Dog training: don’t believe it all

January 11, 2010

I want to address the subject of dog training.

The internet is a dangerous place. For example, you’ll see trainers who tell you that if you want your dog to potty outside AND on a potty pad, he’ll get confused.

Riley came to me potty-pad trained, but he also knew to go outside. He much prefers to do his business outside and will actually ASK to go out if we’re around and awake. But if he can’t, the potty pad works, too. No confusion at all.

There are as many ideas about training as there are dog trainers, and I have met them all.

If you hit PLAY on Riley’s video, you see that he’s got a mouth on him. Yes he does. There’s Barkbusters, who wanted me to throw bags of chain toward my two-and-a-half pound puppy to stop his barking. Supposedly, it mimics the snap of a mother dog. Uh-uh.

Didn’t work. At the point they told me to throw it closer to him (it was practically heavier than he was), I asked for and got a partial refund of their hefty fee.

There’s live-in training, which he did for a week at an exhorbitant cost. It did help a bit.

There are trainers that advocate shock collars and more who do not advocate it. Many dog trainers think Cesar Milan’s methods do not work and are abusive. And yet, he is the TV god of dog training.

But in the end, the problem is ME and my inconsistency. Riley happens to be a very dominant little dog and I have been no match for him.

I didn’t have the kind of daily routine that allowed me to tether him to me all day, as was recommended.

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