People who train dogs know that it is not an easy thing to do. Just making a dog learn how to sit on command is quite a feat. What more if you were to train them to be a service dog?
This is made even harder if you don’t know what in the world you are doing. Add to that a young puppy who has no concept of rules and commands, and you have a recipe for a bad time.
Fear not! We here at Texas Service Dogs have compiled a list of useful tips for you to use.
Without further ado, here are three tips to follow when training service dogs.
Ever heard that saying that dogs can smell the fear on you? Well, dogs have a very astute sense of smell. However, it isn’t their smell that allows them to do this.
Truthfully, dogs are just very intuitive animals. They can sense when you are calm and composed. When they sense that you are not relaxed, their behavior will shift accordingly. They’ll start fidgeting, be jumpy, be anxious, and they won’t follow what you say.
That is why for you and your dog in training, it is essential that you stay calm.
If the calm is slowly slipping from your body, just close your eyes, breathe in and out, and do this for 10 counts. This usually does the trick.
If not, there may be a need to take things a step further.
Relaxation is something that can also be developed much like any skill. If you are struggling to stay calm when things are going south, try meditating.
Some of the most successful people in the world often meditate on a daily basis. If it works for them, it can work for you. Meditation – specifically mindfulness meditation – will allow you to see your emotions before being affected by them.
This way, you can sense when a storm is coming inside of you and look at it from the outside. You can look at it and not be affected.
There are a ton of resources on YouTube for these.
Whenever you have a session between you and your dog in training, always have a goal in place. If you have sessions with your dog and have no clear goal in mind, it’ll be like a ship roaming the seas without a destination in sight. The ship could be going in circles, and it wouldn’t even matter to you.
All in all, having no goal would mean a waste of time.
Have specific goals and stick to them. Make sure that everything that you and your service dog do is directed towards that goal.
Training service dogs is a tough feat. As such, these tough tasks need to be celebrated by both the trainer and your canine companion as well!
Even little milestones are things that can be celebrated. Training a service dog won’t be so bad if it is fun for all parties involved.
Just make sure that there is something to celebrate. Celebrating when nothing is happening is a sure way to stunt the growth of your dog pal.
When you have something to celebrate, do so. This is a sure sign that there is progress happening.
These are only a few tips for training service dogs. If you’d like to volunteer to be a trainer, we’ll provide you with some more material that may help you on your training journey.