There’s more to dog training than just teaching the dog to do what we ask.
If you want to supercharge your dog’s training, use management in addition to teaching your dog to follow your requests.
What’s management? How does it help me?
Management helps your dog to do what you ask. More importantly, management keeps your dog from doing the stuff you don’t want him to do. For example, we use baby gates in our house to prevent our dogs from getting into the kitchen when we’re gone. They aren’t necessarily learning anything, but we’re preventing them from wreaking havoc (and preventing them from learning how much fun it is to wreak that havoc!) while we’re gone.
If we don’t give dogs the chance to get in trouble, they won’t get in trouble.
Sounds simple, doesn’t it? But it’s so true!
We use management while we’re teaching the dog to do what we ask. It’s what gets us through the situation until we can teach the dog what to do.
Here are some examples of how I use management in a training scenario:
To prevent jumping. Training: teach the dog to sit/stay (with distractions, distance, and duration). Management: Until the dog is fully trained, put the dog behind a gate or put him on a leash so he’s not able to jump on people when you have visitors.
To prevent running off. Training: Teach a reliable come when called (with distractions and distance). Management: Until the dog is fully trained, keep the dog on a leash when you’re outdoors.
To prevent counter surfing: Training: Teach your dog to settle on a mat in the kitchen (with distractions, distance, and duration). Management: Until the dog is fully trained, keep food in the refrigerator OR use a gate to keep the dog out of the kitchen.
Have you used management to help solve a problem behavior for your dog? Tell us about it — leave a comment!
I love this post. So many people don’t realize that you have to set your dog up for success. With Felix, he likes to bark at people in our hallways, so I have a gate at the end of the hall preventing him from getting too close and when we’re in the kitchen, I leave his leash on, so I can grab him quickly, if I need too. Keeping him from getting too close to that door has dramatically cut down on how often he barks and given us a chance to train better reactions.