Dog Training and Passing the Baton

If you are like me, you may remember back to when you were in grade school and running a relay race in gym class. It was so important not to drop the baton and we practiced that drill over and over. Above all it was important not to lose the momentum another teammate may have provided us.

Dog training has some similarities. I receive great satisfaction when a Board and Train or Private Training dog has made significant progress in overcoming their poor behaviors. What had been a problem is now no longer exhibited behavior. New behaviors have replaced the old and have become the new normal. As the dog nears the end of training there is less conflict and just what is expected.

Finally, it now comes time to pass the baton. It is time to hand over the dog to their owner completely. In the case of a Board & Train the training continues but it is now the owners that must be taught. Can this now well-behaved dog return to their previous behavior, absolutely! If rules are not followed, if too many privileges are allowed then the baton has been dropped. Dogs will not stay well behaved if you don’t ask your dog to follow and then enforce the rules.

Instructions are given, tools are discussed and practiced, questions are answered. It is now up to the owners to take the baton and run to the finish line. Slow and easy wins this race.