I Don’t Want You To Fall Into The Delay Trap
Something that I hear a lot is, “I’ll start training my dog later” even if waiting to train their dog limits their growth.
I don’t want you to fall into that trap of thinking you’re going to train him later.
“My puppy cries every time I put her in the crate… I can’t crate her, not even overnight… She has to sleep in my bed but it’s okay I’ll train her later.”
“My dog barks and lunges when he sees other dogs on a walk… He’s a new rescue I adopted almost six months ago but it’s probably fine I’m just going to do the rest of the dog training later.”
“My dog kind of growled at a kid one time, but I’m gonna do some dog training later…”
“My kids are terrified of my puppy because my puppy won’t stop biting them… It’s kind of a problem, but I’m going to deal with it later.”
I get it, we are all swamped right now. It’s a pandemic. Whether you’re working from home, you have kids at home, a new puppy or a dog. It feels overwhelming because we don’t have our normal support systems and routines in place.
Particularly if you got a dog or a puppy within this last year, that added a lot to your plate.
This has been a really weird year obviously, for a lot of reasons, but particularly for raising a new dog or puppy.
I think that things can be so overwhelming right now and that we have so much on our plate that it’s easy to put off things, especially non-emergencies.
When you’re trying to get through each day, you are kind of triaging things.
Sometimes there is something with your dog or puppy that is sitting there on the shelf. It’s not a big enough emergency that you need to triage it and deal with it today, but you know it’s something that needs to be dealt with soon.
It’s kind of exhausting, frustrating, overwhelming, and might feel like too much to deal with right now so it’s easy to procrastinate.
You continue living with this problem every day, hoping at some point, when you have time, you’ll get around to some dog training or maybe he’ll grow out of it.
They do not grow out of it.
The puppy screaming in the crate is still going to be screaming in the crate 12 months from now. Only, instead of being this super influenceable ball of a teeny tiny puppy, you are going to have this big teenage puppy on your hands, who is going to be much less influenceable.
I don’t want you to fall in that trap. I don’t want you to think that your dog or your puppy is going to grow out it, because chances are, they’re not going to.
The other thing is…
There are some things that will have you calling me or another dog trainer right away.
Things like… if your dog bites a kid, you are probably calling me that day to deal with it. That’s one kind of problem.
Today I’m addressing those that don’t have a serious problem. Those that don’t need emergency dog training right away, but know that there’s an issue that you need to work on but you’re going to delay it until later. That’s what I want to talk about.
So for example, with the puppy who can’t be crated… If you deal with it today. It’s actually not a big deal.
If you get in a routine, start doing obedience, the leadership, the structure, and the management, it’s not a big deal.
You can nip this in the bud with two or three months of training. If this goes on for a year, now we’re talking bad habits.
There’s a saying that goes,
“Habits are cobwebs turned into cables”
This saying always sticks out to me in my mind because it’s true.
Your puppy crying in the crate is the cobweb. In 12 months, it could be a cable. Full-blown separation anxiety and you can’t crate your dog at that point.
Dogs will separation anxiety can
- Break out of their crates
- Drool, pace, and whine the entire time you’re gone
- Hurt themselves trying to get out of their crates or out of the house to get to you
- Be next to impossible to keep in an apartment because of their constant loud vocalization when left alone
I work with clients all the time and this is such a common thing… Clients that have to move out of their apartment building into a home because their dogs can’t be crated.
I don’t want that for you. This is not an issue that you should have to deal with. This is something that can be fixed when they’re younger.
The amount of work that is going to take to get started today is so much less than the amount of work it’s going to take if you get started, months 12 months, 18 months from now, when this habit is super ingrained.
If you’re dealing with any of those issues, for example:
- Crying in the crate.
- Jumping on people.
- Any sort of baby aggression.
- Lunging at people.
- A little growl here or there.
- Barking at people in a way that makes you feel a little uncomfortable.
Those are the red flags that shouldn’t ignore because they will continue to get worse.
Get started on training today. Whether you do it with me or somebody else…
If you’re dealing with a younger dog, aggression intensifies as they get older. It’s not going to get better. It’s not going to resolve, it’s not a puppy phase.
I hear people say it’s the fear period and that’s why their dogs are acting that way. The fear period is, your puppy startling because something moved. The fear period should not be a puppy growling, barking and backing away.
Sometimes I have to give myself the same message which is, to fix the problem now, stop procrastinating.
I know right now all of our plates are so full but it’s easier to do it because we’re stuck at home.
It’s the perfect time to do training and the perfect time to do virtual training. You’ve got tons of access to your dog at this point.
I think timeline wise, dogs don’t learn things overnight.
They need a lot of repetition and a lot of time. By starting today, you really have a chance of, when hopefully everything that goes back to normal, your dog is fully prepared and ready.
If you’re dealing with separation problems, leash walking problems, jumping problems, parking problems today, and you wait until you’ve got to go back to work to try and fix that, it’s going to be much harder.
Especially if any of you are dealing with separation issues. If your dog is dealing with separation issues and you’re trying to leave the house for six hours, that’s not going to go well.
The time is now. Start today and don’t delay.
Take that thing off the shelf and tackle it. Get it done. It’s going to take such a load off your shoulders.
It’s going to be easier now to deal with it than it will be in the future because you’re going to be tackling the behaviour before it solidifies into that steel cable. Address it today, and reach out to me or reach out to another trainer. Get it done today.
Let me know in the comments if any of this resonates with you. I’d love to hear your thoughts.