Its often the little things that make the biggest impact
Often times the behaviors that you find to be small or benign can be the most powerful. So taking the time to work on the little things DOES matter because it all plays into the big picture. You often hear me talk about how important a dog's state of mind is along with focusing on general obedience. While obedience can and does aid us in this process, it's not the whole picture. Let's look a behavior that may be inconvenient but is overlooked at as important…… Your dogs behavior when leaving thresholds. Thresholds can play a big part in changing your dogs overall behavior. This is an opportunity where your dogs mind is often in a heightened space and we can really teach them to bring it down a notch and learn to be in a calmer state of mind while, also minding their manners. It may seem unrelated if your goal is to have a calmer dog inside the house but, YES working on being calm while leaving and entering the house, entering and exiting the car, and coming in and out of the crate politely are going to help. Your dog practices one or all of these scenarios on a daily basis so while in the moment you may feel like “oh this isn’t a big deal compared to X,Y,Z” or “ I am not worried about this right now” or maybe even “They are just excited for their walk”. What is really happening is your dog is getting daily repetitive practice of being in this heightened state of mind and making poor decisions because they are not practicing any impulse control. And what does a repeated practiced behavior do? …… it creates a habit. So taking the time to work on something as small as a threshold can have a big impact on other areas of your dogs life and training. This one exercise teaches impulse control, it adds value to you because you are giving you dog feedback, your dog will look to you for guidance, and its teaching your dog to calm their state of mind. So always remember the little things often have the biggest impact.