A Bunch of Videos with Great Dog Training Tips and Secrets

By: David Codr

Published Date: February 17, 2017

Gavin is a one-year-old Lab mix who was adopted into a home with a twelve-year-old Boston Terrier named Ruby. The guardians set up a dog behavior training session with me to stop Gavin’s nervous and anxious behavior around new people, barking at people passing by the house as well as Ruby’s licking and jumping up.

Gavin’s bark and movements showed a little bit of territorial behavior, but once he got a chance to sniff me, he adopted more of a playful nature. Once I stepped inside, I got my first indicator that Gavin may not be getting enough exercise and stimulation.

Dogs chew things as a self soothing activity which is normal. But chewing on bedding or other non-dog related items can become a real problem. Anytime a dog does something and we don’t specifically disagree, many dogs interpret that as our approval. For this reason I suggested that the guardians consistently and immediately disagree anytime Gavin chewed anything that was not a designated dog toy.

I also recommended that the guardians purchase some additional dog chew toys such as Nylabones, pull toys, squeekers, antlers and real bones. I had brought along a few bully stick pieces and both dogs enjoyed them right away so other options to explore would be ingestible chew items like bully sticks, cow’s ears, pig nose slices, chicken feet, trachea’s, etc.

I sat down with the guardians to discuss the dog’s routine and determine if they had unintentionally taught the dogs to engage in any of the unwanted behaviors. I found out that a lack of structure has likely influenced many of the dog’s unwanted behaviors.

Some dogs can behave beautifully without any rules and limited structure in place, but when you have more than one or dogs that are not fully trained, then a lack of rules can easily lead to conflict as the dog sees itself as having authority it does not. This often results in frustration for the human and the dogs.

Introducing rules and boundaries and consistently enforcing them within three seconds for the next month or so will take some effort by the humans, but the payoff in terms of good dog behavior will be more than worth it.

But not every type of dog training has to be laborious or work. I spent the next few minutes going over a very easy dog training technique I like to call Passive Training.

Passive dog training is really easy, but only if you get into a habit of petting the dog right after it engages in desired actions and behaviors. I recommended that the members of the family help remind one another by saying the word “narrate” any time they see a dog doing something rewardable over the next few weeks to help establish new habits.

One of the nuisance behaviors Ruby was engaging in was licking. Dogs lick for many reasons, some good and some not so good. In Ruby’s case, I think she was trying to say thanks but there may be something more to it.

Regardless, the easiest way to get a dog to stop licking you is… well I share that dog training tip in the following video.

Simply stopping the petting of Ruby the instant she licks will be a strong motivator for her to stop this unwanted behavior. But everyone in the family will need to immediately suspend of stop petting her the instant she starts. If she continues, getting up or moving into another room immediately is another strong move to make.

I have developed another method related to petting our dogs to motivate them into good behaviors. I like to call it Petting with a Purpose.

Petting with a purpose is so simple, most people never realize that the approach can pay dividends for the rest of the dog’s life. But only if the humans all get into a habit of doing it. That’s why all the members of the family saying “paycheck” if they see another family member petting without a purpose will be so beneficial.

But of course, sometimes the person will need to disagree with an unwanted action or behavior. Some people do this by talking, others yell. Some people get physical pushing, shoving or even spanking their dogs. But none of these methods are naturally understandable to the dog.

To help the humans better communicate what they disagree with in a way the dogs understand and respect, I spent a couple of minutes going over some non-verbal communication methods I developed a few years ago.

I made sure to point out the best time to disagree is right before the dog gets into trouble or breaks the rule or boundary. This is one of the dog behavior secrets I have learned over the years.

By consistently using these Escalating Consequences, the dogs will immediately know that they are doing something that is not desired or allowed. It will take some effort by the humans to change to these non verbal communication cues, but once they do, they will find the dog’s engage in unwanted actions and behaviors less and less.

While rules and structure were a big part of the reason for many of Gavin’s unwanted behaviors, they were not the sole cause. Gavin is most certainly a high energy dog. But his options to release this unspent energy were limited to playing with Ruby and running around the yard.

If you don’t provide your dog with an acceptable way to burn off excess energy, they can often adopt exercise options we don’t like much and Gavin was a perfect example.

I love to use the Fetch to burn off excess energy, but in Gavin’s case, there were some behavioral issues we needed to address first.

By marking the command word fetch at the appropriate times, rewarding Gavin for dropping and not snatching or pulling the ball away, his guardians can eliminate the unwanted behaviors. Once this is the case, they can start fetching Gavin multiple times a day to help him release the pent up energy.

I often tell my clients, if your dog is all hyped up or not listening, taking it outside for a short game of fetch can be a great option. Keeping track of how many times you throw the ball can also help you develop a good feeling for how much exercise time you need to spend to get the desired result.

Another problem the humans had with Gavin was not recalling or coming when called. This is a little more challenging for Gavin who is not very treat motivated so I shared some additional dog training secrets with them in the following video.

Spending time practicing the come exercise inside the house will go a long ways toward helping Gavin listen to them when outside. By practicing inside without all the distractions that are present when in the yard, his guardians can put Gavin in a position to succeed.

As I mentioned in one of the previous videos, walks are not the most efficient way to burn off a high energy dog’s excess energy. But a walk is a great activity to help demonstrate and practice leadership when done with some structure.

Because we had spent so much time inside on basic behavior modification, I didnt have time to show the guardians how to train the dog to heel. I recommended that once they get Gavin’s behavior issues under control that they set up a dog training session with my apprentice Tara.

But in the mean time, I knew I needed to give the guardian an option she can use to walk Gavin and maintain control. I fitted him up with a Martingale collar and then went over the rules I have for a structured walk before heading outside to do a little leash training.

Because we took our time inside during the leashing process, we had already altered the leader follower dynamic and we were using tools that gave the guardian more control, Gavin was walking at a heel in no time.

ROADMAP to SUCCESS

  • Introduce rules, boundaries and limits and consistently enforce them within 3 seconds.
  • Use Escalating Consequences to immediately disagree with unwanted actions and behaviors.
  • Pet the dogs with a purpose
  • Use passive training to reward the dogs for desired actions and behaviors.
  • Get into a habit of petting Gavin under his chin instead of on top of his head.
  • Get into a habit of claiming personal space, especially if the human has any food.
  • Practice the recall exercise as detailed in the above video.
  • Change from free feeding the dogs into structured feeding the dogs individually, and only after the human feeding them eats first.
  • Do not pet the dogs when they are over excited or in an over excited state of mind.
  • Do not continue petting the dog if it jumps up, licks or puts its paw on the human’s arm.
  • Practice leashing Gavin up multiple times a day, stopping any time he gets excited.
  • Give him a treat while simultaneously saying “leash” after attaching the collar and leash to Gavin.
  • Attach the leash to Gavin’s collar a couple of times a day and let him drag the leash around the house for a few minutes (Always supervised) to help him get used to the sensation of the leash.
  • Use the Martingale collar and special twist of the leash to give the human more control on walks.
  • Make sure to NOT pull on the leash outside of the very quick tug correction when Gavin gets out of line.
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