Dogs are awesome. Probably the three truest words in the English language alongside :grandmas are cute: Your dog is always so freaking stoked to see you, no matter if its after a long exhausting day of work, or at 3am stumbling in from a night out full of whiskey drinks without bottoms and friends without bedtimes. Your dog is ready to party, cuddle, or snack the night away with you. Life can be such a breeze when you have a dog that listens to your every word and reacts to your every mood.
But there is a lot of work that goes into training your beast to get to this level. Some people say that dogs can be stupid, stubborn or just wont listen, some say its the breed, others say its the way a dog was raised. I say that whatever the case, you should still try your hardest to train your dog and stop making excuses! Your dog deserves the shot of showing you what it is secretly capable of, and you owe it the 15 minutes a day to try training it to find out.
While I am not a professional dog trainer by any means, I am very adamant about people going the extra mile, especially when it comes to owning a dog.
Do you want to hear a crazy story? I was at a block party in the College Park neighborhood of Orlando, There were hundreds of people in the streets partying and I had Marley with me, off leash like usual. A pretty blonde girl that looked around my age came over to my group and said "oh my god! Your dog is so cute and well behaved! I have a dog that looks almost identical but she could never be off leash! She is a crazy psycho" I asked her about her dog and she told me that it doesn't listen and would bolt if she didnt have a leash on it. She also told me that it also chews everything and cannot be trusted alone. We talked about how our dogs were the same and when I asked her where she got him she said "Some guy out in the country, I am pretty sure my dog is an inbreed idiot"......this is where my jaw dropped. We had gotten our dogs from the same man...our dogs were sisters! We could not believe this and we had to get them together for puppy playdates, and I had to see for myself how a dog that shares the same blood line with Marley could be such a little monster. The first time I met Marley's sister Madison, it was crazy to see the difference in two of the same dogs, owned by two different people. The difference in the extra mile of training, versus lack of thereof was night&day. I gave them homework to do, and set them on a path to train Madison to be the dog she deserves to be.
There were two big influences for me when it came to training Marley, one was a dominant alpha approach to teach her hunting,pointing,and retrieving. The other was positive reward approach for all other aspects. Some things were as simple clipping a 100ft lead to her and throwing a ball or decoy and literally pulling her back in and giving her a treat until she learned how to fetch and retrieve every time. Other things were more complicated like training Marley to ring a bell next to my backdoor every time she wanted to go outside and potty. Everything I did served a purpose and has given Marley and I the chance to live such a fun life together due to me being able to trust her in all situations and scenarios.
Go the extra mile, train your dog and in return your dog will train you! Patience is a virtue, the extra mile is a strength of stamina, and a good dog is the best reward!
Check out the following systems I used to help me train Marley (disclaimer: I am not affiliated with any of these products)
The Bell Training System
SportDog Hunting collars and Training Systems (this is the collar Marley is always wearing)
101 Dog Tricks
The Perfect Dog Training System by Don Sullivan