The door bell rings and the dog beats you to the door going crazy with excitement to see who's on the other side. It's a battle between you and the dog to see who gets the door open first.
Those of us with retrievers have experienced all kinds of disciplinary problems in the duck blind. The dog is climbing all over you and your buddies getting shotguns wet, knocking over boxes of shells, shaking inside the blind and not staying quiet when ducks are coming in.
Those with pointing dogs experience the same thing when getting into the field and letting your dog out of the crate. If you have it on a lead, it pulls and chokes itself trying to get free. It lifts its leg on every truck tire and object within ten feet and goes berserk with excitement.
These three scenarios are more common in the real world than we would like to admit. The one who is at fault here is the dog owner, not the dog. Millions of words have been written on how to train and discipline dogs. Hours and hours of instructional videos have been made to show different training techniques. In all of these instructional efforts, one thing is always stressed but rarely followed, patience, repetition and gentle discipline.
Unless you have a knot head for a dog, you can achieve reasonable control at all times by employing these three key factors.
Most people take dogs to obedience classes or to professional trainers because they don't have the time, patience or self-discipline to do it for themselves. In essence, what you're doing is paying a trainer to take the time, have the patience and employ the discipline.
In the beginning we talked about the doorbell scenario. Dogs should sit and stay within 5 feet of the door and never move until you release them no matter who's at the door. In order to achieve this, it takes time, patience and practice. You can't train the dog to do it when real company comes. You have to do it by setting up a scenario where someone rings the doorbell and you begin the process of training the dog to sit and stay. You repeat this over and over and over again. It may take five times, it may take 500 times before the dog understands. This is what dog training is all about--patience, repetition and discipline.
If you can get your dog to behave properly when the doorbell rings, it's a breeze to get that dog friend to behave in a duck blind or in the field.
Most dogs are intelligent and with patience, repetition and gentle discipline you can achieve your goal of having a well-mannered canine friend.
Most unruly dogs were allowed to become that way by their owners. Like the old saying with children, give them an inch and they'll take a mile. Dogs must be corrected immediately and never allowed to misbehave. That's not an easy job, but a necessary one if you want a well-mannered dog.
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