One of the number one mistakes we see clients create is a lack of awareness of their dog’s wants, needs, desires and communcation.  A great dog trainer is proactive and collaborative.  As a result, the owner is paying attention to his dog’s environment and his dog’s behavior.  The owner’s actions are altruistic and are dependent on what is occurring around his dog and inside of his dog.  As a result, he is able to create effective obedience in dog training.  Salt Lake City is a the home of many dogs owners and the majority of owners are unaware of this concept.

What exactly do we mean by being proactive?

1.) You are training your dog in the easiy environments.  Certainly, there are many training techniques that suggest putting your dog immediately in the stressful situation and then correcting them when they perform the wrong behavior.  This will work but in the long run your dog will feel much more stress.  As a professional dog trainer with Four Legged Scholars, Dog Training, Salt Lake City, we recommend keeping your dog below threshold.   This means that they are relaxed emotionally or almost relaxed while they are learning something new.  Where you perform dog training and the number of distractions present are totally in your control. By keeping distractions low and choosing a low stressful environment, you will create your dog to perform obedience commands faster.

2.) You are listening to what your dog is communicating to you.  If your dog is stressed, it is important for you to be aware of these stress signs.  Again our Salt Lake City dog training company recommends keeping your dog’s stress level low during dog training sessions. In order to do this you need to be aware of your dog’s body posture and body language.  When a dog is relaxed there are curves in his body rather than stiffness.  Also, if your dog is performing many calming signals, then your dog is probably too stressed to learn.  A few calming signals can be good depending on the scenario, however, it is definitely a red flag if your dog is demonstrating multiple calming signals consecutively.

3.) You are asking your dog to perform commands when your dog is relaxed or minorly stressed rather than when he is highly stressed.  We have seen many dog owners be less than proactive in their dog training.  Salt Lake City is where we hold our outdoor leash walking course.  In this course clients learn how to request commands when their dogs are below threshold.  For example, if a dog whines and pulls on the leash around bikers, it is much harder for the dog to perform a stay command when he is 5 feet away from the biker than when he is 20 or even 50 away.  As a result, if a biker is coming toward a dog and an owner on a trail, the owner will be more successful with a stay command if he asks his dog to move 20 feet off of the trail and asks his dog to stay while the biker is still far away.  This takes much awareness and commitment with dog training. Salt Lake City, has plenty of environments where owners can practice this concept.

4.) Above all being proactive means that you are setting up everything in your dog training session to be as successful as possible.  You are highly aware!  Some other quick examples would the following:

  • If your dog is extremely hyper, it might be better to do some off-leash work before doing on-leash work.
  • Your dog maybe in pain if he isn’t moving or performing commands easily. Therefore, it might be best to have him checked by a veterinarian before doing more dog training.
  • If your dog just ate dinner, he might not be as hungry to eat treats.  As a result, he maybe less motivated to perform dog training with food rewards.  Instead, you could use toy rewards. In the future, you could also choose to train your dog before he eats his meal.

Salt Lake City has many professional dog training choices.  We highly recommend you find a positive reinforcement trainer and choose a trainer that is the best match for you. If you are struggling with your dog, it is always best to seek support!

Your Turn!  We want to hear from you!  Please post a comment below!

How have you been slacking in your proactivity with your dog training?  What can you change to create more successful obedience with your dog?


Johanna Teresi,  Professional Trainer and Owner of Four Legged Scholars LLC, Dog Training, Salt Lake City

Johanna Teresi performing dog training with Seiki.

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