Congratulations on finishing your dog’s initial behavior program sessions with us! We hope you feel more confident in how to help your dog (and less stressed!).

We love to set our clients and their dogs up for success, so we made you this short little post to help you navigate life after your program.

Is my dog done with their Behavior Program?

Your Behavior Program probably got you and your dog through your biggest hurdles! (Huzzah!) The next step is to take your tools and continue using them to help maximize your dog’s progress. To do this:

  1. Continue using your behavior plan skills until your dog’s progress seems to level off. (This may be weeks to several months, depending on what behaviors you’re working on. Let us know if you have any questions for your dog!) This is how you find out where your dog’s maximum potential is!
  2. Continue your management to help support both your dog and your family. Once your dog’s progress levels off, you’ll want to make sure you have management in place for the times they continue to need help.
  3. Make adjustments as needed so that things feel sustainable long-term. For example, maybe you were doing behavior plan training three times per week, and your dog is now doing great! But life’s gotten busy again and it’s getting stressful to try and make the time. Rather than run yourself ragged or beat yourself up, pick a maintenance schedule that feels do-able. Maybe once a week. Will that work for your dog? Ask them! Decrease your frequency to once a week and see if they maintain their progress. (If they don’t, let us know and we’ll help you figure out what the next best step is!) If your dog has health concerns or is on medications, it’s a great idea to keep your vet in the loop, too! Ditto to if you’re working with a Veterinary Behaviorist!
  4. Contact us when you have questions or if new challenges pop up! Sometimes a new event or a big change can kick things off again for a bit. Ask your trainer how you can support your dog. We really mean it when we say we offer lifetime support: just reach out when you need us.

Most dogs need some amount of support and/or management throughout their lives to maintain their behavior. Without this, they might have some backsliding. (Just like people!)

Do I need more sessions?

If you feel comfortable and confident with what to do, you just need some time to practice with your dog, you’re unlikely to need a session really soon. We’re here to help you via email and phone as needed!

We always want our time together to feel like time well-spent! Here’s when it’s a good idea to book more:

  • You want the support of once-a-month sessions for a little while (or a long while) before graduating. Maybe you like the convenience of us bringing our dogs to work with yours instead of having to go look for dogs, or you want some extra help building your skills, or a few more safe, controlled set ups!
  • You feel like you just need one refresher session. Get some feedback on how you and your dog are doing and/or troubleshoot the last little things!
  • You’re ready to work on the next goal(s) for your dog. This might be weeks, months, or even a year or two later! Many clients come to us with a whole bunch of concerns, but it feels better to prioritize them one or two at a time.

If you do feel like you’d like to book more, email us to let us know and we’ll make sure you get what you need.

Thank you again for entrusting us with helping your dog and your human family. Here’s to more joy and less stress!