I just love saying that….
Anyway – so the question this is week is about regression. Nope, not hypnotizing your dogs back to a past life. Though, that does sound fascinating, doesn’t it? Were they all queens and kings and Cleopatra? Oh, wait, no, pretty sure that’s cats.
But instead, we are talking about dogs who used to be – they used to be housebroken or they used to be dry in the crate or they used to scratch at the back door – but Now They Don’t. Now They Aren’t. And we aren’t happy, are we? nooooooooooo…….
Okay – anytime a dog regresses, or starts doing or not doing something differently, I always suggest a vet check. All the training in the world is not going to fix a bladder infection or a sore elbow or something physical going on. So that is number one. Especially our little girl dogs. You’d be surprised at the number of them who get bladder infections. Easily fixed. All better! Yay me!
So after we go to the vet and make sure our sweet thing is healthy, then we go back to training. The biggest reason dogs regress is because we do. I know. All our fault. As usual. When we first get our puppy or new dog, or start training a new behavior, we focus on it. “I want you to go to the back door and ring the bell to go out.” Such fun! So we focus on it, and encourage the dog and we praise them and make sure we are there and after dog has done it a few times, we pat ourselves on the back and say ‘we did it! He knows it!’ and then we slack off.
And guess what? Dog doesn’t know it yet. Not in the ‘do it every day for the rest of your life’ kind of way, anyway. It takes 21 days to make a habit, and you know you didn’t do it for 21 days, did you? Don’t lie. I know. So since he doesn’t yet really know the behavior, even though he’s done it a few times, then you have to start working on that training again. Don’t get mad, just re focus your attention and do it a while longer.
Just like remembering long division after summer break, at one point, dog will go OH YEAH and pick it back up again.
Okay – used to be dry in the crate? What changed? Are you feeding at a different time? Leaving puppy in there too long? Was there a recent spay or neuter or surgery? First think of how long puppy is in there. If having a growth spurt or getting more or less exercise or a hundred different things, the times they can hold it can change. Did you put him in a different crate? That can do it too. Different bedding? Feeding them too late at night? Sometimes after a surgery, it takes a while for them to heal and they won’t be able to hold it as long. There are many reasons for overnight crate messes and dog being pissed off or wanting to get back at you is usually not one of them. Really.
Dogs aren’t cats after all.
What’s your issue? Tell me about your dog’s ‘but he used to!’ problem?
Oh – check out the announcement at www.longroadkennel.com Want a preview?