Making the changes that lead to happier less stressed lives requires an intentional dog training plan of action. Despite knowing what we ‘need’ to do we often fail to take action and perform the work necessary. This gap between intention and action is expansive and even when our goals are clear, strong motivation alone is generally not enough. Intentional actions are required, particularly when raising a young puppy or when your dog has bitten. 


Accomplishing change requires a specific goals and a plan of action.  Clearly state what action you will take to reach your goal and in what situation you will take this action.  Instead of saying “The dog needs training,” you say: “Instead of feeding the dog breakfast in his food bowl (situation), I will hand feed him his meal (action) to reward him for settling on his mat (goal). “


While many of our clients hire us because they wish to DECREASE a behavior we will ultimately bring about change in the home only by INCREASING an alternative, incompatible behavior.  Your goal must describe something that you want your dog TO DO in place of the behavior you wish to eliminate. For example, “I want Sophie to keep her feet on the floor when guests enter the home.”

Your trainer will recommend specific actions that frequently work well with client goals. These recommendations may include ‘Four feet on the floor’ or ‘Settle on the Mat.’ You’ll have to practice these exercises before the situation in which you need them occurs.

Now assign a time frame for when you will carry out the action you described. Be specific and you may want to identify several time frames as triggers. This could be “When I hear the UPS truck’ or ‘When the school bus drives by.”

Then bring your previous statements together to form your implementation action. Re-write your answers in the following format:

“When the school bus drives by, I will practice settling on the mat with Sophie, so that she will learn to keep her feet on the floor when guests arrive.

When… I will… in order to

Determining intentional dog training actions will help you to realize your goals more effectively. Think of some other boundaries or behaviors you’d like to implement in your home and write out new intentions for each.  Set alarms in your phone to remind you at certain times of the day.

What are some of your intentional dog training statements?

If you have any questions about your puppy or training program please call or text us at 913.712.8742. Join us remotely for our Weekly Q&A and Nail Trim sessions hosted on Zoom and streamed live through Facebook. On a tight budget? Check out our FREE courses available online.