I have worked with hundreds of dogs and their owners and no doubt I have changed my recommendations on the best practices for any given dog or owner but there are a few mainstays that I truly believe have protected the good health and desired behavior I’ve worked so hard to instill in my lovely dogs.

Let’s look at a few of them I can safely say most dog trainers don’t generally practice with their dogs.  

We avoid dog parks

The only dog parks most dog trainers will use are empty ones. We know that dog parks are havens for inappropriate behavior (canine and human) and disease. Nasty right? need I go on – those two things right there are enough to convince most that their dogs do not need to visit a dog park. But here’s more detail, in case you’re on the fence about dog parks.

We don’t use Flexi (retractable leashes)

We don’t free feed

Not only do dog trainers typically avoid leaving food down all day(free feeding) we rarely feed out of bowls. We schedule regular feeding times for out dogs for a few reasons.

We don’t get littermates

If one puppy is good, two puppies are great, right? Not quite. While is seems intuitive that getting two pups with keep each other company and be a time saving idea, in reality that can end up being one of the worst things dog owners do.

Raising littermates is harder than raising one puppy for sure and one puppy is hard enough in my opinion.  On top of that it’s harder because everything you do with one puppy you has to be done separately with the second one, at least if you’re planning to have two well-adjusted adult dogs.  Instead of doing these things with the two pups together, you have to do each of these things with each puppy, separately.

Why separately?

Because doing these things together leads the puppies to become dependent on each other. The more the pups depend on each other, the less they depend on and pay attention to you.

Housetraining

If you are raising two pups, you will need to teach them housetraining separately. That is double the fun right out the gates.

We don’t always meet other dogs on leash

This is one of my favorites which I often practice and suggest with pups learning manners on leash. Each dog and dog owner is an influencer and I have no idea what skill level their dogs has on leash nor do I know what the other owner thinks a good interaction is.  I am very picky of just who I will reward with my dogs’ good behavior which I have worked on quite a bit. I also know my dogs aren’t looking to make friends with everyone and even if they were, they can’t because honestly, I’m just trying to walk my dogs and I can’t afford the time and energy to make friends with everyone on most walks either. I suggest using most stranger dogs as training practice to keep their attention on you and pick the most appropriate and convenient times for to meet better behavior between dogs in the future.

So, I apologize in advance for not meeting your dog.  It’s not personal it’s just my dog.

I hope that gives you some insight on how a dog trainer might think in a few aspects.

We already know how hard getting and maintaining reliable behavior from out dogs is and we have busy lives too so we might be less inclined to take silly chances to “socialize” our dogs when the chances for a positive interaction are unpredictable. The integrity of our dogs’ behavior is something that we work hard to maintain and we have simply seen to many unneeded negative consequences from making these simple mistakes.

Thanks to the Whole dog Journal and Laurie luck who we used as a reference for this article.

Their perspective is greatly appreciated.  

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