The different types of management in dog training and their applications
Our last blog (found here) was all about the what and why of management. We learned that in order to effectively change behavior that we also had to make sure our dog wasn’t practicing the problem behavior in the mean time! Today’s post will go into the HOW of management.
Remember, management is anything used to prevent the problem behavior from happening. The following list will include many different options for management and their uses, but the list is certainly not comprehensive! If you are working with a trainer they should be able to help you establish a management plan for all problem behaviors and that should be one of the very first steps you take when training your dog!
Baby gates and pens:
Baby gates and pens are the MVPs of the management world. They’re incredibly useful for preventing many, many different behavior problems. Have dogs that fight at meal times? Use a baby gate to separate them when their bowls are down. Have a toddler that’s just started crawling? Use a pen to keep your dog on one side of the room at times that you can’t be actively supervising. Inviting your great aunt over who has incredibly thin skin and can’t be jumped on? Gate! Some houses with open floor plans may make using gates and pens tricky; if that’s the case, there are extra wide gates like this one: https://amzn.to/3iC8cch that can be useful, or you might choose to use an exercise pen and keep your dog inside of the pen during these times.
Leashes are somewhat obvious, but they are an important management strategy for a variety of issues! If your dog jumps on guests, having them leashed until they calm down can allow you to practice polite greetings and prevent jumping. If your dog dashes out your front door when it’s opened, you can simply put their leash on to keep them safe and prevent the door dashing behavior.
Tethers are similar to using a leash, but you are able to move about more freely since you’re not holding the leash and instead your dog is tethered to something else. Tethers can be especially useful for homes where gates and pens aren’t an option like mentioned above. If you have a very heavy, safe piece of furniture to attach your dog to (think like a post/column in your home, your dining room table leg, or the leg of your couch), you can place a tether and use that to prevent your dog from counter surfing, door dashing, jumping on people, trying to steal another dog’s chew item, and more.