Whether we’re creating a boundary, giving a cue or command, setting a parameter, or reinforcing a rule, “following through” is a crucial and necessary component to our success and effectiveness in our relations with our dogs.

Following through blends direction and guidance all into one action, reinforcing and reaffirming expectations, while also building trust. If we’re continuously getting mixed results when we give a cue or command, it’s usually because we’ve either taught that it’s okay and acceptable by not following through or have sent mixed signals via our tone, body language, not being crystal clear with what we want and expect, and have let things slide. Settling for “just a little bit” when we could get the whole package.

Inconsistent actions breeds inconsistent results. Consistent actions breeds consistent results. Plain and simple.

If we’re inconsistent in our expectations, guidance and follow through, we’ll get inconsistent results. Conversely, if we’re consistent in our expectations, guidance and follow through, we’ll get consistent results.

We all do this from time to time, but if settling becomes a constant practice and habit, our integrity and effectiveness becomes questionable and no one will take us seriously. Especially Dog.

Following through requires our time, patience, energy, full attention and an unwavering, non-negotiable stance. Knowing what we want, being crystal clear in what we expect, and not settling for anything less.

Consistently practicing the art of following through builds trust, respect, a clear line of communication, and mutual understanding.