Tools

There is a big push to eliminate tools prong collars, ecollars, whatever else they fell is bad and punishment from dog training. The Pure Positive movement is forcing people to just live with their misbehaved dog, give it up or euthanize it. Their real goal is to eliminate all ownership of any animal.

Along with Humane Society of America, ASPCA, Local Humane societies, so called Force free trainers, and big box pet stores they all want you to believe that rewarding and redirecting your dog from bad behaviors is what works and that correcting your dog or using tools that help you and your dog are very detrimental not only to your dog but to your relationship. When in fact it is only detrimental to their emotions. It’s very beneficial for the dog and your life together.

I have never seen anyone redirect a dog away from trying to get another dog or doing something the owner doesn’t want their dog doing by offering a treat. We get a lot of calls and see a lot of folks that have gone down that path and found it just doesn’t work. They are frustrated and at their wits end.

These groups say dogs can be trained without the use of punishment or force or any negativity towards the dog. Well, I agree you can, and we do it all the time. We train dogs to perform commands using positive reinforcement, but positive reinforcement won’t stop bad behaviors.

The only way to stop bad behavior is to punish the dog for doing the behavior. If there was another way, we would be doing it in a heartbeat. But so far no one from any of these groups or pure positive trainers or force free trainers (whatever that is) can show or do what they say can be done. So, until I see how they stop bad behaviors by rewarding or redirecting, I will continue to help the folks that want it, use tools that work along with teaching them how to communicate and have a well-behaved dog not just one that preforms tricks with bad behaviors.

Arousal the enemy

It seems to be a number one issue with dogs and the number one reason why folks either train or give up their dogs. That jumping on guest, running out the door, barking excessively, being destructive, stealing food from the table, getting into the garbage, digging in the yard, nipping, biting and all the other things you don’t want your dog doing are more than likely from arousal.

How does a dog become aroused? It usually starts right away as soon as most folks get a puppy/dog. It’s a very happy exciting moment and baby schema has taken affect. You want your pup/dog to have fun you want to enjoy your new friend, your sole mate. So, you do everything for the them and let them just run around jumping and playing with other puppies and dogs go on play dates and meeting new friends. What a lovely sight, it makes you feel so good. But the effect will wear off and sometimes pretty quick.

Not only with the dogs we see from owners but especially dogs we see from rescues arousal is why the dog is behaving the way it is. That’s why you can’t get the dog to listen to you or pay attention. It’s because all the dog knows is fun, fun, fun. The time wasn’t taken to first teach the dog how you want it to be but instead used for fun and the things that made everyone feel good but had little benefit for the dog.

It’s not that you shouldn’t have fun with your dog, it’s that the fun should be structured and limited. Spend the first few months or longer teaching your dog the things you want from your dog and how to behave. You will enjoy and have more fun with your dog for years or your dog can just have fun and you won’t for years.

Crate Train your Puppy

Crate training your puppy is one of the most important things you can teach your pup. Crate training your puppy will help with the things you don’t want your pup doing. Without all the freedom to roam around your house in an aroused state of mind unsupervised wondering what to do will help keep your pup calm and out of trouble. When your pup is left to figure things out on its own it usually leads to an aroused dog, unwanted behavior, peeing, pooping in your house, destruction and all those lovely things you don’t want.

When you have your pup out of the crate you should be teaching your pup what you want it to do. There’s no way your pup will figure things out on its own.

Well I guess your pup will figure things out just not the things you want your pup doing especially when it becomes a dog.

If you don’t crate train your puppy you can’t complain about what it does. It’s not your pups’ fault.

You can’t have a good dog without teaching it how to be good.

Too many people think dogs just know how to live in their world and be a good dog. But truth is dogs know how to live in their world and your two worlds will crash. It may take a bit, but it will happen.

Folks get caught up with the idea that their dog is smart. Compared to what? Your dog will eat garbage, dig a hole in the middle of your lawn, chew you shoes, destroy your furniture and what ever else they feel are smart things to do in their world.  Unfortunately, the dog will be doing exactly what it thinks is right.

If you don’t take the time to be consistent, hold your dog accountable and teach it how to live in your world it won’t be good. Oh, you’ll say how good your dog is and go on and on about all the fun things but forget about mentioning the things that aren’t so good. That’s where you need to focus. Good things just seem to come but the really good things that you thought you would have with your dog are missing. Be the owner you committed to when you first got your dog. Not the one that just settles and now just has a dog that’s an ornament at the house.

How to have your puppy be a good dog

It’s not what most folks think. Actually, we do things a little different then most.

I know when you get a puppy all you’re thinking about is how cute it is and how much fun you are going to have together. Without the proper guidance, rules, structure and boundaries it won’t turn out like you hope. It could end up being a nightmare. We’ve seen it too many times.

We like to start right away teaching the pup how we want it to be in the future not just right now. We do this by limiting arousal. It is the number one enemy! If you enjoy your pup running around being crazy doing what ever it wants. Be prepared to have that same mentality in your dog. Because your now older dog will be running around crazy doing what it wants, and you will be frustrated.

Crate train your puppy. Your pup should be in a crate at night for sure and be in its crate anytime you are gone or can’t supervise your pup 100%. The crate limits free roaming and keeps your pup doing things you will regret.

Work with your pup. Use your pups daily kibble as treats for training. There are lots of sits, downs, places and other behaviors to be rewarded in a cup of kibble. Take the time to teach your pup, it won’t figure things out on its own. You owe it to your pup.

Take your pup out and about for walks and dog friendly places. This will allow your pup to experience the world and become socialized. Don’t let people you don’t know pet your pup. More than likely they will do it wrong and excite your pup teaching it to be excited when it sees new people. Don’t let your pup meet strange dogs especially on leash. You never know what could happen. It could set your pup up for a bad experience and mess things up for life.

Be patient and calm it’s very important. Correct your pup when necessary. It won’t ruin your relationship it will build believability. Advocate for your pup it will build trust.

Be careful of affection. Affection given in the wrong circumstances could be a killer. Give affection when appropriate like when your pup is being good.

Most of all be consistent about how you are with your pup. Build a routine and pattern your pup. Please, don’t get caught up in my pup is smart and can already do things mentality. Because I will guarantee you your pup does not know the thing you think it does it only knows how to perform tricks and when you need your pup to be good it won’t happen.

Having a good dog

                                                                       

Having a good dog takes more than teaching your dog sit, down and basic commands. Having your dog sit or go lay down will give them something to do for that moment but, it won’t last.

If you want your dog to be a good dog, you must teach your dog to be good not just a bunch of commands. Oh! It will help they do go hand and hand but just having your dog perform commands won’t help your dog be a good dog, your dog will still drive you crazy.

What does it take? Well, it’s the one thing everyone struggles with.

Correction and punishment.

 I’m sure folks go crazy over those words, but they are a necessary part of life for dogs and humans a like.  

Yep the easiest thing to teach your dog is often not done or done incorrectly. Yes, there is a correct way to punish your dog for the wrong things.

Correcting your dog

When it comes to correcting your dog there are lots of ideas and suggestions. In the beginning we don’t correct for non-compliance, only for unwanted behavior. Such as jumping on people, counter surfing, biting, growling at people and for any bad unwanted things.
For us, we don’t correct dogs until we feel the dog understands what we are asking of them. If your dog doesn’t understand what you are asking, of course your dog has a high chance of doing the command wrong.
Your dog doesn’t understand language and doesn’t rationalize as most humans do. They can learn to do a command and connect it to a word/sound by doing it over and over again until they can associate the sound of the word with the guidance you are giving them and put things together. Then your dog should understand your language. Until then your dog will make mistakes and if your dog doesn’t understand what is being asked, it is totally unfair to correct the dog.
On the other hand, if you have to correct your dog over and over again, your dog doesn’t understand what is being asked and needs more training to get a better understanding. But if you have taken the time and feel that your dog is just being non-compliant, then they should be corrected.
So, in place of correcting your dog train your dog.

Not the dog you thought you were getting

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It’s exciting when you get a new dog or puppy. It makes you feel good, the dog/puppy is happy, your happy, your family is happy everything is happy, happy, happy. You have great intensions and visions of what and how your new dog is going to be. Your going to teach this and that and he’s going to be the best dog you have ever had, you have great intensions.

But, then reality sinks in. Things aren’t going like you would like or even thought it would. What this dog doesn’t do what I tell it to do and it’s destructive and crazy to top things off. Not what you had in mind. Right?

Well you are not alone. All kinds of folks get new pups/dogs with no idea what really to expect. They’ve seen all the movies, the pictures and have heard all the great stories of dogs. What you didn’t hear is all the truths about dogs.

They are a responsibility. But for most folks their dog becomes a liability. Why? Because they didn’t hear the reality of having a dog. All they heard was it’s a fur baby, it’s like my child, it’s so fun having a dog. I would do anything for my dog. My dog is the world to me.

 But somewhere things have gone wrong. You start to lose the good felling you had with your dog in the beginning. It’s just not what you thought it was going to be like having a dog. Reality, what a game changer.

Dogs take work, training, love and most of all leadership. Your dog needs to look to you as a leader someone who will give them the information they need, advocate for them and build a great relationship. Dogs don’t come knowing what we want or able to speak or understand language as we know it. But yet, it’s expected. Maybe just maybe that is where it went wrong. Expecting things from your dog without you ever taking the time or true effort to help your dog be the dog you thought it would be.

Fun with your dog

 

Having fun with your dog is great, it’s what we want. But when is fun fun and when is it not so good.

I don’t’ mean that fun is not good. What I’m saying is that not all fun is good for some dogs. For instance, if your dog is wildly out of control, doesn’t listen and has no structure. Letting him run crazy is not a good thing. All it does is keep your dog in an excitable and aroused state of mind where he won’t listen to you or at least not how you would like. If you don’t have an on off switch with your dog, then it could just keep your dog in a bad state of mind. Letting your dog run crazy with other dogs, running them as fast as they can go will wear them out but, that’s all it will do and only for a short period of time. They will still be crazy and not listening.

A good thing to do is control your dog’s excitement and arousal. Give them structure, rules and boundaries and hold them accountable for breaking commands. You will have more fun with your dog and life together will be much more enjoyable.

Building a relationship with your dog

A great relationship is something everyone wants with their dog. How we get there is something that is wildly disagreed about. Some folks think giving their dog only love and affection is the way to go. Why wouldn’t my dog love me if I love him and give him lots of affection. Then there’s the folks that agree with that and also believe giving them lots of toys and special things to chew on will give them the best relationship they could have with their dog.

Well, I’m not so sure about that. I see lots of dogs that their owners give them a ton of love and affection and they make sure they have lots of toys, treats and all the good things. But still they don’t have the relationship they’d hope for or the good dog. They struggle to figure out why. Maybe, just maybe it’s because of what they are doing or not doing. Mostly the not doing part is where things go wrong.

If you are always giving your dog the things that make you feel good and never giving your dog the information, he needs along with no structure, rules or holding your dog accountable you will never build a good relationship with your dog. There will be a lack of trust, and believability. Your dog will just look at you as a resource and not a leader which, is what dogs are looking for and need. They don’t know how to live in your world and if you don’t take the time to teach them you will not have a good relationship or a good dog. They will struggle with what you are asking of them and you will struggle trying to have a good relationship and the dog you hoped for.

So, take the time to teach and lead your dog. Give them the information they need to live in your world. Don’t just do what makes you feel good but do what makes both of you feel good and have a great relationship and a long life together leadership.