Many dog owners, especially new dog owners, have a very hard time training their dog and getting them to behave.  They may have read all the books on things like “how to get my dog to come and sit”, but what the book says and what their dog does are completely different.

What all those books on Amazon or the group classes at the local Pet Store might teach you are the mechanics of exercises.  Even those “mechanics” can be diverse, giving you many different ways to get your dog to sit and come.  You try all those ways and your dog is still not paying attention and doing something completely different.

Knowing the mechanics is important, but it is not the foundation of the learning process.  To understand this, you need to understand the roles and the responsibilities of all involved.  Think of your dog as the student.  His role and his only role is to respect you and give you focus.  He doesn’t need to know anything at the start.  He is the student and the environment that is established will allow him to learn.

Now it is your turn.  If your dog is the student and you are establishing a learning environment, you must be the teacher.  It is your responsibility to establish “the classroom” that will allow you to provide knowledge and direction to your student (your dog).  It is also your responsibility to establish yourself as “the teacher”.  You must be able to passively gain your dog’s focus and maintain that focus through trust and respect.

These are all things that you must establish and perform before you even begin “the teaching process” of come, sit, stay.  Robin and I have a great dog training article that explains how you establish yourself as the great teacher and not just the “substitute teacher”.  Please read our training blog titled “What Should I Know Before I Start Training My Dog”.

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