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Dog Training: The Single Most Important Element

The most important thing in training your dog.

The most important thing in training your dog.

Most people like dogs and they are the most common non-human life companions. Kids fall in love with them watching Lassie and we all have that idea of what a perfect dog would be.

We all know what we want, but only a small percentage of dog owners know how to achieve that. Dogs are rather progressive animals and their brain is quite complex, so it’s not really safe or clever to determine one single element in dog training as the single most important one, but there’s one element that is, in my opinion, so important we can select it as a foundation for everything else.

That is CONSISTENCY. Dogs just as humans like things to be in order and to make training as effective as possible we have to make sure that the dog knows exactly when it’s time for training, when it’s time for playing and that “sit” ALWAYS means just “sit down and don’t move until given the command”.

Consistency is important on so many levels when it comes to dogs. By feeding them always at the same time, you make sure they always defecate at the same time. By exercising them daily you prevent injuries. Animals like consistency and they like to know exactly what is expected from them. If you’re consistent with training and commanding, your dog learns that they ALWAYS must obey you, not just sometimes.

It starts very early. If you forbid pulling on leash, you must be consistent with it. Because if you let them pull just once, your dog learns that it is not an absolute MUST to obey you and they want to pull on leash more and more often.

To ensure consistency, you might need to use PREVENTION. By having a puppy on a long leash 24/7 (not literally, but you know what I mean), you can make sure that your dog will ALWAYS respond to a recall. There’re no other options. You must also make sure that while you’re not at home your dog doesn’t have the access to do the things you don’t want him to do. Because the rules are ALWAYS the same and do not change when you leave home.

It’s extremely important to be consistent with a puppy, but it doesn’t really change with an adult dog. You have to make sure that the dog obeys you EVERY SINGLE TIME and immediately. A good way to achieve that is, as I said, with prevention. Another thing that is less convenient, but also effective is that you never demand anything from a dog, if you’re not 100% that the dog will be able to do it. For example: don’t recall your dog if you know that the dog will not respond while they’re playing with other dogs.

By doing that your dog will learn that rules never change and will know no other option than to obey always and immediately. That’s why I feel confident to stress consistency as the single most important element of dog training.

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