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Teaching your dog to heal next to you on a walk

I heard many of my clients say to me, “My dog pulls and pulls and won't slow down let alone walk beside me”. This is a very common complaint.

Teaching you dog to heel or walk on a leash with you can be one of the most most pleasant or annoying things you can do with your dog. I see people all Around my neighborhood being drug down the road and pulled in all directions. This is not only hard on the owner's arms and hands but you are teaching your dog that HE/SHE IS THE PACK LEADER AND NOT YOU.
This sets a bad president and can be the start of many behavioral issues to come. All dog training should start with the walk this is how we establish ourselves as a pack leader in the dogs eyes. Watch animal planet or the national geographic channel and watch the wolf pack. Who's in front: the alpha wolf, or a lion pride, again who's in front? With deer its the same thing, the leader is always in the front position. It is the same even with a mother duck walking down to the pond with her ducklings, she walks out in front. But how do you accomplish the task?

In training your dog to heal you will benefit tremendously by using a few different methods. The pet warehouse method is to lure of bribe your dog with food. Simply walk with your dog and when he looks up at you and is at your side give him a treat. The problem with this method is that you are teaching the dog nothing, you are simply bribing him with food. You could get a tiger to heel by dragging a peace of meat around. I know I have a tiger and I have done it. The first method I would try is the about face. Get a strong leash and a collar. A flat collar or slip loop will work fine. Start walking with your dog when he forges ahead make a fast about turn and let him hit the end of the leash. The faster you make your turn the faster he will turn around and then run to catch up to you. He must learn that sometimes he has to do things that he doesn't want to: you are the pack leader and you need to have control. Your dog must walk with you not you walk with him. You can also stop and let him hit the end of the leash, then start again. Most dogs after 20 to 25 about turns will slow down, once they realize they will hit the end of the lead each time they pull. If your dog is pulling make an quick turn in the opposite direction that your dog is going this should stop him from pulling after a few sessions. For those of you who have a really strong willed dog or a dog with a high threshold to pain you may have to use a metal collar. In terms of producing pain for the dog it looks a lot worse that it is. If you put the collar around your leg or arm and pull it you will see that there is not much discomfort. This is a very effective way to correct a dog that likes to pull you down the street also you will be using only one tenth of the strength you normally would have to control your dog. It also works wonders with stopping lunging and dog on dog aggression. Make sure you consult a professional and have it fitted properly once this is done even the most egregious pullers fall into place. However training collars though useful with aggressive and dangerous pulling are not something to have your dog wear all the time, it is a tool to use to correct aggression pulling problems until he learns not to pull you dangerously down the road. When he/she learns to heal next to you, you can go back to your flat collar, martingale or slip loop or choke chain. Remember leadership is the key, walk strait and look ahead act like a pack leader dogs don't want to follow someone timid. Don't look back at your dog - looking back at him will only teach him to slow down. If he sits and puts his rear on the ground and refuses to go forward just give him a slight tug on your leash and say walk he will come forward when he does reward him with lavish praise. Always praise and talk to your dog when on the walk. You want the walk to be a fun and enjoyable experience there is nothing wrong with talking and praising your dog while on the walk. If you are still having trouble please consult a professional handler.

Good Luck and Happy Training,

Teaching the "come" command

Getting your dog to come when called can be a frustrating and madding experience. It is also important that he /she always comes when called this could save your dogs life. At some point in your dogs lifetime he/she is going to get off the leash and out of your control when this happens they will not see the car or truck coming down the street they will be too focused on whatever it is they are chasing. Your dog needs to know that come means come now, and they should run to you as if their life depended on it, because it may.

You teach your dog this command you first want to stand in front of your dog after he has learned the stay command, ask him to come and pull the leash toward you. Your dog will come and when he does make him sit in front of you. Always give him a verbal and a visual cue. Then call his name; "spot come and at the same time give him a hand gesture with your palm pointed out away from you and make a pulling monition towards your body at the same time you call him, this way he can see you are calling him to come close to you. Some dogs look away as if they didn't hear you. Here is a news flash Happy they hear you alright they just didn't want to come. They must come all the time every time. Once he has come and is sitting in front of you give him lavish praise and pet him. Repeat this process several times. Then get a longer lead or a rope and repeats the process until he will do it every time. When he does it reliably every time its time to move to off leash. If he does not come go get him pull him to you and then praise him. DO NOT PUNISH YOUR DOG FOR NOT COMING, doing this will only make him/her not want to come to you again. Never ever punish a dog for not coming. You can also get his favorite toy or food and give it to him every time he comes. Very few dogs will come every time for praise alone so find out what his hot bottom is!! Is it food, toy, or ball. As soon as he comes and sits in front of you give him his reward. This is not his toy that lays around the house for him to play with. This is your toy and you only give it when he comes. Also walk backwards when calling him and be very animated and you will see his speed improve. Soon your dog will be coming every time when he is doing that then move to off leash and distractions.

Good Luck and Happy Training,

Dog aggression


Aggression in dogs can become a challenge for an owner. A lot of times it's not even aggression its a matter of dominance. If you have a small dog who acts aggressive people might laugh and say oh my, Happy he thinks he's tough, but if you happen to have a large powerful dog, you not only open yourself to injury but a law suit as well. Almost All the time aggression is caused by the owner. Things that can cause aggression are, isolation, that in turn causes the dog to think that he is in charge of your family pack. Just go for a walk around your neighborhood and watch all the dogs that are out front dragging their owner down the street. THIS IS A RECEPE FOR DISASTER. I have rarely seen a dog that walks behind or bedside the owner who becomes aggressive when he sees other dogs. In a wolf or wild dog pack the alpha dog makes the decision when to become aggressive. If the alpha dog needs help the he/she will ask for it. In other words your dog looks at you and your family as his pack and if you let her/him walk out in front of you, you are telling him that he/she is the pack leader. He/she is just doing watch comes natural. DRIVING OFF NON PACK MEMBERS. Never let your dog walk out in front of you. You can stop, give him a lose leash and let him sniff his favorite tree check if his friends have been by, but while you are walking he/she needs to be at your side. There are various methods to accomplice this and different types of collars and harnesses. If you are having this problem it is best to hire a professional behaviorist who can talk to you about inductive training. Treats and clickers won't stop aggression; dogs don't adhere to the adage. Can't we all just get along". They respond from a position of power and respect. It doesn't matter if you have a Muffin, Lassie or Cujo, all dogs are inherently the same in how they see their world and you. To find out the quickest and easiest way to communicate with your dog and to what level of training he/she needs you would be wise to hire a professional. Most aggression can certainly be controlled and you can have a happy well balanced dog for a lifetime. There are as many different methods of tackling this dilemma as there are dogs. One camp says use shock collars and citronella sprays. Then there is the opposite camp who prefer cookies, treats and clickers. If your dog is only pulling a little, this method of positive training is usually fine, but if your dog is so dangerous that you cannot even walk him down the street without him lunging at every dog or person that passes, you may need something more firm than a cookie or a clicker to stop him. In this case a slip collar, martingale or metal collar should do the trick until he realizes that this dangerous behavior will not be tolerated. The bottom line is that you have to take the position of power with your dog and control the situation. You can't have a dog jumping on your bed, throwing a fit at the door when people come over, counter surfing for your favorite sandwich, incessant barking at sounds outside the house, rushing past you on the stairs, running out the door first, not coming when called. If he is doing these things you can't expect him to act like an Angel on a walk. You have to take control of your dog in all aspects of his life.You don't have to fight for control the way a dog fights for it, you only need to believe in yourself and that you are the leader and act like one. You do it by the way you walk talk and act. By your voice and gestures. Your dog needs to believe that you are the leader. Aggressive dogs need a firm set of consistent rules. Your dog needs to know that you will protect your pack. Something as simple as your dog demanding that you pet him while you are busy could be a sign of dominant behavior and that could potentially escalate. A professional trainer /behaviorist can help you determine how to control the aggression and what would be your best approach to take control back and have a happy well adjusted best friend.

Good Luck and Happy Training,