When a chiropractor adjusts your stiff neck, it’s usually a super fast pulling motion and you hear your joints’ loud popping sound, and you almost instantly feel better.
When you’re trying to stop drinking, you really need to stop drinking, not “today I’m gonna only have 1 shot” instead of 10, because that simply wouldn’t work.
When your computer is not functioning properly, you know to hold the on/off button for several seconds to restart it and see if the problem resolves itself after.
When you’re learning something new, you know it will take time and patience, as long as you keep going, you will get there.
When you try to shed some weight, you know it won’t happen overnight, and you need to keep the momentum of doing exercise as well as watching what you eat.
When you’re trying to quit smoking, cold turkey usually is not helping, you need some support and possible medication to help you fight the addiction.
When it comes to helping your reactive and fearful dogs…
Should you try to slowly ease in with the training or should you try to press the “reset my dog” button as fast as you can?
You probably won’t like my answer —
It really depends.
Just like I’ve always shared with my clients…
“Dog Training Is Not Black And White.”
There are things you absolutely need to “get a handle on” right away, without hesitation or delays.
If your dog imposes danger to you or others, you’d surely take all precautions, muzzle training the dog, keep your dog on leash, and keep your dog away from the people or other dogs he might hurt, and be proactive as much as possible.
You simply won’t say “let him bite one dog today instead of two, till he stops biting.”
That sounds pretty absurd, right?
Especially when you try to help your dog to really shift the views towards events that may trigger him, or to really shift the relationship dynamic between you and your dog, there are usually actions that need to be taken in a “start doing it today” fashion.
While there might not be an “ease in” way to start taking those actions, there are processes you still need to follow, and give it time till the results start to show.
Let me share some training examples with you and hopefully give you a better idea on how slowly ease in and press reset button now are often intertwined.
Often, during the initial training phase with you, I’d ask you a lot of questions on the history of the dog, the living situations and “how do you live with your dog” on a daily basis.
From there, I would propose some actions for you to take to start doing things differently, that helps you to communicate with your dog more effectively in your daily routines.
It may start with adjusting the feeding schedules, ways to re-introduce the meaning of leash and collar, as well as other actions on managing and preventing negative incidents from happening again.
And those actions would be implemented right away, and there’s usually no “ease in” when implementing a particular action. Such as when you start the new feeding schedule, you don’t go back and forth and do the old schedule for a couple of days, then a new schedule for another, that would make it less consistent and could possibly cause frustration and complicity in both you and your dog’s lives.
Yet, you could choose to “ease in” by implementing one action at a time, rather than implementing all of them at the same time, depending on your unique situation and your ability to make those actions happen.
For each individual action, while you implement them right away, there’s always an “ease in” process that happens once you shift to the new norms.
When it comes to re-introduce the meaning of collar and leash –
Instead of having your dog getting too excited, jump up and down and pull you out of the door before you even get a chance to get your shoes on the moment you reach to the leash hanging on the wall…
Rather, you would go through a series of actions to show your dog having the leash on is not only a pleasant experience, but it should help them to be calmer and can even help them to self-soothe, hence reduce the reactivity when you’re outside.
Dog training suits you the best when you’re able to find the “happy mediums.”