How To Add Rules and Leadership for a Pomapoo Puppy

By: Sam Kanouse

Published Date: July 31, 2017

Lucy is a six-month-old Pomapoo puppy who lives in Omaha with nine-year-old Miniature Pinscher Joba and four-year-old Border Collie mix Jeter. Their guardian set up a puppy behavior training session to help Lucy stop barking and build self control.

When I arrived at the house I noticed that the dogs were doing a lot of demand barking. When this happens, dogs have typically learned that barking leads to them getting attention. If a dog is able to direct their guardian on when to give them attention, this may lead to the dog seeing themselves in a leadership position. I also noticed that Lucy’s guardians would pet her when she was walking by.

I taught the guardian how to use our training method, Petting with a Purpose. Each time you pet your dog you are reinforcing whatever they are doing. In this case, when Lucy would bark and her guardian would pet her to calm her down, they were reinforcing her barking. I also showed the guardians how to disagree with Lucy when she does bark via our Escalating Consequence. Timing is important; you have three-seconds to agree or disagree with Lucy for good or unwanted behavior for Lucy to understand.

To help Lucy look to her guardian for direction I used our leadership exercise technique, which you can watch below.

One thing that I did not mention in the video above is that while we incorporated a new ‘no furniture for 30 days rule,’ this doesn’t apply when we are practicing exercises. We want the focus of this exercise to be Lucy gaining self control and looking to her guardian for permission to get the food reward. If we try to do too many things at once it can confuse the message to the dog. I encouraged the guardian to keep Lucy off of the furniture for a minimum of 30 days, but while training you can be lenient with this rule to emphasize the focus of your training.

By the end of the session Lucy was looking to her guardian for direction and adopting a follower’s mindset. To keep this good behavior, the guardian will want to incorporate the new rules and structure that we went over during our behavior session. We wrapped up the session with Lucy’s Roadmap to Success video, which you can watch below.

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This post was written by: Sam Kanouse

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