is not doing the best that they know how. But the second I take over working with the dog, immediately, they’re a brand new dog doing everything I ask them to near perfectly. So I pass the dog back over, and urge the owner to praise, reward, turn, correct, and remember what all we’ve learned…but there we go again, they disobey the owner.
I was talking with a fellow trainer and expressing my frustration as to why the dog works so well for me, but is a jerk with their owner. Her advice was simple- consistency is key.
Consistency is Key.
I as their trainer, from day one never let them get away with any of the crap they try to pull. Their owners on the other hand, have let them get away with it for months, maybe even years. So they’ve now got to revert that entire process of learning that they already have engrained in them. That does not happen in one day guys! Training takes consistency, no matter what animal you’re working with; it takes a lot of hard work and patience.
So whether you’re working with myself, another trainer, or trying to do it on your own, the most important thing you can remember is that it will take time and repetition. It’s the same with kids, managing employees, being a teacher, etc. If you show them you are vulnerable and willing to give in or give up, they will take advantage every chance they get. Ultimately you’re working to counter- condition their brain out of a bad habit and into a good one; this is complex and takes time!