Teaching Dante to Calm Down and Respect His Owner

By: David Codr

Published Date: April 10, 2014

DanteDante is a three-year-old collie mix. His owner called me for help with his over excitedness / aggression when on the leash or seeing a dog outside the window at his home.

When I arrived for the session he was curious about who I was but showed good energy and interaction. As I discussed the situation with his owner, he got right up on me showing no regard for my personal space.

Each time he got too close, I stood up which caused him to back away. To dog’s, standing is a more commanding or authoritative position. By standing up each time he got too close, i am able to communicate that I want the dog to respect my personal space. I suggested his owner do the same whenever he got too close to her.

It may take a day or two of popping up over and over again, but if his owner is consistent, the dog will start to give her cushion of personal space she is asking for.

Next I demonstrated an exercise to help Dante learn to focus and to see his owner as his pack leader. I only had to go through the exercise with Dante three times before he completely understood what I wanted. His energy level dropped and his focus intensified as we practiced so I knew it was having the proper effect.

I coached his owner through the exercise and then went over ways to make it more challenging. Whenever you are dealing with an intelligent dog like Dante, its important me challenge and exercise their mind as well as the body.

Because he pulled on the leash so much I brought along a Martingale collar for the session. I fitted Dante up with the collar and added my special twist to the leash. I walked him around the living room showing his owner how to hold the leash, keep him at a heel and the proper way to correct him when he fell out of the heel.

Once we were walking outside his owner told me there was a noticeable difference and that the collar gave her far more control. As we walked along I offered a few pointers, but for the most part Dante fell into and stayed in a nice heel position.

By walking Dante at a heel and disagreeing with him when he forgets to respect a reasonable amount of personal space, most of his issues should dissipate completely within a week or two.

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