Isn't that the truth!

We seem to live a lifestyle in this society that makes it very hard to practice patience. It's in every facet of our lives. We are anxious for the light to turn green. We are impatient for the walk sign to signal us to cross the street (so we keep hitting the button thinking that will speed things up)......I know I'm guilty of that!

This same problem shows itself when we are working with our dogs. We want them to master everything we teach them quickly and completely. Once we think we have taught them a new command (or even working on an old one) we want them to respond quickly and here is where things go awry. If they are slow to respond we start repeating the command over and over (often getting louder) as if that will speed things up. But it usually doesn't and in fact can actually slow things down.

This is what it looks like. You say "Rover sit." Rover just looks at you even though you gave him a hand signal and you know he heard you. So you repeat "Rover sit, sit, Rover sit" and so on. Maybe Rover does respond on the fourth time. But what has happened is that either you are teaching him to wait until fourth time (cuz that's when he gets the treat) or you are doing all the mental work for him, or he actually thinks the command is "sit, sit, sit."

To get a faster response it's better to say "Rover sit" (again using hand signal and making sure he heard you) and then just WAIT. Give him a couple seconds to comply and if he doesn't merely say "oh too bad" and walk away for 30 seconds or so. Repeat again and mostly likely by the third time you will find your dog is not only paying more attention to you but is responding more quickly. NOW you have a thinking dog that is more engaged with you in general (because that pays off well as he gets no treat when he is slow or unresponsive).

Give it a try. It's hard not to give in to your impatience but well worth it in the long run.

Good Training!!