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  • April Schrader, CPDT-KA

The SECRET to a Trained Dog: Homework & Consistency

Our furry companions bring joy and love into our lives, but just like humans, dogs have their quirks, and sometimes those quirks can turn into behavioral issues. Whether it's incessant barking, leash pulling, or separation anxiety, the good news is that most behavioral problems can be eliminated with training. The key to success? Homework, Consistency, time and lots of it.

UNDERSTANDING THE POWER OF CONSISTENCY: Imagine you're taking a college class, and the professor assigns homework every week. Neglecting those assignments will put you on a path to failure, and it's unlikely you'll achieve success in that course. The same concept applies to dog training, consistency is the key to success. Here's why:


Reinforcing New Habits: Similar to humans, dogs grasp concepts through repetition. Maintaining consistency in your dog's training enables your furry companion to comprehend expectations and anticipate actions, creating a smoother experience in our human-centric world.

Building Trust: Dogs thrive when they follow a routine; when your interactions with your dog are predictable, it instills a sense of security, diminishes anxiety, and minimizes stress.


Patience and Persistence: Behavioral transformations don't occur instantaneously; it may take your dog anywhere from 21 to 27 days to form a new habit. Achieving noticeable changes in your dog's behavior demands consistent practice and unwavering patience.


DOING YOUR HOMEWORK IS THE KEY TO SUCCESS: Now that you know the importance of consistency, let's delve into the practical aspect - homework. In dog training, your trainer will assign homework, comprising exercises to be practiced with your dog at least twice a day between lessons. These training sessions are instrumental in molding your dog's behavior.


Practice Makes Perfect: If you're working on cues like "Attention " "sit," or "touch," daily practice is imperative for your success in training your dog. Practicing these behaviors consistently reinforces good behavior.


Addressing Problem Behaviors: If your dog has behavioral issues like separation anxiety or reactivity your homework will involve exercises meant to help desensitization exercises or counter-conditioning . It's these daily efforts that can lead to long-term change.


Maintaining a Structured Routine: Establishing daily schedules for meals, bathroom breaks, training, and exercise imparts a sense of security to your dog as they anticipate what and when things will happen. Predictability in our actions results in more predictable dog behavior. This consistency in various aspects reduces anxiety and encourages positive behavior.


Positive Reinforcement: Using reward-based training has been scientifically proven to be more effective than aversive methods of training. Regularly reinforcing your dogs good behavior with high value rewards during traininig sessions motivates your dog to continue behaving well.


Transforming your dog's behavior through consistency and doing your homework is a journey, not a destination. Be patient and recognize that setbacks can occur and thats okay, when they do, stay consistent and if you get frustrated its okay to stop and try again later. For any inquiries or assistance with dog training, please feel free to contact us at Jeff@bestbuddydogtrainer.com or call us at 301-231-1907. You can also visit our sign-up page at Best Buddy Dog Trainer Sign-Up if you need help with training your dog. We're here to help!

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