Training Your Best Friend
People say that a dog is mankind’s best friend…but what if your dog is driving you crazy? Is there anything that can be done or did you just get stuck with a bad dog?
If you’re asking this question and you’re desperate for a solution, you’re not alone. Every day, dog owners come to me because their “best friends” are making them crazy. Do any of these sound familiar to you? Destroying furniture, shoes, handbags, and other expensive items; ignoring simple commands to sit, stay, be quiet, or lay down; jumping on people and bombarding guests; incessant pulling on the leash…if you can relate with one of these, here’s some good news: there is nothing wrong with your dog. In fact, the above behaviors are completely normal and even expected.
Rewarding with food establishes a payment system for your dog. It not only adds more value of you to your dog (you control the food) but it also allows you to tell the dog that at that exact moment you did exactly what I wanted you to do. Once we have opened the line of communication by marking the behaviors we expect from the dog, using a positive reward system, I will start to use play as a reward and really motivate the dog making it all into a game. In the beginning I will teach you very little correction, and you will see that if the method is followed very little correction from you is needed. However, in some cases there are corrections needed, but the timing must be perfect to send the message to the dog that the action you just did is not acceptable.
Praise and correct your dog the way you will be taught, and work with your dog at least 30 minutes a day. This is your dog, not your neighbor’s or your friend’s dog. You need to be the leader your dog has been waiting for. The relationship needs to be with you and your family. Having someone else help you is fine, but you must take the responsibility and build a bond with your dog. That is ultimately what we are trying to achieve.
Does Your Dog Think He’s In Charge?
Your dog’s behaviors are determined by what they believe their role is. As long as your dog thinks they are in charge, trying to stop dominant behaviors is like trying to stop the tides from changing. This is why dog owners spin their wheels trying to fight off behavior problems, not understanding that they are fighting against a dogs biological instincts. I believe in opening up the line of communication between you and your dog, creating a deeper bond and a permanent fix for issues you may be calling behavior problems, when in reality they are just miscommunication between you and your dog.
Once your dog has a clear message that they are not the alpha dog, they will take on an entirely new set of behaviors.
Gaining Control of Your Dog
First, your dog must accept a submissive role before any behavior changes can be attempted. Role clarification is the first objective of any dog training. Once this simple task is accomplished, everything we teach your dog will be 100% easier. I will also work with you to make sure you become your dogs new trainer for life. The submissive role can be accomplished by never hitting the dog. Physically dominating a dog is not necessary if you’re sending the proper message to your dog. My goal is to open a line of communication between you and your dog so you are both telling each other what you need and want.