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Proofing Dog Behavior

A sitting dog waiting for the command

Imagine this: your dog is trained and sits on a cue. As you say, “sit down, baby”, you immediately see the response. But what happens at the park, out in public, is the complete opposite. Your dog does not sit as you repeatedly give the command.

And this inconsistency in the behavior is far more common than you can imagine. This happens when the behavior has not been proofed. “Proofing” is the final step of dog training, which means that your dog can exhibit the same response regardless of the context. Unfortunately, this part of dog training is considered to be the least important, and this is the reason why inconsistency in your pet’s behavior is far more common than expected. Luckily, you can quickly complete your dog training and proof your pup’s behavior. But before you get into how to proof your dog’s behavior, it is essential to know why you need to proof your dog’s behavior.

Naturally, dogs cannot generalize the way humans can. Yes, dogs understand when you say “sit” in your living room, but they don’t understand the meaning of the word. Instead, they associate the word with the environment.

Keeping this in mind, here are some of the ways you can complete the final step of your dog’s training and proof their behavior.

Train in Different Settings

Once you teach a new command to your dog, make sure you provide ample opportunities for practice in different settings. So as you train your dog to sit, repeat the command in your living room, backyard, and kitchen, and the park. Continue to practice until you get the same result in every setting.

Add Distractions

As soon as begin to get the same response in different environments, now is the time to add distractions. It could be anything that can be of interest to your pet. You can have another family member come into the room, or you may introduce one of your dog’s favorite toys. Do all this while you are repeating the command.

Work at Varying Distance

Many dogs respond well when you are close to them, but as the distance increases, the response becomes slower. Again, this problem can be resolved if you proof your dog’s behavior by working at varying distances. Start close to your dog and gradually increase the distance between you two. The behavior is proofed if you get the same response regardless of the range.

Final Thoughts

Everyone wants their dogs to behave consistently, but always remember that only practice will make your pet perfect. If you provide enough training to your dog in a variety of environments only then, you can be confident that your pet has thoroughly mastered a behavior. But if you are consistently failing in proofing your dog’s behavior, you might need a professional for your dog’s training. At KC Dawgz, we offer a variety of dog training programs where your pet will get enough opportunities to learn and practice desired behaviors in a variety of contexts. To know more about our work or book a slot for your pet, call now at 913-217-7288.

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