Using a Leadership Exercise to Train a Pair of Santa Monica Dogs to Listen

By: David Codr

Published Date: October 11, 2017

For this Santa Monica dog training session we taught 4 year-old King Charles Cavalier / Poodle mix Coco and 2 year-old Chihuahua mix Penny Lane to respect their guardians with a leadership exercise.

When I asked the guardians about the dog’s daily life, I learned that they didn’t have any real rules to follow. Combined with demanding attention through pawing or nudging, the humans mistakenly gave the dogs the impression that they were in charge. This is a common problem I find with my clients as a dog behaviorist and it almost always results in unwanted dog behaviors.

If a dog does not respect you as an authority figure, then listening to you becomes optional. So if you find your dog doesn’t listen to you, consider what rules and limits you have in place.

After suggesting a number of new rules and ways to enforce them, I showed the humans how to incorporate structure to their interactions with the dogs. These are the most basic and elementary forms of positive dog training.

To help the guardians practice acting as a leader and using the new non verbal communication cues I shared with them, I pulled out some high value treats so I could demonstrate one of the first exercises I ever came up with. I call it a Leadership exercise and you can watch me explain it in the video below.

Id like the guardians to practice the leadership exercise with the dogs separately multiple times a day. If they can really get into training the dogs with this exercise for the next week or two, it will make a big improvement on how the dogs see and respond to the humans.

By the end of the session, the dogs were already starting to follow the new rules on their own. They will try to get past them over the next few weeks which is why I stressed that the humans need to be strict when enforcing them for the next month. It usually takes a month to establish new behavior patterns, but once they are set, thing will get much easier and require less supervision.

We finished up the session by going over many of the dog behavior tips and dog training secrets I shared with their guardians. You can get some free dog training tips by watching the video yourself.

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This post was written by: David Codr

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