One of the most common narratives is "Force Free training doesn't work." The person will then go onto explain how they tried it and the behaviour worsened.
Or just generally people will claim despite training or training for a short period of time the behaviour worsened.
It really depends on the type of training methodology that your following.
Within Force Free training we don't recommend ignoring a behaviour. Instead we look to an alternative behaviour for an unwanted behaviour.
If you use a training methodology that involves ignoring unwanted behaviour you're going to struggle even more.
An extinction burst is when you see a behaviour worsen before it gets better. So for example, when your dog was a puppy and they jumped up you bent down and fussed them didn't you. Let's not deny it. We're all guilty of it. Because nobody can resist those cute little noses, floppy ears and pink pads.
But as time has gone on and the puppy looks have diminished, they have got bigger and your friends and family no longer enjoy the puppy novelty, it's now a problem.
The thing is it isn't a problem for your dog because they had the reward and reinforcement of cuddles and fusses. It's a human problem. But the issue is most humans decide one day right I'm ignoring this behaviour so the dog says "hang on this worked before, why am I being ignored. I'll up the ante."
Bang, you or someone else is then knocked over or nipped.
Arguments ensue or you are feeling annoyed.
But what's been done to teach the pup otherwise? Treat Bombs? An alternate behaviour? A change in the greeting process that rewards them?
So when you don't teach your dog to do something else of course they are going to work harder at getting your attention in previously learnt behaviours.
This is completely normal and it is going to get worse before it gets better.
You have to work at it, you need a solid game plan, literally. You need to hold yourself accountable, not the dog. You need to keep a journal of what did and didn't work and then look back on the improvements and what hasn't worked.
Swear jars are the best human comparison. Just because it costs you money each time you swear doesn't mean on the first to one hundredth time you have learnt not to swear. It takes time to adjust to a new behaviour.
So when your annoyed with your dog remember, hold yourself accountable not the dog. Be patient, give them time and remember it's a phase and not the end.
Image description: two Wolfdogs, one lying and one sat in a muddy puddle in a field, white background and speech bubbles surrounding the photo.
Many people all over the world live in homes that are rented. This restricts your ability to do things to the home such as screwing a dog gate to a PVC front door frame.
Not all homes have the luxury of a hallway and the front door is in the living room.
Once someone knocks on the door the dog is already there like a ninja, many dogs can be highly aroused and frustrated at people knocking on the door.
Other common scenarios for door bolting are toddlers playing with door handles and of course fireworks.
Sadly quite a few people have taken the opportunity to use social media as a platform to show abusive techniques for door management. Inc slamming doors on dogs heads, not only is this absolutely disgusting but traumatising to the poor dog.
Many people grab dogs collars without pre conditioning the behaviour and receive a bite, this maybe the only time and the most common time when a dog bite occurs.
Ignore the horrible videos, ignore outdated and dangerous advice. Instead look to proper training techniques of a settle whilst the door is opened and a visitor greeted or delivery parcel and in the interim look at purchasing the Dog G8. No screws required, but can be screwed to the inside wall if needed. It simply latches onto the door so should the door open your dog is safely indoors and no need to worry. https://amzn.to/3IaiybD
If you find Amazon out of stock go to their website direct https://www.dog-g8.com/
Image description: 3 photos of white pvc door with 2 Wolfdogs and a Spaniel looking out and one photo of a Wolfdog settled in a brown and cream dog bed.
Does your dog bark from the window?
Having a dog is so much fun and super rewarding, you have a companion who loves you unconditionally and you have great times together.
However we need to also be mindful that the dog is a separate species to humans and they have their own wants and needs.
Sometimes this can cause conflict and many people feel frustrated and upset when their dog gives an unwanted behavior such as barking from the window.
Not only can this be frustrating for guardians but can also be a cause for worry in the UK if a neighbour puts in a complaint.
Training is super effective, fun and long lasting, but also takes time, dedication, patience and lots of repetition.
To manage both working, personal routines and your dog(s) sometimes we have to look to management for effective control of the environment.
This means that you can train within a controlled environment when you have time to do so and be 100% focused on your dog.
Management is not a bad thing, management enables you to love harmoniously, set your dog up to succeed and you to be able to relax.
One form of management can look like self adhesive window film, which reduces the opportunity for your dog to rehearse barking which can be self rewarding from the window. If they cannot see visual triggers this can greatly reduce barking, as well as saving blinds and curtains from damage.
Some dogs can enjoy visual enrichment peacefully such as watching out of the window quietly but for some dogs this is just too stressful.
If you don't have time to train daily or can monitor when your dog has access to the window, try window film to reduce their stress and yours and to enable you to train when you can in a controlled way!
Image description: mint green box with two photos of two Wolfdogs looking out of the window. One says before and one says after.
Green call out on bottom says: "Does your dog bark from the window?"
Top green call out says: "Try self adhesive window film"
Blue call out says: "cheap and easy to install"
Pink call out says: Available from Amazon, eBay, and small businesses
Orange call out says: "stops visual triggers"
Purple call out says: aids in your training as the behaviour isn't self rewarding when it can't be practiced"
Blue call out says: "Aiding you in controlling the environment for a controlled training session"
Pink call out says: "Also great for dogs fearful of fireworks"
Treat Bombs are something that every home with dogs should have.
Life is unpredictable, as much as we try to make it predictable we cannot always control the environment.
Treat Bombs are great for not only if you have visitors but also for maintaining your relationship with your dog for any scenario.
Here's an example of a treat bomb with a visitor. https://youtu.be/moORgVWv40k
Placing treat Bombs around the home enables you to reward your dog exactly when needed, as we need to capture and reward the behaviour. By the time we have gone to the kitchen the moment has passed and the dog doesn't understand the reward.
Treats also don't just have to be for training or pre empting situations such as visitors or barking at the window for example. They can also be for rewarding calmness, rewarding a behaviour the dog has independently offered or just because.
Try placing Treat Bombs around your home and see if there is a difference in the relationship between you and your dog!
Image description: Wolfdog sat behind 3 sweet jar tubs filled with treats on a wooden floor. Titled Treat Bombs. Speech bubbles read:
"Great for rewarding behaviours in the moment"
"Helps to aid their training such as visitors"
"Build a fantastic bond with your dog, through trust, communication and reward"
"Reward them for calm behaviour"
"The best aid for capturing behaviour and helping your dog to build a bank account"
"Only use as a reinforcer and not a punishment"
"Shape the behaviours you want without setting the dog up to fail"
"Fantastic for marking a wanted behaviour such as stopping barking at windows"
"All of the family and visitors can get involved"