BROKEN RECORD: DO YOU REPEAT COMMANDS SEVERAL TIMES BEFORE YOUR DOG LISTENS?
This is a common mistake dog owners make every day. I haven’t met a client that doesn’t repeat the same command in rapid concession before the dog actually follows through. I call this the Broken Record. Why is this such a big problem? For a few reasons, if it take you saying the command several times before your dog complies you are teaching him that he only has to sit after saying it X amount of times. It’s also common for owners to get more frustrated the more they say the same command. Which means your emotional energy is changing as you repeat the command. We don’t want our dogs to learn that you only follow commands when its said with frustrated energy.
How do you solve this common mistake? Say the command once and give your dog 30 seconds to follow through before saying it again. Make sure your energy is calm and confident and use movement to emphasize your words.
Take sit for instance. Stand in front of your dog and say sit. If he doesn’t sit in 30 seconds say sit again and as you say it take one small step towards your dog. I guarantee he will sit. When we mean the words we are saying it makes us sound confident. When we add forward movement its like pushing our confident energy at our dog.
Dogs will follow confident energy and distance themselves from and ignore frustrated energy. It is important to be aware of the energy you share with your dog. If he isn’t listening to you don’t assume he is just acting up or being stubborn. Instead look at yourself and how your communicating with him. Are you a broken record? Are you saying your words with confidence and meaning? What kind of energy are you sharing with your dog? I’m willing to bet if you assess yourself and make adjustments as needed you with have more success with your dog and his training.