I was visiting one of my Home Dog Training clients in Marietta the other day to continue working with their great Bernese Mountain Dog. They were doing great and their dog was progressing quite well. The issue that they were experiencing was that several family members could not get the dog’s attention to come in the house from the back yard. I had shown my clients the appropriate techniques weeks earlier, but they just couldn’t get the rest of the family to understand. The great thing about the technique is once you see it properly applied; it becomes really simple and simply intuitive. Let’s see what we did…
The big problem that my clients faced was that there were crazy dogs living behind and beside them. When these dogs were outside, their Mountain Dog and the other dogs would run up and down their prospective fence lines barking and jumping like banshees. No amount of commands, yelling, etc. would get their dog’s attention away from the other dogs. Some of the other family members even turned the hose on their dog and sometimes, that would work. It would mostly get the yard muddy and really made it a mess when their dog finally decided to come inside.
As with all teaching, the one thing that we needed to do first was to get the dog’s attention. Instead of the correction methods that most people “try” to employ in this instance, I always teach the redirection method. Before we let the dog out the sliding glass doors to the back yard and the craziness of the barking canine neighbors, we put a leash on him. Just to be safe, we attached a second leash to the end of the first so that the leash was really twelve feet long (you will understand why we did this in a moment). We let the dog out and within a few seconds he had engaged with the other crazy doggie neighbors. They were barking and running up and down their fence and he was doing the same.
At that point, I showed the rest of the family what they had do to. I told them not to try and chase the dog or get crazy. Watch the dog for a second to see the path he was taking in response to the other dogs. Notice that he is trailing a twelve foot leash (a.k.a. target) behind him. I also had them observe that he was paying absolutely no attention to that leach. At that point, I calmly walked over to the area the dog was running through. As he went by, I let him pass and then I put my foot on the leash.
Bam! I had caught him. His focus had broken from the barking dogs and he looked back to me. I had momentarily gained his complete focus. At that point, I calmly picked up the leash, called him to me, and had him walk with me back to the porch. I had him sit and then praised him as a “Good Boy”.
After another moment, I let go of the leash. Guess what? He didn’t run back to the other dogs. He stayed with me on the porch. The human neighbor on the other side of the fence was still running around, trying to catch her dogs and we were now calm, cool, and collected on our porch. Being calm and forthright are the qualities dogs respect in their leader and the one they will respect and obey. That is all I did and all that was needed to have him obey my command.
Please call Robin or me at (770) 718-7704 or (770) 718-7716 if you need any dog training help. We are blessed to have been your local dog training experts for over fourteen years. We have trained over 5,000 great dogs and loving families and are ready to help you.