We all receive dog training advice from friends, family members, neighbors and even the internet. Our advice is to ignore the majority of it. It is all well intentioned, but receiving input from so many sources on how to train your dog will put you in a position where you are not showing consistency and will only serve to confuse you and your dog.
Q .. My dog respects me but not my wife and children. How can I make him listen to them?
A .. With our methodology, you will learn how to elevate every human in the house above your dog in the pack structure, even the children.
Q .. When walking my dog, he pulls uncontrollably on the leash. Looking on the web, I found that I am supposed to stop and just wait for the pulling to stop or just go the other way. These methods don’t help at all. As a matter of fact, nothing seems to work. Can you help?
A .. We can normally end leash pulling during the first session. A walk is an exciting time for a dog. The outside world is filled with sights, sounds and, especially, smells that over stimulate your dog. Leash manners need to be taught to your dog or they will try to take over and control the walk.
Anyone who has spent time surfing the web for dog training advice can tell you that there are many different, and conflicting, opinions on the methods you should use to train your dog. Stopping and waiting for your dog during a walk can be a tiresome and tedious method. It can take the fun out of the walk for both of you. It’s not the method that we teach. Instead, we teach your dog to focus on you during the walk and to look to you for his cues on proper behavior.
In the wild, an adolescent wolf doesn’t lead the walk, it’s the pack leader’s walk. With our methodology, you will learn to become the pack leader and we will teach your dog to follow you rather than jerking you around the neighborhood.
Q .. I have read that I should be rolling my dog onto his back and standing over him to establish my dominance. It makes him mad. Should I still do it?
A .. Never, never, never roll your dog over and hold him down. It’s called the “Alpha Rollover” and it was sighted as a training method in a book called “How To Be Your Dog’s Best Friend”. The authors of the book, The Monks Of New Skete, eventually took this method out of the book and stated that it was based on flawed science. It can actually cause aggression and break down pack structure. Don’t do it.
Q .. I tried to take my dog’s chewy away from him and he growled and nipped. How long will it take for him to grow out of this behavior?
A .. This isn’t a behavior that dogs will just “grow out of”. Aggressive behaviors are self-reinforcing. If he gets away with it once, the odds increase dramatically that he will do it again. You should always take any act of aggression seriously, including resource guarding. It’s unacceptable for a family pet to exhibit this behavior.
Q .. I took my dog to group lessons. I thought it would be good for his socialization. He didn’t really learn anything and we were scolded for unruliness.
A .. Group lessons can be stressful for a dog and they are full of distractions (like other dogs!). A dog learns better in their own environment and they will build a stronger bond with their owner when they are trained in the home. Socialization should be addressed in a controlled atmosphere where the interaction is under the right circumstances.
Q .. My dog is not taking to housebreaking very well. When I find an accident, I show it to him, I put his nose in it and then I send him outside. What else should I be doing to get him to go in the right place?
A .. Putting your dog’s nose in an accident actually works against you. He doesn’t understand why you are doing it and if he starts to associate his mess with punishment, he may start to think that it is better to get rid of the mess by eating it. Going outside to eliminate is not a natural behavior for a dog. It must be taught. Teaching them by using proper methods and techniques is the key to having a reliably housebroken dog. Dogs do not eliminate in the house out of spite, anger or boredom. They eliminate in the house because they have not been properly trained.
Q .. I’ve taught my dog the sit and lay down commands but getting him to perform them is a challenge. I know he knows the words. It’s very frustrating.
A .. Basic obedience commands are the foundation for teaching your dog to strengthen his willpower. A dog has to fight against his energy level and natural behaviors to perform for you. Our methods will teach you how to help your dog build his willpower to a level where he is performing commands even in situations where he is dealing with heavy distractions.
When your dog learns and performs basic obedience commands, you will find that he is generally much more calm. He will learn to look to you for instruction and leadership. This naturally makes them a more secure, confident dog.
Q .. I bought my dog to be a watchdog, but he barks all the time.
A .. Barking to alert is a normal behavior for most dogs. We want our dogs to bark under the right circumstances, but they should obey our command when we tell them that enough is enough. As the pack leader it is your job to determine whether an intruder is welcome or not. Once you’ve made that decision and communicated it to your dog, they should respect your command.
Q .. I can’t take my puppy’s biting anymore. Can I smack him on the nose?
A .. Never hit your dog. If a dog learns that physical violence is acceptable within the pack, you can experience a trickle-down effect where your dog is using violent behaviors against pack members that he perceives as having lesser status than him or outsiders. We can show you how to control any dog or puppy behavior with positive methods.
Q .. We rescued an older dog from our local shelter. I’ve heard the old saying that “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks”. Does that mean that we are stuck with his problems and poor behaviors?
A .. No dog is too old to learn new things. It is true that changing a behavior is more difficult than teaching them proper manners from the start, but any dog of any age can learn. With our system, we tailor our lessons to your dog’s needs. Don’t let your dog’s age, breed or specific problem stop you from taking control. We can show you how.
.. Only train your dog on one thing at a time. Bouncing around can confuse your dog and slow your progress.
.. Keep your dog training sessions short. We recommend working with your dog two to three times per day for no more than five minutes each time. Experiencing negative results during a dog training session because your have lost your dog’s attention is common and can prove to be counter-productive.
.. Make sure your expectations are realistic and show patience. Repetition and consistency are key.
.. Don’t become dependent on any gimmicky devices such as clickers for dog obedience training or squirt bottles for dog correction training. A clicker is used as a marker to teach the dog that they have been successful and that a reward is on the way. You can use a verbal marker instead so that you don’t have to find your device to perform your dog training.
.. Use play, when possible, while you are working your dog training sessions.
.. Most dog training command words should only be said once. You do not want to become that owner that we all know who has to say sit over and over and they still aren’t sure that their dog is going to respond.
.. When using the command words, don’t shout. When you shout at your dog, you become just another barking dog in their eyes. You should be able to give all obedience commands to your dog in a normal voice.
.. Your dog reads your body language much better than a human does. If your dog is going to enjoy learning, you need to be calm and assertive during dog training sessions and when you address them with dog correction commands. Use your energy and stature to help communicate with your dog.
.. Pay attention to your dog during dog training sessions. If they are showing fear, stress or nervousness, stop what you are doing and re-evaluate your methods. A quality relationship between you and your dog is dependent on mutual trust and respect, not fear.
.. Every walk that you take with your dog can be a training exercise. Your dog should be taught to focus on you during the walk. A walk should be at a good pace and should be interesting for your dog. Keep your rules simple – your dog should be at your side, paying attention to you and not pulling on the leash.