What You Need To Know Before Dog Training With Cosmic Home & Pet: A Checklist

As you start the journey of training your dog, you might have some questions. How long will it take, how often should you practice, what can you do at home? If you’re getting started with Cosmic Home & Pet dog training, our handy checklist can help you learn what to expect along the way. Let’s cover everything from things you should consider before training… to what might be hindering your forward progress. Have a pencil handy? Let’s get started!

 

What Are Your Expectations From Dog Training?

Before your dog even has their first session, you should have an idea of what you want your dog to get out of training. Are you trying to get your dog started on basic obedience? Or are you dealing with behavior issues? Is your time frame realistic?

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There are a lot of factors that can affect your dog’s behavior and can cause setbacks to any previous training your dog has had. These are some of the things you need to think about and communicate with me, so you can get started on the right foot.

  • What is your goal for your dog?
  • Does your dog have any behavior problems?
  • Does your dog show signs of anxiety?
  • What short-term changes do you hope to see?
  • What are your long-term training goals?
  • Have you recently gone through any changes like a move, schedule change, etc?
  • Where do you work on training with your dog?
  • Is your dog easily distracted?
  • How much time do you have to invest in training?

I really can’t stress enough how important it is to communicate along the way. Unsure about the answers to any of these questions? That’s no problem! As a collaborative dog trainer, my job is to help you pinpoint your goals and come up with a solution that works for everyone.

 

Roles and Responsibilities in Dog Training

Working with a trainer requires collaboration and communication. This is an essential part of working with any dog trainer.

If you choose to work with me at Cosmic Home & Pet, please know that communication is key. I strongly encourage all of my clients to keep me in the loop about any struggles that they’re having. As the dog trainer, I lay the foundation for you to work with your dog and guide you through the techniques you should use at home. I will teach you how to understand what your dog is trying to tell you through their behaviors. I care about you and your dog. I’m committed to helping you because I love dogs and have a calling to help my clients maintain happy, healthy relationships with their dogs. I take my work seriously, feel deeply, and will work hard for you. I want to share in your successes and deeply empathize with your struggles. All I want is the best for you, your dog, and your family.

Now, as the pet parent, it’s your responsibility to work with your dog at home. Your dog won’t retain their training if it isn’t also practiced at home. All it takes is 15 to 20 minutes of practice a day. It can even be split into sessions of a few minutes as you have time if you don’t have a block of time during the day.

As you move forward with training, these are some things to help keep you on track:

  • Share your struggles with me. That’s what I’m here for! This is a safe and judgment-free relationship. I like to say “I don’t judge, I observe and report.”
  • Stay consistent with training. Life comes up. I don’t expect you to dedicate hours and hours to training a day. But a little bit, each and every day, will do wonders for your dog’s progress and is really the key to their ‘success’.
  • Work with me and be open to my techniques. I help you see the whole picture, and pivot when necessary. There is a lot of nuance in training. There are so many subtle adjustments that can make a huge difference in your successes or “failure”… though I believe the only way you can fail is if you give up!
  • But don’t be afraid to ask questions if you’re confused or unsure about something.
  • Be perceptive and observant! Work on learning what your dog is trying to “tell” you.
  • Stick with the plan. Always follow through so your dog responds appropriately to cues. Our work together will set you up to feel comfortable and confident in “real life” situations.

 

Make Training Efficient and A Good Experience

Training isn’t always going to go smoothly. Just like us, your dog will have good days and bad days. In fact, if you’re having a bad day, your tone of voice and body language can contribute to an off day for your dog. Think of your training sessions with your dog as a bonding experience. If you frame it as something fun and positive, instead of a chore, you’ll have more patience and a calmer tone of voice.

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You aren’t the only one affecting your dog. The environment you are trying to train in can also play into how your dog is responding. If there are lots of fun smells and sounds, your dog will have a hard time concentrating. You eventually want to be able to work with your dog in any kind of environment. You need to set your dog up for success and slowly work towards this. Starting slowly is the best way to keep your dog’s training on track.

  • Start training at home
  • Build to training with distractions over time
  • Keep your voice clear
  • Always use the same cues
  • Use concise cues
  • Train at your dog’s pace
  • Be aware of your body language
  • Once your dog masters a cue, use fewer treats
  • Stay consistent
  • Be patient with your dog
  • Be patient with yourself
  • Let me know if you or your dog are stuck on something

 

Handling Dog Training Regression

Sometimes after months of consistent training and improving behavior, your dog just seems to lose their mind. They’re right back to acting up, and it’s like all that training never happened. Strangely, this can be a good sign. When it comes to behavior issues like barking and jumping, you can encounter something called Training Regression. This is an extinction burst of negative behavior. This is totally common. Read up on this phenomenon here so that you’re prepared if it happens to you. The trick to dealing with it is to keep working at it and keep a cool head.

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Sometimes your dog might be acting extra “stubborn”, non-responsive, and barely going through the motions. This isn’t training regression, this is something to get to the bottom of. Now’s the time to break out the checklist to help identify why your dog is suddenly behaving like a teenager… plus some steps you can take to help.

  • Has their environment or something else changed? Maybe a move, a new pet, or new person in the house?
  • Have you been moving too quickly with training?
  • Are you relying too much on treats?
  • Are you training inside or outside?
  • Are you using the same cues?
  • Move training back inside, and try to identify the distraction
  • Go back to basic cues
  • Use your marker, and begin weaning from the treats
  • Be consistent with follow-through
  • When in doubt, communicate your problems to me

 

Remember, this is an opportunity to bond with your dog. A well-trained dog is a happy dog, but keeping it light-hearted and fun will make it a better experience for both you and your dog.

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