Nov 10, 2015
How This Dog Trainer Uses Piper To Curb Destructive Habits Your Dog Might Have
My name is Danielle Kilgore and I am the Head Trainer and Territory Manager for Sit Means Sit Dog Training Seattle.
There’s a saying in the dog training world that is, “The only thing two dog trainers will agree on is that the third dog trainer is wrong.” While this is humorous (and somewhat true!) I know I will not be the only trainer to tell you that what we can all agree on is: consistency is key.
At Sit Means Sit, we feel our dogs should be expected to follow directions and maintain commands, even if you are not in the same room! For example, there are times where we might be out of our dogs’ sight and they need to stay sitting for their safety. The Piper is a fantastic tool in helping us accomplish this.
We teach our clients to give a command (e.g. sit, down, place, etc.) and that their dog is required to stay in this command until released. Without getting too much into theories on dog training, this is because it is easier for dogs to comprehend an “implied stay”, versus a “verbal stay”. So with this expectation, it is obvious that if I put my dog in a “sit” and leave the room, they should stay, correct?
The problem lies in that when you go out of sight, your dog loses its ability to pay attention to your cues because you are no longer a visual or audible presence. So, inevitably, the dog will start to make mistakes. Piper completely changes this! By being able to communicate to your dog what you want them to do when you’re not in their line of sight, you not only enable yourself (and your dog) to be able to accomplish more advanced obedience, you are also able to potentially fix nuisance behaviors before they even start.
On almost a daily basis, someone approaches me and asks “How do I stop my dog from doing [insert problem behavior here] when I’m not home? They never do it when I am there!” It’s one thing to fix a problem when you are present to let the dog know what their appropriate activity should be. But to tackle an issue like getting in the trash or getting on the sofa when you aren’t there takes the assistance of technology.
If your dog already has an irritating or dangerous behavior, Piper can be used to catch and redirect a dog from doing whatever it is they aren’t supposed to be doing to something they should be doing.It is also beneficial to those who have multiple dogs.
Occasionally, I have a client who swears one of their dogs is the culprit behind a bad behavior, only to find that it was actually the OTHER dog (or in one instance, the cat!) being the problem!
The recording feature on the Piper allows you to go back and see which pet actually knocked the trash can over, or was lying on the couch when they weren’t supposed to. But please remember, do not correct a dog after the fact. No matter what you might observe, your pet does not know why you are correcting a behavior if they are not in the act of that behavior.
In addition, if you have a pet sitter or walker – especially if they are aiding in training your dog – the Piper can let you know when they arrive, what they are doing while they’re there, and how your dog responds to them coming over. I had a client in Austin, TX, that had two larger dogs who were VERY protective of their home. With a lot of training, they were able to work through most of their dogs’ issues, but they were still terrified of having someone come to their home if they weren’t there to control the situation. They sent me a 20 minute video of the first time their pet sitter came over, while they watched from work, biting their nails. Needless to say, the dogs nailed it and are now very good with their sitter. But it is also handy for them to know that their sitter showed up, when she said she would, and followed the specific instructions she gave them to help in the training of their pooches.
Whether they want to work on more advanced obedience, solve a silly problem behavior, or simply just check in to know the professional they hired is actually doing their job and their dog isn’t eating said professional, the Piper is definitely the tool of choice I recommend to my clients.