From time to time I come up with words or phrases that make sense when describing issues I see with dog owners and their dogs. In the beginning of ownership, most dog owners have a minimum of goals that should be achieved. House breaking and a couple of commands is what mostly are asked. Some owners with bigger dogs or possibly working breeds like shepherds, Dobermans, Rotties, etc may (and should) aspire to higher goals. Mostly more control in public.
When training begins, everyone is on top of their game. Progress is fast and impressive. The pups are responsive to the consistency and the definitive rules of each command.
The intimidation of a larger dog, especially the aforementioned working breeds keep the owners on point longer than that of a small breed or even a typical “longer nerved” breed like a Lab.
Many times after training and assistance with owners are completed or suspended as they take over, I sometimes get a call about doing a “refresher”.
There are times when dogs get into the age of mental maturity which is approximately 7 to 10 month period they become more challenging and owners become overwhelmed. This is understandable and should be reevaluated. Other times and truthfully most times I come to find that the once defined rules of the house and the absolute compliance of the commands have become inconsistent.
I call this BLURRED LINES!
Our once well behaved dogs have learned choice. They have slowly bent the rules and when exactly they will obey them. We have rested on our laurels. Once the BLURRED LINES are cleaned up, and the rules become definitive again, the dog will respond as it has done in the past.
The lousy part of Blurred lines is the frustration the owners get when the dog is not obeying and for that the yelling begins. The foundation broke down and the PROACTIVE methods have become REACTIVE methods.
Don’t be reserved about starting from square one and rebuild the foundation you once had. Practice and simulate.
Anyone that has trained with me understands repetition and simulation. Make it easy from the beginning.
Clear up those BLURRED LINES.