Session 2: Starting out – Are you having some “policy” disagreements with your dog?
In this podcast episode, I discuss the start of training. In my “in -person” lessons we all start out at the same place. Whether someone just got a rescue dog a few weeks ago or whether they paid tens of thousands of dollars for a “fully trained” dog, we all start out assessing three things. First, relationship, then basic “core” skills (including the one core skill that makes any dog a “good dog”) and lastly we address “policies”. One of the challenges in starting with a new client is that everyone calls me with what I label a “policy disagreement” with their dog. That is, their dog has one set of default rules and their owner would like them to have another. Before throwing down the new policy manual, (to be fair to your dog) we have to see if they have the basic “core” skills to do the kinds of policies that you want them to do and before we address basic skills, we have to clarify the relationship. At the end of this podcast, I leave you with some “observational” homework so you can start assessing those three areas right away (relationship, basic skills, and policies).
I’ve been training people and dogs in Seattle for the last decade and a half. My main focus when working with clients every week in one-on-one, private lessons is to help people learn to get their dogs to a functional level so that they can actually enjoy spending time every day with their dog instead of stressing about their dog’s behavior issues.