Posts Tagged ‘how’

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 ūüôā

All the best,

Harley

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,

Harley

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.

Harley

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..

Harley

016
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.

 Harley
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?..

No..

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

Harley

022
Many people think the best way to communicate with their dogs is to bark out commands..

Come!,

Sit!..ect..

They have a harsh Alpha mentality that is based in myth..

My understanding of dogs is rooted in the fact that they are predators.. and as such are in conflict with us at times..

Because we too are predators.. so quite often they resist our efforts to communicate with them..

I have found that when we stop talking and use body language to communicate with our dogs,.. we can take advantage of this predator/ prey dynamic,..

For example, if you want your dog to come to you it is better to crouch down and move away from your dog as you call them to come.. and in doing so you become more like prey to your dog and therefore they will be more attracted to you and come without reservation..

In contrast, if you stand tall and move forward as you call them to come in a demanding tone of voice,.. in their eyes you are now more predator and chances are they will resist you and move away..

When I work with my dogs there are times that I want to be the predator, for example when I want my dog to move away from the trash can.. I am the predator.. and times when I want to be the prey..like when I want them to follow me onto a slippery surface..

Try this with your dog and let me know how it goes.. and if you have questions let me know.

Harley

two dogs meeting for the first time
I have been asked to talk a bit about the best way to introduce two dogs without having conflict..

Having rescued many dogs over the years this is how I manage those first meetings and begin to foster relaxation in times of great emotional intensity.. it would be the same if someone were to come visit with a dog that has no history with mine..

I always take the dogs on at least a 30 minute walk..

with both dogs on leash and someone walking the new dog..

but I don’t walk them side by side..

I walk them in single file..that way there is less stress about being close to a strange dog..

By being in single file the trailing dog gets to sniff the behind of the front dog.. to check him out..which is what dogs do right?

Then at some point I switch and let the front dog trail behind and sniff the others butt.. I would do this several times during the walk..

What is most important here is to keep moving.. if you stop and stand still too much.. tension and stress can trigger aggression…

If one dog pees or poops let the other dog check it out..

Dogs who get the opportunity to do this are more likely to want to sync up and continue walking forward.. which is what they would do in a hunting situation.. once each dog has had opportunities to check the other out.. then I would move both dogs to a side by side position.. not next to one another..not yet..

I would place myself between the dogs.. but side by side moving in the same direction..sometimes one dog will play bow and you might be tempted to let them go play..

I think it is too soon …and you will be running the risk of something going wrong..

Also I don’t try to correct barking or other behaviors.. because the dog is just communicating his feelings about being highly charged in the presence of this new dog..they are just letting off steam so to speak..

Remember to keep moving..two dogs that are standing still and face to face will have a hard time dealing with the intensity of the situation..my job is to help the dogs stay calm and moving..

Playing is not so important as being able to exist in each others company without conflict.. when you get home ..they should be relaxed and able to handle being inside together.. remember to keep the dogs relaxed and calm when inside.

Thanks for reading my post..and like always if you have any questions just let me know.. Happy New Year !

Harley

wolf eyes

In this video post we will take a look at how to train your dog to look you in the eyes, and why it’s important in getting your dog to¬†pay attention to you.

 

Getting your dog to look you in the eyes is not easy to do, and the reason is set deep in your dogs primal nature.

You need to understand that in the human – dog dynamic, ¬†your dog walks a very fine “relationship” line between being attracted to you and being resistant to you.

Your dog will respond to you in three unconscious ways..

1. As a pack member, when we are sitting in the living room watching the television.

2. As prey, when we play with them.

3. As a predator, because your gaze brings about memories of times past when they were wild and their survival depended on being resistant to their natural enemies.

Even a puppy that shows no outward signs of distress in coming near us has an unconscious, internal struggle between being attracted to us, and also resistant to us..that is why you will notice puppies act shy and nervous as they come closer to us.

Think about it, you stand upright, your eyes are set in a big head, and you tend to show your teeth a lot.

Even though the wolf is stopped dead in his tracks by the stare of the moose’s eyes, is still very much attracted to that moose.

There are some who will tell you that in order to train your dog to look at you..you should hold a piece of food up in front of your face and say something like, “Look at me”

While this will get your dog looking in the general direction of your face, I have found that your dog will still resist making direct eye contact.

They will look at your chin, nose or the food that’s in front of your face.

If you are not looking closely you would miss the fact that their eyes never really lock onto yours, they just skim over your eyes and this is usually enough to get you to give them the food.

There is no real communication in this method.

This reminds me of when I was a boy, I would come home from school, and one of my favorite shows was Batman and once I got watching it I was unaware of what was going on around me.

Grand Mother would ask me to do something and I would half look at her and half still watching t.v. and I can remember her warning me to, look at her when she is talking to me.

She understood that in order for me to really hear what she was saying she needed me to give her my full attention, and focus on what she wanted me to do.

When you are looking someone in the eyes they have your full attention.

Getting your dog to hold your gaze is not going to be easy. In your dogs world direct eye contact is not taken lightly and could result in a life and death situation.

You want to make looking you in the eyes a pleasurable way for your dog to solve problems, not a cause for concern that will hamper your dog training efforts.

You want to increase your attraction to your dog and reduce the resistance by making eye contact something your dog desires and finds satisfying.

After you watch this video let me know if you liked it by sharing this post with other`s

There are many people who struggle daily with getting their dogs to pay attention to them and this can be very dangerous to both dog and owner.

Talk to you soon,

Harley

* WARNING… It is risky to stare at a dog, so don`t try what you see in this video¬†with dogs that have food aggression, or dogs you don`t know very well. I don`t¬†want you to get hurt.

come

 

 

 

 

 

 

In this training video I demonstrate a handy dandy dog training technique that will show you how to get your dog to come without saying a word.

You might have experienced a situation where your dog was off-leash and refused to come when you called them.

I know how this can grind your gears. ūüôā

You might get angry and maybe even tempted to chase your dog.

There is a shortcut to getting your dog to come to you without saying a word that works in most cases because it builds desire in your dog.

Building desire for something is key to any successful dog training program and in this short video I will show you how to get your dog to come without saying a word.

I would love to hear what you think about this little know dog training technique and if you try it let me know how it worked out for you.

Leave a comment and let’t talk about it.

Talk soon

Harley