One of my most favorite parts of training takes place during this course…engagement! Engagement is the process of teaching dogs how to work with and for us humans. It’s a step that is commonly overlooked and undervalued but is incredibly powerful, not only in helping your dog meet training goals but also in encouraging a deeper training relationship.
An engaged dog knows to check in with you for guidance. They understand that their human can assist them in making good choices and they value the communication that we have to share. Engagement training may seem simple and sometimes boring to us. But for our dogs, it is the key to developing team-based training where we are the coach.
Having worked with so many dogs to build an engaging, training relationship, I can honestly say that these training exercises are where good communication and mutual respect are intensified. Engagement training is so valuable that our own trainers utilize it with every single dog we work with and make it a top priority for our own personal dogs.
Simply put, engagement has allowed me to foster a relationship with my own dogs that is more robust and meaningful and I am so thankful that I have given myself and my dogs this opportunity to partner together so effectively on our training journey. If you want your training to succeed, to last long after your training program is complete, and to unlock a deeper training relationship, invest in engagement. You won’t regret it!