I wanted to explain a little about my dog training experience, because I feel like a lot of people can relate. Dog training takes a lot of time, patience and dedication that I haven't realized before. And Mochi is my first dog that I can truly call my own. Before Mochi came into my life, a different puppy had hold my heart. We got Gatsby as a 7 week old puppy when I was 16 years old. It was perfect timing since it was springtime and I had a whole summer to take care of him while I was off school. But what does a 16 year old know about dog training?
I am so impressed by some of the dogs I follow on Instagram. @hey.kubo and @littlecooperbear are my all time favorites. Go check out those dogs, and you'll see what I mean. They're pros. So why am I having so much trouble training my own dog? If you look closer at the dogs I mentioned earlier, its because their owners spend so much time working with their dogs and they never stop. Training a dog is like a hobby in its own. So my new project for this spring is just that.
So I admit I've never had experience properly training a dog. I've had Mochi for a year and a half now. He can sit, lay down, give high fives, and even spin. But take a step outside and it's like I don't even exist. What should be an enjoyable experience for the both of us turned into a stressful event because of pulling on leash and jumping at strangers. I love Mochi, but when I get mad at him for not listening to me on a walk, I should really be mad at myself.
To make sure both Mochi and I succeed in our spring training sessions, I'm detailing out a list of accomplishments and goals:
1. Obedience training in new environments
It's been a while since I've had a training a session with Mochi, and when I've had, it's been in our home which he is very used to. My next step is to take obedience training outdoors. We'll start with our backyard which He is also very accustomed to. Easy sits, and downs, and stay/comes for a start. The next step would be to take training sessions to a public park.
2. Eye contact
If I want my outdoor training sessions to be successful, I need to teach Mochi to look me in the eyes. This way he can know when I'm rewarding him, and what to do next. This will be a challenge when any distractions arise, but will hopefully teach him to keep checking back for me.
3. Proper leash walking
This is going to be the biggest challenge, and I'm not expecting to reach this goal this summer, but baby steps! If Mochi had the choice, he would live outside. He wants to be outside all the time, so to make up for it I take him on walks whenever I can. We like to go on nature trails, but with those kind of walks come big distractions like exciting smells, wild animals, other people out enjoying the nature. He is always pulling at the end of the leash, and zig zagging to discover all the new smells. The only grace period is if he's tired at the end of a walk.
If my outdoor training sessions are successful, I can start with catching Mochi's attention and keeping it when any distractions come up. If he pulls, I can make him stop and sit, or turn around to walk the opposite direction. Like I said, I'm still learning, but I'm eager to see if I make any progress with Mochi by the end of the summer. This will teach me patience and hard work, but will result in me having a better relationship with my dog. If you have any dog training tips, or learned anything from this post, let me know!