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New Year's Resolutions in Dog Training

For Training Tuesdays, Shannon Viljasoo of McCann's Dogs, puts New Year's resolutions on the table to set us up for success in 2016.


by Shannon Viljasoo

A New Year is upon us and with that comes the tradition of the Resolution! I will lose 10 pounds. I will clean my house more often. I will remember to tell my loved ones how important they are to me. We wanted to include our dog training. Thinking about the most important things we could, we came up with a list of four resolutions that will make the time and dedication you give to your dogs a success.

1. I will Listen to My Dog - If you remember our post on The Yellow Dog Project, then you'll remember how important it is to listen to what your dog is telling you. Keep an open mind and an open ear when it comes to your dog's needs and making them a wonderful, easy to manage companion will be a piece of cake.

2. I Will React Fairly - All too often, as humans, we let our emotions dictate our reactions. The unfair part of this is that it doesn't help the dog and often hurts your relationship. When things aren't going as you'd like, it's important to take a deep breath and think about how you are going to proceed. Reacting with frustration or anger will do nothing to help your dog learn.

3. I Will Adjust - Being fluid in your training is important. Dogs are all different. Just because a method worked well with a previous dog, that doesn't mean it will work with the one you are currently training. Be open to trying new methods and new ideas until you hit on the one that works for the dog you are training.

4. I Will Not Give Up - When things aren't coming together as you'd like, try, try again! Keep working until your dog gets the idea. Be persistent, kind and fair to help your dog understand what you are looking for. You won't regret putting in the extra effort when things come together.

As you work through your New Year's Resolutions, remember that your dog will give you honest feedback on how well you are keeping them. Take that information to heart and let it be your guide as you build and learn about your beloved companion. They will definitely return the favour!

This blog was reprinted with kind permission from McCann Dogs.

Shannon started her life in dogs with a Rottweiler named Quincey in 1999. Quincey was enrolled in Puppy Head Start at McCann Professional dog trainers when she was just four weeks old - still four weeks before she came home. Shannon was hooked on dog training from the first moment at McCann's. Learning how to communicate and make Quincey a good dog became a passion. They went through the three subsequent levels of the McCann family dog program and immediately joined the Apprenticeship program. Within a year she became an Associate instructor and shortly after, started working full-time for the business after graduating college as a Computer Programmer.

Photo credit: Leia smile & Flowers via photopin(license)

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