Regardless of what you want to improve and accomplish with your dog, everything starts with structured exercise. I cannot emphasize this enough for dog owners.
*Structured exercise is where we build leadership.
*Structured exercise is where we build trust.
*Structured exercise is where we build confidence in our dogs.
*Structured exercise is where we have fun, meaningful & HEALTHY engagement with our dogs.
*Structured exercise will help you build a stronger, more stable and deeper bond with your dog.
*Once you accomplish structured exercise, everything else will come much easier
Whether you are dealing with a dog that has some improper home behaviors (ie jumping, mouthing, counter-surfing, charging the front door when guests arrive, etc) to a dog that has severe fear or aggression issues and everything else in between, structured exercise is the foundation to everything else you want to accomplish. Without structured exercise, everything else will be a struggle. And for the majority of dog owners, structured exercise comes in the form of leash walking, so you are going to want to make sure that your dog has SOLID leash walking skills: no lunging, no pulling, no barking, no soliciting attention, etc... just a nice, calm and well-behaved dog on leash. If you accomplish this with your trainer, then everything else will come so much easier :)
The key word here is STRUCTURED. Dogs running up and down the fence barking at passer-bys all day long may be exercise, but it is not structured nor is it healthy. Dog parks (which I'm not a fan of) may be exercise but it is "party time"... no rules and anything goes which is why bad learned behaviors, stress and fights are not uncommon side effects. Taking a dog on a 3 mile jog or hike while it pulls or lunges and/or barks may be exercise, but again, it is not structured, nor is it healthy. Fenced-in yards are great but if we are not out there engaging with our dog then they get very boring very quickly.
Structured exercise means there are rules for the dog to follow and accountability is present. Structured exercise means that we, the humans, are providing proper leadership and guidance. Structured exercise can be anything from proper leash walking to off leash hiking to biking with your dog to IPO and/or Agility Class... as long as their is structure and accountability in place.
Many times I work with clients on nothing but leash walking and/or off leash adventures. In other words, all our work/training is outside. With these particular clients, we did NOTHING as far as in-home behavior and/or obedience. I cannot tell you how many times these particular clients make comments (weeks later after training) about how much their dog's home behaviors have improved. These particular clients are always both elated and bewildered. The answer: structured exercise.
Structured exercise is where we build leadership.
Structured exercise is where we build trust.
Structured exercise is where we build confidence in our dogs.
Structured exercise is where we have fun, meaningful & HEALTHY engagement with our dogs.
Structured exercise will help you build a stronger, more stable and deeper bond with your dog.
Once you accomplish structured exercise, everything else will come much easier :)
"Balanced Training - Balanced Dogs"