Consistency is Vital

How important is consistency with our dogs? Is this missing in your relationship with your furry friend?

1/3/20242 min read

In our last blog we talked about having clear expectations and rules. Today we will be going over the importance of consistency. Last week we talked about if there were no set laws in our lives. Now imagine if we had laws in place in our lives but they changed day to day. One day you were allowed to take whatever you wanted from a grocery store for free, and the next day you could be charged for stealing. This inconsistency would make our day-to-day life chaotic.

Once you have decided on clear rules and expectations for your dog and everyone who is around your dog is implementing these it is time to apply consistency. Consistency with rules and expectations is critical. Consistency is also important in many other aspects. Dogs love routine and knowing what comes next.

Consistency with training is also very important. Being consistent in taking the time to work with your dog will help your relationship improve. Training helps to mentally exercise your dog and can make a big difference in your dog's behavior.

Consistency may not mean taking your dog for a walk at the exact same time every day. Instead, it will include how you expect your dog to walk on leash or how you expect your dog to react while passing another dog on your walk.

When we begin to implement consistency, we are teaching our dogs to know what to expect because we always require the same thing. Do they barge through the door with you? Or do they wait for you to go through first? Do they jump on everyone who comes through the front door? Or do they go to a place command or know to give people space? When we are consistent in training, they learn what is expected. However, if we begin to allow them to change what is expected then they unlearn what has been taught.

Consistency starts the second your new dog walks into your home. It does not matter if your dog is 8 weeks old or 8 years old, the expectations and consistency should begin immediately. Of course, over the years or with new situations these expectations may change, which means we must reteach the new expectation and be consistent with it. When changing the expectation, it will take longer as we unteach a behavior and reteach a new one.

From our last blog we learned that everyone needs to know the rules and expectations for the dog. In this blog we went over how important consistency is and how it ties together with the expectations we have.

Your homework is to look at all the expectations of your dog and think about how consistent you are with these expectations. If you notice some areas where you could improve your consistency, then work on them going forward.