Learn, Practice, Proof!

For our dog to truly develop a new habit, we need to practice the behavior consistently and frequently over a period of weeks or months. Practice alone isn’t the end of the dog’s learning process, however.

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After a dog is clearly able to execute a new behavior consistently, it’s vitally important that we practice that new behavior in a wide variety of environments with an increasing level of distractions. This is what dog behavior professionals refer to as “proofing.”

When humans fail to proof behaviors with their dogs we’re typically caught off-guard around things we cannot plan for nor control. This is true for dogs, too.

When we practice behaviors in a wide variety of environments, we become more adaptable and consistent in our responses, even when we cannot control the environment.

Practicing behaviors around increasing distractions informs our dogs what we want them to do, no matter what.

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Dee Green has been a professional dog trainer and canine behavior consultant for more than 20 years. She specializes in puppies up to 18 months, and fearful, anxious and reactive dogs of all ages.

©️2024 Dee Green

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