A lot of people look confused when l tell them to implement structures in their life. They think it is very odd that they should put the dog in commands all the time. (Who does that?) They can not comprehend why they should not give their dog excessive affection (isn’t that why we have dogs?) And they cannot imagine how to tire out their dogs if they do not go to dog parks (l need to let my dog play to tire him out or else he won’t sleep!) When l told them not to let other pe
You are like a mirror to your dog.
If you cannot stand being away from your dog for a second, your dog will likely also feel the same way and suffers separation anxiety.
If you are very emotional, your dog will likely be reactive, too.
Training can only help so much. You need to change.
Instead of being the mirror, you can be the role model.
If your dog is very obsessive, you can act independent.
If your dog is very reactive, you can be aloof and calm.
You can l
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
Many people feel bad about implementing structure for their dogs.
But structure is not a bad thing. It is good for your dogs.
Dogs love structure.
Structure clarifies the confusion for a dog who may find our world intimidating, and it gives the dog a sense of security and stability as he/she knows what to expect so he/she does not need to guess and worry.
Structure is a life style.
A structural life style for a dog is like working in a very organized office - you kn
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
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
I want to talk a bit about leash reactivity. Many people make the mistake of thinking if they have a dog with leash reactivity issue they should take their dogs to meet more dogs ( dog park, doggie day care...). From our human point of view this may make sense but it does not make sense from the dog's perspective. Many of these dogs may appear fine after a while around dogs they know in their doggie care or pack walk; but once they are on leash meeting a new dog all the crazi
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
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
We live in the real world full of distraction and unpredictability. We cannot control what may come around the corner when we are with our dogs. Owners of dogs that are easily distracted (e.g. very interested in chasing squirrels or very reactive to other dogs...etc) often end up confining their dogs in the backyard or they can only walk their dogs in the middle of the night when there is no one around. Some dogs are so "overly friendly" that they would drag their owners to s
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
I was in a restaurant and there was a couple sitting next to our table. The wife was really dressed up, her hair was beautifully done, her makeup was impeccably applied, and the gown she was wearing matched perfectly with her purse and her necklace. The husband, on the other hand, was very casually dressed in a polo shirt and a pair of jeans. He appeared to be quite troubled by something at work and spent his whole evening on his phone, while the wife quietly ate across from
Using a training collar (remote collar, prong collar...etc) is like learning how to drive in a driving instructor's car which comes with 2 sets of steering wheels, gas pedals and brakes. In the beginning the student needs a lot of guidance and feedback and the extra wheel and gas and brake offer the student instant feedback whenever he makes a mistake. This is not possible if it was a normal car and the instructor is only giving the student verbal instruction. Same with using
Having a large breed is a big responsibility. Please train your dog, it is not an option. You should at least train your dog so he/she can walk on leash calmly when passing another dog, human, bicycle, skateboard...etc. If you cannot control your dogs on leash you should not let them off leash, it is very simple. A large powerful breed can cause serious damage when he/she is out of control. Many such breeds are not for beginners with zero training experience. These dogs are c
A reactive dog can be rehabilitated but it needs time. During the rehabilitation process at some point the dog would have to be in public setting being introduced to stimuli in a controlled manner. As considerate dog owners, we should give these dogs the space they need to help them get over their problem asap. By allowing your dog to rush toward such a dog despite the warning and pleading from the owner you can greatly stress the dog and set the training back by many weeks o