You accidentally drop some food onto the floor and your dog bounds over. You instruct him to back off, but as usual, he ignores you. You’re out on a walk and he sees another dog across the road. You tell him to heel but he instantly tries to leap across the road to sniff the other dog's behind. The truth is, he just doesn’t respect you. If he doesn’t respect you, then training him to do any number of things can be an uphill battle.
Training him not to go to the toilet inside, training him not to jump on the furniture, and loads of other instructions will fall on deaf ears. If you can train him to respect you, however, you will reassert yourself as the pack leader and finally be able to enforce the rules.
Training your dog to respect you isn’t a walk in the park, but it isn’t overly complicated either. The first thing to do is hammer home some obedience commands. These will help show him who is in charge and get him dancing to your tune. You will also need to tackle bad behavior firmly. If he’s a puppy, then getting him to respect you should take just a few weeks, as he should be receptive. If he’s older, it may require a couple of months of reinforcing boundaries before you finally get the respect you deserve.
Get this training right though, and you may see a transformed dog. A dog that sits when you tell him to, goes to the toilet where you want him to, and stays off your furniture when you tell him to. It could also make him more friendly, gentle and sociable around other dogs and people.
Before you can begin seizing back control, you’ll need to gather some things. His favorite food broken into small pieces or tempting treats will be used to motivate and reward him during training.
You’ll also need a quiet place to train for 10 minutes each day. Use a location where you won’t be distracted by noisy children and other pets. For one of the methods, you will also need a spray bottle of water to knock bad behavior on the head.
The only other things you need is a proactive attitude and patience. Then you’re all set to get going!
I feel as though my dog does not respect me. Barks. Constantly tries to chew on me. Disobeys when she knows she did something wrong.
Hello Lauren, One of the best ways to build respect between you and your dog is to spend time teaching obedience throughout the week. You can have your dog work for you to earn it's kibble, one piece at a time, by practicing commands such as sitting, heeling, downing, staying, paying attention, leaving it, waiting, and more. Practicing these things can not only teach your dog to listen to you better, it can also have the added benefits of building a relationship of trust, respect, and fun, decreasing your dog's excess mental energy, developing useful commands to help your dog understand you better, and giving your dog a sense of purpose. You must be consistent and require follow through while training and in general. For example , when you practice teaching your dog to come, you can attach a long, light weight, twenty or thirty foot leash. Then you can excitedly call your dog to come while running away to encourage running after you, and then praise your dog when she arrives. If she does not come, you can reel her in with the leash, so that she learns that she is not able to ignore your command. You have then ensured that she followed your command while also giving her reason to want to come in the future. Working on training can also help with the mouthing and barking. You can teach her to stop mouthing you by teaching her a very strong leave it command. Once she knows the leave it command well around food and toys and household items, you can then place the items in your hand or on your person and practice having her leave the items alone when you have them. Once she will leave those known items alone when you have them, then you can practice having her leave your hands, feet, clothes, and whatever else on you she is mouthing alone. For the barking you can work on teaching a quiet command, then once she understands the quiet command, you can enforce the quiet command by blocking her vision with your body and getting her focus back on you using your body language, while giving her the command. She can then be rewarded with a toy or treat or with being allowed to be near or to view whatever she was barking at before. The barking trigger itself can be the reward. At three months old she is likely teething and a lot of mouthing can be normal. She is also likely beginning to show more independence and is testing boundaries as she matures into the equivalent of a dog preteen. This period requires a lot of consistency and training, and it can appear that the training is not working at this age, but it is important to stay consistent. Eventually she will grow out of this period and your training success will become more evident if you persevered during this period. If you feel like she is beginning to show any aggressive tendencies, it is best to consult a trainer early because the sooner you begin the more effective the training is likely to be. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
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Cooper used to obey me till he was 4 months old by that time I taught him to sit on my command later he started to disobey me he only listened to me when I hold a piece of food and barks at me when I ask him to do stuff when he’s not in the mood in front of me when I take him for walks he tries to free himself from the leash and run away and eat garbage from the street jumps on me and starts biting when he sees me after a long time tries to eat food from my plate. Help!
Hello Subham, Check out the article that I have linked below and work on a bit of all three methods. Also, Cooper likely needs to attend an Intermediate Obedience Class. In Basic Obedience dogs learn what different commands means, but in Intermediate they learn how to do those commands in every day life, even when they do not feel like it. A good Intermediate class should also work on phasing out treats, so that you do not always have to have food to get your dog to listen. Check out references and reviews for trainers in your area, ask if they phase out food, and explain your issues to them to get an idea whether or not they can address enforcing known commands, rather than simply bribing with treats. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-doberman-to-listen-to-you Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
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Luca is my boyfriend's dog. He wasn't trained well during his first year,and though my boyfriend is trying, I think he could try harder. How can I make him realize he should really be consistent and firm with training? He chews things up, runs off if he somehow gets off the leash (we have to chase), jumps on us, chews on us sometimes, steals toys and bones, etc.
Hello Tanisha, There are a couple of things that can help motivate someone with training a dog. In the end they have to want it too though. 1. Train with others so that it is more fun and you can learn from them. A class or training club is a great way to do this. If you have other friends with dogs they are working to train, you could also meet up with them regularly to practice your training. 2. Watch training videos of the things you would like to teach. The more you learn about training, understand it, and see what's possible, the easier it is to do it yourself and enjoy it. If you don't feel like you know what you are doing, it can be more discouraging and overwhelming - which makes it harder to want to do it. 3. Work on achievable goals with your dog. Start with some of the easier things you want to teach and stay consistent with it. If you see that your dog is able to learn and improve, it can help motivate you to teach other things and encourage you to keep working at it. Looking for sources like www.wagwalking.com/training, quality youtube videos from trainers, dog training library books, websites like www.dogstardaily.com, www.petful.com, and www.lifedogtraining.com can also help you learn about training and give you ideas of what to try. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
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I can't get Rosie to stop jumping on people when she's excited and running around the house. With other dogs it may not be as much of a problem, but she is a 60 pound, very strong pit bull. She leaves scratches on me and others when she gets excited. I don't want to discipline her for being happy or showing her excitement, but I want to teach her how to calmly and appropriately express that excitement. Any suggestions?
Hello Natalie, Check out the article that I have linked below. All of the methods in that article are pretty gentle. You can even do a combination of all three methods. Whenever you are able to step toward her, do so because that will teach personal space and respect, and then when she sits to greet you instead of jumping, reward her. Do this to teach her to respect your personal space but also to teach her what she can do instead of jumping when excited. When she is greeting other people, if the person is not someone you can reasonably expect to be able to step toward her, then use the "Leash" method with other people and let her correct herself by keeping the leash tight enough that when she jumps it up and all the slack goes out of the leash the leash will pull her back toward the floor. When she sits to greet after being corrected with the leash, then either have your guest give her a treat or you can give her one instead. When she begins to sit without jumping first, then only give her a treat for sitting without any jumping. Here is a link to that article: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-australian-shepherds-to-not-jump Also, because she is jumping for attention, never pet her or talk happily to her when she jumps, instead give her affection, rewards, and praise for doing the correct behavior, which is sitting or at least keeping all four paws on the floor. Sitting is often clearer than just standing for a dog at first though. Sitting gives the dog something specific to do when he wants to ask for attention. When she gets super excited and starts jumping while playing, end the play sessions whenever she jumps up. It might be hard to do, but it is gentle and dogs need rules and boundaries too. Play with her and have a great time while she is playing nicely, but stop all play if she jumps. That should also help her to learn that jumping shouldn't be a part of play. Because she is heavy jumping on the wrong people, like kids or elderly or disabled people can be dangerous, so it needs to be taken seriously, but reward her for doing the correct behavior so that she is still able to have fun. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
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How to stop him from chasing and killing cats. he does not destroy them just shakes them i cannot keep him from chasing them if i could stop that it would help.
Hello Lesley, Do the cats live inside or is this happening somewhere with more space, like a yard or large property? If this is happening in a larger space, then you can teach him to avoid the cats. Check out James Penrith from TaketheLeadDogTraining. He has a Youtube channel. He works with dogs that chase and sometimes will kill livestock. To stop the killing you would need to pursue training like that, creating a strong avoidance of all cats. Whether this is doable will depend on your level of dedication, willingness to learn, and how large the space he is in is. If the cats are outside and he has plenty of room to go somewhere that they are not located to avoid them, then the training is feasible. Day 1. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lgNbWCK9lFc Day 2. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kpf5Bn-MNko&t=14s Day 3. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xj3nMvvHhwQ Day 4. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VxrGQ-AZylY Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
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Hi, my puppy knows basic obedience such as sit, come and lay-down but will choose to ignore me sometimes... i know this is part of their stubborn nature as akitas but i have done alot of research and my puppy seems to be way more energetic than other akitas his age. And he plays roughly with my older dog (english springer spaniel). im hoping things will calm down once hes able to go for walks but until then is there anything i can do? i am the only one who feeds him, plays with him or teaches him and he has set meal times. I dont want him thinking hes alpha and this leading down the wrong road when hes older.
Hello Alicia, At 7 weeks of age honestly he probably just needs a ton more practice around distractions. He may very well have a strong temperament but disobedience at this age is probably more related to a lack of skills than a respect issue. Take the commands that he knows and have set training times each day where you practice those commands- as he improves, add distractions during the sessions, like jumping around, others being in the room, silly noises, ect...and practice those commands with consistency and patience in the presence of distractions, repeating until he can do the command consistently even with that distraction around, then adding another distraction the next time. Puppies have to learn impulse control and focus through practice - sort of like a little kid learning how to sit still and focus for longer periods of time. It's an actual skill many pups don't have at first that has to be taught. As far as respect goes, to get off on the right foot in general with that - especially if he has a stronger personality, when you give commands always enforce them. At this age that is going to look like gently showing him how to do what you want after giving a command you know he knows and is ignoring because he would rather do something else. Like luring him into a sit position if he seems confused about what you want, or applying gentle pressure with two fingers on ether side of his tail bone where his tail meets his back while carefully lifting up on his chin until he chooses to sit on his own to get more comfortable, if he just doesn't want to obey, or waiting until he sits - withholding what he wants to get to until he obeys first. All of this should be done extremely calmly and gently, knowing that he simply needs to be taught and needs consistency from you but not domineering. Be "Alpha" the way a human would be, through mentally stimulating him, training in a way that makes sense, being consistent, and providing structure and boundaries...People do need to provide leadership to dogs and earn their respect, but you are a person and not a dog and your dog knows that, so provide the type of leadership a person would provide by training his mind and following through on commands. Training is more about being a bit stubborn in your consistency, practicing a lot, being calm, and using your mind, than anything else...The best aggression trainers in the world are incredibly calm, confident and consistent, using methods that make since logically. You are doing great! I can tell you want to give him a great start and prevent future issues. Check out Sean O shea from the Good Dog and Ian Dunbar from sirius Pup training. Both are very different trainers, but they both excel in their own nitch. Ian Dunbar excels in preventative training and socialization with puppies - something that's super important for a powerful breed like an Akita, and Sean O Shea excels in providing structure and boundaries for adult dogs with major behavior issues if you run into issue later. A lot of Sean's structure work can be good as a preventative too, like structured heel, Place, crate manners, and focus work. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
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Hi, I adopted a border collie/cattle dog mix almost 2 weeks ago. She's quite nervous of everything which I expected beings she came from a kennel environment. At first she clung to me as her source of comfort and listened to me without prevail. She learned sit, lay down, and shake all within the first few days. Recently she fights me on every obedience command. She also refuses to let me be in charge when we go on walks. I'm at a loss of what to do.
Hello Ashton, Border Collies and Cattle Dogs are both highly intelligent, hard working, often strong willed breeds, but they are also sensitive, very alert, tuned into people and their environment, and need a lot of mental stimulation, especially Border Collies. Check out this Wag! Article and pay special attention to the obedience method and the consistency method. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-doberman-to-listen-to-you Those breeds need their owners to earn their respect without being physically tough with them. The best way to do that with those breeds is to challenge them mentally with frequent training sessions that involve concentration, focus, self-control, and learning new things. You also need to be very consistent. When you ask your girl to do something that you know she has already learned, then make sure that she does it. For example, when you tell her to come, if she does not come, then go get her and bring her back to where you originally called her from and have her sit, then attach a fifty foot leash and release her again and call her again five times in a row until she is coming consistently. When you tell her to sit then do not let her leave until she sits. When you first teach her something new make it fun and rewarding, but once she knows the command have her work for everyday life rewards like walks and meals by having her do a command first. Your attitude with her should be patient and calm, but very firm when enforcing something. Believe that she can do it and expect it of her. Your girl will benefit from the structure and consistency if she has anxiety issues. Even though she is challenging your authority she will benefit from your leadership. For the walks, check out Jeff Gelhman from Solidk9training's videos on YouTube. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
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My Milo is scared of traffic and so he does not like walking up from our house. After a few minutes of walking he will start jumping on me to get me to turn back but I Ignore him and I've been doing this for around 2 months now but he still doesn't like it. Also, he tries to jump on our kitchen worktops which we tell him off for a he goes down but he then jumps again, any advice?
Hello Louise, Spend time desensitizing him to traffic by playing games or working on fun training on a leash with the cars in the background. Stay further back from the road at first. As he gets comfortable and learns to ignore the cars more, gradually practice a bit closer to the road. Dropping large treats in the grass for him to find, practicing fun tricks with treats, or playing a game while he is on a ten-foot, secure leash can all help him relax around the road a bit more. Make sure he is leashed securely and can't slip out of his collar or harness by the road while you practice. A martingale collar or padded secure harness might be necessary to keep him from slipping out. For the counter jumping, you can purchase devices to set on the counter to surprise a dog when they jump up even when you are not right there. Google "counter surfing dog deterrent" for products that you can place on the counter. There are scatt mats, vibration or ultrasonic devices, mouse traps that don't actually close on anything but make a snapping noise, and other devices designed to deter jumping on counters. The goal is to associate the surprise with the counter and not only your presence. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
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My puppy Judah is experiencing challenges with socialization, food and attention.
When we are on a walk he often barks at other dogs or refuses to continue walking until pedestrians pass by. In puppy class when it came time for socialization, he refused to interact with the other dogs. When visitors or even family are outside the door or he hears the doorbell ring, he begins to bark without relent -disregarding commands such as "quiet" or 'stop'. He also is quite timid and barks or runs away when being introduced to new people.
When we first brought Judah home, we were all really excited and made the mistake of consistently feeding him human food, resulting in him abandoning his kibble completely. We have tried putting warm water or chicken broth to stimulate his appetite but he is willing to go the full day without eating or to nibble on his food throughout the day. This creates accidents within the home.
Finally, Judah often barks and 'cries' when I or the family leaves the house for a duration of time, when left alone or when not played with it. I want to know how make him comfortable with being independent and playing by himself.
Judah is a sweet puppy but I need much advice so that I can help him become a friendly, obedient and independant dog.
Hello Doryne, It sounds like he needs a few things: 1. Lots of socialization. If he only had one opportunity to socialize during the class (opposed to the socialization time being every week during part of the class), then his response was fairly common. It takes many puppies multiple times watching other puppies play before they get comfortable enough to join in on the fun themselves. Many people feel like giving up when they see such a bad first response, but more exposure is actually what's needed. It's important to do this in a controlled environment where the puppies' play can be interrupted and puppies separated when they get too riled up or start to overwhelm a shy puppy. Often, finding one calmer puppy to play with can help a shy puppy come out of his shell...opposed to playing with the whole group. At six-months of age, puppy-to-puppy socialization will be harder though, so I suggest trying to do group walking sessions with other puppy owners or adult-dog owners who have calm dogs. Check out the article that I have linked below and follow the "Walking Together" method to gradually decrease the distance between Judah and the new dog without overwhelming him. Start with one dog and practice with other dogs, one at a time, once Judah is used to the first dog (or add the dog to the group that Judah is familiar with). When he does well with several individuals, then you can look for groups also. You can often mind dog walking groups through meetup.com or obedience clubs. Only let your puppy meet calm, friendly dogs nose-to-nose though. You want to avoid dogs that are likely to initiate fights, and stick with friendly dogs so that he will view dogs as pleasant while learning about them. https://wagwalking.com/training/greet-other-dogs Also, spend a lot of time taking him to other new locations, have friends toss him friends from a distance when he is being calm (even if that means he only stops barking for one second to catch his breath- toss the treat during the second). Play his favorite games and use food as a reward for calmness, focus on you, and being brave (in a good way) during the outings. You can also practice obedience with rewards. Have friends practice with you at home, in public locations, and other places where he is currently reactive (and even places he does well as a preventative). Check out the article that I have linked below to desensitize him to the door: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bpzvqN9JNUA Also, anxious dogs tend to do well with a lot of structure and boundaries. Make him work for things he gets, like walks, throwing a toy, or being petted, by making him perform a command like Sit or Down first. When you give him a command, be sure to enforce that command with calmness and confidence. Don't baby him or convey that you feel sorry for him - try to be calm and confident to help him learn those responses from you. Also, work on his independence by teaching him distance commands. Teach him the Place command and work up to him being able to stay in his Place for an hour or two while you are present, or shorter amounts of time while you are in another room. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=omg5DVPWIWo Also, work on teaching him to stay in his crate even with the door open when you are home (having to stay in there willingly with the door open has a very different effect than the door being closed). https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mn5HTiryZN8 Practicing commands like Sit and Down Stay from a distance are also great. You can use a long leash, loop it around something behind him like a tree and then back away while holding the long leash (forty-to-fifty-feet)...Doing this lets you walk about 30 or more feet away and if he gets up, you can pull him backward with the long leash to correct him back into the Sit or Down position, while telling him "Ah-Ah" to let him know that he wasn't supposed to do that. Work up to the distance gradually. First, simply teach him what Down, Sit, and Stay mean, and work up to distance as he improves over time. Finally, if you feel like you are dealing with true separation anxiety, check out the Separation Anxiety protocol from the trainer below. It's a lot of structure and can seem intense. I have seen it work, but I only use that if real separation anxiety is going on, and not simply boredom barking or things that can be addressed just by adding more structure and boundaries to a dog's routine. This trainer can sound a bit harsh with people, so I apologize for that. He does a lot of great work with highly aggressive, reactive, and fearful dogs though. Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y5GqzeLzysk Article with additional info: https://www.solidk9training.com/sk9-blog/2013/02/21/separation-anxiety-im-not-seeing-it-at-my-place For the food, check out ZiwiPeak (You can buy it online) or Honest Kitchen. Both of these are freeze dried real-food based dog foods that dogs tend to like better. If you want to rotate off of these later, you can add in regular dry kibble (once he is eating the honest kitchen or ziwipeak alright). Add just a little dry kibble at first and put it in a ziplock bag with the freeze dried food overnight so that it will taste and smell like the freeze dried. You can very gradually increase the kibble and decrease the freeze dried overtime to transition to just a dry kibble. Nature's Variety makes a kibble with freeze dried pieces in it that might be a good food to eventually transition to because it will still be a bit similar to the freeze dried that was mixed with the normal kibble without all the work of mixing it yourself. You can also buy freeze dried kibble toppers. While you are transitioning to the freeze dried, avoid feeding people food. Instead, use the freeze dried dog food as treats. If he has to work for the food, he is actually more likely to eat the food and view it differently than his normal dog food. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
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Hi! My Rottweiler does not respect me...
He listend perfectly well to my boyfriend but when he is not around Louis completely changes his behaviour;
- He doesnt lay down in the house even when I tell him to so he is very restless and keeps asking for attention and biting my feet
- He pulls and bites the leash when walking
It’s very stressfull to go waln with him or even be home with him the whole day as he doesnt listen at all. How can I gain back his respect and make these bad behaviour stop?
Hello Arzu, Check out the article that I have linked below. Follow both the "Consistency" method and the "Working" method. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-doberman-to-listen-to-you Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
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Buddy is a rescue. He is very very stubborn. He basically makes up his own mind on if he wants to listen or not. We have had 3 trainers the past 2 years. None have been successful. I am partly to blame because training a dog is not something I have any patience for. I do not enjoy working with him for training. When we had a trainer for him after 2 weeks of no results they all suggested that I wait until he is older. During that time I did work with him. My dog does not respect me. Any suggestions?
He is American Bulldog/Great Pyrenees
Hello Resa, Some breeds are very independent, including Great Pyreneese and Bull Dogs. These breeds sometimes lack the motivation that treat training gives a lot of dogs for obeying. If motivation seems to be the issue, following methods for teaching commands in a more structured way might be better. For example, check out the article linked below and follow the "Reel In" method for teaching Come. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-whippet-to-recall Practice Stay by having your dog lay down while you watch TV and step on the leash so that it stops them from getting up if they try. Keep the leash loose enough that they do not feel it tug on them while laying down obediently. This method depends on consistency more than treats. You can still reward with a treat after they have stayed down without trying to get up for at least two minutes. The "Reel In" method for teaching Come rewards the dog for obeying but also teaches the dog to come regardless of whether they are motivated to. Following methods like that, that involve immediate follow through on your part is important, so that the dog learns that they have to obey even when they do not want to. This type of training should be very calm, but simply insistent, consistent, and a bit more stubborn that your dog is, to see results. Following through is one of the best ways to teach obedience. If you tell your dog to do something, make sure it is something they understand and can do from prior training practice, then help them do it and insist they do. A confident, calm and slightly stubborn attitude will gain you a lot more respect than high emotions and anger...even though that can definitely be hard at times when frustrated. Spending 30 minutes practicing training every day should decrease frustration at other times because respect and your dog's ability should be better. As well as your own skills naturally as a trainer. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
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My dog has difficulty with other dogs.
She used to be fine with dogs as a puppy, but once she had her first cycle she has become somewhat aggressive with other dogs. She is now spayed, yet she still pulls heavily on the leash and jumps around whenever there is another dog across the street. She blanks out and I don't know if I continue walking or if I have her sit until she calms down.
She is a sweet dog and loves to play, but when it's time to walk and I come across another dog, I always face the same issue: lunging and jumping.
What steps can I take to train her to behave appropriately while walking and not lunge or jump at other dogs?
Hello Adriana, If she has never actually harmed another dog and does get along with some dogs when off leash, then she probably has leash reactivity. Check out the video linked below on leash reactivity. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vXLPwyKEjHI Dogs with leash reactivity typically lack respect and trust for their owner and other dogs and need a lot of structure and boundaries. Such dogs need to go into doggie boot calm for a while to create an overall attitude change. Walks need to start with heeling, with the dog's face behind your leg and not in front, so that she is in the following position. Walks are structured, with the dog expected to focus on you and not sniff, stop, or move ahead of you the entire time. This sets the tone for when you come across another dog. If you want her to go potty, give her a command for it like "Go Sniff" before you give you slack in the leash, then when she finishes going tell her "Heel" or "Let's Go" to let her know that she is supposed to be heeling again. Check out the article linked below and pay attention to the "Turns" method. I suggest doing this without other dogs around first, while yo also implement all of the training from the video linked above to establish trust and respect for you. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-poodle-to-heel Be strict for a while, practice structured obedience commands very often, have her work for what she gets in life such as food and petting and walks by making her do commands first. Don't tolerate pushiness with you, rushing through crates or doorways or begging. Imagine yourself as a drill sergent right now and she is in boot calm. Gaining trust and respect is more about structure, consistency and obedience commands than it is about intimidation or being physically rough. You will notice in the video linked below that Jeff uses a Prong collar (which I recommend for most pushy dogs without fear issues), but notice the calm way he uses it and how he gives brief corrections and also praises the dog when he gets something right. Look up how to fit and correct with a Prong collar though because it is supposed to be worn high on the neck and tight enough that all the prongs gently touch the skin without digging into the skin at all. Corrections should be a quick tug and release - not a continuous pull or hanging the dog. When used right Prong collars give an even correction all the way around the neck that creates an uncomfortable squeeze and not a hard correction at the front of the throat only - which makes them safer than choke collars and even some buckle collars. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M3iczULPcdE If you have any doubt whether a prong is right for your dog though, consult a trainer who is very experienced and uses both positive reinforcement and fair corrections and focuses on teaching and communicating with the dog your expectations and how to perform them. Good structured commands to practice in addition Down, Sit, and Stay: 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 Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OTiKVc4ZZWo If you have reason to believe that Shiloh has fear issues or is truly aggressive, then I suggest hiring a professional trainer to help you implement the training because it will need to be adjusted to keep everyone safe with an aggressive dog and to counter condition a fearful dog to sources of fear and build confidence. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
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My 6 month old shepsky has been pretty obedient but does not understand that it is not play time whenever he wants it. My 50 pound pup will jump, scratch and step all over my boyfriend and I when we’re laying down on the couch watching tv late at night and he decides he wants to play fetch or tug of war outside. I leave him outside when he acts this way with his toys but will start barking as soon as I turn around to walk back inside. I take him for walks, hikes, to the river for a swim to waste his energy but seems to nap for 15 minutes and he’s reenergized. How can I get him to understand we’re not gonna play with him whenever he wants us too and to stop jumping scratching and biting us for attention?
Hello Monica, I suggest working on commands that build impulse control (similar to self-control), and his respect for you. First check out the article linked below and how to teach the Out command (which means leave the area). Use Out when he is being pushy. Check out the sections on "How to Teach the Out Command" and "How to Use Out for Pushiness" especially. https://www.petful.com/behaviors/how-to-teach-a-dog-the-out-command/ I also suggest crate training, teaching Place and teaching Quiet. Having a structured heel when you walk him and anything else you can do to encourage manners can also help gently but firmly build respect and help him develop impulse control. When you do play with him, tell him something like "Okay!" or "Go!" first to let him know when it is and isn't time to play. The Surprise Method for crate training: https://wagwalking.com/training/like-a-crate How to teach manners surrounding the crate: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mn5HTiryZN8 Place command: https://thegooddog.net/training-videos/free-how-to-training-videos/learn-to-train-the-good-dog-way-place-command-the-good-dog-training-tips/ Quiet method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bark Other good things to teach in general: 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 Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
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He seems to respect me somewhat, but the only way I can get him to listen to most commands is by offering a treat. He will sit and lay down without one, but to speak I have to show a treat. How do I wean him off of this treat dependency?
Hello Jack, First, practice giving the command while pretending to hold a treat. When he obeys give a treat from behind your back so that he sees that you weren't holding one but he still got it when he obeyed. Practice that until he isn't dependent on seeing a treat or thinking you have one. Next, start to give treats less frequent, such as every other command, every 3rd time, 5th time, ect...until it's a surprise when he will get a treat. Next, replace treats with life rewards. Give your dog a command before giving him something he wants, to incorporate the training into your day. For example, tell him Speak before taking him on a walk or handing him a toy. Tell him sit before feeding him his dinner. Tell him Down before throwing a frisbee. Change up which commands you do with which rewards so he doesn't just learn to bark whenever he wants a toy, but is actually listening to your instruction. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
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A few times a day my puppy will get a burst of energy and she will start biting my hands, feet arms and clothing. I tell her no and remove myself from the room. But she’ll keep running around and going behind the couch where she knows she’s not supposed to because I’m not there to stop her. But she also doesn’t listen to anything when she’s in the state of mind, she just gets more excited and bites harder and jumps. How do I get her to calm down a bit so she doesn’t think of me as a toy and that I’m playing with her
Hello Nicole, What you just described is called the puppy zoomies. Almost all puppies get them, and even some adult dogs, but most grow out of it. It tends to happen when a puppy is overtired and needs some quiet time, or when they are ready to be stimulated physically or mentally. First, when she gets like that find a toy for her to hold in her mouth - she will need to chew on something so show her what's something good to bite instead of you. If you have a fenced in backyard, call her to the door and let her outside to run for a few minutes - most puppies will do zoomies for about ten minutes then wear themselves out. Its normal at this age. When you can't let her run around outside where there is space, give her a command to calm down, and when she gets still reward her with a food stuffed chew toy, like a Kong - stuffed with mushy dog food that was soaked in water and a bit of peanut butter, then frozen overnight - You can make several of these ahead of time and have them in the freezer to grab as needed. To teach her an 'off switch', when she is not feeling crazy, practice getting her really excited, then telling her "Stop" and freezing until she calms down. When she gets calm, give her a treat, then tell her "Okay" to let her know she can play again and go back to playing with her. Practice this over and over until she will stop right away while really excited when told to. Once she can freeze when told to during practice you can use the command when she is wild. This will need practice because self-control is a skill puppies have to learn with practice. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
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How do I get my pup to listen to other members of the family, without losing my position of pack leader? I do all of his training, but when I need to go out without him, he doesn’t listen to anyone in the house and starts nipping.
Hello Cassidy, Have other members of the family practice training with him too, even if it's just using his dinner kibble regularly to run through the commands you have already taught him (make him work for his dinner a few pieces at a time by doing commands for the food - measure the food into something besides him bowl - do not reach into his bowl for this). Since you are the one who is most a leader in your home in his world you are not likely to loose his utmost respect by having other members of the family work with him too, as long as you don't decrease what you are doing at the same time. You can also have family do things like take him on a walk and make him work during the walk by heeling and occasionally sitting or lying down when told. Tell family to enforce commands they give him, such as going to get him when they tell him to Come and he disobeys, instead of just yelling or leaving him alone then. For the biting, have them practice the Leave It command with him at calmer times, then use the Leave It command and Pressure method from the article linked below when he won't listen. Have them tell him Leave It, and if he keeps biting, then enforce him stopping with the Pressure method - he needs to Leave It first though so that he will understand and have the skills to stop biting when told - then it's just a matter of whether he chooses to obey something he understands. Teach him the Out command from the article linked below and show family how to enforce that command when he won't calm down - when you are home you can also step between him and the person he is biting and walk toward him instead of them walking toward him - this essentially tells him that he should respect that person because you have 'claimed' that person as yours in the doggie world. Leave It and Pressure methods for biting: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bite Listening and respect article - especially the sections on the obedience method and consistency method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-doberman-to-listen-to-you Out command - which means leave the area - read the entire article: https://www.petful.com/behaviors/how-to-teach-a-dog-the-out-command/ Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
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I adopted Scooby about 3 months ago and he was already well trained and adapted to me quickly. He was very dog reactive to start with (which I knew when I got him) and I’ve been working with him to develop more confidence with other dogs when out walking. At the moment, he will now say hi to most other dogs and seems interested in them when out for walks rather than afraid and reactive. However, alongside this new-found confidence he has become less obedient to me. He had great recall to start with and I reinforced this with treats, slowly changing treats to praise and pats over the last 6 weeks. But very recently (the last week or so) he’s started to ignore my recall commands. I thought to start with he might just not have heard me, but now I know he can and ignored it. This happens maybe only once on a walk but I want to stamp it out. I’ve tried using treats again today and this seemed to be working well but then towards the end he once again ignored me and I had to wait for him to choose to return to me which he did. He is usually allowed on the sofa with me in the evenings but I’ve made him go back to staying in his bed to reinforce that I’m top dog but I’d love some more tips.
Hello Anna, Check out the article linked below and follow the Reel In method with a 40' leash and a harness. The Reel In method helps a dog learn that coming is not an option, but will be pleasant if they do. Treats are a great way to start but at a certain point a dog also needs to learn that coming is not optional because something can always trump your treat in the real world. Reel in method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-whippet-to-recall Use the Reel In method but also check out the article linked below for additional tips on the process of teaching come from beginning to off-leash around distractions - the step you are at is using a long leash right now, but past that you can read up about where to go from there if needed: https://www.petful.com/behaviors/train-dog-to-come-when-called/ Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
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Casey is very young and very smart but as consistent as we are she doesn’t seem to realise what’s right and wrong. She has became a lot more vocal and constantly nibbles or climbs on us, and if she chews something she shouldn’t, she carries on even when we tell her off, it’s becoming very tiring and frustrating, she knows all her tricks but has no manners
Hello Hollie, You are in the height of puppy-hood and her combination of breeds tends to have a lot of energy, play rougher, and be very mouthy as a puppy so know that what you are experiencing is probably normal - even though I know its frustrating. She may need to be trained with slightly different methods then the ones you are using. A lot of the issue is probably just the need for more time and practice and continued consistency as she matures. New methods may help a lot though. I would recommend methods that use mild corrections for unwanted behavior in combination with teaching her what to do that's good instead and a lot of rewards for doing the good behavior. Positive reinforcement plus age appropriate corrections, instead of just correcting or only rewarding. For example, use the Step Toward method from the article linked below. Stepping toward her is mildly correcting and asks her to respect your space, then having her Sit once she is paying attention and rewarding her for sitting teaches her that instead of jumping she should sit (Don't jump - sit instead). https://wagwalking.com/training/train-australian-shepherds-to-not-jump For the mouthing, check out the article linked below and starting today follow the Bite Inhibition method, but also begin working on the Leave It command from the Leave It method. As soon as she understands Leave It well and can do it with clothes like the article mentions, then start using Leave It when she bites. If you tell her to Leave It (which she should understand well by that point) and she ignores your command, then use the Pressure method also found in that article as a mild correction for disobeying a known command - Leave It. In this scenario she should then understand how to leave something alone and that there is a consequence if she doesn't obey. If you go straight to the Pressure method she may not understand why she is being corrected and it won't be as effective without teaching leave it first though. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bite I also suggest teaching the Out command - which means leave the area. When temptation seems to be too much for her, tell her Out so that she leaves the area completely. https://www.petful.com/behaviors/how-to-teach-a-dog-the-out-command/ Teach her Place command and crate train her. Have her go to Place (such as a dog bed, towel, or cot) or to her crate with a food stuffed chew toy when she gets too wound up - many young puppies actually need to rest when they get really crazy - they are actually overtired and overstimulated and need a break. You can additionally place treats on her "Place" randomly throughout the day and between her paws whenever you catch her lying on her Place bed on her own, to encourage her to spend more calm time there on her own. Place command: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=omg5DVPWIWo For the chewing, check out the articles linked below: https://www.petful.com/behaviors/train-dog-not-to-chew/ https://wagwalking.com/training/not-chew-on-furniture Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
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Quincy is a rescue dog...the adopter has had him for 4-5 months..he has bonded with her but doesnt respect her...4 expensive trainers no one knows what to do..they say hes not aggressive but at times he will snap....growl..go to bite but doesnt or does a little..what can she do she has done everything
Hello Denise, Check out Jeff Gellman from solidK9Training on YouTube. Work on obedience that builds calmness and respect to start with: 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 Working method and Consistency method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-doberman-to-listen-to-you If she is likely to be bitten while training him, then get him used to wearing a basket muzzle. If he has learned that biting and aggression gets him what he wants his ability to use his mouth to control people needs to stop by implementing safety measures like a muzzle or back tie leash - which one depending on what you are working on training. To introduce the muzzle, first place it on the ground and sprinkle his meal kibble around it. Do this until he is comfortable eating around it. Next, when he is comfortable with it being on the floor with food, hold it up and reward him with a piece of kibble every time he touches or sniffs it in your hand. Feed him his whole meal this way. Practice this until he is comfortable touching it. Next, hold a treat inside of it through the muzzle's holes, so that he has to poke his face into it to get the treat. As he gets comfortable doing that, gradually hold the treat further down into the muzzle, so that he has to poke his face all the way into the muzzle to get the treat. Practice until he is comfortable having his face in it. Next, feed several treats in a row through the muzzle's holes while he holds his face in the muzzle for longer. Practice this until he can hold his face in it for at least ten seconds while being fed treats. Next, when he can hold his face in the muzzle for ten seconds while remaining calm, while his face is in the muzzle move the muzzle's buckles together briefly, then feed him a treat through the muzzle. Practice this until he is not bothered by the buckles moving back and forth. Next, while he is wearing the muzzle buckle it and unbuckle it briefly, then feed a treat. As he gets comfortable with this step, gradually keep the muzzle buckled for longer and longer while feeding treats through the muzzle occasionally. Next, gradually increase how long he wears the muzzle for and decrease how often you give him a treat, until he can calmly wear the muzzle for at least an hour without receiving treats more than two treats during that hour. Try to assess what type of aggression it is. Is he afraid of certain things and acting aggressively in response to too much pressure (still not okay but handled a little differently). Is he being pushy and using aggression to protest her doing things he just doesn't feel like doing (but isn't truly afraid of)? Is he resource guarding people, objects, or food? When is the aggression happening and what does his body language look like? Fearful usually looks like ears back, tense, tucked or stiff but low tail, trying to move away at times - even if growling. Pushiness looks more like tense, confident, puffed up, higher tail, higher ears, standing ground better. Rude can look happy but super rough and not attentive. These are generals and there are other types of aggression but with people these are the most common. For fear you need to also address the underlying fears, while building respect and trust - to help him overcome what he is afraid of in addition to teaching him how to express that fear in a better way - i.e. not through aggression. Both rude and pushy related aggression require more of a boot-camp, firmer approach, but for all three types of aggression the person training needs to be very calm, confident, and consistent. Notice how the trainers in the videos linked above handle themselves around the dogs - firm but calm. Watch further videos from SolidK9Training Jeff Gellman and Sean O'Shea The Good Dog Minute on YouTube for more specifics on dealing with things like fear, resource guarding, or bullying behavior. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
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My puppy is kennel trained, but spent his first 4 months living at my parents house even though I took care of all the training, feeding and walking. He would bark in the middle of the night to go out, and has yet to figure out how to sleep through the night. I’ve trained him to “settle” which will stop the barks for about an hour, but he continues to wake up about 3am. His barks strike me as telling me he is lonely (he sleeps in another room), because it is a single bark followed by about 45 seconds of silence. I did call my vet and she told me to let him cry it out as it didn’t look like he has a UTI or anything. But he continues to do this after 3 weeks. Any advice? I don’t want to sedate him at night and he’s already walking 5 miles every day to tire him out (split into seceral walks) in addition to several training sessions and puzzle toys during throughout the day.
Hello Erin, I agree with your vet that he needs to cry it out. After six months of being attended to during the night it will take him a while to break the habit of barking in the middle of the night. This is especially true for smart, stubborn, sensitive dogs like Border Collies. When he barks don't go into the room or you will simply prolong the barking. There are a few things you can do in addition to that however. First place him into the crate every day while you are at home for up to an hour. Stuff a large Kong toy with 'mush' and then freeze it. To make the mush, place his food into a bowl and cover it with water, then let it sit out until the food absorbs the water and turns into mush. Mix a bit or peanut butter or soft treat paste into the mush and then very loosely stuff and freeze the Kong. When you place him into the crate put the stuffed Kong inside with him. When he stays quiet for five minutes, or becomes quiet for at least thirty seconds after barking, then go over to the crate, drop several treats inside, and then walk away again without saying anything. Repeat this throughout the crate hour. As he improves, then only go over to the crate and drop in treats every ten minutes, then eventually every thirty minutes, then only once, then not at all. Continue to give him a Kong whenever you crate him though. The idea is to teach him to self-entertain, self-sooth, and accept the crate by giving him something to do in the crate besides barking and by rewarding his quietness. At night when you place him into the crate, wedge a couple of larger treats into the Kong, then give him the Kong when he goes to bed for comfort. Do not give him a completely stuffed Kong because you do not want him to have to go to the bathroom during the night, just do a couple of large treats. After spending time training him during the day, he should begin to associate the Kong with entertaining himself so that he will chew on that when he wakes up and needs to wind back down. Expect him to cry still, possibly for another month. Let him. Learning how to be independent from you and self-sooth and self-entertain can help prevent separation anxiety later on. He does need to be shown what to do during the day, be given something safe to do during the night that is not too stimulating, i.e. the Kong, and be given the opportunity to figure it out on his own. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
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I’ve started the process of loose leash walking with my pup, when we go out in public and are walking she will keep jumping up on me like she wants to be picked up. She also does this to friends who are walking with us. It’s almost as if she’s scared or too excited. She does it for the first 10 minutes or so. How do I stop this behaviour?
I was also looking for some tips on how to start teaching her to be calm in public and for her to learn that she doesn’t get to say hi to every human we pass. Also in stores, or just meeting someone who wants to pet her. I’d like her to stop jumping on everyone
Hello Nicole, What you are describing at her age is completely normal - most puppies try to jump out of excitement or to try to get any treats you are carrying during the walk. If you are teaching heel with treats, keep them in your opposite pocket and don't hold the treat in your hand until you are ready to deliver it. Also, when she jumps take a side step into her, moving her out of that space. Don't step on her but moving toward her is asking her for a bit more space and making the jumping less fun. Try to be patient too. Most puppies simply don't understand yet what heeling looks like and so try all kinds of other behaviors to try to get a reward or express excitement (weaving between legs, taking off running, and jumping are all common at first). When you reward, reward when she is slightly behind you and all four paws on the ground - deliver any treats used at the back of your leg instead of in front of your leg because where you give the treat delivery area will tend to be where she hangs out while heeling. For the jumping, check out the article linked below. Try to recruit a bunch of friends to help you practice this with her, stepping toward her when she jumps and rewarding with a treat when she sits...this will take a lot of repetition, but jumping is an attention seeking behavior (which is good because she is friendly) but stepping toward her tells her she should give space (dogs understand body language well generally) and giving a treat when she sits teaches her another way to ask for attention that is more polite. It's important to both fairly correct for the wrong thing and reward for the right thing so she understands. It's like telling her not that, this instead. When she greets guests in public where you can't instruct people to step toward her and trust they will follow always, step on the middle part of her leash, so that if she tries to jump up her leash will automatically correct her, then tell her to sit and let guests give her a treat or pet while she is sitting...This will take practice. When you don't want every person under the sun coming up to you to greet her, you can have her wear a vest that says in training, or tell guests politely "Sorry, she's in training right now". Most people will accept that. At this age I would encourage greeting people politely though because socialization is generally more important than obedience for preventing aggression and fear while puppies are young, but there is a polite way to teach it. Correct attempts to go to people when not given permission (if she is supposed to be heeling and darts to people she has disobeyed heel so that can be corrected), then what you want her to meet someone have her tune into you by looking at you first, sitting, doing down, or generally showing you she is listening, when she complies with your command to focus on you, tell her to "Say Hi" and give slack in the leash to let her politely greet. Expect this to take practice - this can be hard for pups. Pet store workers, friends, family, and other puppy owners are often willing to play along with making her be polite before greeting. Others who want to meet her can be harder, so explain what to do simply before they get closer when they ask to greet, and be prepared to enforce her yourself instead of expecting them to. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
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