My dog training classes have started up again after a few months break during our busy boarding times at work. I’m reminded how much these classes are people training as well as dog training! Many owners become concerned when they don’t grasp the training concept instantly. They worry they will never get it and their dog won’t be successful because they aren’t able to get everything down instantly. I can’t reiterate enough that dog training is a learning process for everyone involved. We are essentially asking a dog to learn a new language and asking the owners to teach the language that they don’t completely understand themselves! It’s a lot to ask! One of the important concepts I teach initially is to only ask a command one time. Dogs are great at understanding patterns and routines. They pick up on our morning “getting ready for work” schedule and the “after work walk me and feed me” pattern. When owners ask dogs to sit a few times before their dog does so, it’s possible the dog is waiting for the right number of requests before they complete the command. Dogs get used to being asked a certain number of times and believe that number of times is the command. For example, if an owner asks their dog to sit three times before the dog does it, the dog likely thinks his command is “sit, sit, sit” instead of just the word itself. This is frustrating for owners and can cause a lot of confusion and negativity when it comes to training. I ask owners to say each command one time. If their dog does not do as requested I have the say “oops” and try again. The term oops lets the dog know they didn’t do as asked but it’s ok because they get another shot! Hopefully this tip will help owners and dogs get on the same page and have a fun and positive training experience.