It’s a sad fact of life that the vast majority of dogs that end up in animal shelters (or worse) are there because of a bad behavioral problem. It doesn’t have to be this way, most problems (like aggression and destructive behavior) are at the very least manageable, through proper dog behavior training.
If your dog has issues self-confidence, it may have trouble with bite work and might get stressed from loud sounds. A dog that is not relaxed and good at playing may have problems with some of the training, which is why our professional dog trainers pay special attention and effort to improving the dog’s stress levels, confidence, bite work, and ability to play and relax. With these qualities properly developed, your dog’s family protection skills will be ideal.
For instance, maybe you are trying to train your dog to sit, and he lowers his butt just a little. Give him a treat. When he does it again, give the treat again. Eventually he’ll figure out what the treat is connected to. Then you can wait to reward him until he gets his rear even closer to the ground… until finally he’s sitting for it.
Obedience training: Your dog must begin the fundamentals of obedience training at an early age, preferably the first day. Contrary to popular belief, most dogs can be accurately and well trained in a primarily positive manner using motivation based training. It is imperative that the dog has a solid foundation of obedience skills and reliably performs them in all environments. Clicker training is a fantastic and effective way to train your young puppy.
The idea here is training, not just letting your dog run around unsupervised. Like any training session, you’ll benefit from teaching your dog to walk off-leash in the most distraction-free environment possible (at least to start), keeping sessions short, making them positive, and setting up your dog for success.
Silky Leash – the core of Silky Leash training is to put very light pressure on the leash and reward the dog when s/he loosens the leash. The step-by-step progression is what makes Silky Leash so powerful. I have more information about that in the Ahimsa Dog Training Manual.
There may be times when you simply cannot get your dog’s attention. He might find what’s going on around him more interesting than your treats or happy talk, and stopping and starting may not be enough to distract him from whatever is holding his attention. In this case, it’s best to move away from the distraction. Walk in the opposite direction, saying “let’s go.” There’s no need to pull him, simply walk away while holding the leash. Your dog will have no choice but to follow.
The first rule of crate training is to never, ever force your dog into his crate. You never want to introduce a crate, shove your confused pup into it, close the door and leave her. That’s how you wind up with a dog with an unmanageable case of separation anxiety or a pathological aversion to enclosed or small spaces.
If for whatever reason, you’re having the smallest issue implementing the training methods here, you can enjoy unlimited free consultations with me and other professional dog trainers to get to the root of the problem.
Consider how long it takes to chew a hard treat versus a semi-moist treat like “Bill Jack” or “Zuke’s Mini Naturals.” Treats about the size of a pencil eraser head are enough to get the positive point across, and you don’t have to wait long for your dog to eat it.
Canine Cha-cha. Teach your dog that any pressure on the leash means that he should return to you. On your walk, even if he is not pulling, suddenly walk backwards. You are walking backwards and he turns around to face you, so he’s walking forwards, but the opposite direction of before. When he turns to look where his feet are taking him, give