Effective Leaders Are Consistent in Every Aspect of Their Dogs Life

Consistency leads to a clear under-• standing of what is expected in behavior. Without consistency you have confusion. Speech patterns and words, daily habits, leadership style, emotional responses to behaviors both good and bad, and consistency in teaching are some of the areas to which you must pay attention.

Use the same words and the same

• sequence of words each time you ask for a certain action or behavior. Likewise, each person in the house must follow the same patterns. If these patterns are all mixed up, your dog will experience confusion and frustration when you speak to her.

Check each day to see if your emo-

• tions are in check when you are interacting with your dog. Sometimes we come home from a long, stressful workday and end up losing our cool with or around our dogs. They will respond with stressful behaviors to our stressful outbursts.

Yelling is a combination of inappro-• priate vocal tones and inappropriate emotional responses. Leaders need to remain in control of their emotions and their voice so that negative reinforcements like removal of freedoms, crating, or NO retain their corrective meanings and do not become punishment.

Try to ask for the same habits from

• your dog each day. For example: if you ask your dog to hold a DOWN at the dinner table one night, but allow her to sit by your side and beg the next day, she will be extremely confused by the change in house rules. She will either begin taking advantage of your inconsistency, or become frustrated when you scold her unfairly one day for a behavior that was allowed the previous day.

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