How to Obedience Train a Great Dane

Medium
3-6 Months
Behavior

Introduction

Great Danes are large beautiful animals. If you happen to have a Great Dane who has not been trained, he will be very difficult for you to handle as he grows older and larger. Because the Great Dane is such a large, strong dog, you're going to want him to be obedient so you can keep him safe and trust that he will listen when it matters most. 

Your Great Dane is incredibly smart. He is eager to please, and he wants to learn new things every day. Begin with basic obedience training with your Great Dane and then move forward to more advanced training to keep his mind engaged and continue to build the trust and the bond between the two of you. Great Danes are fun, sweet, and incredibly affectionate. Once you have obedience training down, try playing a game of soccer with your Great Dane. 

Defining Tasks

There are a few basic obedience tricks your Great Dane should learn before he moves forward to more advanced training. Your Great Dane should learn how to 'sit', 'lie down', 'stay', 'come', and 'heel', along with knowing how to walk on a leash using proper leash manners, before you teach him any cute or fun tricks. Every step of obedience training for your Great Dane will be a building block for the next trick to come, whether it's an obedience command or a fun trick. You can teach your Great Dane puppy much easier than your adult Great Dane. However, older Great Danes can be taught as well. Remember your Great Dane is incredibly smart. He will be eager to please you once you show him you are the leader of his pack. Don’t be fooled by his size either. He will work hard for a tiny treat so there will be no worries about too many treats during training.

Getting Started

To train your Great Dane basic obedience commands, you will need lots of small but tasty treats to keep him engaged, motivated, and rewarded. You will also need to have your Great Dane on a leash.from time to time. Your Great Dane is incredibly strong, so a harness where the connector for the leash is on the chest rather than the back is recommended. Start with small training tasks and move up to other commands, building from one basic obedience command to the next. 

The Respect Training Method

Most Recommended
5 Votes
Step
1
Set boundaries
Give your Great Dane clear, defined rules. This will keep you at the top of the hierarchy within your pack. Your dog will depend on you to set the rules and the boundaries and give consequences when he doesn't follow or obey.
Step
2
Start with grooming
Even when your Great Dane doesn't need to be brushed or bathed, groom him often. This might mean picking up his ears and looking inside. Pull on a couple of hairs inside his ears. Lift his gums and check out his teeth. Put your fingers in his mouth, so he knows you are doing these things often and it's okay.
Step
3
Food
Set your place within his pack as his leader by taking away his food every now and then. Give it back quickly, of course, but let him know you can take his food away and return it to him without him growling, barking, or getting upset. This begins to teach your Great Dane he is to obey and listen to you, and in turn, you will care for him and make the best decisions for him.
Step
4
Follower
Your Great Dane needs to be a follower rather than a leader in your pack. Putting your Great Dane in a follower position builds up his security and his respect for you. He'll know that you are in charge and he'll wait for your commands. Followers wait patiently to be fed. They ask before they expect something such as to be petted. Begin to train your Great Dane now to wait patiently for the things he wants.
Step
5
Basic commands
Train Your Great Dane basic obedience commands. These will include 'sit', 'stay', 'lie down', 'come', and 'heel'. Because your Great Dane is a giant breed, you should teach him to heel as well as how to use leash manners when walking on a leash.
Step
6
Redirection
When your Great Dane needs to be redirected, simply ignore poor behaviors and always overly reward great behavior. Your Great Dane will learn very quickly which behavior gets him rewards and which behavior gets your back turned towards him.
Step
7
Practice
Practice making your Great Dane obedient to only you, the leader of his pack, by building up his confidence, turning him into your follower, and having him respect you. This will take lots of conversation with your Great Dane. He will listen to every word you say as long as he respects you. When listening to you, he will wait for the commands you have taught him, knowing he can earn rewards.
Recommend training method?

The Basic Commands Method

Effective
6 Votes
Step
1
Prepare
Prepare for all of your basic obedience training with your Great Dane with lots of treats a little extra time to focus without distractions. You may need a leash in the event your Great Dane tries to get away from you.
Step
2
Sit
Stand in front of your Great Dane with a treat in your hand. He may jump on you to get to the treat, or he may sit down. If he jumps up, turn your back and ignore him. If he sits, which is more likely because he'll get bored and tired, give him the treat. Repeat this using the command ‘sit’ until your Great Dane gets that this is a basic command he needs to know.
Step
3
Down
When your Great Dane understands the 'sit' position, have him sit and give him a treat. Take a second treat and bring it down to the floor. Put it between his paws and then pull it out away from him a bit. Do this several times until your Great Dane lies down. Once he's in a 'down' position, give him a treat. Keep practicing, using the command ‘down.’
Step
4
Stay
With ‘sit’ and ‘down’ understood, have your Great Dane practice ‘stay’ while you take a few steps away from him. Put him in a 'sit' or 'down' position, hold your hand up, palm facing out, and take a couple of steps backward. Tell him to stay. When he doesn't move, walk back to him and give him the treat. Practice as he understands when you walk away the expectation is that he stays put until released.
Step
5
Come or release
Train your Great Dane to come when called or release him from the stay position. To do this, have him in a 'sit and stay' position. Show your Great Dane a treat, hold your hand with fingers pointing down, palm out, and ask him to come or use the command ‘release.’ Show him the treat, encouraging him to come get it.
Step
6
Leash manners
Put your Great Dane on a leash and go for a walk. Anytime your dog is distracted or pulls at the leash, stop in your tracks until he can no longer walk. You need to make sure your Great Dane is not strong enough to pull you along and it when you stop, he stops. Walking with a high-value treat above his nose certainly helps with leash manners.
Step
7
Keep training
Once these basic obedience commands are taught to your Great Dane, continue to work with him every day. Building respect and obedience in your Great Dane takes time, patience, and commitment. Your Great Dane is an incredibly smart dog. He is also incredibly loyal. He wants to be the follower in your pack, so become a leader, set boundaries, give him commands, and reward him for great behavior.
Step
8
Rewards
While training your Great Dane, award anytime he is successful. Make training rewards high-value, such as cheese, beef, jerky, or hot dogs. These are treats he'll know he only gets during a training session. Any time you catch your Great Dane doing something great, say a word or a command he will recognize and reward him with a treat. This acknowledgment builds his confidence and keeps him obedient.
Recommend training method?

The Commands and Words Method

Least Recommended
4 Votes
Step
1
Basic conversation
Your Great Dane wants nothing more than to please you. As your dog grows, he is going to listen to everything you say. Though he won't understand it all, you do want him to understand as much as he possibly can. Start working on words you can teach your Great Dane so you can have full conversations with him. This will make him an obedient Great Dane.
Step
2
Commands
Train your Great Dane to sit. Once your Great Dane understands the 'sit' command, build his training to 'lie down'. From the 'down' position, work on 'stay' and 'come'. Teach him leash manners with and without distractions. After about three months, when you are done with basic obedience training, your Great Dane should know all of the basic commands and the rules to stay with you and when it's okay to play.
Step
3
Tone
Practicing tone is especially easy to do when your Great Dane is a puppy or learning new tasks. When your dog needs to be redirected, your tone needs to be a bit more firm than normal. Avoid raising your voice or yelling, and never hit your dog when you're angry at his choices. When your Great Dane is making great choices, celebrate with a happy tone in your voice.
Step
4
Other words
Train your Great Dane to understand other common words. Your dog is going to love to listen to you talk. This will build the respect he has for you and teaches him some great words. Besides obedience commands, your Great Dane will love knowing common words he will hear from you every day such as ‘treat,’ ‘food,’ ‘dinner,’ ‘toy,’ ‘no,’ ‘yes,’ ‘bed,’ and more.
Step
5
Practice respect
The list of words to teach your Great Dane is pretty endless. The more he knows, the more he will listen to you when it matters most. By teaching your Great Dane when you're disappointed in his behavior and when you're excited, basic obedience commands and everyday words he will hear will give him more respect for you. He will and see you as his leader and therefore obey you.
Step
6
Continue training
Once your Great Dane has gone through a few months of basic obedience training, don't stop training. Train your Great Dane fun tricks like how to fetch, to roll a soccer ball, or to make a soccer goal. There are all kinds of fun tricks to teach your Great Dane once he has obedience down. Constantly training your Great Dane will keep him an obedient dog with you as his leader.
Recommend training method?

Success Stories and Training Questions

Training Questions and Answers

Question
Skailer
Great Dane
2 Years
2 found helpful
Question
2 found helpful
Skailer
Great Dane
2 Years

Barks at people walking, any noise she may hear, or just randomly. She is giving the proper exercise and attention. What should I do when she does these behaviors?

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
614 Dog owners recommended

Hello Branea, Check out the article that I have linked below and the "Desensitize" method and the "Quiet" method. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bark How does she do around people and other animals up-close. If she is skittish or at all aggressive, then a lack of socialization is probably causing the barking and helping her learn to like other people and animals should help also. If she is simply too alert but otherwise social, check out the video that I have linked below. General barking at different things: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jp_l9C1yT1g Another example with a doorbell sensitive dog: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bpzvqN9JNUA Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

She is not at all Aggressive or skittish. She enjoys other dogs and plays w=very well with them. She goes to Daycare regularly thank you for the feedback and articles I will definitely look at them. When she sees someone she barks but it does not seem to be a mean bark just seems to be seeking attention when people finally walk up to her she stops barking and wants them to pet her. It is mostly men she barks at but once she gets to smell them and they are closer she does not bark anymore. Again Thank you so much.

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Bronson
Great Dane
8 Weeks
1 found helpful
Question
1 found helpful
Bronson
Great Dane
8 Weeks

How should I train my puppy?

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
614 Dog owners recommended

Hello Scarl Mae, Check out the link below and download the free PDF e-book AFTER You Get Your Puppy for a more comprehensive overview on puppy training. If you have a specific question, then Wag! has several additional training articles written on topics like how to train your dog to "Sit". You can also come back to Wag! to 'Ask a trainer (me) a question" along the way when questions come up as you train. Congratulations on the new puppy. AFTER You Get Your Puppy free e-book download: https://www.lifedogtraining.com/freedownloads/ Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Pepper
Doberman Pinscher
3 Weeks
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Pepper
Doberman Pinscher
3 Weeks

Dog play with wife or daughters ankles try to get shoes.not me or my son

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
614 Dog owners recommended

Hello Glen, Check out the article that I have linked below and follow the "Bite Inhibition" method and the "Leave It" method. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bite Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Kingston
Great Dane
9 Weeks
1 found helpful
Question
1 found helpful
Kingston
Great Dane
9 Weeks

How do I get him to stop biting

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
614 Dog owners recommended

Hello Carrie, Check out the article that I have linked below. Puppy biting is a normal part of puppy development at this age. By consistently following one or more of the methods from the article linked below, the biting should gradually improve, but it takes puppies several weeks to learn how to control their mouths better and they need a lot of help learning. Although it hurts and can be annoying, biting at this age can actually help a puppy learn how to control the pressure of their bite (which makes them safer as adults), tells them about the world around them, and relieves teething and jaw pain that happens in phases as they grow. Puppies just need to learn when it's okay to bite and not (during play with other puppies and on toys), and how hard to bite (during play with puppies). https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bite Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Question
Serge
Great Dane
1 Year
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Serge
Great Dane
1 Year

I cannot get serge to come when called, stay or quit leash pulling serge is aggressive towards strangers or anyone he is not near daily how can I get him to overcome his aggressive issues

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
614 Dog owners recommended

Hello Steph, You need the help of a professional with the right resources to train him around other people (trainers and staff) and dogs with the right safety measures like back ties, muzzle's, or e-collar training. I suggest finding a trainer who specializes in aggression, is experienced with large breeds, uses positive reinforcement, fair corrections, and structure and boundaries. Check out Jeff Gellman from SolidK9Training. Because of Serge's size I highly suggest hiring someone to help you implement the training. You need someone with a facility where they can control interactions, distance and safety measures, other knowledgeable people to help with counter conditioning (helping him associate people with good things) and counter conditioning plus obedience management around other calm behaved dogs (like the trainers' dogs). People Aggression protocol video- notice the back tie and line on the ground for safety (those working with the dog should never be put at risk) and his line needs to be very strong because of his strength and force during a charge. Only train with the correct safety protocols to keep everyone involved safe. I highly suggest hiring a trainer. Aggression is serious. https://youtu.be/mgmRRYK1Z6A Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Question
Lola
Great Dane
3 Months
1 found helpful
Question
1 found helpful
Lola
Great Dane
3 Months

Lola is a very good puppy as far as I'm concerned. But she has been nibbling on everybody including my 2 year old son. I tell her no and redirect her but it doesn't work. And she hates her crate.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
614 Dog owners recommended

Hello Madison, Check out the article linked below and follow the "Leave It" method. Expect the mouthing to take time also. She is likely in a teething phase right now and will go through a jaw development phase around 6-8 months also, where other forms of chewing may crop up. Leave It should help her leave better impulse control but it can take a little time to teach, so stay consistent and work on it often. The article linked below mentions a small breed puppy, but the training is the same for larger breed puppies as well https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bite To teach her to generally get away from something tempting, use the Out command. https://www.petful.com/behaviors/how-to-teach-a-dog-the-out-command/ For any destructive chewing of household objects check out this article linked below: https://wagwalking.com/training/not-chew-on-furniture For the Crate, check out the Surprise method linked below. Also, it takes most puppies about two weeks to adjust to the crate. Be sure not to let her out while she is crying, and follow the other steps in the article linked below to help her learn to like being in the crate, including giving her a food stuffed hollow chew toy to work on - regular chew toys are good but will not have the same effect at this age. The food is to teach her to become interested in chewing chew toys and learn how to sooth herself with her own toys while bored or anxious. Surprise Method: https://wagwalking.com/training/like-a-crate How to use a crate for potty training, including how to introduce it....Follow the Crate Training method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-german-shepherd-puppy-to-poop-outside Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Regina
Great Dane
15 Months
1 found helpful
Question
1 found helpful
Regina
Great Dane
15 Months

When running in a pack she tends to run into other people

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
614 Dog owners recommended

Hello Suzanne, I suggest teaching her an Out command and carefully practicing having people you know tell her Out while she is running with friend's dogs somewhere other than the dog park - like a fenced in yard. You can also use a vibration collar to get her attention when she starts getting to close to someone. For safety practice this somewhere where your friends can stand behind something like a tree and when she starts to get within ten feet of them tell her Out. If she doesn't immediately change her direction to avoid the person, vibrate the collar until she gets about fifteen feet away from the person. Out command: https://www.petful.com/behaviors/how-to-teach-a-dog-the-out-command/ Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Question
wriegley
Great Dane
7 Months
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
wriegley
Great Dane
7 Months

he wants to chew on everyting and every body including myself. I say no but he continues. He is also like a toddler into everything the garbage the laundry anything else he can. any advice would be helpful.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
614 Dog owners recommended

Hello Melanie, I would suggest teaching Wriegley the "Leave It" and "Out" commands, and then you can communicate with him to either get his mouth off of something or to leave the area completely. Start teaching him the "Leave It" command using treats, and when he can leave treats alone, then practice "Leave It" with household items and with clothing articles that you can wear, to work on him leaving you alone too. To teach "Leave It" follow one of the methods in this Wag! article that I have linked bellow: https://wagwalking.com/training/leave-it To teach him "Out", first call him over to you, then toss a treat several feet away from yourself while pointing to the area where you are tossing the treat with the finger of your treat tossing hand and saying "Out" at the same time. Repeat this until he will go over to the area where you point when you say "Out" before you have tossed a treat. When he will do that, then whenever you tell him "Out" and he does not go to where you are pointing, walk toward him and herd him out of the area with your body. Your attitude should be calm and patient but very firm and business like when you do this. When you get to where you were pointing to, then stop and wait until he either goes away or stops trying to go back to the area where you were standing before. When he is no longer trying to get past you, then slowly walk backwards to where you were before. If he follows you, then tell him "Out" again and quickly walk toward him until he is back to where he was a moment ago. Repeat this until he will stay several feet away from where you were when you told him "Out" originally. When you are ready for him to come back, then tell him "OK" in an up beat tone of voice. Practice this training until he will consistently leave the area when you tell him "Out". When he will consistently leave, then practice the training with other areas that you would like for him to leave, such as the kitchen when you are preparing food, a person's space when he is being pushy, an area with a plant that he is trying to dig up, or somewhere with something in your home that he should not be bothering. I would also encourage you to crate train him if you have not done so already, and to crate him whenever you cannot supervise him. When you crate him, give him a Kong chew toy stuffed with food in the crate. You can either stuff a Kong by filling it most of the way full with dog food and then covering most of the opening up with a large treat, so that only a couple of pieces of food will fall out at a time, or you can put his dry dog food into a bowl and cover it with water and let it sit out until the food turns into mush. When it turns into mush, then you can mix a bit of peanut butter or Kong food paste into it and loosely stuff the Kong with the food mush. When it is stuffed, then place the stuffed Kong into a ziplock bag and into the freezer to freeze. To save on time, you can prepare multiple frozen Kongs ahead of time, so that you can simply grab one from the freezer when you need it. The frozen Kongs tend to entertain determined dogs for longer because they act as time released treats. Crating Wriegley when you cannot watch him will prevent bad chewing habits from forming, making it more likely that he will simply outgrow the habits. Giving him a Kong to chew on while he is in the crate will encourage him to be quiet, to entertain himself, and to chew on his own toys, so that he will also be more likely to look for his own toys when he is free. Seven months can be a very destructive, curious age for puppies. This is a common age for people to hire trainers because of rambunctiousness and destructiveness. I often tell people to remain consistent with training and socialization even when it does not appear to be making a huge difference, to do whatever they can to prevent bad behaviors from becoming bad habits, which means things like crate training and supervising, and to hang in there while their dogs mature. This is an age to increase your training efforts, but to understand that it might not appear like your dog is learning, so be prepared to persevere and have a bit of faith that your efforts will eventually pay off as he matures and your training and consistency begin to get through to him, or rather he begins to show you that he has been listening all along. So teach him whatever manners and obedience you would like him to learn. If you feel overwhelmed, then look into a local training class in your area that emphasizes manners as well as obedience. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Question
Sampson
Great Dane
3 Months
1 found helpful
Question
1 found helpful
Sampson
Great Dane
3 Months

Sampson is an awful whiner. He will whine all night in the kennel and if we put him out side he will whine and scratch at the door , but he doesn’t do it if I’m outside with him. We have tried to ignore him but it gets so bad through the night I can’t even sleep. What can I do?

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
614 Dog owners recommended

Hello Ashlyn, At three months of age Sampson needs to learn to cope with the things that he is whining about. Teach him a Place command and practice him staying on Place while you walk around the room, and work up to you being able to leave the room. Help him get used to being in the crate during the day by feeding his meals out of Kong's and other hollow chew toys. Check out the article linked below for tips to help him adjust to the crate (only give treats and food during the day though - not at night) https://wagwalking.com/training/like-a-crate Also, check out the crate training method from the article linked below for how to incorporate the crate into your daily routine with potty training. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-german-shepherd-puppy-to-poop-outside Teach Sampson the "Quiet" command using the "Quiet" method from the article linked below. Once he learns that Quiet means don't bark, use it when he whines, then distraction him with a little noise like a finger snap and reward him when he stops whining for a second - to help him associate Quiet with not whining also. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bark I suggest having Sampson sleep in the crate in another room - away from you at night. That should help you get more sleep and him give up whining sooner and sleep. If he still wakes up for potty trips occasionally you can use an audio baby monitor to listen to him, which will still have the benefit of him being further away from you to help him give into sleeping sooner. When he whines be awake of how you react. Give him structure and instruction such as "Quiet" or "Watch Me", rather than rewarding the whining with touch or something he wants, getting angry, or pittying him. Help him learn to cope with more independence and build his confidence through training, like Stay, Place, Quiet, and Heel. At this age he might he going through a fear-periods. Spend extra time socializing him to expose him to lots of new things. Bring treats with you when you go places with him (you can use his meal kibble and feed meals this way too). Use the treats to reward calmness, quietness, and bravery while you socialize him to make the socialization pleasant for him and help him feel less unsure about new things - which leads to whining. At first he will likely whine more during outings because things are new but he should improve as he gets more exposed to things and he understands what's normal if you reward calmness, quietness, and bravery. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

Hello im hugo father.. Now its 6months old... I had the same problem.. But i slept with him out and he stopped .. Now i dont have any problem is an excellented

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Question
Lotus
Great Dane
1 Year
2 found helpful
Question
2 found helpful
Lotus
Great Dane
1 Year

Lotus is our 1,5 year old Greatdane, for the most part she is great! But when it is run time, she does not come when called back, she pulls on her lead when walking, she pulls towards other dogs and people (sometimes jumping up!)
I do not believe for one minute she is aggressive I believe she is being playful and curious. But because of her size, she can look a little intimidating!
it would be so much easier for us and our young children (who just want to be able to walk her!) if she didn’t pull!
And coming when called would be brilliant! She kind of now looks in my direction, I will tell her No, then she bolts in the direction of another dog, person etc....
ideas/tips would be greatly appreciated.
Fam. Grabijn and Lotus

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
614 Dog owners recommended

Hello Jane, Because of her size, I suggest finding a trainer who uses both positive reinforcement and fair corrections and can teach an off-leash heel and Come command using a remote training collar. You can also try using just lure-reward training using the Treat Luring from the articles linked below. Some dogs are sensitive enough that those methods are sufficient, but if those methods do not work well for her, an e-collar training course done with low levels of stimulation and combined with rewards, taught by a trainer who is very familiar with training large breeds and using e-collars would be worth looking into. Because of her size you would greatly benefit from an off-leash level of training. Many dogs can be trained well enough on a leash, but since she is so strong a leash is really just for looks if she was being walked by your kids - off leash training would be what would keep her close. Round Robin method (stand behind a tree when you call her if she doesn't stop easily, to prevent her from running into you): https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-whippet-to-recall Treat Lure method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-poodle-to-heel Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Question
Frank
Great Dane x staffy
14 Months
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Frank
Great Dane x staffy
14 Months

Hi, we’ve only had Frank for 2 months and he didn’t know much when he came to us. We have taught him to sit, down, stay and he’s generally pretty good at that. He couldn’t walk on a lead but I got him a training muzzle and now most of the time he is really good except for a big pull every now and again. But my question is when we are walking him and he sees other dogs he gets overly excited and today on the beach he was excited and decided to play tug of war with me and his lead and I could not control him at all!! He kept pulling the lead and I couldn’t let go as we were around people and other dogs so I held on to the lead and he pulled me around like a rag doll. He couldn’t get the lead so he starting biting my arms and my leg. He also got hold of the arm of my jumper and ripped it. I felt so out of control and now my two small children are scared of him. I’m lost as to what to do. I want to try training but I’m too scared to take him around the other dogs now and one on one is beyond anything I can afford. Please help😢

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
614 Dog owners recommended

Hello Michelle, I suggest teaching an off-leash level of come using a remote e-collar due to his size. Start by teaching him Come in a calm fenced in area using treats, once he knows that, use the Reel In method from the article linked below to prepare him for remote collar training. Reel in method - in fenced in area because of his size: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-whippet-to-recall Finally, check out Jeff Gellman and The Good Dog's videos on YouTube on e-collar training and teaching an e-collar Come using an e-collar and long leash. You can also teach an e-collar heel once you have Come down so that he will respond to you and not just the leash around distractions. E-collar basics: https://youtu.be/gqtC-17ClWI Known commands and e-collar use: https://youtu.be/6iVxhNW8ruY E-collar Come -Solidk9Training: https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source=web&rct=j&url=https://m.youtube.com/watch%3Fv%3Dpk_0PW5MMbo&ved=2ahUKEwj8q6Hcp6TjAhXMnuAKHSulD74QjjgwBHoECAUQAQ&usg=AOvVaw24JV-UteRAZVYU9fXzkQRL E-collar come part 1 - The Good Dog training: https://thegooddog.net/training-videos/free-how-to-training-videos/learn-to-train-the-good-dog-way-how-to-train-e-collar-recall-pt-1/ E-collar come part 2 - The Good Dog training: https://thegooddog.net/training-videos/free-how-to-training-videos/learn-to-train-the-good-dog-way-how-to-train-e-collar-recall-pt-2/ In your yard work on teaching a normal heel using the methods from the article linked below - Leash heel in fenced in yard or calm place with the head halter on for safety: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-poodle-to-heel When Frank understands what he is supposed to be doing during heel and does well in the yard even without the head halter, then add the e-collar to the training so that he is paying better attention to you and less dependant on the leash. I still suggest using the head halter on him around other dogs after e-collar training for a while until you know for sure he is 100% without it on - due to his strength. Trained correctly, he shouldn't be dependent on the head halter to control him after e-collar training eventually later thougg. Heel - e-collar: https://youtu.be/5zROFnZMXo4 Heel e-collar: https://youtu.be/PJaZsZdcjwU Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Sampson
Great Dane
4 Months
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Sampson
Great Dane
4 Months

Help..we’ve tried everything, including board and train, and she’s a monster.. she listens whenever she wants, the biting is terrible, and just today she had a toy in her mouth and my sister went to adjust her collar so it was out of the way and she growled and bit her. I cry every night in hopes the next day will be better. She’ll be nice one minute and the wind can blow and the next minute she’s mailing me..The board and train was for 3 weeks and we weren’t allowed to be there and she has learned absolutely nothing, the other thing she got from that place was worms and parasites..I’m at
the end of my rope. Please Help

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
614 Dog owners recommended

Hello Carla, First, I would really need to know more to really help. There is normal puppy mouthing that happens during times of excitement and is more the puppy equivalent of a tantrum or roughhousing, and there is true aggression where the dog intends to do harm - true aggression is serious. Puppy mouthing needs to be dealt with and can hurt but it is normal and not a serious behavior issue - just a dog treating you like another dog and needing to learn better. Puppy mouthing and jumping can usually be improved by using the Step Toward and Leave It and Pressure methods form the articles linked below. Teach Leave It first, then use the Pressure method after she has learned Leave It to enforce your command. Both of these things would be good to teach either way. Jumping - Step Toward: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-australian-shepherds-to-not-jump Mouthing - Leave It method first, then Pressure method to enforce Leave It command if she disobeys that command after learning it and being told to "Leave It" when she tries to bite: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bite Out command - which means leave the area - I suggest using a muzzle while teaching this if she has shown true signs of aggression - don't get bitten. https://www.petful.com/behaviors/how-to-teach-a-dog-the-out-command/ If the behavior is aggressive in nature, that is serious because 4 months is very young for her to be showing real aggression. She needs lots of socialization around new things, to work for her food by pairing the food with touch - so touch an ear and give a treat, touch a paw and give a treat, touch a collar and give a treat, ect...If there is true aggression the touches should be done while she is wearing a basket muzzle or at least while wearing a glove (if she doesn't break the skin normally). A basket muzzle will let you give treats through the holes, opposed to a different type of muzzle. Second, work on a lot of structure and boundaries with her. Have her work for everything she gets for a while. Check out the Consistency and Working methods from the article linked below: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-doberman-to-listen-to-you Teach commands like Place, heel, and crate manners to help her learn impulse control and calmness, as well as respect and trust for you - at her age you want to establish respect and trust without being overly rough - boundaries, having her work for things like pets and play, and commands like Place, heel, and crate manners are good ways to do this with less physical confrontation. Place: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=omg5DVPWIWo Crate manners: https://thegooddog.net/training-videos/free-how-to-training-videos/learn-to-train-the-good-dog-way-the-crate/ Thresholds: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_-w28C2g68M Heel article - The turns method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-poodle-to-heel Heel Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OTiKVc4ZZWo If you are seeing true signs of aggression, opposed to just puppy brattyness, then check out Jeff Gellman from SolidK9Training on YouTube. He has hundreds of videos on aggression. Because she is young, remember that she is probably lacking in socialization and doesn't have a solid foundation of knowing what's acceptable and scary in the world, so work on a lot of positive socialization as well - making new things pleasant, and doing things like using her meal kibble paired with gentle touches to teach tolerance. To introduce the muzzle, use lots of food and reward her for touching it and exploring it, then for putting her face in it, then for letting you move the buckles around, then for buckling and unbuckling it, then for leaving it buckled for a few seconds, then leaving it buckled for longer and longer. Feed treats through the muzzle's holes as rewards, and do this gradually, staying on one steps until she is comfortable with that step, like touching it, before moving onto the next step, like putting her face into it, expect it to take her a couple of weeks to get used to wearing it for longer, at which point you can phase out the treats by giving them less and less often overtime. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Blu
Great Dane
2 Years
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Question
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Blu
Great Dane
2 Years

Blu has been having some issues with aggression towards people he has already met and towards random strangers. He has "stalked" my brother through the halls of the house and lunged at him outside. The next person was a girl at the gas station, they had petted him before(very nice and gentle he loved them that day), but i was nervous next visit so i kept the windows up and he went into fight mode barking, hair standing up, and completely unresponsive to me until i grabbed him. We know she was a trigger because we went back and he was fine with the next guy, but the same girl came back over and he went off again. I yelled at him loudly to assert my dominance in the situation and he calmed quickly at the time but it was very worrisome. The third is my brother gf she is over every other day, they were good with each other both friendly and loving. Now he has started slowly "stalking" her when she is in the hall, coming in and out of the house. I thought it was her backpack or the dark, but it had happened outside in the yard with 5 other people around (3 strangers to him and my brother who he is actually good around). She turned her back to walk into the house and he got down into hunting mode and went to jump at her before i clapped to get his attention back on me. After he does this he puts his head down and body really low like he knows he misbehaved. I really have tried to socialize him so this didn't become a problem. We go for hikes in the woods, meet people and other dogs. We go for car rides to the stores and he waits quietly normally. Occasionally he would bark as we walked away but it would stop after 5 barks max. I have taken him to craft shows and not once did he behave that way in public until the gas station. He does rip things up at home, so he only has access to one room during the day and sometimes the kitchen. Im wondering what techniques i can use to curb this bad habit with people and to make him more comfortable at home to not rip his beds into pieces everyday. Ive bought elk antlers, bully sticks, treats and he enjoys them but they only last so long. With corona he probably has also been off due to me being home for 2 months and now back to work again. thanks ! sorry this is so long

Darlene Stott
Darlene Stott
Dog Trainer and Groomer
65 Dog owners recommended

Hello, thank you for the question and the long explanation is great. I do think that you need to hire a trainer to come and work with you and Blu. The behavior is quite disturbing and I know that you do not want to get into a situation you cannot handle. The training sessions may only take place a few times but they can give you the tools you need to work with once Blu is assessed. Make sure you research the trainer and describe the situation well so you hire the right person. In the meantime, work on obedience non-stop when out for walks and at home. Work on all of the commands like sit, stay, long down, off, etc. Work on having Blu listen to you without hesitation: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-doberman-to-listen-to-you. Look for videos here and possible online support: https://robertcabral.com/. Good luck!

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Hodor
Great Dane
4 Years
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Hodor
Great Dane
4 Years

Hodor is a very sweet dog. My ex and I got him together and when we broke up, he came with me because I have a lot more room for him to play in and my mother lives with me so he has someone to help take care of him and he doesn’t have to be alone for very long.

I recently went back to work and she helps take care of him. Over the past two weeks we’ve had bad weather or I have to work so he’s been acting out. Getting into the trash, those kind of things.

When my ex and I started becoming distant he started lunging at other dogs. He’s become very protective and when I first moved back to my home that my mom lives in, he had an altercation with the neighbors dog. The dog came onto my property and upset my moms small min pin and Hodor went over to the neighbors dog, who is always marking and pooping in our yard and the neighbors dog but him and Hodor but back and pinned him down. They both had a small bite mark on their ears.

Hodor continued to be a good boy but after that I am so nervous for any interaction he had with another dog. I think he senses that but it’s pretty hard when you have a 150 lb dog to remain calm when you have the fear of him lunging or harming another dog. He used to hike off leash and have no problem. Now he hikes on a leash and he lunges still. I have a pet corrector spray and it works, but I’d like to not have to use it. I work with him on walks with treats.

I am nervous to take him to the dog park since the incident, and he had always done very well at one. I’m just so scared he’ll hurt another dog. Once he became my dog without my partner he became very protective.

I went back to work a month ago and he had started acting out and getting into the trash. He’s never done that before crept for when we first got him, but I was working 60 hours a week, and my partner wasn’t but would leave him uncrated and leave and do whatever while I was at work. I love Hodor with all of my heart, but I didn’t want to get a Dane at the time. I felt bad to get a dog of that size and not be able to devote a lot of my time to him.

I’m also scared to let him out to run around because our neighbor told us that he would shoot him if he felt threatened by him, which would never happen, but our neighbor is scared of his size. So now I’m walking him on a leash around our yard which Hodor doesn’t understand and he’s gotten accustomed to being able to run around our property at the speed he desires. Unfortunately the only person I think that could keep up with him at that speed is Usain Bolt. Hodor is very fast. He also like to poop by himself, which I can understand:)

I know he is sensing my anxiety, with his size I can’t help but be nervous. I love him so much and he has been and is a good boy. He isn’t having a good time adjusting to this change.

I will not give up on him but I just need help controlling him! He never leaves my side when I am at home, and I only work 30 hours a week. Please let me know what I can do so he and I can be happy again and I can give him a little more freedom so he can doo doo in the woods like he likes!

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
614 Dog owners recommended

Hello Cora, It sounds like he would benefit from stong leadership and more boundaries to build his trust and respect for you so that he feels more secure with you in charge and less of a need to take matters into his own hands. The following commands are good things to practice to gently build respect. Place: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=omg5DVPWIWo Crate manners: https://thegooddog.net/training-videos/free-how-to-training-videos/learn-to-train-the-good-dog-way-the-crate/ Thresholds: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_-w28C2g68M Heel article - The turns method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-poodle-to-heel Heel Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OTiKVc4ZZWo Down-Stay: https://www.thelabradorsite.com/train-your-labrador-to-lie-down-and-stay/ Leave It: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bite Out - which means leave the room: https://www.petful.com/behaviors/how-to-teach-a-dog-the-out-command/ Working method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-doberman-to-listen-to-you I also suggest hiring a trainer who has experience woth teaching an e-collar heel on a "working level" - which is the lowest level that dog has shown to respond to, using a long leash, rewards, repetition, and low level e-collar training. A good e-collar should have at least 60 levels and the training is all about consistency and not harshness. Because of his size, an e-collar would help you have the consistency you need without having to fight his strength. Check out James Penrith from taketheleaddogtraining on Youtube for videos on how to properly train with e-collars, then loose for a trainer who has a similar philosophy with training and methods that pair positive reinforcement with the e-collar corrections, to make the training gentler for pup while still being firm enough to keep him safer. Take the lead dog training https://youtu.be/rtJxSXu4rfs Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Raleigh
Great Dane
10 Weeks
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Raleigh
Great Dane
10 Weeks

Raleigh wont walk. She will just stop and sit down, sometimes lay down. I dont know how to break this habit

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
614 Dog owners recommended

Hello, First, the issue could be getting used to the leash. Check out the article linked below and work on getting pup used to leash pressure first, if the leash is new to her. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-your-puppy-to-accept-leash Second, the issue might be fear of something(s) new to her in your neighborhood. Spend time outside with pup playing with her and rewarding her for acting confident and comfortable in that location outside. Pay attention to her body language and see if she seems to tense up or freeze when anything specific happens, like a dog barking, walking near a lawn decoration, a hammering noise, or cars passing by for example. If so, spend time getting her excited about that thing by doing a little dance, acting confident and excited yourself, giving treats as soon as she shows any bravery or positive reaction to the fear, or sprinkling treats near the item if it's something like a lawn decoration. Finally, practice some formal heel training once you have done the above things, starting in your own yard or a calm area first, work up to other calm areas like a culdesac or field to increase pup's focus on you and confidence before tackling busier locations. I suggest the Treat Luring method from the article linked below to help motivate pup and make walking fun. Remember to be patient with pup. She is still very young and everything is new right now. Don't give up on socializing and walking; instead, spend lots of time helping her gain confidence and learn at a pace she can progress at. Treat Lure method for Heel: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-poodle-to-heel Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Ella
Great Dane
2 Months
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Ella
Great Dane
2 Months

We recently got Ella and she is overall a very good puppy (with normal puppy behaviors like biting, etc.). However, we have a hard time getting her to go outside. We live in an apartment building so getting her outside takes going in the elevator and through two sets of doors. She'll make it downstairs but when we get to the doors she'll often sit down and refuse to move. This usually leads to an accident because she doesn't make it outside in time. If my husband and I both take her out, she's often better about going outside, but when it's just one of us she'll usually refuse to move. It appears completely random when she'll be fine to go outside and when she'll refuse. She sometimes engages in this behavior when we're outside - she'll just sit and refuse to move.

While she likes treats, she isn't motivated enough by them to move.

Sometimes we pick her up to carry her outside. Seems like a bad precedent to set, because she'll soon be too big to lift, but we really don't want her to continue peeing in the lobby!

Any advice for how to get her to go through the two doors? Any reason it's worse when it's just one of us? Thanks!

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
614 Dog owners recommended

Hello Blakely, Even though you want to work up to not having to do this, I would carry her to the potty right now while her bladder capacity is so small, to prevent accidents while she is learning so many new things; however, I also suggest following the crate training method or tethering method from the article I have linked below and following those time guidelines to ensure she is being taken out very frequently while her bladder is so small. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-german-shepherd-puppy-to-poop-outside When her bladder is empty, I also suggest practicing the route to go outside at non-potty times - getting her used to walking it and helping her overcome distractions and fears, when things aren't so rushed. Act confident and happy. Make a fun party of it and cheer her on for forward movement. Give treats for taking steps, and pay attention to her body language. She is likely nervous or distracted by something that's new to her - watch for her reactions and pay attention to what's nearby when it happens, what noises you can hear, or what makes those times even slightly different. It might be people talking, walking outside, dogs barking, a reflective surface, a sign, ect...A puppy can find anything new to them intimidating or distracting. Once you discover some triggers, spend extra time simply hanging around those things at a distance she is comfortable with and playing fun games, and giving treats any time she relaxes or tries to investigate. If she wants to explore those things and it's safe, allow her to do so, and give treats. Having a little picnic outside or taking lawn chairs and sitting out there often could also help. The goal is to expose her so much to the new environment (new to her) in a non-threatening way that it becomes normal, boring, and enjoyable to her. Having you both there might give her extra confidence. She also might feel more secure with one person over another, or the dynamics of you and your husband's attitude might be different when you're together than when you are apart and she picks up on that - dog's read body language well. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Becks
Great Dane
8 Weeks
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Becks
Great Dane
8 Weeks

Hi! I recently got a Great Dane puppy that has been such a joy to have until she snaps. She’s currently being trained in basic commands and loose leash walking and has been impressing me daily! We train her with training treats and she responds really well to food. The issue we are having and trying to get on top of right away is her snapping and lunging. Sometimes she will be chewing on things she’s not allowed and as we redirect her attention to a toy she growls and has snapped pretty hard. We have also noticed it when picking her up or if we get close to her face. We of course want to cuddle but I do accept that she may just be a more independent pup but the snapping cannot continue as I’m sure you know! We are currently trying the ignoring method where if she does it we put her down and don’t acknowledge the behavior and then shower her with attention and a treat when she gives kisses or shows playful behavior.. her attitude just seems to be more intense than dogs I’ve had in the past and no one wants a 120lbs pup lunging at their face! I also have a Great Dane Dalmatian mix that’s getting beaten up pretty badly (she’s extremely submissive) but this new pup is causing her to hid or run upstairs to avoid the nips /:

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
614 Dog owners recommended

Hello Savanna, Work on getting puppy used to touch and handling. Use puppy's daily meal kibble to do this. Gently touch an area of puppy's body while feeding a piece of food. Touch an ear and give a treat. Touch a paw and give a treat. Hold his collar and give a treat. Touch his tail gently and give a treat. Touch his belly, his other paws, his chest, shoulder, muzzle and every other area very gently and give a treat each time. Keep these times calm and fun for pup. Work on hand feeding, and also practice feeding him his meals in sections. Feed 1/4 of his meal, practice making him wait before digging in by holding onto the bowl, pulling it back whenever he tries to dive in (without letting go of it first), and calmly saying Wait, then after a few repetitions of this, when he hesitates and doesn't dive in while your hand is still on it, let go of the bowl and say "Okay!" in an excited tone of voice, and let him begin eating as a reward for waiting. As he eats, when he isn't growling, toss treats next to his bowl as you walk past him. Practice this from a few feet away until he begins to look forward to you approaching. As he improves, decrease the distance that you pass from. When he finishes the first serving, toss a treat behind him and pick up the bowl while he is distracted eating the treat. Gve the next portion, have him practice waiting again, then do the treat tosses while he east again. Practice this until he has all of his meal kibble portions at that mealtime. Do this at every meal as often as you can. As he becomes relaxed and begins to like you approaching him during meals, get closer and closer, so that you are eventually placing treats into his bowl while he eats. Ease into this so that he stays relaxed during the process. When pup does great with your presence right by the bowl, you can give a gentle pet and feed a treat as you do so. Pet and feed a treat, then give space and go back to tossing the treats to avoid stressing him too much. Expect this progression to take weeks, not hours or days. Do NOT stick your hand in pup's food, take the food away while he is eating, or pet him while he is eating without making the experience fun for him also - via giving better rewards in exchange each time. Messing with a dog while they are eating without the right protocols and rewards to prevent stress around mealtimes, can actually cause food aggression, rather than prevent it. The goal is to build pup's trust with you when it comes to meals - so he doesn't feel the need to guard it, but learns that your approach and taking things like bones, results in something even better happening - like a treat or new bone. Only give treats when pup responds well - not while he is growling. If pup is growling still while you are doing all of this, you are probably being too rough or moving too fast, and there needs to be more space between you and pup while practicing at that point in the training. Check out this free PDF e-book download for other puppy raising tips as well: www.lifedogtraining.com/freedownloads Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Josie
Great Dane
7 Months
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Josie
Great Dane
7 Months

Josie will not come when I call her, she acts like it’s a game and wants me to chase her. This is horrible, especially when I have to leave and can’t get her to come to me.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
614 Dog owners recommended

Hello Deborah, Check out the Reel In method from the article linked below. Practice that method regularly. If pup is running away while in the house, while you are home to supervise (not when away though for safety reasons), keep a 6'-8' foot drag leash on pup around the home, then calmly walk over to pup, pick up the end of the leash and lead them to where you originally called them from. Have pup sit and release pup again. Repeat this over and over until pup comes voluntarily three times in a row - reward with treats when pup comes willingly. Reel In method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-whippet-to-recall Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Charlie & Marley
Great Dane
3 Years
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Charlie & Marley
Great Dane
3 Years

We have 2 Great Danes and we are trying to get them socialized. Also how do we get Marley to stop playing with Charlie by being so rough and growling?

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
614 Dog owners recommended

Hello Alia, I suggest practicing specific obedience commands that can help pups calm back down when playing, and simply enjoy hanging out together without playing more - building their self-control and "off" switch while inside. Out - which means leave the area: https://www.petful.com/behaviors/how-to-teach-a-dog-the-out-command/ Place: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O75dyWITP1s Leave It method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bite Quiet method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bark Down-Stay: https://www.thelabradorsite.com/train-your-labrador-to-lie-down-and-stay/ Out and Leave It are great commands to redirect the dogs when they are trying to start a rough game inside and you don't want them to. Out can also be used to interrupt dogs who are already playing - since that commands means leave the area. You will need to practice with two people, allowing the dog's to play at a calm level, interrupting their play to give a break and have both dogs go to a separate person, then have each person reward their dog a treat when they obey. You may need to use long leashes to redirect the dogs at first, and this is best practiced in a fenced in area without too many other distractions around - like a fenced yard. Once both dogs are calmer, give them a release like "Okay" or "Go Play" to let them know they can play again. Giving treats while they are apart is important, to help motivate pups to separate and return to you sooner in the future. Waiting until they are calm before releasing them can help keep the energy at a manageable level for pups to be able to learn during training. If pups tend to have issues with getting too rough or frustrated with each other in general, you can either redirect them whenever you see the excitement building - which would otherwise lead to an issue if not redirected, and keep play times to times outside in a fence or by permission, and work on play not being allowed inside or without permission, OR you can have a no-play rule period, and keep play as structured activities like one dog fetching at a time while the other practices a down-stay, heeling walks together, hikes, and canine sports. Adult dogs can be healthy and happy without playing with each other - for dogs that lack impulse control and tend to fight when the play, I recommend a no-play rule. Socialization doesn't always mean play, but it does mean interacting with other dogs regularly, which can be facilitated through obedience in groups, heeling walks, canine sports, and simply hanging out on Place. Do be aware that growling and tackling can be normal parts of play though, learning how to read canine body language can help you tell the difference between rough play and a fight. Work on teaching both dogs the Place command and work up to them being able to stay on separate place beds for 1-2 hours at a time while in the same room. You can give them each their own dog-food stuffed chew toy, like a kong too. The goal is for them to learn how to calmly co-exist in the same room quietly, and Place is a good command to use to help them practice giving each other space while seeing each other. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Grande
Great Dane
2 Months
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Grande
Great Dane
2 Months

Hi, I know Grande is still a young pup , but we have been trying to take him on small walks and get him accustomed to his collar and leash. Once it is on he will not walk, he whines and tried to pull away from the leash and take the collar off. Any tips on this?

Darlene Stott
Darlene Stott
Dog Trainer and Groomer
65 Dog owners recommended

Adorable! Yes, it is important to get Grande trained now because when he is older and a big boy, you need to be able to handle him. Getting him happy to go on walks and walk properly is key. To start: try the Food Lure Method https://wagwalking.com/training/walk-on-a-leash-2. These help, too: https://wagwalking.com/training/walk-on-a-lead and https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-pitbull-puppy-to-walk-on-leash. Make walks fun - use an encouraging voice when you go and bring along a toy to play with at a pit stop. Reward Grande for good behavior on the walk with a treat or two. Lots for you to read - Enjoy training and good luck!

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