11188397_818078361580910_7762837488932187458_nIf your dog is barking on leash and it’s ruining your walks,.. then I have three tips that will help you get control over your vocal dog..

There are many reasons your dog will bark while out for a walk..but the main reason is because he or she hasn’t been taught otherwise.. so here are the tips that will get you back in the driving seat and on the path to enjoying your walks again with your fuzzy faced friend.

#1. You want to interrupt your dog while he is thinking about barking..not after he has started..and then redirect your dog to a more appropriate behavior..timing is everything.

#2. The closer you are to what makes your dog bark the harder it will be for you to get him or her to focus on you and your high value food rewards..so the second your dog thinks about barking..move away from what is attracting your dogs attention and work your eye contact and get a sit..

#3. Use high value food rewards like cooked chicken or cut up pieces of hot dog.. anything that your dog loves but don’t usually get..if your rewards are valuable enough to your dog it will be easier for you to get their attention and work them around the distraction…first at a distance where your dog does not react and then move slowly closer to the thing that makes your dog bark.. You want to set your dog up to succeed ..not to fail…

That’s it for today..I hope you are all enjoying this nice weather and I’ll talk to ya soon.

All the best,


aggressive-rottweiler-rGood morning and Happy St.Patties Day,

“May you be in heaven a half hour before the devil knows your dead.”

Yesterday I posted to Face Book the question, ” What do you do when a strange dog charges you and your dog and you have no opportunity for retreat?”

There was a lot of great discussion about this and I want to thank everyone who took the time to leave a comment.

Now let me start by saying that it is important for people to know that in 9 out of 10 cases the dogs doing the charging are not killers.. simply soft nerved,.fearful dogs, that lack any kind of meaningful training,, and have learned that showing aggression will cause the person or dog to take off and leave them alone..

You only have a few seconds to decide if this is one of those dogs who are just weak-willed and nervous or high drive and confident.. and you have to take action immediately.. I can size a dog up pretty quickly because I have a lot of experience dealing with dogs of all temperaments, the information is in their eyes..and body posture..

Dogs who are just trying to drive you off will have the hair standing up on their backs and will look like they are either about to run or about to bite you..

If you hold your ground, look directly at them, and in a loud commanding voice yell..”Go Home!!” stomp the ground and take a step toward them..they may just do that..

Carry some chicken chunks or liver treats and toss them at the dog.. they may very well forget about you and begin searching out the treats.. and this is your cue to back away slowly keeping your eye on the dog always..

The ones that don’t immediately take off will circle you ..trying to find an opportunity to pinch ya..and if you turn with them,.. keeping your dog behind you at all times.. shorten your grip on the leash so your dog has no chance of getting around you.. you don’t want your dog getting into a fight.. it is your job as leader to protect your dog at all cost..

In most cases the offending dog will not come too close.. but might keep circling, barking and acting tough for quite some time.. in this case you should slowly and I mean slowly back out of their territory..the one thing you don’t want to do is run.. you can’t out run a dog and running will only kick in their prey drive and increase the chances of you getting bitten.. even though you may be scared..don’t show this to the dog..they can sense strength and confidence so make and hold direct eye contact.. and defensive body posture.. you can break down later.

Now what about that one time out of ten when the strange dog that is charging you is a confident, high drive dog with nerves of steel that is not afraid to attack humans..

Let me begin by saying that no amount of yelling, treat throwing.. or stomping the ground is going to stop this dog.. you have only one choice.. you have to go to battle with this dog.. and losing is not an option.. there are many dogs quite capable of killing you and your dog.. Rottweilers, Pit bulls, Dobermans..German Shepherds among others come to mind..

Now unlike the first category of charging dog, this dog will not be barking or have any hair raised up.. they will be laser targeted on you or your dog.. and you must ready yourself for what’s about to happen.. I always carry a 4 foot hardwood walking stick with me.. a two foot tire thumper is good too..but always have it out..

I always have a couple of steel carabiners attached to my belt so I can clip my dog to me ..and have the use of both hands.. you want to prevent your dog from running away..

Ready yourself in your best fighting stance..and when the dog is about 15 feet from you wave your arm out to the side ..this will cause the dogs prey drive to target your arm.. and at the last possible moment when the dog has left the ground and is flying to bite your arm.. step to the side and use your stick to whack the dog hard in the ribs or on top of the head.. this will not in all likely hood cause the dog to retreat.. but it sends the message that you are not going down without a fight.. then you don’t wait.. you attack the dog with all you got.. repeated blows to the top of the head right between the eyes… the ribs..the groin.. usually the dog will give up if it hasn’t bitten you after 3 or 4 attempts..

If the dog gets to you and grabs you by the leg.. wrap your arms around the dog’s neck and choke it to death.. not until it passes out..because a dog that is hell-bent on killing you or your dog will go right back to fighting as soon as it wakes up.. and usually the dog will wake up quickly.. so you might not have time to get away…

If it gets hold of your arm then whack it hard on the head right between the eyes.. usually the dog will give up after about 3 or 4 good knocks on the head..

If you have lost your footing and are in a bad way.. curl up in the fetal position and cover the back of your neck and throat.. with your hands and arms.. keep yelling for help.. you will most likely be badly bitten ..but you may very well survive..

Remember.. don’t run…it will be hard to keep from doing this ..but your life could very well depend on it..

If the dog attacks your dog, the same applies.. continue to whack the dog until it quits and runs off or the owner comes to control the dog.. one thing you should never do is pick your dog up.. this will hamper your ability to fight..and makes your face a target for the charging dog.. keep your dog behind you if possible.. I always attach a couple of steel carabiers to my belt.. and clip my dogs leash to it so I can have the use of both hands..

Pepper spray can work well.. but dogs don’t respond to it like humans .. so be warned it may not stop a high drive determined dog..but a full can of spray to the face will make them think twice about what’s going on..

Regardless of the outcome .. if possible talk to the dogs owner.. be kind..the dog may have gotten away from them by accident.. while it is still his responsibility,. try to work it out..

If the owner is just as hostile as his dog..then call the cops.. and let the chips fall where they may..

A word of caution for those of you who would like to think you would shoot the dog.. let me say this..

I was raised with a rifle in one hand and a dog in the other.. and I can tell you it is not as easy as you might think to shoot any animal that is charging straight at you.. your adrenalin is high, and even if you are a crack shot.. you only have a few seconds to react.. and there is a high probability that you will miss.. and a stray bullet or ricochet bullet in an urban setting can kill or injure by standers.. the risk to others is too high.. so please leave your side arms at home.

Again thank you all for taking the time to comment on this serious issue.. and if you have questions let me know in the comments below..

All the best,


images (5)Good morning and Happy Monday morning to everyone..

I hope you have a wonderful day in spite of he dreaded time change!!

How many of you can relate to this..

You’re out on the street with your dog and he or she suddenly begins to act out..jumping around, biting the leash, pulling,lunging,barking at everyone who passes by..people are staring.. and the more you try to get control of your loving pooch..the worse he seems to behave.

Sometimes it’s your attempts to bring him under control that is exacerbating the problem..your dog thinks you want to play.. If this is you,.. and your dog just won’t look or listen to you..I have a couple of tips that will help you begin to turn you “wild child” around.

You can’t have a well-mannered and polite dog on the street if you don’t have a well-mannered dog at home..there are exceptions to this rule..

I know there are some dogs that are angels at home and go berserk outside..at any rate these tips will work to help any dog with any control problem…

#1. Train your dog at home for 2 minutes 4 times a day..basic obedience commands.,come, sit, down,,and stay..with and without distractions..

#2. Exercise your dog twice a day and be sure to engage their prey drive, ie, play tug of war and let them win.. this will relieve stress both in your dog and you..

#3. Set a higher expectation for your dogs behavior..have them sit for everything they get..food, play, social interaction both with dogs and people.. when you put this kind of structured routine in your dog’s life they will soon be looking at you more and paying attention when it really counts..

If you have questions or just want to comment on this or any post you read.. I would love to hear from ya.

All the best,


social cuesGood morning ,

I hope you are all doing well .. it’s Friday and some of you will be heading out with your dogs to take part in various weekend activities,. so I wanted to chat with you for a minute about your dogs before you head out..

I am often asked to help people train their dogs to be more social with dogs they meet on the street and in the dog parks instead of being a loner and avoiding play..

This is what I think about that..

It is unfair to ask our dogs to like and play with every dog they meet..

Take a minute and think about how we go about our day..

We may pass hundreds of people during the course of a day..but we only interact with a few of them.. we say hi to a couple of friends at the local coffee shop..and say thank you to the check out clerk..

But if we are being honest,..

Many of them really freak us out..

We are social with everyone,..we nod and smile,..and hopefully we don’t attack anyone.. lol

We behave in a socially exceptable manner.. but we don’t care to chat or get involved with everyone..

Dogs are much the same..some dogs they like..others they don’t ..and to try to force them into interactions with strange dogs is a recipe for disaster..

I expect my dogs to be social ..and not attack any dogs..but I don’t expect them to immediately like and go play with strange dogs..

It’s for this reason that I don’t go to the dog park..there are too many strange dogs..that may or may not have any social training..

I prefer to get to know any dog that is going to interact with my dogs..and their owners as well..that way I can be reasonably sure my dogs are going to have a happy and fun-filled romp with their new buddies..

If you have questions about this or any post, please write me in the comments and I would love to chat with you more..

Have a great weekend..and try not to attack anyone🙂

All the best,


10698556_709404422448305_6222598759717460874_nAfter all these years of working with people and their dogs..the one thing that still gets me every time ..and quite frankly the one reason I continue to do what I do.. is the feeling of joy I get when the dogs owner has that “light bulb” moment..

That moment when they realize what they were doing was the cause of their dogs behavior.

Today I want to speak to the dog owners who are having trouble with their dogs showing aggression to other dogs or people.. often these dogs will not want to leave your side or will hide between your legs..

get between you and other dogs or people who you interact with..

bark, lunge, and even attack and bite..

these dogs are insecure ..

they don’t believe that their owners can keep them safe so they feel they have to protect their owner who is not demonstrating calm leadership.

You can begin to turn this around by simply claiming your space.. when you are at home and your dog just walks up to you..stay calm..don’t say anything,..don’t pet them or talk to them..send them away.. move into their space and have them back up at least a couple of feet then walk away.. when they are sitting or lying calmly..then call them to you,.. have them sit and then pat them or love on them for just a few seconds..then send them away again to lie or sit outside your personal space..

This will begin to show your dog that you are a true leader worthy of their attention and they will begin to feel protected by you.. never reward excited or insecure states of mind this will only erode your dogs confidence and they will feel like they have to take control of the situation.

Only reward your dog when they are in a calm state of mind.

When you are out walking your dog and someone with a dog approaches you .. slow down…get your self calm and in charge and just move past the dogs with the authority of a leader.. if you make nothing of it neither will your dog.. if you get fearful or anxious so will your dog and he or she will feel like they need to protect you and themselves.. if your dog starts to react.. give them a command to sit.. and then follow through until they are sitting and calm .. then move forward again..

I hope this has given you somethings to consider..practice at home and remember to always guide your dog with strong leadership and a calm emotional state of mind.

If you have questions or need my help, just leave a comment, I am always happy to help.

All the best,


download (1)Good morning, I hope you are all well and having a great day with your pups.. today I wanted to chat with you for a bit about the dog park.. just a few things I feel is important for you to know in order to have the best possible experience for both you and your dogs, and while I am not a fan of the dog park, I know a lot of people are,. so if you are determined to take your dog or pup to the park there are a few things you should be aware of.

When you enter the dog park with your dog..the first thing that happens is your dogs stress levels go up.. the stress hormone cortisol begins to flood your dogs system ..

and depending on your dogs temperament.. stress can be a good thing or a bad thing..

In well-balanced dogs, stress can help them to learn new things in an excited environment.. in fearful or shy dogs stress can lead to aggression..and if someone doesn’t step in on behalf of the fearful/shy dog..he or she will do a number of things to ward off the dog that is causing the stress..

The first thing a fearful/shy dog will do is to crouch/lie down ..in an attempt to stop the interaction..if this is unsuccessful, they will then snap, bark, and lunge at the dog.. and as always as a last resort they become defensively aggressive and may attack the offending dog.

If you see a dog displaying these signs and your dog is engaging with them.. immediately call your dog to you.. if it is your dog that is showing signs of unhealthy stress..perhaps the dog park is not the best place for you to bring your fearful/shy dog.

I will leave you with a few of my top tips for having a safe and fun-filled romp in the dog park..

1. Before you consider heading out to an off leash park..make sure you have a solid and reliable recall with your dog..if you don’t,.. then the dog park is not going to be a safe place for you or your dog.

2. The idea that dogs should work things out among themselves is a recipe for disaster.. and for this reason you should always be watching your dog and know where they are and what they are doing at all times, leave your cell phone, i-pads and pods in the car..

and finally..

If you do have a solid recall with your dog ..be sure to not sabotage it by calling your dog to come and then clipping the leash on them and going home..your dog will see this as punishment and your reliable recall will suffer.. if you call your dog to come to you often during play,,have them sit..and give them a tasty reward.. then release them to go and play.. you will ensure your dog will always want to come to you when you call ..not matter what they are doing at the time..

Remember ..a dog will not just snap and attack another dog..there are many subtle signs and warnings a dog will give before they resort to defensive aggression.. so observe not only your dog,.. but all the dogs at the park..so you can recognize these signs and get out ahead of any problems at the park.

All the best


crateI want to talk to you about crating your dogs.

A lot of people I talk to struggle with this concept and think its cruel and unusual punishment, or they did use a crate when housebreaking their puppy but no longer use the crate.

I get emails almost daily from people whose dogs are chewing stuff, destroying the furniture and peeing and pooping every where..

This is taking place when they are away and when they are home..

Now I am a huge supporter of crate training your dogs.. it is the best way that I know of to keep your dogs contained and safe when you are away or too busy to watch them.

I always crate my dogs when I am away.. because there is just too much stuff that they could get into that has the potential to kill them..

Poisons, clothing, electrical wires, plastic bags, that could potentially suffocate them if the bag gets stuck on their heads..and if these things don’t kill the dog it could get stuck inside the dog and require very expensive surgery to remove it..

I don’t want to have to dog proof my home every time I leave .. so I put them in crates..

Not only are crates a great way to contain your dogs, it’s good for your dogs mental state of mind..

Just think about it..

What is your dog doing if not in a crate?..

Running back and forth barking at every widow?..

Searching from room to room?..

Getting into the trash?..

Building up stress and anxious behavior that is counter productive to having a calm and well-balanced dog..

I feel it is much better to train your dog to go in and out of the crate on command..and stay there. and to be quiet..

This is great structure training and a great way to build your leadership skills.

The one thing the crate should never be used for is punishment..if your dogs behaves badly..correct them.. sending them to the crate is not like sending a child to their room to think about what they did.. in my opinion it don’t work like that..

So my tip for today is practice having your dog go in the crate, lie down and stay there..leave the door open so the dog learns that just because the door is open don’t mean they can come out..only the command from you will release them to come out..do this many times..and your dog will learn that the crate is for calmness and quiet time..

If you have any questions or need help just let me know and I will help you sort things out..have a great weekend…and all the best.


matI am often called to help people who are struggling with a dog that just won’t calm down,.. inside the house or out..the door bell rings and they steam roll anything in their way to get the door barking and jumping.. and have to be pulled away by the collar. One of the best things anyone can do to ensure peace and harmony is to train the dog to go to a mat or bed, lay down, stay there.. and be quiet..

Once you have mastered the place command inside your home you can move to the yard and work the dog there..

This exercise is a great way to end the dreaded fence fighting, squirrel and cat chasing … and many other unwanted behaviors…

The way to begin this training is to place three separate mats in different areas of the house,..

Put the dog on leash and walk them up to the mat… stop and say, “Place” and walk them onto the mat..

When the dogs four feet are on the mat..stop and say, “Good”..don’t let the dog go to far and step off the mat..

The idea is to have the dog on the mat.. all four feet.. pause for a few seconds and then say, “Let’s Go”..then walk to the next mat and repeat this exercise as many times a day as you can for a week or two..

You can use the dogs daily food for training..

When you can tell your dog to go to place and they will..then you can begin to work on getting them to stay there for extended periods of time..

Just think how much nicer it would be,..

That when your door bell rings the dog goes to the door..barks a couple times..and you say, “go to place” and they do..and they stay there until you release them..

This is totally possible,,

If I can do it so can you..it just takes a little time and effort on your part… I want you to know that the way your dog behaves today does not mean that’s the way it has to be tomorrow.. you can change things..

And as always if you need some help you can always write me and I will gladly help you..have a great week..


Today I want to talk about how you can foster peace and tranquility in your home by training your dogs to go to a place and lay down and be quiet..

Now I know many of you struggle with getting your dogs to stop barking when someone comes to the door, or passes by the window..so this is what you can do..

Put the barking on cue..

Instead of yelling “quiet!” over and over ..which in most cases won’t work because the dogs just think you are joining in.. and reinforces there must be a reason to bark..

So this is how you can do it..

Use a whistle..

If you can’t whistle with your mouth loud enough to be heard over many dogs barking..then buy a referee’s whistle.

To begin you want to “load” the whistle so it has meaning for your dogs..

Get some high value food rewards like cooked chicken, sausage, hot dogs.. what ever your dogs can’t resist.. then when things are quiet.. softly toot the whistle a couple time..and call your puppies or dogs..

” Here Puppies” in a cheerful and happy tone of voice..

The dogs come running and you throw down a handful of the tasty treats.. repeat this for a couple of weeks.. once the whistle has been “loaded” your puppies and dogs will learn that when they hear it they come running and good things happen..

Now you can put it to use when they bark at anything..instead of yelling ..which don’t work most times anyway..

Give a couple loud toots on the whistle..dogs quit barking and come see what you got for them.. give them a reward and send them to their place to lay down..

Use this method when they are in the yard..

Let’s say they are running up and down the fence barking at the neighbors cat, dog, kids..

Toot the whistle ..

Dogs come running..

In time you can fade out the rewards and replace them with life rewards and your praise..

Occasionally use food to reinforce the whistle so it maintains meaning for your dogs..

A couple more things you can do to make sure your dogs are less likely to bark uncontrollably.. is to make sure you give them daily opportunities to work out their stress and anxiety..

Go for a structured walk every day..

Head out to the back yard and play tug of war to engage their prey drive…and always let your dogs win..

That’s it for today..I hope this helps a little..have a great weekend.

10369125_664311706957577_2559777548373876522_nToday I want to lay out a plan of action that will help you get control over your reactive dog..

If you got a dog that pulls you down the street, sniffing and barking at dogs and other people, and you find yourself pulling back on your dog,.. talking to them or yelling,..only to end up very frustrated, then this post will help you turn this around..

I want you to look at your dog like a stick of dynamite.. with the potential to explode at any moment.. now think about how much easier it would be if you work on putting out the burning fuse long before the dynamite explodes..instead of waiting for the explosion and then trying to contain it..

The fix for this is quite simple..

It requires you to set the tone and foster a state of calmness before you encounter something that will set your dog off..not after it has happened..

If you start today and follow my advice then by the end of the week you will be amazed at how much more control you have,.. how your dog pays way more attention to you than they ever did before ..

Will your dog be fully trained by weeks end?..


But you will be able to see the potential for having the kind of dog you dreamed about when you got him or her,. and if you are willing to work hard every day.. there is nothing you and your dog can’t accomplish.. that I can guarantee..

So..enough chit chat and jaw wagging..here we go..

How To Gain Control Over Your Reactive Dog

1- Starting today begin to put massive amounts of structure into your dogs daily life..sits and downs for everything they get..and that includes affection from you and your family..from now on…nothing is free..

2- On leash or off..your dog must wait at doorways..no pulling or moving around..they only move when given permission to do so..

3- Keep the leash short..but not tight..this will give you better control so your dog don’t get into trouble..and you will know the second he or she disconnects from you..

4- Firm leash corrections to communicate with your dog, for small, wrong, choices at the beginning of your walk..like pulling, sniffing, veering around, or peeing without permission..will go a long way in keeping your walks drama free.. firmer corrections for small things may sound counter intuitive ..but is very effective in setting the tone for better control when things get exciting..

5- Avoid using continuous pressure to hold your dog back.. use short firm leash corrections with immediate release of pressure.. ie..pop the leash and release..pop and release.. (no talking) to your dog. Your dog will tell you if the corrections are firm enough..if he don’t respond ..the correction was not firm enough..if he squeals and crouches down.. it was too firm..you will need to experiment to find the sweet spot.

6- Don’t put pressure on your dog by having them meet other dogs and people up close..face to face .. most reactive dogs are nervous and feel unsafe.. so use space to help your dog maintain a level of control..if things get too heated leave the area..but in most cases just doing some 180’s to create space will do the trick.

7- Foster a daily life of peace and harmony in your home..train your dog to go to place, lay down, and be quiet.. this will become your dogs default state of mind and before you know it you will have one of the most polite and well-behaved dogs in the neighborhood..

Remember the dog you have today don’t have to be the dog you have tomorrow..you have the power to change things.. I know you can do it..

If you have questions about anything at all I would love hearing from you