When dealing with your dog, consistency is very important. And I’m talking here about both the initial teaching/training of your dog, and also the reinforcement of those teachings throughout your dog’s life.
It’s essential for your dog’s mental wellbeing for you to be consistent when disciplining, playing and just simply spending time with your dog. But it’s also important for other members of the household (and even frequent visitors) to treat your dog in a similar manner where possible. This is particularly so if your dog has any behavioural problems such as jumping up at people. If you don’t also ask your family and your visitors to make it clear to your dog that this is unacceptable, your dog is unlikely to curb the jumping altogether. And this may simply perpetuate the problem.
A very important time to be consistent is feed time. You should always feed your dog in the same manner. Example: Put food in the bowl. Make your dog sit and wait calmly for you to put the bowl on the ground. When the bowl is on the ground make them wait another ten to thirty seconds before you give the command to eat. Make sure everyone in the family knows how to feed the dog. Even if you are in a rush you should try to keep feed time consistent.
Another good area to be consistent is when you go for your walks. I like to grab the leash from the wall and walk to the gate or door. Then stand still and wait for my dog to settle down and calmly sit in front of me waiting for me to put the leash on. Once the leash is on I then make them wait for me to open the door and for me to walk through the door first. Once I am through the door I call my dog and then we are on our way. I do it this way because I never want my dog to rush out on the street when I open the door for visitors or to leave.
Dogs that experience consistency tend to be better behaved dogs, and, guess what? Better behaved dogs are happier dogs, and happier dogs are healthier dogs!
So you know what to do – love your dog, spend quality time with your dog, and make sure you are consistent!