Home Training = Less Stress

dogtrainingathome2Stress would not be the first thing we think about when it comes to our canine friends. However, stress does play a major role in our dogs’ lives and ex RSPCA Shelter Manager (Sylvia Wilson, Bark Busters Co-Founder/Director) has – over many years – made it her business to study canine behaviour. She has found through her extensive studies and observations that when dogs are taken to strange or unfamiliar environments they undergo stress that can last up to two weeks if the dog remains in that situation. This finding is based on a 10 year study of a steady stream of dogs that were surrendered to the busy animal shelter where Sylvia worked.

Sylvia's studies involved the monitoring of each dog that was surrendered to the shelter, as well as each dog’s progress over several weeks. A prominent observation was that some dogs went into deep depression during the first few days of being placed in the refuge. During the study, Sylvia also noticed that the dogs again went through a period of stress when they were re-homed. These findings led Sylvia and her husband Danny to form Bark Busters Home Dog Training.

This company was formed upon their beliefs that if dogs suffer stress when taken out of their normal (familiar) environment, it stands to reason that their learning abilities would be impeded in those circumstances too. It would therefore be very difficult for the dog to undergo effective training in such circumstances.

The home training idea has proved to be very successful. Sylvia says, “Our experience is that dogs learn more quickly in their own environment, in their familiar surroundings their concentration levels are much greater. The common misconception has always been that it is best to either send a dog away for training or to join a class, and though this holds some merit, it does take at least four to five times longer because of the stress factor.

With Home Training the Bark Busters way, we can train dogs much quicker and more effectively as there is no stress or distractions.” Sylvia says that you can liken it to learning to drive. “It’s far better to learn the controls of the car in a quiet, familiar area devoid of other stresses, before venturing out into mainstream traffic on a unfamiliar road.”

As a Bark Busters trainer, I have found Sylvia’s observations to be correct.  Although effective if you can take the time and make the commitment to attend weekly training classes and use it to train new behaviours for your dog, e.g. sit, down, stay and so on; problems can simply not be tackled as quickly when attending a training class.  Dogs find it very hard to generalise, so for example, you can do a wonderful job of training your dog not to jump up at people in a training class and then you get home and your dog jumps up at the first person who comes through the door.  This is not your dog being disobedient.  Your dog has been trained not to jump up in a class environment, but he finds it difficult to generalise, so at home it is a whole new behaviour for him and you have to train him all over again.  Add in the “cue” of a doorbell or a door knocker letting your dog know someone is coming with all the excitement that entails and it is hardly surprising that owners struggle to get their dogs focus and to train the correct behaviour.  Home training is therefore an effective “short cut” to achieve the good behaviour you want from your dog. 

To find out how I can help you train your dog at home

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