2) life fulfillment.
Of course, there is some overlap, but I find it beneficial for pet owners to understand all sides of helping a dog be happy and well-behaved.
Think of the idea of “training” like teaching your dog how to speak human. We say sit and we want them to know what that means. This creates a toolbox of behaviors for you to use with your dog – using a place or a stay command while you are eating dinner to stop a begging problem. These are simple, rehearsed behaviors where you want your dog to be able to understand what you want and to be motivated to give you what you want regardless of what is going on around you.
Having these skills is very useful and very necessary to solve problems where you and your dog are not gelling together at home.
Dogs who have behavioral issues often times are unfulfilled in the root of their being. They can be frustrated, bored, understimulated or otherwise lacking in their lives. This is the conversation that is more difficult to have with my clients, because no one wants to hear that they are not fulfilling their dogs or are contributing to their dog’s unhappiness. But if your dog is not being mentally and physically challenged, they are probably not living life to their potential.
If you’re not walking your dog daily, challenging your dog’s mind with training, wearing them out with high energy exercise, and giving them new experiences in new setting, then it will be hard to get a truly well-behaved dog.
There are lots of dogs out there with excellent training that can’t function in normal life settings. If you’ve been to training class and your dog knows what sit means, but you’re still having problems, then it’s time to start looking at the bigger picture. It’s time to start creating more time for your dog and being proactive in finding them new experiences!