The #2 Reason Your Dog Won’t Obey Your Commands, He or She Is A “Willy Wag Junkie”

Posted: July 1, 2014 in Dog Behavior, Guard Dog Training, My Phiosophy On Dog Training, Protection Training, Puppy Training
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adrenilin

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I have talked about how getting your dog to focus on you is critical to having a well-mannered dog that pays attention to you and obeys your commands. Today I will talk about the #2 reason your dog is being “bad” or “disobedient.”

The reason is too much adrenalin, or “Willy-wag juice”.

We have all heard the stories about the 110 lb Mother who lifted a 2 ton car off their child, and other stories of incredible feats of strength or endurance. This is all possible because of one thing, and that thing is a sudden burst of adrenalin.

All animals have this primal urge to survive, and when faced with danger, all animals including us
humans have that survival response that tells us to fight or run away.

The moment that the decision is made to either fight or run,the brain gives the body a short burst of
adrenalin. It is during this short burst of drug induced, increased strength,stamina and
focus, that these amazing feats we read about take place.

The burst is short-lived and then the body is usually spent of energy and slowly returns to normal.

But that being said just like some of us humans are adrenalin junkies who live for the rush of
impending danger, most dogs I see are adrenalin junkies too.

I hear dog owners say their dog is being “disobedient” when he pulls on the lead, or is “bad” because he barks non-stop, but the reality is, these dogs are simply living life in the willy-wags.

Unfortunately a lot of dogs live a very sedentary life, they just lay around the house with not much if any mental or physical release.

This is a very stressful way for a dog to live.

What happens is, one day the stress gets to be too much and the dog starts to whine, or turn circles,
or bark with intense focus. These behaviors will be easy to recognize because they are different from
your dogs normal behavior.

The will have a distinct pattern to them, like the beat of a drum.

The barking would be like, woof,,,woof,,,woof,,,woof,,,all while staring at nothing, and if you give them a command it will most likely go unrewarded.

They will be that focused on what ever is stressing them out.

The adrenalin kicks in and the dog gets a high off the dopamine, runs off into the willy-wags and
quickly learns to create 90 degrees turns in their lives so they can get their fix and feel better.

Once your dog has gone into the willy-wags, it’s too late for you to give any commands, your dog is
just not going to hear you. The part of their brain that helps them think and make good choices, simply shuts off.

He is now just reacting to the situation he’s in.

You will not be able to engage your dog until you get him back under control, and for most dog owners this can be difficult at best, and down right impossible, not to mention dangerous in some cases of aggression, because the dog has gone, he’s not aware of you right now.

When dogs are this crisis mode, extreme physical correction is needed to try to prevent harm to any
people or dogs that are nearby, and this is when it becomes very dangerous for the dog’s handler.

What you need to do is make sure your dog never goes off into the willy-wags, and keep him there. It’s that simple.

Think about it like this:

If you were driving down the highway and saw a sign that said,

DANGER! 90 DEGREE TURN AHEAD!!

Would you slow down as soon as you saw the sign or would you wait until your car was skidding in
circles before you did anything?

You would most likely slow down as soon as you saw the sign, and maneuver your car safely around the turn and not skid off into the willy-wags.

It’s the same with your dog, let’s say he’s dog aggressive.

You are out walking him and suddenly he sees another dog.

From past experience you know he is going to react,

so what do you do?

Do you let your dog pull you straight toward that other dog at 100 miles and hour and end up in the
willy-wags? Or do you read the signs of aggression, ie the sudden focused staring and whining/barking at the dog that triggered his stress, and interrupt your dog and slow him down?

The answer is obvious, you read the signs of the impending adrenalin rush, and put the brakes on your dog to slow him down, get his focus back on you by moving the dog away from the trigger and working some obedience training, or engage your dogs prey drive in a high spirited game of tug of war.

Then safely maneuver him past the other dog, thus avoiding the #2 reason your dog  won’t obey your commands.

Here is something important to understand, I think I’ll bold this.

You only have about 2-4 seconds from the time your dog focuses on a target until he goes into adrenalin overload. Don’t hesitate take action before your dog reacts.

It’s imperative that you learn how to interrupt the adrenalin rush before it happens, if you don’t, you’re going to have behavior troubles and it’s not going to be good for you or your dog.

If you like this post be sure to leave a comment and like my Face Book Page fb like button

 

 

 

All the best,

Harley

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