14 Tips For Improving Your Dog Training
Sadly, we aren’t all natural dog whisperers. The occasional 20 minutes in the garden isn’t going to crack it, so in order to be the best dog trainer you can be, it helps us to have some tips in place to help us reach our potential.
Here are 14 tips to help you improve your dog training over the next 14 days.
Work on 1 each day to help you see positive results in the next two weeks and longer…
1. Start Fresh On Monday
We have been conditioned all our lives to set a start date to our new commitment. So this coming Monday, set the date as your time to get serious.
2. Write Out Your Reasons Why
Be clear in your mind why you want to train a working dog. It’s a long commitment, and you will need to have goals that keep you working towards it. Write them down somewhere so you can refer back to them when you feel like giving up.
3. Visualise The End Result
Close your eyes for moment and picture yourself working your dog beautifully. Can you do it? Can you imagine how that looks? And feels? Spend some time thinking about it daily. Your mind can achieve your goals, if your clear on how they look so visualise them.
4. Plan Your Sessions
Putting on your training vest and heading out can end in disaster if your not clear what your going out to train. Your dog can sense your confusion and its going to be hard for them to deliver results if you’re not being clear to your dog what you want from them. Before you step out, take a moment to write out what you want to achieve. You can do this on a scrap of paper, your phone,or in our Magic Month Dog Training Planner and Journal.
5.Combine Fun Skills With The Not So Fun
OK so no one loves heel work or 3 minute sit and stays. But steadiness and obedience is the foundation of a great working dog. Make sure you set time regularly to training these tasks. Mix them in between retrieves and hunting to teach your dog to ‘switch gears’, to be able to go from racing around the field, to calmly waiting by your side.
6. Set A Timer For Your Training
When the training is going well, its all to easy to keep out, and keep at it. And our dogs seem to have unlimited physical energy. But a working dog can become mentally exhausted just like us. Set a timer for your training session and stick to it.
7. Reward Yourself
We reward our dogs for a job well done. Whether that’s from a smile, a touch, or food, we praise them. But what about ourselves? We very rarely treat ourselves for doing a good job with our dogs, our generally in life. Learn to acknowledge and reward your own successes.
8. Train With A Friend
Training alone can be boring. Plus we sometimes cannot see where we can improve, and a fresh set of eyes might notice things we are doing that could be improved. Plus being out with someone else gives your dog a chance to improve important steadiness skills as they wait patiently for their turn.
9. Reflect On Your Training Session
Your training session isn’t over until you have spent a little time going over what can be learnt from it. Ask yourself three quick questions – What do I need to start doing? What should I start doing? And lastly, what can I continue doing? A great trainer always learns from their training. If your not sure how to reflect, there’s a free great masterclass available.
10. Take Human Snacks
Working Dog Training can be tiring for both your body and your mind. When our glucose level drops, we can be delayed in our responses, generally tired and possibly a little ‘hangry’. Take some healthy human snacks that can boost your sugar level to keep you going.
11. Keep Visual Reminders
In your dog training vest, on your phone, in your car, around your home, keep little notes to remind you you can succeed. Every day the LWDG post a quote on our Instagram Pager and Our Facebook Page to keep us all going. Notes and images of success can build our resolve to succeed too.
12. Don’t Train In Pain
There is no point going out to train your dog when you’re emotionally or physically drained. If you’re tired, stressed or upset, take your dog for a gentle stroll to clear your mind if you must, but don’t try to use the time for training. Your dog can sense your upset, you will be distracted, and no good can come from those states of mind.
13. Believe In Yourself
There is an old Latin motto: “Possunt quia posse videntur.” They can, because they think they can.
And the same is true if you think you can’t. Make sure to work on your mindset. You have to believe you can in order to succeed.
14. Surround Yourself With Other Positive Dog People
When you have others around you encouraging you, its so much more fun to work on your dog training. You may not be able to get together with people to train locally, but you can share all your experiences in the LWDG Community. Our Ladies are some of the most positive people you can find with working dogs so come hang out there. We are all learning together.