I have seen lots of dogs that have been trained by "aggressive dogs experts" who look really scared of making any mistake. When I look at a dog, I usually look at the relationship the dog has with the human first before anything else. Just because someone has worked with many aggressive dogs this way does not make him an aggression expert. Because dog training is not just about suppressing a behavior. How about trying to understand the dog, and bring out the best potential of
Harley just went back to Whistler BC after finishing his boarding here.
We just finished a lesson with his lovely owners, who came here after an epic flight back from Europe.
We went over something in the lesson that l like to talk a little bit about here.
In order for Harley to feel safe and stop reacting, he needs to believe that his human can absolutely take care of the situations for him. This is about trust.
There is a part of trust that is not often talked about
Many owners were told they should use desensitization and counter conditioning when they have a reactive dog.
They were told they should never use correction, they were told they should never punish the dog for reacting, they were told they should never make the dog uncomfortable.
I was one of those people years ago.
We were told we had to keep the bar opened so to speak whenever a dog appeared. We were told to pour high value treats onto a dog when another dog appeared
If you have to choose between giving up treating your dog like a human baby vs giving up your dog entirely, what would you choose? You may be surprised to know how many people l have met chose the latter instead.
“I feel so sad about giving up my dog...but l think he will be happier with someone else.”
Usually, what really happened is that the dog would have been really happy with the same person and would also behave much better if the owner could only stop humanizing th
I have seen so many owners who were afraid to correct their dogs.
Many of them have been to other training classes and they were told that if they corrected their dogs, their relationship would definitely be damaged and there would be fallouts and their dogs would turn on them.
I have met owners with scars all over their arms, ladies who could not wear bathing suits due to numerous scars on their thighs, seniors with cuts all over their faces after being pulled and dragge
Our human view of freedom is often about letting our dog do whatever he wants. For an anxious/fearful/timid dog, this could however be interpreted as not having a leader to follow with no clear set of rules to observe, which can make such a dog more confused and insecure. To a dog, freedom is about not having to doubt and worry. It is about having someone who can guide and protect them. When we allow our dogs lots of freedom, we are also asking them to make lots of decisions
"My puppy loves to jump on all sorts of people and he gets really excited... What to do?" We need to teach our dog how to be calm around people. To start, we need to be calm and we should ask other people to be calm around our puppy. Do not let all these people just come and make a big fuss to your dog. Teach your puppy to know how to be calm and relax around other people so he will not view them as a source of super excitement. Physical touch and praise are high value affect
"Why did my dog bite me? I am so nice to him!" Many owners feel very puzzled, frustrated, and even betrayed, by aggressive behaviour from their own dogs. This German Shepherd in the picture used to attack anyone who came close to her crate, her owner, her house..,etc. It was a perception and relationship issue. Since l had Anja, she never showed any aggression even once about anything. Nothing at all. She is a very gentle, sweet, easy going dog. I developed a mutually respect
When you have a dog that you cannot take out on a walk because he is just ridiculously out of control, you most certainly have a dog who is also ridiculously out of control inside your home. To have a well behaved dog, training has to start from inside your home. A lot of people just let their dogs run free in their homes. They struggle with the concept of leashing their dogs inside; they do not want to crate their dogs; they do not spend time training their dogs inside their
Very often we let our dogs experience lots of excitement around other dogs; but once our dogs become a bit calmer, we try to ramp them up to play some more or we take them home. This will, overtime, create a dog with a single response whenever he/she sees another dog - extreme arousal. In the human world, we have more than one response in front of others- we can be very attentive (e.g. work, classroom), very active (e.g. sports), very aloof and quiet (e.g. library); we may no
This is Anja. She has a very intense ball drive. She will do anything for her ball and will run through fire to get it. When she sees her ball, nothing in the world matters. When we play ball, which is her favorite game in the world, l always use the opportunity to exercise her impulse control. I think of it like teaching her the meaning of the stop sign. I need her to learn how to take a moment to pause when she is very excited so she does not just get in high drive and fly
When we see a dog that has been abused it is so easy to feel sorry and shower the dog with affection. Unfortunately, in doing so we can easily overcompensate and end up with a dog full of entitlement who has no idea how to respect boundary. In other words, we can end up with a spoiled brat. A dog like that is not in a happy place. He is confused because he does not know the rules of our world; he is lost because he has no guidance and no one to look up to for direction; he is
I am a strong advocate of zero on leash greeting. By that l mean when my dog is on leash we will not under any circumstances greet another dog in any form--no sniffing, no body contact, and no playing. Why? Because dogs are very black and white creatures. The more crystal clear the direction, the less stressed and confused they will feel. When my dogs are on leash they know it is not the time to get excited or concerned when they see another dog. There is no exception. This r
I want to talk about how I use verbal markers to communicate with my dog rather than just praise my dog with "good boy" "O that is awesome" when my dog has done something right. A marker marks the precise moment that the desired behavior takes place. A dog will gain a much clearer understanding on exactly what you are asking him to do. Let's look at this example: you ask your dog to sit. When your dog sits, you say good boy, reach into your pocket, and offer a treat to the do
Exercise is not just important because it can tire out your dog; structured play and exercise with your dog can build engagement and deepen your relationship as well. Engagement is about teaching your dog to look to you for what he wants and that includes when your dog wants to play. Teaching engagement can be lots of fun for everyone. In my case, whenever l go to the beach l always play some fun games with Anja so she gets into the habit of anticipating a fun game with me in
When I take my pack out for a walk, the last thing I want to do is to yank and drag them to where I want to go. I like to have a relaxing and peaceful walk whereas the dogs will follow and listen to me without any conflict. Trying to overpower them I can never win because they are more powerful than I am and weight more than me. These dogs all came to me with a list of problems. None of them could walk nicely on leash when they first came--they were all massive pullers. Now t
My idea of making this video comes from being told by many people when I first got Spot that I should never let her off leash because she was so anxious she could never be trusted... Many did not even believe that it was possible for her to ever have a normal life on leash, never mind off leash freedom. I believe often what we expect from our dogs is bounded by our own limited vision. We hold our dogs back because we fail to comprehend how far a dog can go with proper trainin
Dogs are social animals but they are pack animals, too. Pack animals stay close to their pack. It is not natural to see dogs rushing excitedly to play with another pack in the wild. You and your dog and other members of the family (other pets, parents, spouse, children...etc) is the pack that your dog views himself as being part of. Take your time to interact with your dog--play, train, walk, and work with your dog. This can greatly enhance your relationship and bonding. Tiri
Teaching a dog to wait at threshold (doors, entrance, stair...) is very important. Not only can it save a dog's life in extreme cases, it can also benefit all dogs by teaching them how to stay tuned in to their owners, control their impulse, and stay calm even when they are in an excitable situation. In this short clip, I just arrived at a beach and the dogs were obviously excited and looking forward to play. As you can see, after I have opened all the doors they stayed insid
A lot of dog owners like to encourage their dogs to say hi to other dogs and people. They believe that if they do not do this, their dogs will not be friendly and could become aggressive. Because of this mindset many owners spend many hours and lots of money to "socialize" their dogs to make sure they have a "friendly" dog. Many day cares or boarding facilities call it social experience when they put a bunch of dogs together and let them play until they are tired. Often, to t