Every time I go out with my "puppers" people are impressed by their behavior, but the truth is they are not perfect, and we work on it every day.
Yes, I am a "Karen" and I go everywhere with my "puppers". Since they were puppies, I literally take them everywhere I go. This includes taking my kid to and from school, going to the post office, the laundry, restaurants, to their dad's work, stores, the gas station, as you can see, they are always with me.
Every time we go out it doesn't fail that people tell me the following comments:
-They behave so good!
-I wish I could go out like that with mine.
-Look at that, just as obedient as mine (sarcastic tone).
-Are you a trainer? (Every time I practice my dogs outside).
-Are you a dog walker? (Every time I walk my dogs, because I do it daily)
-How do you get them to behave?
-Wow, my dogs don't get along with other dogs.
-They are very calm; they are well trained.
-Look at the way they pose for pictures!
All this is said to me thinking that my "puppers" are different because they behave and that others cannot achieve the same result. But this is not true, you too can work with your dog to adapt to your lifestyle and achieve the behaviors you desire.
So how did I do it?
The answer is obvious, I took them to training with a professional. I informed myself and learned that there are different types of training: obedience, behavior modification, agility, defense, service, etc. I also learned that all trainers are different, so I searched and chose one whose training style was similar to my way of being and in harmony with what I wanted.
My "puppers" took a 2-week basic training course with a trainer who does behavior modification and obedience. Like many people I thought that was it and my "puppers" would come back programed.... But no, that's when the real work begins. And it was my turn to educate myself and learn from their trainer. I always point out the importance of training even though for many it may seem expensive but is because we really do not understand the value it has and the work that is done. Also, everything will depend on the trainer, in our case she took the time to explain and give our family recommendations to manage and maintain the training of our "puppers" in our day to day. It is a worthwhile investment especially because it helps the welfare of our "puppers" and keeps them balanced.
It was my turn to learn!
I learned a little bit about canine behavior and their needs that are different from ours or from a baby's because that's how I treated my "puppers". Remember, I am a "Karen". At the beginning it was hard for me to let go, to detach myself, to accept the kennel but when I could not control the "puppers'" behavior and I was desperate, I listened to the trainer's recommendations, and I saw results. For me it was unbelievable but because I was stubborn and because I'm a "Karen" I did not listen earlier.
Now at home we maintain consistency with their training and that has been the key. There have been times when I have to appeal to the trainer again because as my "puppers" mature they develop behaviors that they didn't have before. They were trained as puppies at approximately 6 months of age.
The key to everything is to understand the importance of basic training for both (because we learn with our "puppers"); and above all to follow up at home. To meet the needs of my "puppers" we go for walks of at least 40 minutes, we use the kennel during the day and at night it helps us with structure, we practice commands, I expose them to different environments, I give them mental exercises like puzzles and puppy games, and I try as much as I can to treat them like dogs and not like babies. I don't do this because I want to or because I have time to spare. This is all part of the job of meeting your "pupper's" needs.
Are you feeling empowered?
If you have not worked with a dog trainer, I recommend you do so as soon as possible. It's never too late! The investment is worth it because the changes are noticeable when we do the work. But to do the work we must learn how to do it; you will see that your "puppers" will be able to go out everywhere too!