• Courtney Bray

    September 24, 2018 at 1:29 pm

    Hi Brad!

    Just adding one thought to the pot. I see clients all the time with multiple handlers. It is not easy, as inevitably, you can only do what you can do with human running parts. A great example is my family’s dog Leo. My parents are messy leaders, leave stuff lying around, don’t control doorways well etc etc. They have also improved with time (it is a work in progress…), I am grateful for small victories. Leo does, however, attend many of my group training classes, and is trained to an inch of his life. Over time, he gets better and better in general as a dog with good obedience. With me, it is absolutely clear who is in charge. With my family, not so much. Keep in mind he is almost 5, no longer a puppy, but nevertheless, I have noticed certain things.

    What I notice is there is sort of a cumulative behavioral process. For example: if my parents leave for an extended vacation, his behavior becomes much more predictable (as I am simply a better leader), he is more relaxed, and is just in a better ‘space’ as a dog. He’s less needy and much more clear about his role in the pack. If I’m gone, and when I come back, I notice things are always messier…

    So the answer is for me, it’s not the end of the world, but it does have side effects. If there is at least one consistent leader TEACHING the dog, this is the very least we should hope for and offer.

    What I tend to suggest for clients is, depending on the kids level of comprehension (or even the adults! sometimes the kids are better :))), I try to emphasize a WHOLE LOT of Phase I free trainers in the house. That’s hard to screw up, is fun for everyone, human and dog, and there’s nothing bad about marking a heck of alot of behaviors you want. Dog sit sit sit sit or Dog down down down down with treats or heel or place or whatever, that is free training for you and fun for the kids. So if they are momentarily inconsistent with Phase 2, I just emphasize as much as possible only Phase I with the ‘mistake’ peeps.

    Thought of the day 🙂