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  • Writer's pictureMonique Vargas

You have to use it or you’ll lose it.

You have to use it or you’ll lose it. You have to use it or you’ll lose it. This goes for just about anything in our life it could be building muscle or it could be our brain power, even riding a bike. Now we may not loose these skills completely. I mean the saying is “its just like riding a bike” and you can always rebuild muscle. However just because you know how to do these things if you do not utilize your skills they may may not be as refined. This also applies to our dogs. I often find myself telling my clients to think of training their dogs as a new way of living vs just training in that moment or having training days with me. This will really help you and you and your dog refine your skills together and create new habits. Now after you have initially “trained” your dog you may find yourself in a space of starting to become more lax or maybe start to let things slide because your dog has been “good”. Then you notice that your dogs is counter surfing again, or jumping on people, or something small like trying to be pushy at the door. This is because you are not going the same feedback as you once were. This could even apply to tricks your dog knows. If you are only using them when you want to show them and not practicing any other time they may not be able to do them as well because they don't have the muscle memory. This is the same as if you were going to the gym consistently and you tell yourself “ I have been doing good, I am feeling good so, I am going to give myself a break and skip a day”. Then before you know it you skip two days then maybe 3. Now it feels hard to get back into the gym but, you can do it! Now when you first go back you may not be able to lift as much weight as before and it will take time to get back into the habit of going consistently. This is the same for our dogs you can real things back in and start giving the feedback that you did before to get them back into a good space. Now they may not be as proficient

as before but as long as you are consistent you can both get back to where you once were.

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