You are now asking yourself – Is this dieting; exercise; dog training??? You can apply this to anything in life that creates a challenge which can become frustrating and exhausting!!! Do you see the correlation between dog training and a diet/exercise plan. They both start with a promise and a prayer. We know that it is the right way to approach life and a new dog but it is just so hard!!!
Ok – so you are one of the rare people who reaches their goal. What exactly does that mean? If you don’t work on what you have accomplished each and every day, then it can “crash and burn”. Maintenance is key in continuing with the success.
For the general population, quitting is the more frequent option. It is so hard to stay on track when things are not going well. It is so much easier to quit and promise yourself that you will try at a later date. After the first of the year; when the weather changes to more comfortable temperatures; etc., etc., I will fulfill all the promises that I have made to myself.
Now you are asking yourself – “How can I stay motivated”? For diet and exercise it can be frustrating as the result of all your hard labor can take many weeks or even months before seeing the result but in dog training there can be immediate gratification. Work on the sit command and your dog will sit instead of jumping. Train your dog with the quiet command and reduce the amount of barking. Each time you train your dog to learn something new, you eliminate the unwanted behavior within a very short time and sometimes immediately!
Start to reward yourself and your dog each time you and your dog accomplish the smallest task, command, or goal. Change it up by not just rewarding with treats. Try rewarding with play. Take a ride to the park or a walk where you know there are no distractions and you and your dog can enjoy each others company.
Instead of only working on basic obedience which can become boring at times, sign up for a trick class. Try a sport like agility. You will be having fun and at the same time training your dog and strengthening your bond.
Lucky for you and your dog, training is a life long process.You can teach an old dog new tricks and a young dog to have good manners. The bond that you develop; the benefit of the well-behaved dog; and the gratification of your accomplishments, make this New Years Resolution the greatest one you can promise yourself for 2014!!!!!