Why is it so important to build a foundation in dog training?
The strength of a building lies in its foundation. The main purpose of the foundation is to hold the structure above it and keep it upright.
Conclusion: No foundation – no building
We believe that this applies to all pet, - sports and operational dog training as well.
Building a communication system between you and your dog - It´s learning on both ends of the lead.
“Auf dein Platz, leg dich”
Our dogs don´t speak English or any other man-made language on this planet.
If you can´t speak German, you would not know what the instructions above mean and how to follow them. If we teach the meaning of each word though, one will be able to follow said instructions. Teach your dog, the meaning of your words and actions.
It´s human to want to succeed in life. That can be in any aspect and each individual defines success differently. It can be success in relationships, school, or in our case successfully teaching a dog to do what we need them to. Laying on the sofa, jumping through hoops, biting or finding people. Being mantrailers, police dogs, agility dogs, herding dogs...
Your dog wants to be successful too - maybe with a different motive but the end goal is the same. To be able to succeed, the team needs to be able to walk properly before they can run.
We have domesticated dogs over thousands of years to do certain tasks for us. Yet we still haven’t mastered to be as patient with them while learning as they are with us.
What do you think happens when we constantly set our dogs up for failure? In other words, if we make it too hard for them to succeed. See graphic below.
Less success leads to reduced motivation, which then leads to a decrease in the overall performance.
This is nothing new, but we think it is a very important topic to talk about as a solid foundation in any dog training, can drastically increase the chances of having a successful and consistent performance .
Building a foundation is a process which takes different ingredients such as trust, patience (woosah!), mutual respect and A LOT of training.
Sometimes being successful means taking a step back. And that’s ok!
We know that if things keep going wrong in our training, it´s not because our dogs are stupid or don’t want to work, it´s because we haven´t taught them in a way they understood what we want from them in the first place.
So how do you know when you can take your training to the next step?
Once the wanted behaviour can be successfully repeated multiple times under the same circumstances, we think it´s time to take it to the next level.
The next step should be proofing the behaviour your dog can already perform, by reducing the help given to the dog to perform or adding distractions such as different surfaces, environments, people etc.