In this section it is about the obvious, not so obvious, and putting it all together. A good Management plan is a must from the very start of a training program and as the very last step. Most importantly, good management of your dog or dogs is a lifetime job.
When you have a dog that has a lot of behavior problems and you haven’t started any type of training the amount of special management will usually seem like a large task, but is generally important for the success of the dog and sometimes the safety of other people, animals, and the dog itself. Total avoidance of problem areas is what you have to do.
For instance, if you are having problems with your dog destroying furniture when you leave him home alone… You wouldn’t leave him alone (at least not with free range). If you are having issues with your dog showing aggression toward guests in your house… you would put that dog in another safe room or enclosure when guests are over. This stuff is all very obvious, but you would be surprised how many people ignore the obvious. Doing these things is actually the start to many training plans. The idea is to keep your dog out of trouble so you can set him up for success. The amount of restrictions will decrease as you move along with the training.
As you train restrictions on a dog generally lesson. For instance a dog with aggression toward other dogs that you may have previously kept away from all dogs, may be around dogs during training sessions on a leash in early phases of training, then eventually off-leash with a comfortable basket muzzle in later training. In the last stages you might expect that dog to wear a muzzle when loose around a new dog, and then maybe remove the muzzle once that dog has proven normal interaction with that new dog. This is just one example of many.
Maintenance plans and routines are what you come to when you hit plateaus in the training. With most behavior problems you can make a lot of steady progress and accomplishments before you are considered at that point.
Always remember that with the most difficult dogs and most difficult problems, you will not usually make 100% turnarounds. Generally what you are shooting for is improvement and solutions that will improve not only your dogs’… but you quality of life as well. If you expect more than that, you will be setting yourself and the dogs up for failure. Most individual dogs, like us, will never be perfect. We will take what God gave these dogs and lead them to the best they can be. Understanding this is important.