He does NOT know what he did.

Posted by on Mar 9, 2014 in blog | 5 comments

“He knows he did wrong.” This is a phrase I hear all the time in clients households when their dog is hiding from them or slinking away. Along with: “He was mad at me so he….” and “He was being spiteful so he……”. Your dog does not hate you and he is not trying to get back at you. He does not possess that kind of reasoning logic. The reasoning of a 2 yr in a lot of instances are beyond his means. There are however some cues and circumstances that lead to this very conclusion. Body language and tome of voice are major cue to conditioned response from your dog. Your dog has an advantage over you in that he spends the majority of his time paying attention to you. You however spend most of your time paying attention to everything but him until he comes to nose up your hand or push a toy on you. Whenever you are angry you give him similar body language and tone of voice. I’m sure your spouse or significant other can attest to the same thing. These cues produce a conditioned response in both your dog and your significant other. Usually exasperation in one and submission in the other. You decide which is which. 😉 Whenever you see, or smell, the mess he made you show him the mad language. If your dog is bad often enough, he is conditioned that you are mad every time you walk in the front door. He is not doing these things because he is angry or spiteful. He does not clearly understand the way he should do things. Teach...

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Tactile Commands

Posted by on Mar 9, 2014 in blog |

Dogs and other animals’ communication is much more about the physical than our own. Reading body language has become a lost art. Now it seems the only person to pay attention to what other people’s bodies are telling him is Tim Roth in his tv show “Lie to Me”. This is however your dog’s primary means of communication. What you do matters much more to him than what you say. Its all about kinesics. Businessmen and women who are expert negotiators are very atune to body language. Training your dog is just that, a negotiation. We end up having miscommunication with our animals because we talk to much, muddying the waters. Before I ever overlay a word for my dog, I shape the behaviors I want with body language or touch. This makes things very clear for the dog so he can learn very quickly. Even after shaping behaviors, the words take much longer. Be patient. The will catch on. Here is an example of a young pup learning his sit and down in this manner....

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What is my dog so afraid of??

Posted by on Mar 12, 2013 in blog |

In my line of business I see tons of dogs that are terrible when meeting new people. However, there are two completely different ends to the spectrum. There are dogs that are excited to see everyone. This is due to over socialization. I will address this dog in a completely separate post. The second is the fearful dog. There is no in between. I hear clients tell me all the time that their dog is protective of them. The dog does not “protect” unless he perceives danger. I will elaborate. First let me say, it is not your dog’s job to be a judge of character or intent. That is your job entirely. Owning a dog that decides these things is just like owning a gun who is deciding who it is going to shoot. It’s a major liability. You must train this behavior away. Notice that I say train away, not socialize. If you have a dog like this, socialization will only perpetuate the behavior. How you ask? We have to look at this from the dog’s point of view to figure out why he does this. When you put your dog on leash or in the yard and he barks at everyone, he thinks he is keeping everyone at bay. The more the people come, he barks, and they go, he thinks he’s getting rid of them. Your little ankle biter or head biter thinks he is running everyone off. The dog that does this consistently believes the only reason they haven’t come over and hurt him yet is because of his antics. This makes this the hardest habit to get rid of in dogs. This dog believes his life is in danger if he does not act boastful. Now you CANNOT soothe this behavior away. Your kind words of  “It’s OK” and caressing only serve to re-enforce the bad behavior. There are two ways to handle this. First you can reprimand the bad behaviors that you do not want. (Most popular) With this behavior being so strong, consequence must also be strong. This may make a fearful dog like this fall apart if too strong since now he is fighting the perceived outside threat and dear old mom or dad. Secondly you can reward a stable behavior that you would prefer to the first. The problem here is you have to wait for the stability, which will require some patience. You can also do both. (I know I said two ways) This can expedite the process and also create balance, especially if the reward is food for a hungry dog. Enjoy and happy training. Always training, Ron...

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Êtes-vous un jouet pour chien à mâcher?

Posted by on Mar 8, 2013 in blog | 0 comments

J’ai eu une consultation avec une dame qui a eu hier un chiot dogue de quatre mois. Apparemment, le chiot se sert de son propre son jouet à mâcher personnelle. Je trouve cela très commun et chiots, en particulier à haute énergie. Cette affaire était particulièrement gênant parce que le chiot est déjà 54 livres, et le propriétaire est particulièrement «cœur tendre». Elle a exprimé sa consternation face à son éleveur et a été renvoyé à un comportementaliste et un formateur. Ils ont tous lui a donné le même conseil. Qu’elle avait besoin de laisser son chien savoir qui était dominante. Le problème, c’est qu’elle n’est pas dominante. Elle n’a pas une personnalité dominante. C’est une formation très old-school. Il existe d’autres moyens pour enrayer ce genre de question sans battre votre chien. C’est, après tout, ce laisser votre chien sait qui est des moyens dominants. Le genre de méthodes qui vous obligent à rouler votre chien sur son dos, et dans ce cas le chien mord dans le cou. LOL Je ne pouvais pas croire que les gens étaient toujours prescrire ces sortes de méthodes. En outre, ils lui ont dit de pousser vers le bas sur sa langue les chiens avec son pouce, et rouler ses lèvres sous ses dents. Ce sont toutes des méthodes très old school. Parlons pourquoi votre chien présente ce genre de comportement. Tout d’abord, votre chien est probablement la recherche de divertissement. Ses besoins de base sont satisfaits, alors il est à la recherche pour les besoins d’échelons plus élevés. Je vais vous donner un exemple. Faisons un retour de flamme au moment où votre chiot est de retour avec sa litière à environ cinq semaines. Lui et ses frères et sœurs ont mangé. Il va maintenant à la recherche de divertissement, car il s’ennuie. Il va à sa sœur et il mord sur sa tête. Elle saute, roule sur lui et le frappe vers le haut. Il quitte alors son va et à son frère, et les morsures sur sa tête. Son frère roule, et lui permet d’avoir son chemin. Le lendemain, il a mangé, et il s’ennuie à nouveau. Il se lève regarde sa sœur, puis se dirige vers son frère et les morsures sur sa tête. C’est ainsi que fonctionne votre chiot. C’est aussi pourquoi son entraîneur, comportementaliste, éleveur et toutes les prescrire les mêmes méthodes. Ils voulaient qu’elle traite son chien comme un chien dominant le ferait. Lorsque vous voulez vous débarrasser d’un comportement de votre chien, tout comportement, vous devez faire deux choses. La première chose que vous devez faire est de rendre le comportement que vous n’aimez pas non plus agréable pour le chien. Pour ce faire, vous avez besoin de regarder ce qu’il se fait sur le comportement et l’enlever. Deuxièmement, lorsque le chien choisit un nouveau comportement, vous avez besoin de récompenser celui que...

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Are you a dog chew toy?

Posted by on Mar 7, 2013 in blog | 0 comments

I had a consultation with a lady yesterday that had a four-month-old mastiff puppy. Apparently the puppy is using her his own personal chew toy. I find this to be very common and puppies, especially high-energy.  This case was especially troublesome because the puppy is already 54 pounds, and the owner is particularly “softhearted”.  She expressed her dismay with her breeder and was referred to a behaviorist and a trainer. They all gave her the same advice. That she needed to let her dog know who was dominant.  The problem is, she’s not dominant. She does not have a dominant personality. This is very old-school training. There are other ways to curb this kind of issue without beating your dog.  That is after all, what letting your dog know who is dominant means. The kind of methods that require you to roll your dog on his back, and in this case bite the dog on the neck.  LOL I couldn’t believe people were still prescribing these kinds of methods.  As well, they told her to push down on her dogs tongue with her thumb, and roll his lips underneath his teeth. These are all very old school methods. Let’s talk about why your dog exhibits this kind of behavior. First of all, your dog is most likely looking for entertainment. His basic needs are satisfied, so he is looking for higher rung needs.  I’ll give you an example. Let’s flashback to when your puppy was back with his litter at about five weeks old.  He and his brothers and sisters have eaten. He now goes in search of entertainment because he is bored. He goes to his sister and he bites on her head. She jumps up, rolls him over, and beats him up. He then leaves her and goes to his brother, and bites on his head.  His brother rolls over, and allows him to have his way. The very next day he has eaten, and he’s bored again. He gets up looks at his sister, then goes to his brother and bites on his head.  This is how your puppy operates. This is also why her trainer, behaviorist, and breeder all prescribe the same methods. They wanted her to treat her dog as a dominant dog would. When you want to get rid of a behavior in your dog, any behavior, you need to do two things. First thing you need to do is make the behavior that you don’t like no longer pleasurable for the dog. To accomplish this, you need to look at what he’s getting out of the behavior and take that away. Secondly, when the dog chooses a new behavior, you need to reward the one that you like for that situation. A good way to achieve this with a play biting dog, is to put a leash on him. Let him run...

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How you dog learns Pt 2

Posted by on Mar 3, 2013 in blog |

This is where we left off in part 1 of this entry. “Let us say your dog is stray. He wanders into your yard and you put some food out for him. The next time he gets hungry he visits you. He doesn’t need to see that 100 times to learn. Your house is the restaurant. When he gets hungry, he goes to the restaurant. He associates the location as the source of food though. There lies a flaw.” This creates conflict because we want the dog to pay attention to us. He now pays attention to the environment because in his eyes it feeds him. This is the same way your dog looks at the food bowl, especially if you free feed.(bowl of food out for the dog to graze all day) Now lets say your dog visits and instead of putting food out for him you give it to him by hand. The dog now directly associates you as the source of food. Not a big difference for us, but believe me, it makes a huge difference for the dog. This is why you hand feed a food aggressive dog. Now, just for giggles, we start to train our example dog. He comes over for his food. We teach him to sit, down, and shake to get it. He does these things with no argument because it is all part of the hunt for him. Then your neighbor sees the dog and starts to leave food out for him, undermining your training. Dogs flow like water and electricity; the path of least resistance. Our faithful companion now starts to go to the neighbors house instead of ours. If he is a greedy dog or he wants us to rub his belly(secondary desires), he comes to see us afterwards. If not, he goes to the neighbors and rarely comes to visit us. This is a glimpse into how your dog prioritises. The key is to make yourself the first choice in every situation. If you do this successfully, you wont have to worry about your dog, pulling on leash, running away, or being unresponsive. Good luck in training and...

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