Client: John Hunt
Visit Date: 8/1/2016
Visit Number: 01
Trainer: Robin
Paid Today:
Still Owe:
Comments:

Everything went pretty well. Let’s see what will happen next


Client: Robin Edwards
Visit Date: 8/01/2016
Visit Number: 01
Trainer: Bruce
Paid Today:
Still Owe:
Comments:

Initial Problems: Not listening and obedience. Training Notes: Practice front door manners. Make sure you always face and keep behind your door boundary. Practice come on the leash. Say “come once and then direct. Always correct inappropriate behavior. Be sure to praise.


Client: Kendall Greene
Visit Date: 5/10/2021
Visit Number: 01
Trainer: Robin
Paid Today: 1,200
Still Owe: 0
Comments:

Initial Issues:
Potty Training. Leash Walking. Running out the Door. Basic Obedience.

Training Notes:
Charlie is a sweet dog and I enjoyed working with him. He was a wonderful guest and all our doggies loved him.

In review of today’s discussion, you must remember that your rules must be simple and consistent. For example, if you don’t want him to jump, he can’t jump for any reason at any time. You must always make sure that everything is on your terms. He cannot tell you what to do (i.e. please pet me) because he is not the boss.

Make sure that you correct him as soon as he breaks one of your rules. You must do this in a manner that does not scare or frighten him and still gets his respectful focus directed towards you. Once you have guided him to the correct thing (no longer breaking your rules), you must acknowledge his correct action.

Lastly, you must understand that he mostly communicates through body language. Stand tall and calm when correcting him. Use a unique sound (if needed) to get his attention. We were using the “GRRRRy” sound today. Any sound that gets him to calmly look at you is fine.

If needed, introduce a passive/physical action such as the squirt bottle or shaky bottle to get his focus. Sometimes, a loud clap of your hands may be all you need.

As a final note on this subject, consider using the leash as a corrective and directive tool. This is a distractive method used to gain his focus and guide him towards the right actions. Have the leash on him at different times during the day and especially when you think there may be times of heightened activity, excitement, and bad behavior.

Step on the leash if he starts to adrenalize and focus away from you. If needed, walk him to a calm area until he is deadrenalized and focused on you.

When performing the exercises, remember that repetition, consistency, observation, and simplicity are key. ACTION is essential to the process. If you catch yourself thinking “Oh, what a bad dog. I wish he would stop doing that!”, you have missed the point. If Charlie does something wrong, you must actively correct now.

Charlie is a dog and not a person. Do not assume that he is experiencing “human emotions”. Perform your actions because you are keeping him safe and secure. Do not perform your actions because “you think Charlie feels sad”.

It is fine if you want to include hand gestures with any of the obedience commands. Simply include the hand gesture as you are verbalizing your obedience command to Charlie.

Some general exercises we worked on during our board and train program were:

1. COME – Put a six-foot leash on Charlie. Slowly step away from him (facing him) until you have reached the end of the leash. Drop to your knees and say “COME” once. If he doesn’t start to move towards you, give the leash a slight tug. Once he reaches you, praise his action with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”. Now, stand up. Repeat this process for several minutes.

Once he can always come to you from six feet, extend the length by using a longer leash or attaching several together. Practice from ten feet, fifteen feet. Once he can come to you from the longest distance, repeat the exercise at that length, but no longer hold the leash. Let it lie on the ground between you and Charlie.

Continue practicing to confirm that he continually comes to you without the need to grab and tug on the leash. Once this is accomplished, have someone unhook the leash and practice the COME exercise without the leash.

Once he has accomplished coming inside, repeat the process outside. Practice from ten, fifteen, twenty, and thirty feet.

If he is still coming to you without the leash, you are done. If he shows signs of hesitation, isn’t paying attention to you, or wandering off, take a few steps back and practice from a shorter distance with the leash once more.

NOTE: Never give Charlie the COME command without the leash being attached to him if you have any hesitation that he will not come to you.

2. SIT – You must initially perform this exercise in the house when it is quiet (no distractions). Put a six-foot leash on Charlie. Stand beside to him and say “SIT” once. If he doesn’t sit, give him your correction sound and a slight tug on the leash. Say “SIT” again.

If he doesn’t sit immediately, pull the leash up and behind his head. At the same time guide his rear end backwards until you see his hindquarters moving towards the ground. Continue to slightly pull the leash so that his head is moving backwards and his hindquarters are still descending. Once he is sitting, praise his action with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”. Move Charlie a few feet and repeat the exercise for several minutes.

3. WALKING – Make sure that Charlie has his harness and leash on. Also, you will want to start this process in your house when it is calm and devoid of distractions (TV, children, etc.). Just like any other time, when you are walking with Charlie, he must be obeying your rules. I suggest that your “walking rules” for Charlie are to be near you, do not pull on the leash, listen to your commands when given, and have a good time.

Start your walk. If he is not obeying you rules (i.e. pulling, tugging, or not listening), tug the leash slightly while you repeat tapping your leg. Walk for about ten to twenty feet and then turn and walk back. Once you have returned, stop and have him sit. Praise him with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”.

Repeat this several times a day. Extend the walk into multiple rooms and eventually outside.

4. JUMPING – Remember to always have Charlie’s leash on when you are concerned that he might be jumping. If you are sitting on a chair or sofa and he approaches to jump, stand up, give him your correction sound, and use your physical correction (spray bottle or shake bottle). As soon as he stops and gives you focus, praise him with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”.

If you are standing and Charlie begins to jump on you or your guest, use your spray bottle with your correction sound to stop him. You can also step on the leash so he doesn’t have the ability to jump. As soon as he calms down, praise him with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”.

5. MANNERS AT THE FRONT DOOR – This exercise is based on the rule that Charlie can be anywhere in the house except near you when you are opening the front door. As a rule of thumb, I define “near you” as within six to eight feet of the front door. This is the “Charlie can’t be here zone”.

You and Charlie can be anywhere in the house at the start of this exercise. Try to do “regular things” while not directly engaging him or causing him to become adrenalized. Make sure you know where the squirt bottle is (either by the front door or in your pocket.)

Have someone knock on the door. Calmly walk to the front door. If Charlie runs ahead of you, don’t worry about that yet. Once you are at the front door, turn around and visibly locate him.

If he is within the “Charlie can’t be here zone” (near the front door at your feet), stand tall and face him, make your correction sound, and (if needed) give him several squirts to have him back out of “the zone” and away from the door. It may take several squirts to have him back away.

Once he is away from the front door, slowly reach for the door handle while always facing him. Slowly open the door for the outside visitor. If Charlie makes any attempt to continue his approach, close the door, give your correction sound and use your correction device.

Open the door and let the outside visitor inside. Now, close the door. Praise his action with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY” for obeying your rule of staying away from the front door when you are opening it. Repeat this exercise daily with family members, neighbors, and strangers (UPS, Domino’s, etc.)

6. MANAGE ATTENTION SEEKING BEHAVIOR – Always make sure that it is your idea. If Charlie comes up to you and nudges your hand for a pet, ignore him until he turns away. If you want to pet him, call him over to you when you want to pet him. This assures he is responding to you.

If Charlie brings you a toy, ignore him until he turns away and you can then call him back. Remember, the leader always says, “I want you to…”. Make sure you are the leader.

7. USE OF THE LEASH – The leash is a passive training tool that is very effective in redirecting Charlie’s focus to you. We suggest that you place the leash on him at different times during the day when you are home. You don’t want to have the leash on all the time or he will equate the placement and removal of the leash as a distinct event. Be sure that you have the leash on at times when you expect higher adrenaline levels from Charlie.

As he begins to perform an action that you don’t want, step on the leash. If he is moving, let him go to the end of the leash, tug himself slightly, and then look back at you. Your still and calm demeanor will display leadership and Charlie will understand that you took control, and you are the boss.

If you need to remove Charlie from the area, calmly pick up the end of the leash and walk him away. Once you observe that he is no longer adrenalized, stop, and have him sit. Praise him with a quiet but high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”. Drop the leash and walk away.

8. POTTY – We went over a great deal of information on this. Please review the documentation contained on your Personal Training Site as needed. Some of the major points to remember with Potty Training are:

a) Food Management: We often overfeed our puppies because we are Americans and love our Big Macs. Measure his daily food allowance at the start of the day and only give him that amount for the entire day. (As always, if there is a situation where your Veterinarian suggests differently, do that.)

Based on his potty schedule and “accidents”, you can adjust his feeding times. If he is making accidents in the middle of the night or first thing in the morning as he wakes up, give Charlie his dinner earlier and cut off his water earlier. You can also adjust the amount of food given in each meal. If Charlie is making more poopie accidents at night, you can decrease his feeding amount in the evening and increase the amounts during the rest of the day.

Put his food and water down and pick it up after 20 to 30 minutes. Remember that it is a meal and not a buffet. Leave a little bit of water down between meals to allow him to hydrate, as necessary. Check the water every hour or two and refill when needed. Always make note when you refill so you can adjust if he starts to make wee-wee accidents. (You have gone from giving water for hydration to giving too much water (overflowing dam).

b) Water: We all need water for hydration and puppies need extra water because their bodies are in a state of rapid growth and development. We want to give Charlie enough water to hydrate for his growth, but not so much water that he is bloated, and the water just passes through him (like flood waters overflowing the top of a dam.)

After each meal, leave the water bowl down with a little bit of water. Check the bowl every 1 or 2 hours. If the bowl is empty, pour a little bit of water into the bowl. If he starts to make wee-wee accidents in the house, you may be giving him too much water between meals. If this is happening and the water bowl is empty, wait for 30 to 60 minutes before you add water to the bowl (just a little bit of water) again. Continue to adjust your “refill” until the wee-wee accidents decrease and are eliminated.

c) Watch: You NEED TO WATCH CHARLIE. This doesn’t mean “I think he just went over there”. It is constant “eyes on Charlie”. When you are always watching him, you will know that he made a mistake and observe any unusual characteristics he may have shown just before the potty accident. This allows you to properly document the accident with the time, location, and possible reason for the accident. If you can’t properly watch him, place him in his crate. This is key in creating a better schedule for tomorrow.

d) Schedule: We talked about creating an initial schedule that is really the documentation for a “Poopie Project Plan”. We discussed the natural times that most dogs (and humans) need to go to the bathroom during the day. Start with that as your plan.

Work your plan from the start of the day by following your planned events and documenting the results (actual occurrences). This will allow every family member to take part and will provide you with a road map of what to do next.

Potty training is like the game of Marco Polo. Every time you call “Marco” and hear “Polo”, you get a little closer to your goal. Work your plan every day. At the end of the day, review what really happened, analyze your observations, and build your “Tomorrow’s Plan” based on the new information you gained today.

There is an old saying that sums this up. “Every day, in every way, I am getting better and better”. That is what Potty Training is all about. It is about you becoming more and more familiar with Charlie and his bladder requirements.

IN CONCLUSION: You need to practice with him every day. When you establish your rules, you must always correct Charlie when he breaks a rule. Persistence, patience, and perseverance are necessary for your success. Also, don’t get mad or go nuts when he breaks your rules. As the teacher, you need to portray a calm and non-adrenalized figure to gain his respect and focus.


Client: Cynthia Kimball
Visit Date: 7/7/2021
Visit Number: 01
Trainer: Bruce
Paid Today: 350
Still Owe: 0
Comments:

Initial Issues:
Bad Behavior

Training Notes:
Tessa is a sweet dog and I enjoyed working with her. She was very jumpy and somewhat crazy when I first arrived, but quickly understood that she had to pay attention to you.

In review of today’s discussion, you must remember that your rules must be simple and consistent. For example, if you don’t want her to jump, she can’t jump for any reason at any time. You must always make sure that everything is on your terms. She cannot tell you what to do (i.e. please pet me) because she is not the boss.

Make sure that you correct her as soon as she breaks one of your rules. You must do this in a manner that does not scare or frighten her and still gets her respectful focus directed towards you. Once you have guided her to the correct thing (no longer breaking your rules), you must acknowledge her correct action.

Lastly, you must understand that she mostly communicates through body language. Stand tall and calm when correcting her. Use a unique sound (if needed) to get her attention. We were using the “GRRRRRy” sound today. Any sound that gets her to calmly look at you is fine.

If needed, introduce a passive/physical action such as the squirt bottle or shake bottle to get her focus. Sometimes, a loud clap of your hands may be all you need.

As a final note on this subject, consider using the leash as a corrective and directive tool. This is a distractive method used to gain her focus and guide her towards the right actions. Have the leash on her at different times during the day and especially when you think there may be times of heightened activity, excitement, and bad behavior.

Step on the leash if she starts to adrenalize and focus away from you. If needed, walk her to a calm area until she is deadrenalized and focused on you.

When performing the exercises, remember that repetition, consistency, observation, and simplicity are key. ACTION is essential to the process. If you catch yourself thinking “Oh, what a bad dog. I wish she would stop doing that!”, you have missed the point. If Tessa does something wrong, you must actively correct now.

Tessa is a dog and not a person. Do not assume that she is experiencing “human emotions”. Perform your actions because you are keeping her safe and secure.

It is fine if you want to include hand gestures with any of the obedience commands. Simply include the hand gesture as you are verbalizing your obedience command to Tessa.

Some general exercises we worked on today were:

1. COME – Put a six-foot leash on Tessa. Slowly step away from her (facing her) until you have reached the end of the leash. Drop to your knees and say “COME” once. If she doesn’t start to move towards you, give the leash a slight tug. Once she reaches you, praise her action with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”. Now, stand up. Repeat this process for several minutes.

Once she can always come to you from six feet, extend the length by using a longer leash or attaching several together. Practice from ten feet, fifteen feet, and twenty feet. Once she can come to you from the longest distance, repeat the exercise at that length, but no longer hold the leash. Let it lie on the ground between you and Tessa.

Continue practicing to confirm that she constantly comes to you without the need to grab and tug on the leash. Once this is accomplished, unhook the leash and practice the COME exercise without the leash.

Once she has accomplished coming inside, repeat the process outside. Practice from ten, fifteen, twenty, and thirty feet.

NOTE: Never give Tessa the COME command without the leash being attached to her if you have any hesitation that she will not come to you. If you want to attempt to have her come to you without the leash, get down low, call her name, and clap your hands or pat your knees. If she comes to you, that is great. If Tessa does not come to you, that is no big deal. You only offered an invitation with the option of “yes” or “no”. You did not give a command that Tessa must obey.

2. SIT – She is already pretty good with the SIT command. I just want to make sure that you maintain the consistency and methodology between this command and the other commands and rules you will be employing.

You must initially perform this exercise in the house when it is quiet (no distractions). Put a six-foot leash on Tessa. Stand in front of her and say “SIT” once. If she doesn’t sit, give her your correction sound and a slight tug on the leash. Say “SIT” again.

If she doesn’t sit immediately, pull the leash up and behind her head. At the same time guide her rear end backwards until you see her hindquarters moving towards the ground. Continue to slightly pull the leash so that her head is moving backwards and her hindquarters are still descending. Once she is sitting, praise her action with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”. Move Tessa a few feet and repeat the exercise for several minutes.

3. WALKING – The instructions that I am providing for this command are slightly different that I would normally deliver. This is due to the fact that you use the scooter to walk her. This should not change your leadership dynamic or rules you will require from Tessa while on your walk. It will change some of the physical constraints that you can employ to maintain your leadership and her focus.

The first thing you should remember is that everything has rules. When you are walking Tessa, I suggest that your rules are that she is not pulling on the leash or highly focused on any external distraction such as a bird, squirrel, deer, person, car, etc. This means that the leash should always be slightly loose and you can always get her focus.

Start your walk on the scooter. If she starts to break your rules as mentioned above, safely stop the scooter, calmly put both of your feet firmly on the ground, give the leash a firm tug back towards you (if you can stand when you do this, that is great; if you remain seated, that should be fine too), and make your correction sound. You may need to give the leash multiple tugs with your correction sound to have her focus back towards you.

If she is not directly by your side when she gives you focus, issue the COME command to have her move to your feet. Give her the SIT command to make sure she is now completely calm and focused on you. You can now let her know she is doing the right thing by giving her a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”. Continue your walk.

If you see that she is “thinking about” tugging on the leash or inappropriately focusing on an external distraction, you may try a slightly less forceful correction of giving the leash a slight tug while making your correction sound while still proceeding on the scooter. If this gets her to look back to you, that is great. You have successfully told her to “don’t even think about it”. Now that she is properly walking with you, let her know that she is doing a great job by giving her a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”. Continue with your walk.

If she is just too focused on something or pulling on the leash, you need to “ramp up” the correction. Turn your scooter 180 degrees and proceed in the opposite direction. This will require Tessa to turn in the direction “you want to go” and stop tugging the leash or focusing on the inappropriate distraction. Once you observe that she is calmly and politely walking next to you, turn the scooter around 180 degrees and continue your walk in the original direction.

I suggest that you initially walk Tessa during times of minimal distractions. You mentioned that the “calmest part of the day” in your neighborhood is in the evening. That is when I would suggest you initially practice this process. If you need to take her out at other times to “burn off some energy”, try to pick the “calmest times”.

Do not try to push Tessa too fast into being a great walker. If she is acting up like a “crazy girl” during the walk, turn around and go home. You can always walk her later. You cannot gain her focus and teach her when she is too adrenalized.

4. FOLLOW THRU DOOR – You always want to go through a doorway before Tessa. Have a leash on Tessa. Walk her up to the doorway and have her sit. Hold your hand out like a traffic policeman while you slowly step backwards through the doorway. Always face her.

Once both of your feet are across the threshold, pat your leg to allow Tessa to proceed. Once she has crossed the threshold, have her sit again. (Note: If Tessa is a little too pensive to sit, have her quietly stand and stay still.) Praise her action with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY” for obeying your command.

5. JUMPING – Remember to always have Tessa’s leash on when you are concerned that she might be jumping. If you are sitting on a chair or sofa and she approaches to jump, stand up, give her your correction sound, and use your physical correction (spray bottle or shake bottle). As soon as she stops and gives you focus, praise her with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”.

If you are standing and Tessa begins to jump on you or your guest, use your spray bottle with your correction sound to stop her. You can also step on the leash so she doesn’t have the ability to jump. As soon as she calms down, praise her with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”.

6. CHEWING – Let’s talk about the method of stopping Tessa from chewing when you can “catch her in the act” and another method when you can’t “catch Tessa in the act” of chewing.

If you “catch her in the act”, you must correct her in the moment. Calmly approach her, stand tall and stoic in front of her, make your correction sound, and use the squirt bottle to get her attention focused on you. It may take two or three corrections (Stand/GRRRR/Squirt’s), but Tessa should stop chewing, drop the item, and move away. Once she is moving away, calmly pick up the item and praise her correct choice with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”.

Once you correct her, you need to give her “an acceptable thing to chew”. One example of “an acceptable thing to chew” is the Kong Toy. Take the Kong Toy, put some peanut butter in the food hole, and freeze it. Give this to Tessa to direct her chewing to something you find acceptable.

Another example of “an acceptable thing to chew” is the Deer Antler. These are very safe and (obviously) all natural. Spray some low sodium chicken broth on the antler to make it a little “tastier” and give it to her.

As soon as you take away the “thing you don’t want her to chew”, give her one of these. You can also leave them out for her to naturally locate and chew.

Remember, you can only perform the above procedure if you see Tessa in the act of chewing.

If you can’t “catch her in the act”, you will need to find a way to passively discourage Tessa from chewing. To do this, you need to make the thing you don’t want her to chew to taste yucky. We suggest that you use Bitter Apple.

You need to let Tessa understand that anything that tastes like Bitter Apple is yucky. You do this by spraying a very small amount of it into her mouth. You are not trying to have her drink it; you want the mist of the spray to reach the taste buds in the back of her mouth. This will trigger a “bad taste memory”. She will then associate other things with this same smell as tasting bad.

Spray Bitter Apple on things you don’t want Tessa to chew. The Bitter Apple will eventually evaporate on the object, so you must re-spray from time to time. Once you have sprayed the “don’t chew this” object, place a Kong Toy or Deer Antler in the immediate vicinity.

As she equates that one thing is bad (the thing you don’t want her to chew), she will find something good (the thing you want her to chew). After a few encounters, Tessa will ignore the thing you didn’t want her to chew (it tastes yucky) for the thing you want her to chew (tastes good).

If the Bitter Apple becomes ineffective, you can ramp up to Tabasco Sauce, Jalapeno Sauce, or Habanero Sauce (in that order). Place the sauce on the item you don’t want Tessa to chew. Since you can’t spray the sauce as you would the Bitter Apple, put a little on your finger and rub it on the top of her tongue.

7. NIPPING – Let’s review the active approach to stop Tessa from nipping and then a “set the scene” method of getting her from nipping.

In our first approach, as soon as you see Tessa start to become adrenalized, stay calm and still. If you are playing, stop. If possible, move your hands away from her and stand up. This will proactively send a signal to her that you will not engage her and do not condone her actions. If needed, make your correction sound and use the squirt bottle or shake bottle. Praise her with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY” when she stops trying to nip.

If she has already started to nip you, remain calm and still. Make your correction sound and stand up, if possible. The important thing is to stay calm. Praise her with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY” when she stops nipping.

When you don’t energetically engage, Tessa will place additional focus on your calm demeanor. This will redirect her adrenalated actions and allow things to calm down.

Our second approach involves “setting the scene” when you want to discourage Tessa’s nipping. Do this by placing some Bitter Apple on your hands. Make your hands “available to Tessa” but don’t “stick them in her face”. If she starts to go for your hands, she should smell or taste how “yucky your hands have become” and will not want any part of them.

Make sure you have something else for her such as a chew toy or goodie to distract her away. As soon as she has been directed away from your hands (the target), praise her with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”.

If the Bitter Apple is not effective, you can ramp up to Tabasco Sauce, Jalapeno Sauce, or Habanero Sauce (in that order). Be sure to wash your hands thoroughly when you have finished your exercise using these liquids.

8. LICKING – As I mentioned today, this is an interesting issue. You don’t want Tessa to lick because she loves to lick the lotion off or your hands and the hands of friends. Licking is also a form of respect in the “dog world”. You must decide if she can lick for a moment and then stop or not lick at all. Whatever you decide, your enforcement of that rule must be consistent.

As soon as she starts to lick in a manner that is breaking your rule, you must correct her immediately. Stand up, make your correction sound, and use your spray bottle or shake bottle (if necessary). You may have to repeat your sound and use of your correction device several times if she is highly adrenalated.

As soon as she is no longer licking, praise her with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY” to let her know she is doing the right thing. Move whatever part of your body that she was licking away from her to minimize the possibility of her returning to the inappropriate behavior.

The most important point to remember through this entire exercise is to remain calm. That will show her that you are the leader and give you the best environment in which to teach her the appropriate action.

9. MANNERS AT THE FRONT DOOR – This exercise is based on the rule that Tessa can be anywhere in the house except near you when you are opening the front door. As a rule of thumb, I define “near you” as within six to eight feet of the front door. This is the “Tessa can’t be here zone”.

You and Tessa can be anywhere in the house at the start of this exercise. Try to do “regular things” while not directly engaging her or causing her to become adrenalized. Make sure you know where the squirt bottle is (either by the front door or in your pocket.)

Have someone knock on the door. Calmly walk to the front door. If Tessa runs ahead of you, don’t worry about that yet. Once you are at the front door, turn around and visibly locate her.

If she is within the “Tessa can’t be here zone” (near the front door at your feet), stand tall and face her, make your correction sound, and (if needed) give her several squirts to have her back out of “the zone” and away from the door. It may take several squirts to have her back away.

Once she is away from the front door, slowly reach for the door handle while always facing her. Slowly open the door for the outside visitor. If Tessa makes any attempt to continue her approach, close the door, give your correction sound, and use your correction device.

Open the door and let the outside visitor inside. Close the door. Praise Tessa’s action with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY” for obeying your rule of staying away from the front door when you are opening it. Repeat this exercise daily with family members, neighbors, and strangers (UPS, Domino’s, etc.)

10. FAMILY COMING OVER – “Families” are always an interesting entity because they can often be crazier than the dog. With that said, we developed an interesting solution to keeping things calm between Tessa and your family when they come over. Here is the scenario that we discussed this afternoon:

Have Tessa in the kitchen/family room area behind the closed gates before your family arrives. She should be wearing her harness and leash. When they arrive, calmly let them in and instruct them to approach the back gate. They should remain about six feet away from the gate, stay calm, and not directly interact with Tessa. If Tessa is excited to see them and jumping at the gate as they approach, that is fine for now. You are about to take care of that.

While your family was walking to the back gate and Tessa was focused on them, you calmly entered the garage hallway through the front gate. You should have your water bottle and squirt bottle in hand and ready to use.

Walk into the kitchen and observe Tessa. If she is calm, that is great. If she is breaking your rules (jumping, barking, highly misfocused, etc.), you need to correct. Stand tall, make your correction sound, and use one or both of your correction tools. If Tessa becomes calm and focused on you, that is great. If she isn’t positively responding to you after giving her two or three “GRRRs and Squirts/Shakes, switch to the redirective method (employ the leash).

Calmly step on the end of the leash, pick it up in your hand, and walk her away from your family into the kitchen or down the hallway. Continue to calmly walk her until she is relaxed and focused on you. Stop and have her sit. Once she is sitting and giving you respectful focus, give her a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY” for obeying your rule.

Calmly walk her back into the kitchen and near (but not directly in front) of the back gate where your family have been waiting. Make sure that your family is still calm, still, and not directly focused on Tessa.

Ask a family member to slowly open the gate. They should all remain on the living room side of the gate. If Tessa starts to react by jumping or pulling on the leash to rush towards them, correct her using the leash method as discussed above. When she is calm, return her to her spot. If she remains calm while seeing the gate open, you can proceed.

Have one family member slowly and calmly step through the gate and pause on the kitchen/family room side. You can be proactive and give the leash a slight tug while making a low volume correction sound to let Tessa know “Don’t even think about it” if you desire. Pause for a moment and have the person continue to the family room and sit down.

Repeat this step with every family member. If needed, correct Tessa by either redirecting her out of the area for a moment or correcting her with a leash tug and correction sound to keep her calm and focused on you while the family come in and sit down.

When all the family are seated in the family room, calmly walk Tessa into the family room. Have Tessa sit. Observe that she is still calm and focused on you. If she starts to adrenalate at any point, correct her as described above.

Calmly release the leash and sit down. The family members should not pay attention to her for several minutes. After several minutes have passed, they can call her over to them for a pet. If she starts to jump, lick, or break any rules, they (or you) must instantly correct her.

11. MANAGE ATTENTION SEEKING BEHAVIOR – Always make sure that it is your idea. If Tessa comes up to you and nudges your hand for a pet, ignore her until she turns away. If you want to pet her, call her over to you. This assures she is responding to you.

If Tessa brings you a toy, ignore her until she turns away and you can then call her back. Remember, the leader always says, “I want you to…”. Make sure you are the leader.

12. USE OF THE LEASH – The leash is a passive training tool that is very effective in redirecting Tessa’s focus to you. We suggest that you place the leash on her at different times during the day when you are home. Be sure that you have the leash on at times when you expect higher adrenaline levels from Tessa.

As she begins to perform an action that you don’t want, step on the leash. If she is moving, let her go to the end of the leash, tug herself slightly, and then look back at you. Your still and calm demeanor will display leadership and Tessa will understand that you took control, and you are the boss.

If you need to remove Tessa from the area, calmly pick up the end of the leash and walk her away. Once you observe that she is no longer adrenalized, stop, and have her sit. Praise her with a quiet but high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”. Drop the leash and calmly walk away.

IN CONCLUSION: You need to practice with her every day. When you establish your rules, you must always correct Tessa when she breaks a rule. Persistence, patience, and perseverance are necessary for your success. Also, don’t get mad or go nuts when she breaks your rules. As the teacher, you need to portray a calm and non-adrenalized figure to gain her respect and focus. Finally, just have fun.


Client: Theresa Dolbert
Visit Date: 10/28/2021
Visit Number: 01
Trainer: Robin
Paid Today: 500
Still Owe: 0
Comments:

Initial Issues:
Come. Sit. Stay. Walking. Place. Go to Crate.

Training Notes:
Remy is a sweet dog and we enjoyed working with her and having her at our home. She is a very smart dog and once we got her focus, she was ready to learn. Since she is a little high strung with hunting instincts, her path to accomplishment may be a little longer than others. But, don’t forget that these same instincts give her the great personality that she shares with the world.

In review of today’s discussion, you must remember that your rules must be simple and consistent. For example, if you don’t want her to jump, she can’t jump for any reason at any time. You must always make sure that everything is on your terms. She cannot tell you what to do (i.e. please pet me) because she is not the boss.

Make sure that you correct her as soon as she breaks one of your rules. You must do this in a manner that does not scare or frighten her and still gets her respectful focus directed towards you. Once you have guided her to the correct thing (no longer breaking your rules), you must acknowledge her correct action.

Lastly, you must understand that she primarily communicates through body language. Stand tall and calm when correcting her. Use a unique sound (if needed) to get her attention. We were using the “GRRRRRRy” sound today. Any sound that gets her to calmly look at you is fine.

If needed, introduce a passive/physical action such as the squirt bottle or shake bottle to get her focus. Sometimes, a loud clap of your hands may be all you need.

When performing the exercises, remember that repetition, consistency, observation, and simplicity are key. ACTION is essential to the process. If you catch yourself thinking “Oh, what a bad dog. I wish she would stop doing that!”, you have missed the point. If Remy does something wrong, you must actively correct now.

Remy is a dog and not a person. Do not assume that she is experiencing “human emotions”. Perform your actions because you are keeping her safe and secure.

When you give her a command, only say it once. As we discussed today, Remy is a dog and understands sounds and not words. “Come Come Come” is a different sound than “Come”. Make your sounds consistent so that Remy understands what you want her to do.

It is fine if you want to include hand gestures with any of the obedience commands. Simply include the hand gesture as you are verbalizing your obedience command to Remy.

Some general exercises we worked on during our board and train program were:

(Please note that the versions of the exercises we demonstrated today may not have included all the steps we are about to discuss. This is because Remy is still a “work in progress”. The information below provides the roadmap for the complete process.)

1. COME – You must initially perform this exercise in the house when it is quiet. We started the practice in the back yard. Put a six-foot leash on Remy. Slowly step away from her (facing her) until you have reached the end of the leash. Drop to your knees and say “COME” once. If she doesn’t start to move towards you, give the leash a slight tug. Once she reaches you, praise her action with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”. Now, stand up. Repeat this process for several minutes.

Once she can always come to you from six feet, extend the length by using a longer leash or attaching several together. Practice from ten feet, fifteen feet, and twenty feet. Once she can come to you from the longest distance, repeat the exercise at that length, but no longer hold the leash. Let it lie on the ground between you and Remy.

Continue practicing to confirm that she constantly comes to you without the need to grab and tug on the leash. Once this is accomplished, unhook the leash and practice the COME exercise without the leash.

Once she has accomplished coming inside, repeat the process outside. Practice from ten, fifteen, twenty, and thirty feet.

If she is still coming to you without the leash, you are done. If she shows signs of hesitation, isn’t paying attention to you, or wandering off, take a few steps back and practice from a shorter distance with the leash once more.

NOTE: Never give Remy the COME command without the leash being attached to her if you have any hesitation that she will not come to you. If you want to attempt to have her come to you without the leash, get down low, call her name, and clap your hands or pat your knees. If she comes to you, that is great. If Remy does not come to you, that is no big deal. You only offered an invitation with the option of “yes” or “no”. You did not give a command that Remy must obey.

2. SIT – You must initially perform this exercise in the house when it is quiet (no distractions). Put a six-foot leash on Remy. Stand in front of her and say “SIT” once. If she doesn’t sit, give her your correction sound and a slight tug on the leash. Say “SIT” again.

If she doesn’t sit immediately, pull the leash up and behind her head. At the same time guide her rear end backwards until you see her hindquarters moving towards the ground. Continue to slightly pull the leash so that her head is moving backwards and her hindquarters are still descending. Once she is sitting, praise her action with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”. Move Remy a few feet and repeat the exercise for several minutes.

3. STAY – Please Note: Remy must be able to sit with a single command and no assistance before you can work on this exercise. If she still has a problem sitting, work on SIT.

This exercise has several levels. Work on each level until Remy can always perform the actions before you move on to the next. Remember to place Remy in a Sit before you start this command:

Level One: Stand directly in front of Remy, hold your hand up as if you were a traffic policeman, and say “STAY”. If she begins to move, give her your correction sound to have her stop. Wait until she is sitting quietly for about five seconds. Praise her action with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY” for obeying your command. Once you have accomplished this, you can move on to Level Two.

Level Two: Stand directly in front of Remy, hold your hand up as if you were a traffic policeman, and say “STAY”. Slowly back up (always holding the leash and facing her) until you have reached the end of the leash. Make sure you do not tug the leash. If she begins to move, give her your correction sound to have her stop. Wait until she is sitting quietly for about five seconds. Step back until you are next to her. Praise her action with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY” for obeying your command. Once you have accomplished this, you can move on to Level Three.

Level Three: Stand directly in front of Remy, hold your hand up as if you were a traffic policeman, and say “STAY”. Slowly back up (always holding the leash and facing her) until you have reached the end of the leash. Make sure you do not tug the leash. Walk in a partial semi-circle to your left until you are all the way to Remy’s side. Slowly move to the right, pass in front of her, and stop when you have reached her other side. Now, move back until you are in front of her again. If she begins to move, give her your correction sound to have her stop. Make sure you keep your “policeman’s hand” up the entire time. Now, step back until you are next to her. Praise her action with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY” for obeying your command. Once you have accomplished this, you can move on to Level Four.

Level Four: Stand directly in front of Remy, hold your hand up as if you were a traffic policeman, and say “STAY”. Slowly back up (always holding the leash and facing her) until you have reached the end of the leash. Make sure you do not tug the leash. Walk completely around her. If she begins to move, give her your correction sound to have her stop. Make sure you keep your “policeman’s hand” up the entire time. Now, step back until you are next to her. Praise her action with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY” for obeying your command.

4. WALKING – Just like any other time, when you are walking with Remy, she must be obeying your rules. I suggest that your “walking rules” for Remy are to be near you, do not pull on the leash, listen to your commands when given, and have a good time.

Start your walk outside with Remy calmly next to you wearing her collar and Easy Walk Size Medium/Small Harness. Attach her leash to both the collar and front of the harness. Give your WALK command, tug the leash slightly and begin your walk. As long as Remy is maintaining your rules as mentioned above, all is fine. If she starts to break your rules (pull, not listen, etc.), give the leash a slight tug back towards you. Have her look at you and give you focus. Acknowledge her correct behavior with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”. Continue your walk.

If her proper focus continues to be a problem, you can include a technique referred to as “The Wedding March” in your walk. This is a process where you are constantly pausing during your walk. Take a step and then stop. If Remy stops too, that is great. If she doesn’t stop, make your correction sound and give the leash a tug back towards you. Once she has stopped and gives you focus, take another one or two steps and stop again. If she stops, that is great. If not, correct again. Repeat this start/stop/start process until Remy is giving you sufficient focus to stop when you stop without the need for a leash tug.

If she really starts to pull or focus on something too much, you may need to “ramp up” your correction. In this case, you can turn around 180 degrees and walk in the opposite direction for about twenty to fifty feet. Make sure she is properly walking with you. When she is calm and focused on you, reverse your direction by 180 degrees and continue your walk in the original direction. Acknowledge her correct behavior with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”.

Do not allow Remy to tell you when she wants to stop. You need to let her know when she can stop and sniff around. With that said, you should try and make your “stops” at places you know she likes.

5. JUMPING – The best way to stop Remy from jumping on you when you are sitting is to be proactive about it. Stand up as you see her approach you in an excited and adrenalized manner. Stay calm, firmly verbalize your correction sound, and give her one or more squirts of water (if needed). As soon as she has calmed down, praise her with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”.

If you did not catch her when she was coming over and she has put her two paws on your lap, do the same thing. Calmly stand up, verbalize your correction sound, and give her one or more squirts of water (if needed). As soon as she has calmed down, praise her with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”.

If you are having a hard time standing up in the above two scenarios, simply verbalize your correction sound in a firm manner and use your spray bottle. This is not as effective as standing up, but it will probably work with Remy as long as you show her “you really mean it”.

If you are standing and Remy begins to jump on you or your guest, use your spray bottle with your correction sound to stop her. As soon as she calms down, praise her with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”.

6. MANAGE ATTENTION SEEKING BEHAVIOR – Always make sure that it is your idea. If Remy comes up to you and nudges your hand for a pet, ignore her until she turns away. If you want to pet her, call her over to you. This assures she is responding to you.

If Remy brings you a toy, ignore her until she turns away and you can then call her back. Remember, the leader always says, “I want you to…”. Make sure you are the leader.

IN CONCLUSION: You need to practice with her every day. When you establish your rules, you must always correct Remy when she breaks a rule. Persistence, patience, and perseverance are necessary for your success. Also, don’t get mad or go nuts when she breaks your rules. As the teacher, you need to portray a calm and non-adrenalized figure to gain her respect and focus. Finally, just have fun.


Client: Rosemary Nalley
Visit Date: 4/7/2023
Visit Number: 01
Trainer: Robin
Paid Today: 0
Still Owe: 0
Comments:

Initial Issues:
Good behavior. Obedience. Potty. General Puppy stuff. Nipping. Jumping.

Training Notes:
Skeeter is a sweet dog and we enjoyed working with him. He was an excellent house guest and got along wonderfully with our other dogs. He also interacted well with our neighbors and their dogs. With the understanding that he still is only four months ole, he was an attentive student and showed a great ability to learn his lessons.

Everything starts with rules. A “rule” identifies what you want him to do and what you don’t want him to do. “Come” is a rule that tells Skeeter to go to your side. “Don’t jump” is a rule that tells him to remain on the ground. You can easily determine your rules for Skeeter by asking yourself “Is he bugging me?”. If he is, Skeeter is breaking your rule.

Your rules must be simple and consistent. For example, if you don’t want him to jump, he can’t jump for any reason at any time. Everything must be on your terms. He cannot tell you what to do (i.e. please pet me) because he is not the boss.

We suggest that you consider having between five and ten rules. If you have too many rules, it will become difficult to effectively administer them.

Correct him as soon as he breaks one of your rules. This must be done in a manner that does not scare or frighten him and still gets his respectful focus directed towards you. Once you have guided him to the correct thing (no longer breaking your rules), acknowledge his appropriate action.

As we discussed, he mainly communicates through body language. Stand tall and calm when correcting him. Remember, all Skeeter’s communication begins with body language.

To augment your body language communication, you may need to introduce a verbal interaction. Use a unique sound (if needed) to get his attention. We were using the “GRRRRRRRy” sound during our board and train program. Any sound that gets him to calmly look at you is fine. The key is that the sound should be distinctive and only used when he has broken your rules and you need his focus.

There may be times where you need to “ramp it up” and include a passive/physical form of communication in addition to your body language and verbal interaction. If necessary, introduce a passive/physical action such as the squirt bottle or shake bottle to get his focus. Sometimes, a loud clap of your hands may be all you need.

As a final note on this subject, consider using the leash as a corrective and directive tool. This is a distractive method used to gain his focus and guide him towards the right actions. Have the leash on him at different times during the day. Always have it on him when you think he may be approaching times of heightened activity, excitement, and bad behavior.

Step on the leash if he starts to adrenalize and focus away from you. If needed, walk him to a calm area until he is deadrenalized and focused on you.

When performing the exercises, remember that repetition, consistency, observation, and simplicity are key. ACTION is essential to the process. If you catch yourself thinking “Oh, what a bad dog. I wish he would stop doing that!”, you have missed the point. If Skeeter does something wrong, you must actively correct now.

Skeeter is a dog and not a person. Do not assume that he is experiencing “human emotions”. Perform your actions because you want to keep him safe and secure.

When you give him a command, only say it once. As we discussed today, Skeeter is a dog and understands sounds and not words. “Come Come Come” is a different sound than “Come”. Make your sounds consistent so that Skeeter understands what you want him to do.

It is fine if you want to include hand gestures with any of the obedience commands. Simply include the hand gesture as you are verbalizing your obedience command to Skeeter.

Although we don’t normally use treats in our exercises, they are sometimes helpful in the initial stages of obedience lessons (i.e. Come, Sit, Stay). Use them sparingly and try to ween Skeeter off of them as quickly as possible. Show him the treat as you begin the command and only give it to him after he has successfully completed the command and you have provided him with your verbal confirmation.

Some general exercises we worked on during our board and train program were:

1. COME: INSIDE WITH LEASH – You must initially perform this exercise in the house when it is quiet (no distractions). Put a six-foot leash on Skeeter. Slowly step away from him (facing him) until you have reached the end of the leash. Drop to your knees or crouch down low and say “COME” once. If he doesn’t start to move towards you, give the leash a slight tug. You may need to give several tugs.

If he is unresponsive to the tug, make your correction sound, wait for one or two seconds, say “COME” again, and give the leash another tug with slightly more force. Repeat this, if needed, until Skeeter is moving towards you.

Once he reaches you, praise his action with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”. Stand up and repeat this process for several minutes.

When he can always come to you from six feet, extend the length by using a longer leash or attaching several together. Practice from ten feet, fifteen feet, and twenty feet. When he can come to you from the longest distance, repeat the exercise at that length, but no longer hold the leash. Let it lie on the ground between you and Skeeter. The “handle end” of the leash should still be near you and easily accessible if Skeeter is not responding to your command.

Continue practicing confirming that he constantly comes to you without the need to grab and tug on the leash. Once this is achieved, unhook the leash and practice the COME exercise without the leash.

After he has successfully completed the COME exercise when he is inside, repeat the process outside (see below).

A HELPFUL TIP: If Skeeter is slow in learning the COME command, you may need to enhance his ability to focus on you when the command is given. As you are down low and about to verbalize “COME”, pat your knees, snap your fingers, or call his name (“Skeeter”). This may help draw his attention to you as you command him to COME.

ONE MORE THING: There are times where you may be “too far away”. For example, he may have been coming to you from ten feet yesterday, but won’t respond at all from that distance today. Instead of “reinforcing failure” at ten feet, shorten the distance between you and Skeeter until he starts to come to you. Continue your exercise at that length and expand the distance as he consistently obeys your command.

NOTE: Never give Skeeter the COME command without the leash being attached to him if you have any hesitation that he will not come to you. If you want to attempt to have him come to you without the leash, get down low, call his name, become visibly animated, and clap your hands or pat your knees. Just don’t say “COME”.

If he comes to you, that is great. If Skeeter does not come to you, that is no big deal. You offered him an invitation and you allowed him to respond “yes” or “no”.

If you had said “COME” to Skeeter; that is a command and he must comply. If he does not, the only tool you have to gain his compliance and maintain your leadership role is the leash.

2. COME: OUTSIDE WITH LEAD – Put a thirty-foot training lead on Skeeter. (I suggest thirty feet, but any long length is fine. We use a thirty-foot training lead from Leash Boss. Their web site is http://LeashBoss.com.) Slowly step away from him (facing him) until you have reached about five feet. Drop to your knees or crouch down low and say “COME” once. If he doesn’t start to move towards you, give the lead a slight tug. You may need to give several tugs.

If he is unresponsive to the tug, make your correction sound, wait for one or two seconds, say “COME” again, and give the lead another tug with slightly more force. Repeat this, if needed, until Skeeter is moving towards you.

When he reaches you, praise his action with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”. Stand up and repeat this process for several minutes.

Once he can always come to you from the initial distance, extend the length by using more of the training lead. Practice from ten feet, fifteen feet, twenty feet, and thirty feet. When he can come to you from the longest distance, repeat the exercise at that length, but no longer hold the lead. Let it lie on the ground between you and Skeeter. The “handle end” of the lead should still be near you and easily accessible if Skeeter is not responding to your command.

Keep practicing until he repeatedly comes to you without the need to grab and tug on the lead. If you are in an enclosed area, you can attempt one more step. Unhook the lead and practice the COME exercise without the lead. If you are in an area that is not enclosed (surrounded with a fence, etc.), we do not recommend that you allow Skeeter to be off the lead.

When you are outside and you want Skeeter to come to you, this is mostly because you want him to get in the house. When outside, we suggest that you set up many of your exercises where you are near the door and Skeeter is in the yard.

A HELPFUL TIP: If Skeeter is far away from you and not focused on you when you are about to give the “COME” command, you may need to get his attention. Try calling his name or clapping your hands to get him to look at you. If he is “overly-distracted”, give the lead a slight tug to have him look back at you. Although not required, these actions often help with the successful execution of the command.

ONE MORE THING: There are times where you may be “too far away”. For example, he may have been coming to you from twenty feet yesterday, but won’t respond at all from that distance today. Instead of “reinforcing failure” at twenty feet, shorten the distance between you and Skeeter until he starts to come to you. Continue your exercise at that length and expand the distance as he consistently obeys your command.

A SLIGHT ALTERNATIVE: Our instructions above state that you are constantly holding the lead when you give the COME command. An alternative to this method is to allow the lead to stretch out behind Skeeter as he moves around the yard. You are not holding the lead, but allowing it to freely flow behind Skeeter. Always remain close to the lead. When you are ready to execute the COME command, step on the lead at the appropriate length, pick it up in your hands, and deliver the COME command. All the other instructions remain the same.

NOTE: Never give Skeeter the COME command without the lead being attached to him if you have any hesitation that he will not come to you. If you want to attempt to have him come to you without the lead, get down low, call his name, become visibly animated, and clap your hands or pat your knees. Just don’t say “COME”.

If he comes to you, that is great. If Skeeter does not come to you, that is no big deal. You offered him an invitation and you allowed him to respond “yes” or “no”.

If you had said “COME” to Skeeter; that is a command and he must comply. If he does not, the only tool you have to gain his compliance and maintain your leadership role is the lead.

3. SIT – Initially perform this exercise in a quiet location with minimal or no distractions. Put a six-foot leash on Skeeter. Stand directly in front of him and say “SIT” once. If he doesn’t sit, give him your correction sound and a slight tug on the leash. Say “SIT” again.

If he doesn’t sit immediately, move to his side and pull the leash up and behind his head. At the same time use your other hand to guide his rear end backwards until you see his hindquarters moving towards the ground. Continue to slightly pull the leash so that his head is moving backwards and his hindquarters are still descending. Once he is sitting, praise his action with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”.

Move Skeeter a few feet and repeat the exercise for several minutes. As you continue your sessions and he is constantly sitting on the first command, slowly add distractions.

4. STAY – We are providing you with the information regarding STAY for informational purposes at this time. This is because Skeeter must be able to sit with a single command and no assistance before you can work on this exercise. He still needs a little work with SIT before you can successfully work through the STAY command. When ready, please perform the following:

This exercise has several levels. Work on each level until Skeeter can always perform the actions before you move on to the next. Don’t rush to the next level when he appears to be succeeding in the current level. Have one or two days of “constant success” before you move on.

Place Skeeter in a SIT before you start this command:

Level One: Stand directly in front of Skeeter, hold your hand up as if you were a traffic policeman, and say “STAY”. If he begins to move, give him your correction sound to have him stop. Wait until he is sitting quietly for about five to ten seconds. Praise his action with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY” for obeying your command. Continue to practice while extending the time you are standing in front of him and he is remaining in place. When you have accomplished this and Skeeter can remain in place for about fifteen to twenty seconds, you can move on to Level Two.

Level Two: Stand directly in front of Skeeter, hold your hand up as if you were a traffic policeman, and say “STAY”. Slowly back up (always holding the leash and facing him) until you have reached the end of the leash. Make sure you do not tug the leash. If he begins to move, give him your correction sound to have him stop. Wait until he is sitting quietly for about five seconds. Step back until you are next to him. Praise his action with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY” for obeying your command. Once you have accomplished this, you can move on to Level Three.

Level Three: Stand directly in front of Skeeter, hold your hand up as if you were a traffic policeman, and say “STAY”. Slowly back up (always holding the leash and facing him) until you have reached the end of the leash. Make sure you do not tug the leash. Walk in a partial semi-circle to your left until you are all the way to Skeeter’s side. Slowly move to the right, pass in front of him, and stop when you have reached his other side. Next, move back until you are in front of him again. If he begins to move, give him your correction sound to have him stop. Make sure you keep your “policeman’s hand” up the entire time. Finally, step back until you are next to him. Praise his action with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY” for obeying your command. Now that you have accomplished this, you can move on to Level Four.

Level Four: Stand directly in front of Skeeter, hold your hand up as if you were a traffic policeman, and say “STAY”. Slowly back up (always holding the leash and facing him) until you have reached the end of the leash. Make sure you do not tug the leash. Walk completely around him. If he begins to move, give him your correction sound to have him stop. Make sure you keep your “policeman’s hand” up the entire time. Now, step back until you are next to him. Praise his action with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY” for obeying your command. Practice this exercise for several days with continual success. Once you have accomplished this, you can move on to Level Five.

Level Five: At this point you can walk completely around Skeeter with your hand up and he is remaining in his STAY. It is time to add a “real world” situation to the exercise. You will not be holding the leash. Place Skeeter in a SIT and then a STAY. Walk around the room/area while facing him and keeping your hand up in your “traffic policeman’s pose”. Continue this while you slowly add actions such as picking up objects and opening and closing doors and drawers. Always remain in his sight.

If Skeeter moves from his spot, correct him, step back to a prior level, and continue from there. The more you can move around the room/area while he remains stationary in a STAY, the more you can add additional actions that you would normally perform when you want him in a STAY in a “real world situation”.

NOTE: Skeeter is remaining in his STAY because you have conditioned him to remain still while focusing on your outstretched hand. If you leave the room and/or leave his sight, your outstretched hand (the trigger to have him STAY) will be gone and he will probably get up and break his stay.

5. FOLLOW THRU DOOR – You always want to go through a doorway before Skeeter. The reason for this is twofold. First, you are the leader, and you want to show Skeeter that you are always leading. Second, you want to keep Skeeter safe. The only way you can do this is to “check out” whatever is on the other side of the door before you allow him to proceed.

Have Skeeter on a leash or lead. Walk him up to the doorway and have him sit. Hold your hand out like a traffic policeman while you slowly step backwards through the doorway. Always face him.

When both of your feet are across the threshold, pat your leg to allow Skeeter to proceed. Once he has crossed the threshold, have him sit again. Praise his action with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY” for obeying your command.

NOTE: If Skeeter is a little too pensive to sit while he is on either side of the doorway, have him quietly stand and stay still. “Although it may not be pretty”, as long as he is remaining stable as you place your feet on the other side of the door, he has obeyed your rule.

6. WALKING OUTSIDE – Before you begin your walk, remember that you are Skeeter’s protector, boss, and best friend. It is your responsibility to always keep him safe. As you are on your walk, visually scan the immediate area to determine if there are any issues that might place Skeeter in danger or cause him to feel scared. If you find such a situation, create a plan ahead of time to mitigate or eliminate the danger before it takes place. This will prepare you to easily solve any problem you and Skeeter may encounter on your walk.

Just like any other time, when you are walking with Skeeter, he must be obeying your rules. I suggest that your “walking rules” for Skeeter are to be near you, do not pull on the leash, listen to your commands when given, and have a good time. These are only my suggestions. You must create your own rules so that you and Skeeter have an excellent walking experience.

(If you are inside and need to get outside to start your walk, be sure to perform the FOLLOW THROUGH DOOR exercise first. If you are going to finish the walk by bringing Skeeter back inside the house, repeat the FOLLOW THRU DOOR exercise to bring him back inside.)

Start your walk outside with Skeeter calmly next to you wearing his collar and Easy Walk Harness (size Meduim/Small). Have his leash attached to both the collar and harness. Give your WALK command, tug the leash slightly, and begin your walk.

As long as Skeeter is maintaining your rules as mentioned above, all is fine. If he starts to break your rules (pull, not listen, etc.), give the leash a slight tug back towards you as you are walking. Make your correction sound as you tug the leash. Have him look at you and give you focus. Acknowledge his correct behavior with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”.

If he is unresponsive to your slight tug while walking, stop walking, make your correction sound, and give the leash a slightly more forceful tug back towards you. Have him look at you and give you focus. Acknowledge his correct behavior with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”. Continue your walk.

You can also add an enhanced level of reinforcement to the above correction, if you so desire. After Skeeter has given you focus and you have verbalized your “GOOD PUPPY”, execute a SIT command. Praise him with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY” and then continue your walk.

If he really starts to pull or focus on something too much, you may need to “ramp up” your correction. In this case, you can turn around 180 degrees and walk in the opposite direction for about ten to thirty feet. Make sure he is properly walking with you. When he is calm and focused on you, reverse your direction by 180 degrees and continue your walk in the original direction. Acknowledge his correct behavior with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”.

It is frequently difficult to determine “who is walking who”. Are you walking at the pace that Skeeter has set or is he walking at your pace? It must be your pace because you are the boss. Set the tempo by creating “a cadence in your head”. Think to yourself, “1… 2… 3… 4…; 1… 2… 3… 4…”, as you walk and mark your steps to your count. This will compel you to set a speed and maintain it. It will also allow you to determine if Skeeter is walking at your speed. If he is not, correct him using one of the methods previously discussed in this exercise.

Dogs sometimes like to grab the leash in their mouth as they walk. If Skeeter grabs the leash in his mouth as you are walking, make your correction sound and squirt him with your squirt bottle. It may take multiple squirts to have him drop the leash from his mouth. (Remember to repeat your correction sound every time you give him a squirt.) Praise him with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY” after he drops the leash. Continue your walk.

Do not allow Skeeter to tell you when he wants to stop. You need to let him know when he can stop and sniff around. Try and make your “stops” at places you know he likes.

Another issue with WALKING takes place when an inappropriate distraction such as a dog, jogger, neighbor, bicyclist, car, etc. approaches. Skeeter will often start to adrenalize, lock focus on the approaching distraction, jump, bark, and pull. You need to redirect Skeeter’s focus back towards you. We suggest that you do the following:

a) Remove Skeeter from the immediate line of approach by directing him at a 90 degree angle up a driveway, onto a front lawn, etc.

b) Calmly give the leash several tugs as you walk him about ten to fifteen feet up the driveway, onto the front lawn, etc.

c) Have Skeeter focus on you as you remain calm. If he is still concentrating on the approaching distraction, move him farther up the driveway or onto the lawn. Display confidence the entire time while you are gently tugging the leash to maintain Skeeter’s attention on you. Quietly talk to him using a reassuring tone. If needed, step on the leash so that he does not have the ability to jump or move around.

d) If, after doing all this, he is still focusing on the approaching distraction, move Skeeter behind an object that will block his view of the approaching object. This could be a car in the driveway, a fence, or a bush. Continue to have Skeeter focus on you while you display a calm and “in charge” demeanor. If needed, step on the leash to keep him stable and focused on you.

e) Once the distraction has passed, reward Skeeter’s actions of focusing on you with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”. Continue your walk.

f) If you do not have the ability to perform the above steps (step a thru e) with Skeeter, calmly move him as far away from the approaching object as possible. Turn around and calmly, but briskly walk the way you came until you reach a point where you can leave the road. If that is not an option, move to the side of the road as far away from the approaching object as possible. Actively engage him to gain his complete focus. Place yourself between Skeeter and the object to block his view of the object. Step on the leash to minimize his movement. The one thing you don’t want to do is to freeze in place and let the object directly approach you and Skeeter.

NOTE: Whenever we are directing you to give Skeeter a tug on the leash, it may require more than one tug. If you have given him a single tug without success, repeat by giving him several tugs in quick succession. Make your correction sound each time you give him a tug.

ONE MORE THING: Dogs often chew their harnesses when they are bored. Please remember to remove Skeeter’s harness when you are not walking with him

7. WALKING OUTSIDE WITH TRAINING LEAD – This is an additional level to the instructions we have provided regarding WALKING OUTSIDE. All the information detailed in our WALKING OUTSIDE exercise should still be considered and followed. The only difference in this discussion is that you will replace the standard leash with a training lead. Because of this, you will need to consider some additional procedures.

We recommend a 30 20-foot training lead for walking Skeeter; but any long length should suffice. We use a training lead from Leash Boss. Their web site is http://LeashBoss.com.

When you walk Skeeter on the training lead, you give him the ability to roam, sniff, and just be a happy dog. He does not have the same experience when you walk him on a six-foot leash. You have the choice to give him a short amount of lead (a few feet) or, if you so desire, to give him a longer amount of lead (up to the length of the training lead).

The critical point you should remember is that YOU determine how much training lead you are giving Skeeter. It is your decision, and you are the boss.

Skeeter must still obey all the rules you established in the WALKING OUTSIDE exercise. You will continue to make all the same corrections if he starts to break a rule (i.e. pull, loss of focus, irritating barking, etc.).

When you are walking Skeeter at a greater distance, you can replace or enhance the “quick tug” correction by swiftly stepping on the training lead. You can accomplish this if the training lead is dragging on the ground near your feet as you are walking Skeeter. This is quite effective in getting his immediate attention and allows you to give a speedy correction and then continue the walk.

Since Skeeter is farther away from you than on a “normal walk” with a six-foot leash; you must be more observant of your surroundings. You should be aware of any approaching cars, neighbors, loose dogs, “lead-wrapping” obstacles, or any other condition that may impact his wellbeing. When any of these situations start to arise, you should direct him closer to your side. Give the lead a slight tug and then guide him to you.

You can also practice COME and SIT while walking. At your discretion, stop and perform a COME command (as detailed above). When he has successfully completed the command and you have verbalized your “GOOD PUPPY”, you can execute the SIT command (as detailed above).

Please note that some dogs may be a little too pensive to sit while out on a walk. If Skeeter doesn’t want to sit, don’t make a big deal of it. Just be sure that he can successfully perform the command while inside at a quiet, calm, and secure location.

ONE MORE THING: Dogs often chew their harnesses when they are bored. Please remember to remove Skeeter’s harness when you are not walking with him

8. BARKING – Barking is always annoying and can be caused by many things. This exercise is designed to redirect Skeeter’s attention away from the distraction causing the barking and to place the focus on you.

Have his leash on in the house when you know there might be things that normally cause him to bark. As soon as he starts to bark, step on the leash, and place the handle in your hand. Make your correction sound as you briskly walk him in a direction away from the distraction to a point where he is giving you focus and has lost interest in whatever was causing him to bark. Have him sit for you. As soon as he does, praise him with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”.

(If he has not mastered the SIT command, have him calmly remain next to you while providing you with calm and respectful focus for one or two seconds. At that point, praise him with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”.)

Drop the leash and calmly walk back to whatever you were doing before Skeeter started to bark.

If Skeeter’s focus can be easily directed back to you, simply standing tall, giving your correction sound, and using your physical correction (squirt bottle or shake bottle) may suffice in getting him to stop barking. Once he has stopped barking, praise him with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”.

9. JUMPING – Dogs normally jump because they are showing assertion or are excited. An important facet of this exercise is your ability to remain calm. Your calm demeanor will demonstrate your strong leadership and neutralize Skeeter’s heightened adrenaline level.

Always have Skeeter’s leash on when you are concerned that he might be jumping. If you are sitting on a chair or sofa and he approaches to jump, stand up, give him your correction sound, and use your physical correction (squirt bottle or shake bottle). As soon as he stops and gives you focus, praise him with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”.

If you are standing and Skeeter begins to jump on you or your guest, use your squirt bottle with your correction sound to stop him. You can also step on the leash so he doesn’t have the ability to jump. As soon as he calms down, praise him with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”.

If things are a little “too crazy”, you may need to ramp it up. Momentarily remove Skeeter from the immediate area. Please refer to the USE OF THE LEASH discussion below.

10. CHEWING – Let’s talk about the method of stopping Skeeter from chewing when you can “catch him in the act” and another method when you can’t “catch Skeeter in the act” of chewing.

If you “catch him in the act”, you must correct him in the moment. Calmly approach him, stand tall and stoic in front of him, make your correction sound, and use the squirt bottle to get his attention focused on you. It may take two or three corrections (Stand/GRRRR/Squirt’s), but Skeeter should stop chewing, drop the item, and move away. (Be sure to repeat your correction sound every time you give him a squirt.) Once he is moving away, calmly pick up the item and praise his correct choice with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”.

After you correct him, you need to give him “an acceptable thing to chew”. One example of “an acceptable thing to chew” is the Kong Toy. Take the Kong Toy, put some peanut butter in the food hole, and freeze it. Give this to Skeeter to direct his chewing to something you find acceptable.

Another example of “an acceptable thing to chew” is the Deer Antler. These are very safe and (obviously) all natural. Spray some low sodium chicken broth on the antler to make it a little “tastier” and give it to him.

As soon as you take away the “thing you don’t want him to chew”, give him one of these. You can also leave them out for him to naturally locate and chew.

Remember, you can only perform the above procedure if you see Skeeter in the act of chewing.

If you can’t “catch him in the act”, you will need to find a way to passively discourage Skeeter from chewing. To do this, you need to make the thing you don’t want him to chew to taste yucky. We suggest that you use Bitter Apple.

You need to let Skeeter understand that anything that tastes like Bitter Apple is yucky. You do this by spraying a very small amount of it into his mouth. You are not trying to have him drink it; you want the mist of the spray to reach the taste buds in the back of his mouth. This will trigger a “bad taste memory”. He will then associate other things with this same smell as tasting bad.

Spray Bitter Apple on things you don’t want Skeeter to chew. The Bitter Apple will eventually evaporate on the object, so you must re-spray from time to time. Once you have sprayed the “don’t chew this” object, place a Kong Toy or Deer Antler in the immediate vicinity.

As he equates that one thing is bad (the thing you don’t want him to chew), he will find something good (the thing you want him to chew). After a few encounters, Skeeter will ignore the thing you don’t want him to chew (it tastes yucky) for the thing you want him to chew (it tastes good).

If the Bitter Apple becomes ineffective, you can ramp up to Tabasco Sauce, Jalapeno Sauce, or Habanero Sauce (in that order). Place the sauce on the item you don’t want Skeeter to chew. Since you can’t spray the sauce as you would the Bitter Apple, put a little on your finger and rub it on the top of his tongue.

11. NIPPING – Let’s review the active approach to stop Skeeter from nipping and then a “set the scene” method of getting him from nipping.

In our first approach, as soon as you see Skeeter start to become adrenalized, stay calm and still. If you are playing with him, stop. If possible, slowly move your hands away from him and calmly stand up. This will proactively send a signal to him that you will not engage him and do not condone his actions. If needed, make your correction sound and use the squirt bottle or shake bottle. Praise him with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY” when he stops trying to nip.

If he has already started to nip you, remain calm and still. Make your correction sound and stand up, if possible. The important thing is to stay calm. Praise him with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY” when he stops nipping.

When you don’t energetically engage him, Skeeter will place additional focus on your calm demeanor. This will deescalate his adrenalated actions and allow things to cool down.

Our second approach involves “setting the scene” when you want to discourage Skeeter’s nipping.

We suggest that you use Bitter Apple as your “yucky trigger”. Skeeter must understand that anything that tastes like Bitter Apple is yucky. You do this by spraying a very small amount of it into his mouth. You are not trying to have him drink it; you want the mist of the spray to reach the taste buds in the back of his mouth. This will trigger a “bad taste memory”. He will then associate other things with this same smell as tasting bad.

Now, spray some Bitter Apple on your hands. Make your hands “available to Skeeter” but don’t “stick them in his face”. If he starts to go for your hands, he should smell or taste how “yucky your hands have become” and will not want any part of them.

Make sure you have something else for him such as a chew toy or goodie to distract him away. As soon as he has been directed away from your hands (the target), praise him with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”.

If the Bitter Apple is not effective, you can ramp up to Tabasco Sauce, Jalapeno Sauce, or Habanero Sauce (in that order). Be sure to wash your hands thoroughly when you have finished your exercise using these liquids.

There is one more “NIPPING issue” that involves “WALKING”. As you pass by him, he will come at you and nip at your pants. You need to set a rule that he can’t nip your pants. Here is what you do:

Slowly approach Skeeter with your squirt bottle in hand. As you get close to him, watch to see if there is any increase in his adrenaline level or excitement. If there is, stop, make your correction sound, and give him one or more squirts of water. (Remember to repeat your correction sound every time you give him a squirt.) When you observe that Skeeter has become calm and disinterested in you, let him know that he is doing the right thing by praising him with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”.

Continue to walk past him. As you pass him, turn to face him as you walk. This means that you will be walking backwards once you pass Skeeter. This will assure that he will always be observing your dominant side. This sends him the visual message that you are the boss. If you see him start to adrenalize, focus heavily on you, or move towards you, correct him again as described above.

After you have moved about eight feet past him (the distance may vary), slowly turn around and continue your walk normally (not walking backwards).

12. MANNERS AT THE FRONT DOOR – This exercise is based on the rule that Skeeter can be anywhere in the house except near you when you are opening the front door. As a rule of thumb, I define “near you” as within six to eight feet of the front door. This is the “Skeeter can’t be here zone”.

You and Skeeter can be anywhere in the house at the start of this exercise. Try to do “regular things” while not directly engaging him or causing him to become adrenalized. Make sure you know the location of your squirt bottle (either out of sight by the front door or in your pocket.)

Have someone knock on the door. Calmly walk to the front door. If Skeeter runs ahead of you, don’t worry about that yet. When you are at the front door, turn around and visibly locate him.

If he is within the “Skeeter can’t be here zone” (close to you and the front door), stand tall and face him, make your correction sound, and (if needed) give him several squirts to have him back out of “the zone” and away from the door. It may take multiple squirts to have him back away. (Remember to repeat your correction sound every time you give him a squirt.)

Once he is away from the front door, slowly reach for the door handle while always facing him. Gradually open the door for the outside visitor. If Skeeter makes any attempt to continue his approach, correct him as described above.

Continue facing him while opening the door to allow the outside visitor to enter. Close the door. Praise Skeeter’s action with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY” for obeying your rule of staying away from the front door when you are opening it. Repeat this exercise daily with family members, neighbors, and strangers (UPS, Domino’s, etc.)

NOTE: If you are having difficulty directing Skeeter away from the front door area and out of the “Skeeter can’t be here zone”, use the leash to guide him away. Calmly step on the leash, place it in your hand, and give the leash several slight tugs to have him cross the boundary into the “Skeeter can be here zone”. Once that is done, drop the leash and slowly back up to the door. Continue to face him and brandish the squirt bottle in his direction. Correct with the squirt bottle, if needed, and continue the exercise by opening the door for the outside visitor.

13. MANAGE ATTENTION SEEKING BEHAVIOR – Always make sure that it is your idea. If Skeeter comes up to you and nudges your hand for a pet, ignore him until he turns away. If you want to pet him, call him over to you. This assures he is responding to you.

If Skeeter brings you a toy, ignore him until he turns away and you can then call him back. Remember, the leader always says, “I want you to…”. Make sure you are the leader.

14. USE OF THE LEASH – The leash is a passive training tool that is very effective in redirecting Skeeter’s focus to you. We suggest that you place the leash on him at different times during the day when you are home. Be sure that you have the leash on at times when you expect higher adrenaline levels from Skeeter.

As he begins to perform an action that you don’t want, step on the leash. If he is moving, let him go to the end of the leash, tug himself slightly, and then look back at you. Your still and calm demeanor will display leadership and Skeeter will understand that you took control, and you are the boss.

If you need to remove Skeeter from the area, calmly pick up the end of the leash, quietly make your correction sound, and walk him away. Once you observe that he is no longer adrenalized, stop, and have him sit. Praise him with a quiet but high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”. Drop the leash and calmly walk away.

NOTE (SLIGHT ALTERNATIVE): If Skeeter is not fully accomplished with the SIT command, replace the SIT command by allowing him to calmly remain next to you while providing you with calm and respectful focus. After one or two seconds, praise him with a quiet but high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”. Drop the leash and calmly walk away.

15. POTTY OUTSIDE – We went over a great deal of information on this. You can review what we discussed today and find additional material by returning to the “Training Support Center Menu” and clicking on the “Potty & Wee-Wee Pad Training” button. From there, click on the “Potty Training” button. You will now be at our Potty Training Module that goes into great detail regarding “the art of getting your puppy to potty outside”.

Some of the major points to remember with Potty Training are:

a) Food Management: We often overfeed our puppies because we are Americans and love our Big Macs. Measure his daily food allowance at the start of the day and only give him that amount for the entire day. (As always, if there is a situation where your veterinarian suggests differently, do that.)

Based on his potty schedule and “accidents”, you can adjust his feeding times. If he is making accidents in the middle of the night or first thing in the morning as he wakes up, give Skeeter his dinner earlier and cut off his water earlier. You can also adjust the amount of food given in each meal. For example, if Skeeter is making more poopie accidents at night, you can decrease his feeding amount in the evening and increase his feeding amount in the morning.

Put his food and water down and pick it up after 20 to 30 minutes. Remember that it is a meal and not a buffet. Although we are picking up his food between meals, we recommend giving him a little bit of water between meals. We will review that next.

b) Water: We all need water for hydration and puppies need extra water because their bodies are in a state of rapid growth and development. We want to give Skeeter enough water to hydrate for his growth, but not so much water that he is bloated, and the water just passes through him (like flood waters overflowing the top of a dam.)

After each meal, leave the water bowl down with a little bit of water. Check the bowl every 1 or 2 hours. If the bowl is empty, pour a little bit of water into the bowl. If he starts to make wee-wee accidents in the house, you may be giving him too much water between meals. If this is happening and the water bowl is empty, wait for 30 to 60 minutes before you add water to the bowl (just a little bit of water) again. If his wee-wee accidents are in the evening or first thing in the morning, start picking up his water bowl earlier in the evening, not putting it down again after his dinner, and/or decreasing the amount of water you are providing him at dinner. Continue until the wee-wee accidents decrease and are eliminated.

c) Watch: You NEED TO WATCH SKEETER. This doesn’t mean “I think he just went over there”. It is constant “eyes on Skeeter”. When you are always watching him, you will know that he made a mistake and observe any unusual characteristics he may have shown just before the potty accident. This allows you to properly document the accident with the time, location, and possible reason for the accident. This is key in creating a better schedule for tomorrow.

d) Schedule: We talked about creating an initial schedule that is really the documentation for a “Poopie Project Plan”. We discussed the natural times that most dogs (and humans) need to go to the bathroom during the day. Start with that as your plan.

Work your plan from the start of the day by following your planned events and documenting the results (actual occurrences). This will provide you with a road map of what to do next.

Potty training is like the game of Marco Polo. Every time you call “Marco” and hear “Polo”, you get a little closer to your goal. Work your plan every day. At the end of the day, review what really happened, analyze your observations, and build your “Tomorrow’s Plan” based on the new information you gained today.

There is an old saying that sums this up. “Every day, in every way, I am getting better and better”. That is what Potty Training is all about. It is about you becoming more and more familiar with Skeeter and his bladder requirements.

IN CONCLUSION: Rules are critical. When you establish your rules, you must always correct Skeeter when he breaks a rule. Don’t get mad or go nuts when he misbehaves. As the teacher, you must portray a calm and non-adrenalized figure to gain Skeeter’s respect and attention.

Our fundamental form of communication is speaking. Conversely, Skeeter’s fundamental form of communication is body language. Begin your communication with Skeeter through proper body language. That is what he is expecting and will understand.

Practice every day. Both you and Skeeter benefit when you implement and actively engage in a daily training regimen with him. You become a better teacher the more you have the opportunity to direct and educate. Skeeter becomes a better student the more he has the opportunity to focus and learn.

Persistence, patience, and perseverance are necessary for your success. Concentrate on the positive results you are achieving and not the length of time they may take to complete.

Call us as soon as you have any questions. Finally, take a deep breath and just have fun.


Client: Diane Miller
Visit Date: 6/19/2023
Visit Number: 01
Trainer: Bruce
Paid Today: 0
Still Owe: 0
Comments:

Initial Issues:
Rescue. Knows commands. Needs work on Obedience. Front Door. Walking Manners. Outside Come (Recall).

Training Notes:
Gretchen is a sweet dog and I enjoyed working with her. She was a little jumpy and excited at first, but quickly calmed down and gave us excellent focus. With a little bit of consistency and repetition, she will be an excellent student. As with all shepherds, it is crucial that you portray resolute, yet compassionate leadership. That is what she expects from a leader that will keep her safe and secure.

Everything starts with rules. A “rule” identifies what you want her to do and what you don’t want her to do. “Come” is a rule that tells Gretchen to go to your side. “Don’t jump” is a rule that tells her to remain on the ground. You can easily determine your rules for Gretchen by asking yourself “Is she bugging me?”. If she is, Gretchen is breaking your rule.

Your rules must be simple and consistent. For example, if you don’t want her to jump, she can’t jump for any reason at any time. Everything must be on your terms. She cannot tell you what to do (i.e. please pet me) because she is not the boss.

We suggest that you consider having between five and ten rules. If you have too many rules, it will become difficult to effectively administer them.

Correct her as soon as she breaks one of your rules. This must be done in a manner that does not scare or frighten her and still gets her respectful focus directed towards you. Once you have guided her to the correct thing (no longer breaking your rules), acknowledge her appropriate action.

As with all dogs, Gretchen primarily communicates through body language. Stand tall and calm when correcting her. Remember, all Gretchen’s communication begins with body language.

To augment your body language communication, you may need to introduce a verbal interaction. Use a unique sound (if needed) to get her attention. I was using the “GRRRRRRRy” sound today. Any sound that gets her to calmly look at you is fine. The key is that the sound should be distinctive and only used when she has broken your rules and you need her focus.

There may be times where you need to “ramp it up” and include a passive/physical form of communication in addition to your body language and verbal interaction. If necessary, introduce a passive/physical action such as the squirt bottle or shake bottle to get her focus. Sometimes, a loud clap of your hands may be all you need.

As a final note on this subject, consider using the leash as a corrective and directive tool. During today’s session, we found that this was an excellent tool to gain Gretchen’s focus and have her obey our rules. “The leash” is a distractive method used to gain her focus and guide her towards the right actions. Have the leash on her at different times during the day. Always have it on her when you think she may be approaching times of heightened activity, excitement, and bad behavior.

Step on the leash if she starts to adrenalize and focus away from you. If needed, walk her to a calm area until she is deadrenalized and focused on you.

When performing the exercises, remember that repetition, consistency, observation, and simplicity are key. ACTION is essential to the process. If you catch yourself thinking “Oh, what a bad dog. I wish she would stop doing that!”, you have missed the point. If Gretchen does something wrong, you must actively correct now.

Gretchen is a dog and not a person. Do not assume that she is experiencing “human emotions”. Perform your actions because you want to keep her safe and secure.

When you give her a command, only say it once. As we discussed today, Gretchen is a dog and understands sounds and not words. “Come Come Come” is a different sound than “Come”. Make your sounds consistent so that Gretchen understands what you want her to do.

It is fine if you want to include hand gestures with any of the obedience commands. Simply include the hand gesture as you are verbalizing your obedience command to Gretchen.

Although we don’t normally use treats in our exercises, they are sometimes helpful in the initial stages of obedience lessons (i.e. Come, Sit, etc.). Use them sparingly and try to ween Gretchen off of them as quickly as possible. Show her the treat as you begin the command and only give it to her after she has successfully completed the command and you have provided her with your verbal confirmation.

Some general exercises we worked on today were:

1. COME: INSIDE WITH LEASH – You must initially perform this exercise in the house when it is quiet (no distractions). Put a six-foot leash on Gretchen. Slowly step away from her (facing her) until you have reached the end of the leash. Drop to your knees or crouch down low and say “COME” once. If she doesn’t start to move towards you, give the leash a slight tug. You may need to give several tugs.

If she is unresponsive to the tug, make your correction sound, wait for one or two seconds, say “COME” again, and give the leash another tug with slightly more force. Repeat this, if needed, until Gretchen is moving towards you.

Once she reaches you, praise her action with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”. Stand up and repeat this process for several minutes.

When she can always come to you from six feet, extend the length by using a longer leash or attaching several together. Practice from ten feet, fifteen feet, and twenty feet. When she can come to you from the longest distance, repeat the exercise at that length, but no longer hold the leash. Let it lie on the ground between you and Gretchen. The “handle end” of the leash should still be near you and easily accessible if Gretchen is not responding to your command.

Continue practicing confirming that she constantly comes to you without the need to grab and tug on the leash. Once this is achieved, unhook the leash and practice the COME exercise without the leash.

After she has successfully completed the COME exercise when she is inside, repeat the process outside. We will discuss that next.

A HELPFUL TIP: If Gretchen is slow in learning the COME command, you may need to enhance her ability to focus on you when the command is given. As you are down low and about to verbalize “COME”, pat your knees, snap your fingers, or call her name (“Gretchen”). This may help draw her attention to you as you command her to COME.

ONE MORE THING: There are times where you may be “too far away”. For example, she may have been coming to you from ten feet yesterday, but won’t respond at all from that distance today. Instead of “reinforcing failure” at ten feet, shorten the distance between you and Gretchen until she starts to come to you. Continue your exercise at that length and expand the distance as she consistently obeys your command.

NOTE: Never give Gretchen the COME command without the leash being attached to her if you have any hesitation that she will not come to you. If you want to attempt to have her come to you without the leash, get down low, call her name, become visibly animated, and clap your hands or pat your knees. Just don’t say “COME”.

If she comes to you, that is great. If Gretchen does not come to you, that is no big deal. You offered her an invitation and you allowed her to respond “yes” or “no”.

If you had said “COME” to Gretchen; that is a command and she must comply. If she does not, the only tool you have to gain her compliance and maintain your leadership role is the leash.

2. COME: OUTSIDE WITH LEAD – Put a thirty-foot training lead on Gretchen. (I suggest thirty feet, but any long length is fine. We use a thirty-foot training lead from Leash Boss. Their web site is http://LeashBoss.com.) Slowly step away from her (facing her) until you have reached about five feet. Drop to your knees or crouch down low and say “COME” once. If she doesn’t start to move towards you, give the lead a slight tug. You may need to give several tugs.

If she is unresponsive to the tug, make your correction sound, wait for one or two seconds, say “COME” again, and give the lead another tug with slightly more force. Repeat this, if needed, until Gretchen is moving towards you.

When she reaches you, praise her action with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”. Stand up and repeat this process for several minutes. Slowly add distraction to the process to provide a more “real world” environment.

Once she can always come to you from the initial distance, extend the length by using more of the training lead. Practice from ten feet, fifteen feet, twenty feet, and thirty feet. When she can come to you from the longest distance, repeat the exercise at that length, but no longer hold the lead. Let it lie on the ground between you and Gretchen. The “handle end” of the lead should still be near you and easily accessible if Gretchen is not responding to your command.

Keep practicing until she repeatedly comes to you without the need to grab and tug on the lead. If you are in an enclosed area, (i.e. your neighbor’s fenced-in area) you can attempt one more step. Unhook the lead and practice the COME exercise without the lead. If you are in an area that is not enclosed (surrounded with a fence, etc.), we do not recommend that you allow Gretchen to be off the lead.

When you are outside and you want Gretchen to come to you, this is mostly because you want her to get in the house. When outside, we suggest that you set up many of your exercises where you are near the door and Gretchen is in the yard.

A HELPFUL TIP: If Gretchen is far away from you and not focused on you when you are about to give the “COME” command, you may need to get her attention. Try calling her name or clapping your hands to get her to look at you. If she is “overly-distracted”, give the lead a slight tug to have her look back at you. Although not required, these actions often help with the successful execution of the command.

ONE MORE THING: There are times where you may be “too far away”. For example, she may have been coming to you from twenty feet yesterday, but won’t respond at all from that distance today. Instead of “reinforcing failure” at twenty feet, shorten the distance between you and Gretchen until she starts to come to you. Continue your exercise at that length and expand the distance as she consistently obeys your command.

A SLIGHT ALTERNATIVE: Our instructions above state that you are constantly holding the lead when you give the COME command. An alternative to this method is to allow the lead to stretch out behind Gretchen as she moves around the yard. You are not holding the lead, but allowing it to freely flow behind Gretchen. Always remain close to the lead. When you are ready to execute the COME command, step on the lead at the appropriate length, pick it up in your hands, and deliver the COME command. All the other instructions remain the same.

NOTE: Never give Gretchen the COME command without the lead being attached to her if you have any hesitation that she will not come to you. If you want to attempt to have her come to you without the lead, get down low, call her name, become visibly animated, and clap your hands or pat your knees. Just don’t say “COME”.

If she comes to you, that is great. If Gretchen does not come to you, that is no big deal. You offered her an invitation and you allowed her to respond “yes” or “no”.

If you had said “COME” to Gretchen; that is a command and she must comply. If she does not, the only tool you have to gain her compliance and maintain your leadership role is the lead.

3. SIT – Initially perform this exercise in a quiet location with minimal or no distractions. Put a six-foot leash on Gretchen. Stand directly in front of her and say “SIT” once. If she doesn’t sit, give her your correction sound and a slight tug on the leash. Say “SIT” again.

If she doesn’t sit immediately, move to her side and pull the leash up and behind her head. At the same time use your other hand to guide her rear end backwards until you see her hindquarters moving towards the ground. Continue to slightly pull the leash so that her head is moving backwards and her hindquarters are still descending. Once she is sitting, praise her action with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”.

Move Gretchen a few feet and repeat the exercise for several minutes. As you continue your sessions and she is constantly sitting on the first command, slowly add distractions.

4. FOLLOW THRU DOOR – You always want to go through a doorway before Gretchen. The reason for this is twofold. First, you are the leader, and you want to show Gretchen that you are always leading. Second, you want to keep Gretchen safe. The only way you can do this is to “check out” whatever is on the other side of the door before you allow her to proceed.

Have Gretchen on a leash (i.e. when you are going for a walk) or lead (i.e. when you are going to practice COME). Walk her up to the doorway and have her sit. Hold your hand out like a traffic policeman while you slowly step backwards through the doorway. Always face her.

When both of your feet are across the threshold, pat your leg to allow Gretchen to proceed. Once she has crossed the threshold, have her sit again. Praise her action with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY” for obeying your command.

ONE MORE THING: If you are taking Gretchen out to go potty, just let her get out the door. Do not worry about stopping to have her sit and wait for you to step through the doorway. You don’t want her to make an accident at the doorway.

NOTE: If Gretchen is a little too pensive to sit while she is on either side of the doorway, have her quietly stand and stay still. “Although it may not be pretty”, as long as she is remaining stable as you place your feet on the other side of the door, she has obeyed your rule.

5. WALKING OUTSIDE – Before you begin your walk, remember that you are Gretchen’s protector, boss, and best friend. It is your responsibility to always keep her safe. As you are on your walk, visually scan the immediate area to determine if there are any issues that might place Gretchen in danger or cause her to feel scared. If you find such a situation, create a plan ahead of time to mitigate or eliminate the danger before it takes place. This will prepare you to easily solve any problem you and Gretchen may encounter on your walk.

Just like any other time, when you are walking with Gretchen, she must be obeying your rules. I suggest that your “walking rules” for Gretchen are to be near you, do not pull on the leash, listen to your commands when given, and have a good time. These are only my suggestions. You must create your own rules so that you and Gretchen have an excellent walking experience.

(If you are inside and need to get outside to start your walk, be sure to perform the FOLLOW THROUGH DOOR exercise first. If you are going to finish the walk by bringing Gretchen back inside the house, repeat the FOLLOW THRU DOOR exercise to bring her back inside.)

Start your walk outside with Gretchen calmly next to you wearing her collar and harness. Have her leash attached to both the collar and harness (front hook). Give your WALK command, tug the leash slightly, and begin your walk.

As long as Gretchen is maintaining your rules as mentioned above, all is fine. If she starts to break your rules (pull, not listen, etc.), give the leash a slight tug back towards you as you are walking. Make your correction sound as you tug the leash. Have her look at you and give you focus. Acknowledge her correct behavior with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”.

If she is unresponsive to your slight tug while walking, stop walking, make your correction sound, and give the leash a slightly more forceful tug back towards you. Have her look at you and give you focus. Acknowledge her correct behavior with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”. Continue your walk.

If she really starts to pull or focus on something too much, you may need to “ramp up” your correction. In this case, you can turn around 180 degrees and walk in the opposite direction for about ten to thirty feet. Make sure she is properly walking with you. When she is calm and focused on you, reverse your direction by 180 degrees and continue your walk in the original direction. Acknowledge her correct behavior with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”.

It is frequently difficult to determine “who is walking who”. Are you walking at the pace that Gretchen has set or is she walking at your pace? It must be your pace because you are the boss. Set the tempo by creating “a cadence in your head”. Think to yourself, “1… 2… 3… 4…; 1… 2… 3… 4…”, as you walk and mark your steps to your count. This will compel you to set a speed and maintain it. It will also allow you to determine if Gretchen is walking at your speed. If she is not, correct her using one of the methods previously discussed in this exercise.

Dogs sometimes like to grab the leash in their mouth as they walk. If Gretchen grabs the leash in her mouth as you are walking, make your correction sound and squirt her with your squirt bottle. It may take multiple squirts to have her drop the leash from her mouth. (Remember to repeat your correction sound every time you give her a squirt.) Praise her with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY” after she drops the leash. Continue your walk.

Do not allow Gretchen to tell you when she wants to stop. You need to let her know when she can stop and sniff around. Try and make your “stops” at places you know she likes.

Another issue with WALKING takes place when an inappropriate distraction such as a dog, jogger, neighbor, bicyclist, car, etc. approaches. Gretchen will often start to adrenalize, lock focus on the approaching distraction, jump, bark, and pull. You need to redirect Gretchen’s focus back towards you. We suggest that you do the following:

a) Remove Gretchen from the immediate line of approach by directing her at a 90 degree angle up a driveway, onto a front lawn, etc.

b) Calmly give the leash several tugs as you walk her about ten to fifteen feet up the driveway, onto the front lawn, etc.

c) Have Gretchen focus on you as you remain calm. If she is still concentrating on the approaching distraction, move her farther up the driveway or onto the lawn. Display confidence the entire time while you are gently tugging the leash to maintain Gretchen’s attention on you. Quietly talk to her using a reassuring tone. If needed, step on the leash so that she does not have the ability to jump or move around.

d) If, after doing all this, she is still focusing on the approaching distraction, move Gretchen behind an object that will block her view of the approaching object. This could be a car in the driveway, a fence, or a bush. Continue to have Gretchen focus on you while you display a calm and “in charge” demeanor. If needed, step on the leash to keep her stable and focused on you.

e) Once the distraction has passed, reward Gretchen’s actions of focusing on you with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”. Continue your walk.

f) If you do not have the ability to perform the above steps (step a thru e) with Gretchen, calmly move her as far away from the approaching object as possible. Turn around and calmly, but briskly walk the way you came until you reach a point where you can leave the road. If that is not an option, move to the other side of the road as far away from the approaching object as possible. Actively engage her to gain her complete focus. Position yourself away from the object and then place Gretchen so that when she focuses on you, her back is to the object. This will keep her focus on you and keep the object out of her sight. Step on the leash to minimize her movement. The one thing you don’t want to do is to freeze in place and let the object directly approach you and Gretchen.

NOTE: Whenever we are directing you to give Gretchen a tug on the leash, it may require more than one tug. If you have given her a single tug without success, repeat by giving her several tugs in quick succession. Make your correction sound each time you give her a tug.

ONE MORE THING: Dogs often chew their harnesses when they are bored. Please remember to remove Gretchen’s harness when you are not walking with her.

6. BARKING – Barking is always annoying and can be caused by many things. This exercise is designed to redirect Gretchen’s attention away from the distraction causing the barking and to place the focus on you.

Have her leash on in the house when you know there might be things that normally cause her to bark. As soon as she starts to bark, step on the leash, and place the handle in your hand. Make your correction sound as you briskly walk her in a direction away from the distraction to a point where she is giving you focus and has lost interest in whatever was causing her to bark. Have her sit for you. As soon as she does, praise her with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”.

Drop the leash and calmly walk back to whatever you were doing before Gretchen started to bark.

If Gretchen’s focus can be easily directed back to you, simply standing tall, giving your correction sound, and using your physical correction (squirt bottle or shake bottle) may suffice in getting her to stop barking. Once she has stopped barking, praise her with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”.

7. JUMPING – Dogs normally jump because they are showing assertion or are excited. An important facet of this exercise is your ability to remain calm. Your calm demeanor will demonstrate your strong leadership and neutralize Gretchen’s heightened adrenaline level.

Always have Gretchen’s leash on when you are concerned that she might be jumping. If you are sitting on a chair or sofa and she approaches to jump, stand up, give her your correction sound, and use your physical correction (squirt bottle or shake bottle). As soon as she stops and gives you focus, praise her with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”.

If you are standing and Gretchen begins to jump on you or your guest, use your squirt bottle with your correction sound to stop her. You can also step on the leash so she doesn’t have the ability to jump. As soon as she calms down, praise her with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”.

If things are a little “too crazy”, you may need to ramp it up. Momentarily remove Gretchen from the immediate area. Please refer to the USE OF THE LEASH discussion below.

8. MANNERS AT THE FRONT DOOR – This exercise is based on the rule that Gretchen can be anywhere in the house except near you when you are opening the front door. As a rule of thumb, I define “near you” as within six to eight feet of the front door. This is the “Gretchen can’t be here zone”. Everything else (away from the door and outside the six-to-eight-foot boundary of the door) is the “Gretchen can be here zone”.

You and Gretchen can be anywhere in the house at the start of this exercise. Try to do “regular things” while not directly engaging her or causing her to become adrenalized. Make sure you know the location of your squirt bottle (either out of sight by the front door or in your pocket.)

Have someone knock on the door. Calmly walk to the front door. If Gretchen runs ahead of you, don’t worry about that yet. When you are at the front door, turn around and visibly locate her.

If she is within the “Gretchen can’t be here zone” (close to you and the front door), stand tall and face her, make your correction sound, and (if needed) give her several squirts to have her back out of the “Gretchen can’t be here zone”, away from the door, and into the “Gretchen can be here zone”. It may take multiple squirts to have her back away. (Remember to repeat your correction sound every time you give her a squirt.)

Once she is away from the front door, slowly reach for the door handle while always facing her. Gradually open the door for the outside visitor. If Gretchen makes any attempt to continue her approach, correct her as described above.

Continue facing her while opening the door to allow the outside visitor to enter. Close the door. Praise Gretchen’s action with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY” for obeying your rule of staying away from the front door when you are opening it. Repeat this exercise daily with family members, neighbors, and strangers (UPS, Domino’s, etc.)

NOTE: If you are having difficulty directing Gretchen away from the front door area and into the “Gretchen can be here zone”, use the leash to guide her away. Calmly step on the leash, place it in your hand, and give the leash several slight tugs to have her cross the boundary out of the “Gretchen can’t be here zone” and into the “Gretchen can be here zone”. Once that is done, drop the leash and slowly back up to the door. Continue to face her and brandish the squirt bottle in her direction. Correct with the squirt bottle, if needed, and continue the exercise by opening the door for the outside visitor.

9. MANAGE ATTENTION SEEKING BEHAVIOR – Always make sure that it is your idea. If Gretchen comes up to you and nudges your hand for a pet, ignore her until she turns away. If you want to pet her, call her over to you. This assures she is responding to you.

If Gretchen brings you a toy, ignore her until she turns away and you can then call her back. Remember, the leader always says, “I want you to…”. Make sure you are the leader.

10. USE OF THE LEASH – The leash is a passive training tool that is very effective in redirecting Gretchen’s focus to you. We suggest that you place the leash on her at different times during the day when you are home. Be sure that you have the leash on at times when you expect higher adrenaline levels from Gretchen.

As she begins to perform an action that you don’t want, step on the leash. If she is moving, let her go to the end of the leash, tug herself slightly, and then look back at you. Your still and calm demeanor will display leadership and Gretchen will understand that you took control, and you are the boss.

If you need to remove Gretchen from the area, calmly pick up the end of the leash, quietly make your correction sound, and walk her away. Once you observe that she is no longer adrenalized, stop, and have her sit. Praise her with a quiet but high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”. Drop the leash and calmly walk away.

IN CONCLUSION: Rules are critical. When you establish your rules, you must always correct Gretchen when she breaks a rule. Don’t get mad or go nuts when she misbehaves. As the teacher, you must portray a calm and non-adrenalized figure to gain Gretchen’s respect and attention.

Our fundamental form of communication is speaking. Conversely, Gretchen’s fundamental form of communication is body language. Begin your communication with Gretchen through proper body language. That is what she is expecting and will understand.

Practice every day. Both you and Gretchen benefit when you implement and actively engage in a daily training regimen with her. You become a better teacher the more you have the opportunity to direct and educate. Gretchen becomes a better student the more she has the opportunity to focus and learn.

Persistence, patience, and perseverance are necessary for your success. Concentrate on the positive results you are achieving and not the length of time they may take to complete.

Call us as soon as you have any questions. Finally, take a deep breath and just have fun.


Client: Lindsay Baglivi
Visit Date: 11/04/2023
Visit Number: 01
Trainer: Bruce
Paid Today: 0
Still Owe: 0
Comments:

Initial Issues: Zelda doesn’t listen & Jumps.

Training Notes:
Zelda is a sweet dog and I enjoyed working with her. She was very protective and pensive when I first arrived, but her body language was telling me that she was really a sweet and loving dog. After several hours, she began to understand that you were her boss and protector. This allowed her to provide you with respectful focus.

By the end of the session, she was calm, relaxed, and focused on your every command. Daily practice and vigilance in maintaining your rules will ensure that her positive behavior will continue.

Everything starts with rules. A “rule” identifies what you want her to do and what you don’t want her to do. “Come” is a rule that tells Zelda to go to your side. “Don’t jump” is a rule that tells her to remain on the ground. You can easily determine your rules for Zelda by asking yourself “Is she bugging me?”. If she is, Zelda is breaking your rule.

Your rules must be simple and consistent. For example, if you don’t want her to jump, she can’t jump for any reason at any time. Everything must be on your terms. She cannot tell you what to do (i.e. please pet me) because she is not the boss.

We suggest that you consider having between five and ten rules. If you have too many rules, it will become difficult to effectively administer them.

Correct her as soon as she breaks one of your rules. This must be done in a manner that does not scare or frighten her and still gets her respectful focus directed towards you. Once you have guided her to the correct thing (no longer breaking your rules), acknowledge her appropriate action.

As with all dogs, Zelda primarily communicates through body language. Stand tall and calm when correcting her. Remember, all Zelda’s communication begins with body language.

To augment your body language communication, you may need to introduce a verbal interaction. Use a unique sound (if needed) to get her attention. I was using the “GRRRRRRRy” sound today. Any sound that gets her to calmly look at you is fine. The key is that the sound should be distinctive and only used when she has broken your rules and you need her focus.

There may be times where you need to “ramp it up” and include a passive/physical form of communication in addition to your body language and verbal interaction. If necessary, introduce a passive/physical action such as the squirt bottle or shake bottle to get her focus. Sometimes, a loud clap of your hands may be all you need.

As a final note on this subject, consider using the leash as a corrective and directive tool. This is a distractive method used to gain her focus and guide her towards the right actions. Have the leash on her at different times during the day. Always have it on her when you think she may be approaching times of heightened activity, excitement, and bad behavior.

Step on the leash if she starts to adrenalize and focus away from you. If needed, walk her to a calm area until she is deadrenalized and focused on you.

When performing the exercises, remember that repetition, consistency, observation, and simplicity are key. ACTION is essential to the process. If you catch yourself thinking “Oh, what a bad dog. I wish she would stop doing that!”, you have missed the point. If Zelda does something wrong, you must actively correct now.

Zelda is a dog and not a person. Do not assume that she is experiencing “human emotions”. Perform your actions because you want to keep her safe and secure.

When you give her a command, only say it once. As we discussed today, Zelda is a dog and understands sounds and not words. “Come Come Come” is a different sound than “Come”. Make your sounds consistent so that Zelda understands what you want her to do.

It is fine if you want to include hand gestures with any of the obedience commands. Simply include the hand gesture as you are verbalizing your obedience command to Zelda.

Although we don’t normally use treats in our exercises, they are sometimes helpful in the initial stages of obedience lessons (i.e. Come, Sit, Stay). Use them sparingly and try to ween Zelda off of them as quickly as possible. Show her the treat as you begin the command and only give it to her after she has successfully completed the command and you have provided her with your verbal confirmation.

Some general exercises we worked on today were:

1. FOCUS ON YOU – WALKING IN THE BACK YARD – This exercise involves walking Zelda in such a way that you always retain her focus and maintain her good behavior. When you can accomplish this, it will demonstrate that she respects you as her leader and protector.

We created a training scenario in the back yard where you and Zelda were walking on the grass and I was standing at the end of the deck, remaining in constant view of Zelda. Since she had been slightly antagonistic against my presence, I would act as the “inappropriate distraction”.

Before we begin, I need to remind you of the rules you will maintain with Zelda. As you are walking her, she must provide you with calm and respectful focus. She cannot pull on the leash while you are walking or lunge at objects (normally myself) as you move through the yard.

We started the exercise with you at one end of the yard. Zelda was wearing her check chain with a six-foot leash. I was standing calmly at the end of the back deck.

Start walking Zelda in the middle of the yard towards the other fence (facing the street). You can allow Zelda to have as much leash as you wish. If Zelda starts to break any of your rules (i.e. pulling, not paying attention, or lunging at me), immediately make your correction sound while giving the leash one or more quick tugs.

Be sure to make your correction sound every time you give the leash a tug. Continue walking as you are delivering the tugs. Once she has returned to calmly walking next to you and providing you with respectful focus, let her know that she is doing the right thing. Provide her with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”.

If you cannot regain Zelda’s focus through the quick tugs, you must ramp up the process. Walk Zelda in a direction directly away from me and towards the back of the yard. Calmly give the leash one or more quick tugs as you are making your correction sound. Continue your walk away from me and making your correction until you see that she is now focused on you. At that point, stop and praise her with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”.

Try and have her sit for you. If she can, that is great. If she is a little too pensive to sit, have her calmly stand next to you and give you focus. Wait for several seconds and then provide her with a ‘GOOD PUPPY”. At this point, you can resume your walk.

Continue to walk back and forth across the yard. From time to time, stop walking and observe that she is still providing you with respectful focus while you are still. If not, correct by giving the leash several tugs towards you as you make your correction sound. Remember to make your correction sound every time you tug the leash. When she is focusing on you, provide her with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”. Continue your walk back and forth across the yard.

TRAINER’S NOTE: When you have determined that you can successfully stop your walk and she is providing you with respectful focus without the need for correction, include the SIT command in the process. If Zelda sits, that is great. It tells us that she is completely calm in the situation and trusts you. If she would rather remain standing, that is no big deal. It tells us that even though she is obeying and respecting you, she is not ready to provide total submission.

As you pass back and forth across the yard, slowly get closer to the porch. (Remember that for today’s exercise, I was standing at the edge of the porch acting as a nervous distraction. You can replace my presence with anyone else who may make her a little nervous.)

Repeat this exercise daily so that Zelda becomes accustomed to focusing on you for her protection.

Although we performed this exercise in the backyard today, you can create similar scenarios in different venues. You can walk Zelda in an area with squirrels or large noises that will cause her to focus away from you and try to “take charge”.

ADDITIONAL NOTE: We were using Zelda’s check chain for this exercise. This was because you were able to control her with the check chain. If you were not able to control her and have her obey your rules, we would have switched to the prong collar. I had shown you a prong collar that I had purchased from Hollywood Feed that would allow you to safely put it on Zelda. I suggest that you get a prong collar if the check chain starts to become ineffective. If you purchase the prong collar, please call me so that we can go into more detail regarding its appropriate use and proper fit.

2. WALKING OUTSIDE – Although we didn’t walk up and down the street today, this exercise could be quite complimentary to the “Focus Exercise” we just finished reviewing. This exercise allows you to be with Zelda in a somewhat familiar public environment in which you must provide her with a sense of safety and leadership.

Before you begin your walk, remember that you are Zelda’s protector, boss, and best friend. It is your responsibility to always keep her safe. As you are on your walk, visually scan the immediate area to determine if there are any issues that might place Zelda in danger or cause her to feel scared. If you find such a situation, create a plan ahead of time to mitigate or eliminate the danger before it takes place. This will prepare you to easily solve any problem you and Zelda may encounter on your walk.

Just like any other time, when you are walking with Zelda, she must be obeying your rules. I suggest that your “walking rules” for Zelda are to be near you, do not pull on the leash, listen to your commands when given, and have a good time. These are only my suggestions. You must create your own rules so that you and Zelda have an excellent walking experience.

Start your walk outside with Zelda calmly next to you wearing her collar and six-foot leash. (As I mentioned earlier, use the check chain if you can control her with that. If keeping her under control becomes an issue while using the check chain, switch to the prong collar.) Give your WALK command, tug the leash slightly, and begin your walk.

As long as Zelda is maintaining your rules as mentioned above, all is fine. If she starts to break your rules (pull, not listen, etc.), give the leash a slight tug back towards you as you are walking. Make your correction sound as you tug the leash. Have her look at you and give you focus. Acknowledge her correct behavior with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”.

If she is unresponsive to your slight tug while walking, stop walking, make your correction sound, and give the leash a slightly more forceful tug back towards you. Have her look at you and give you focus. Acknowledge her correct behavior with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”. Continue your walk.

If she really starts to pull or focus on something too much, you may need to “ramp up” your correction. In this case, you can turn around 180 degrees and walk in the opposite direction for about ten to thirty feet. Make sure she is properly walking with you. When she is calm and focused on you, reverse your direction by 180 degrees and continue your walk in the original direction. Acknowledge her correct behavior with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”.

It is frequently difficult to determine “who is walking who”. Are you walking at the pace that Zelda has set or is she walking at your pace? It must be your pace because you are the boss. Set the tempo by creating “a cadence in your head”. Think to yourself, “1… 2… 3… 4…; 1… 2… 3… 4…”, as you walk and mark your steps to your count. This will compel you to set a speed and maintain it. It will also allow you to determine if Zelda is walking at your speed. If she is not, correct her using one of the methods previously discussed in this exercise.

Dogs sometimes like to grab the leash in their mouth as they walk. If Zelda grabs the leash in her mouth as you are walking, make your correction sound and squirt her with your squirt bottle. It may take multiple squirts to have her drop the leash from her mouth. (Remember to repeat your correction sound every time you give her a squirt.) Praise her with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY” after she drops the leash. Continue your walk.

Do not allow Zelda to tell you when she wants to stop. You need to let her know when she can stop and sniff around. Try and make your “stops” at places you know she likes.

Another issue with WALKING takes place when an inappropriate distraction such as a dog, jogger, neighbor, bicyclist, car, etc. approaches. Zelda will often start to adrenalize, lock focus on the approaching distraction, jump, bark, and pull. You need to redirect Zelda’s focus back towards you. We suggest that you do the following:

a) Remove Zelda from the immediate line of approach by directing her at a 90 degree angle up a driveway, onto a front lawn, etc.

b) Calmly give the leash several tugs as you walk her about ten to fifteen feet up the driveway, onto the front lawn, etc.

c) Have Zelda focus on you as you remain calm. If she is still concentrating on the approaching distraction, move her farther up the driveway or onto the lawn. Display confidence the entire time while you are gently tugging the leash to maintain Zelda’s attention on you. Quietly talk to her using a reassuring tone. If needed, step on the leash so that she does not have the ability to jump or move around.

d) If, after doing all this, she is still focusing on the approaching distraction, move Zelda behind an object that will block her view of the approaching object. This could be a car in the driveway, a fence, or a bush. Continue to have Zelda focus on you while you display a calm and “in charge” demeanor. If needed, step on the leash to keep her stable and focused on you.

e) Once the distraction has passed, reward Zelda’s actions of focusing on you with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”. Continue your walk.

NOTE: Whenever we are directing you to give Zelda a tug on the leash, it may require more than one tug. If you have given her a single tug without success, repeat by giving her several tugs in quick succession. Make your correction sound each time you give her a tug.

ONE MORE THING: We have suggested that you use either the check chain or prong collar for Zelda’s walk. If these tools appear ineffective, we can switch to a PetSmart Easy Walk Harness. This is a harness where the leash is hooked to Zelda’s chest. Instead of the restriction of the check chain or pinch of the prong collar, the Easy Walk Harness will swing her around so that she is facing you. It is simply another method of gaining her focus. Please give us a call if you would like to try this approach.

3. COMING IN THE DOOR – You had mentioned that Zelda often jumps on you when you come in the door. This is breaking your rule, and you must disallow it every time she attempts to jump. Here is what you do:

Always have the squirt bottle in your hand as you open the door and come into the house. Slowly open the door just wide enough so that you can either locate Zelda or clearly see that she is not near the door. If she is close to the door, extend the squirt bottle through the slightly opened door so she can see it. At the same time, make your correction sound.

Continue to open the door, calmly step inside, and close the door. If Zelda is in sight, always be facing her. If she starts to approach and gives any indication that she will jump, make your correction sound and give her one or more squirts of water to stop her. Always make your correction sound every time you give her a squirt of water. As soon as you see that she is no longer jumping or even wants to jump, praise her correct decision with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”.

You can now proceed into the house. Continue to keep an eye on Zelda to see if she may try to jump again. If she approaches to jump, face her, make your correction sound, and give her one or more squirts of water. Be sure to make your correction sound every time you give her a squirt. Give her a high pitched ‘GOOD PUPPY” as soon as she has stopped her attempt to jump on you.

TRAINER’S NOTE: It is important that you stay calm through this entire process. When you come into the house or enter a room, it can be a very exciting time for Zelda. When you remain calm, it will help minimize the natural excitement of the moment and not overtly encourage her jumping.

4. COME: OUTSIDE WITH LEAD – This is an excellent exercise because of its simplicity. Whenever Zelda hears “COME”, all she has to do is to go to the origin of the sound (normally you). It is also the command that bugs us the most when our dog disobeys.

This command serves a special purpose for our work with Zelda. You mentioned that she has a hard time listening to you. Practicing this command will continually reinforce her need to listen to you.

Let’s begin:

Put a thirty-foot training lead on Zelda. (I suggest thirty feet, but any long length is fine. We use a thirty-foot training lead from Leash Boss. Their web site is http://LeashBoss.com.) Slowly step away from her (facing her) until you have reached about five feet. Drop to your knees or crouch down low and say “COME” once. If she doesn’t start to move towards you, give the lead a slight tug. You may need to give several tugs.

If she is unresponsive to the tug, make your correction sound, wait for one or two seconds, say “COME” again, and give the lead another tug with slightly more force. Repeat this, if needed, until Zelda is moving towards you.

When she reaches you, praise her action with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”. Stand up and repeat this process for several minutes. Slowly add distraction to the process to provide a more “real world” environment.

Once she can always come to you from the initial distance, extend the length by using more of the training lead. Practice from ten feet, fifteen feet, twenty feet, and thirty feet. When she can come to you from the longest distance, repeat the exercise at that length, but no longer hold the lead. Let it lie on the ground between you and Zelda. The “handle end” of the lead should still be near you and easily accessible if Zelda is not responding to your command.

Keep practicing until she repeatedly comes to you without the need to grab and tug on the lead. If you are in an enclosed area, (i.e., your backyard) you can attempt one more step. Unhook the lead and practice the COME exercise without the lead. If you are in an area that is not enclosed (surrounded with a fence, etc.), we do not recommend that you allow Zelda to be off the lead.

A HELPFUL TIP: If Zelda is far away from you and not focused on you when you are about to give the “COME” command, you may need to get her attention. Try calling her name or clapping your hands to get her to look at you. If she is “overly-distracted”, give the lead a slight tug to have her look back at you. Although not required, these actions often help with the successful execution of the command.

ONE MORE THING: There are times where you may be “too far away”. For example, she may have been coming to you from twenty feet yesterday, but won’t respond at all from that distance today. Instead of “reinforcing failure” at twenty feet, shorten the distance between you and Zelda until she starts to come to you. Continue your exercise at that length and expand the distance as she consistently obeys your command.

A SLIGHT ALTERNATIVE: Our instructions above state that you are constantly holding the lead when you give the COME command. An alternative to this method is to allow the lead to stretch out behind Zelda as she moves around the yard. You are not holding the lead, but allowing it to freely flow behind Zelda. Always remain close to the lead. When you are ready to execute the COME command, step on the lead at the appropriate length, pick it up in your hands, and deliver the COME command. All the other instructions remain the same.

NOTE: Never give Zelda the COME command without the lead being attached to her if you have any hesitation that she will not come to you. If you want to attempt to have her come to you without the lead, get down low, call her name, become visibly animated, and clap your hands or pat your knees. Just don’t say “COME”.

If she comes to you, that is great. If Zelda does not come to you, that is no big deal. You offered her an invitation and you allowed her to respond “yes” or “no”.

If you had said “COME” to Zelda; that is a command and she must comply. If she does not, the only tool you have to gain her compliance and maintain your leadership role is the lead.

5. SIT – Initially perform this exercise in a quiet location with minimal or no distractions. Put a six-foot leash on Zelda. Stand directly in front of her and say “SIT” once. If she doesn’t sit, give her your correction sound and a slight tug on the leash. Say “SIT” again.

If she doesn’t sit immediately, move to her side and pull the leash up and behind her head. At the same time use your other hand to guide her rear end backwards until you see her hindquarters moving towards the ground. Continue to slightly pull the leash so that her head is moving backwards and her hindquarters are still descending. Once she is sitting, praise her action with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”.

Move Zelda a few feet and repeat the exercise for several minutes. As you continue your sessions and she is constantly sitting on the first command, slowly add distractions.

TRAINER’S NOTE: Sometimes Zelda may be in a position where she feels slightly pensive and not willing to provide complete submission. When this takes place, she may not want to obey your SIT command. If you feel this is the case, do not force her to sit. Have her calmly stand at your side and provide you with respectful focus for a few moments.

6. BARKING – Barking is always annoying and can be caused by many things. This exercise is designed to redirect Zelda’s attention away from the distraction causing the barking and to place the focus on you.

Have her leash on in the house when you know there might be things that normally cause her to bark. As soon as she starts to bark, step on the leash, and place the handle in your hand. Make your correction sound as you briskly walk her in a direction away from the distraction to a point where she is giving you focus and has lost interest in whatever was causing her to bark. Have her sit for you. As soon as she does, praise her with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”.

(If she is a little too pensive to sit at the current time, have her calmly remain next to you while providing you with calm and respectful focus for one or two seconds. At that point, praise her with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”.)

Drop the leash and calmly walk back to whatever you were doing before Zelda started to bark.

If Zelda’s focus can be easily directed back to you, simply standing tall, giving your correction sound, and using your physical correction (squirt bottle or shake bottle) may suffice in getting her to stop barking. Once she has stopped barking, praise her with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”.

7. JUMPING – Dogs normally jump because they are showing assertion or are excited. An important facet of this exercise is your ability to remain calm. Your calm demeanor will demonstrate your strong leadership and neutralize Zelda’s heightened adrenaline level.

Always have Zelda’s leash on when you are concerned that she might be jumping. If you are sitting on a chair or sofa and she approaches to jump, stand up, give her your correction sound, and use your physical correction (squirt bottle or shake bottle). As soon as she stops and gives you focus, praise her with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”.

If you are standing and Zelda begins to jump on you or your guest, use your squirt bottle with your correction sound to stop her. You can also step on the leash so she doesn’t have the ability to jump. As soon as she calms down, praise her with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”.

If things are a little “too crazy”, you may need to ramp it up. Momentarily remove Zelda from the immediate area. Please refer to the USE OF THE LEASH discussion below.

8. CHEWING – Let’s talk about the method of stopping Zelda from chewing when you can “catch her in the act” and another method when you can’t “catch Zelda in the act” of chewing.

If you “catch her in the act”, you must correct her in the moment. Calmly approach her, stand tall and stoic in front of her, make your correction sound, and use the squirt bottle to get her attention focused on you. It may take two or three corrections (Stand/GRRRR/Squirt’s), but Zelda should stop chewing, drop the item, and move away. (Be sure to repeat your correction sound every time you give her a squirt.) Once she is moving away, calmly pick up the item and praise her correct choice with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”.

After you correct her, you need to give her “an acceptable thing to chew”. One example of “an acceptable thing to chew” is the Kong Toy. Take the Kong Toy, put some peanut butter in the food hole, and freeze it. Give this to Zelda to direct her chewing to something you find acceptable.

Another example of “an acceptable thing to chew” is the Deer Antler. These are very safe and (obviously) all natural. Spray some low sodium chicken broth on the antler to make it a little “tastier” and give it to her.

As soon as you take away the “thing you don’t want her to chew”, give her one of these. You can also leave them out for her to naturally locate and chew.

Remember, you can only perform the above procedure if you see Zelda in the act of chewing.

If you can’t “catch her in the act”, you will need to find a way to passively discourage Zelda from chewing. To do this, you need to make the thing you don’t want her to chew to taste yucky. We suggest that you use Bitter Apple.

You need to let Zelda understand that anything that tastes like Bitter Apple is yucky. You do this by spraying a very small amount of it into her mouth. You are not trying to have her drink it; you want the mist of the spray to reach the taste buds in the back of her mouth. This will trigger a “bad taste memory”. She will then associate other things with this same smell as tasting bad.

Spray Bitter Apple on things you don’t want Zelda to chew. The Bitter Apple will eventually evaporate on the object, so you must re-spray from time to time. Once you have sprayed the “don’t chew this” object, place a Kong Toy or Deer Antler in the immediate vicinity.

As she equates that one thing is bad (the thing you don’t want her to chew), she will find something good (the thing you want her to chew). After a few encounters, Zelda will ignore the thing you don’t want her to chew (it tastes yucky) for the thing you want her to chew (it tastes good).

If the Bitter Apple becomes ineffective, you can ramp up to Tabasco Sauce, Jalapeno Sauce, or Habanero Sauce (in that order). Place the sauce on the item you don’t want Zelda to chew. Since you can’t spray the sauce as you would the Bitter Apple, put a little on your finger and rub it on the top of her tongue.

9. MANAGE ATTENTION SEEKING BEHAVIOR – Always make sure that it is your idea. If Zelda comes up to you and nudges your hand for a pet, ignore her until she turns away. If you want to pet her, call her over to you. This assures she is responding to you.

If Zelda brings you a toy, ignore her until she turns away and you can then call her back. Remember, the leader always says, “I want you to…”. Make sure you are the leader.

10. USE OF THE LEASH – The leash is a passive training tool that is very effective in redirecting Zelda’s focus to you. We suggest that you place the leash on her at different times during the day when you are home. Be sure that you have the leash on at times when you expect higher adrenaline levels from Zelda.

As she begins to perform an action that you don’t want, step on the leash. If she is moving, let her go to the end of the leash, tug herself slightly, and then look back at you. Your still and calm demeanor will display leadership and Zelda will understand that you took control, and you are the boss.

If you need to remove Zelda from the area, calmly pick up the end of the leash, quietly make your correction sound, and walk her away. Once you observe that she is no longer adrenalized, stop, and have her sit. Praise her with a quiet but high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”. Drop the leash and calmly walk away.

NOTE (SLIGHT ALTERNATIVE): If Zelda is a little pensive and unwilling to perform the SIT command, replace the SIT command by allowing her to calmly remain next to you while providing you with calm and respectful focus. After one or two seconds, praise her with a quiet but high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”. Drop the leash and calmly walk away.

IN CONCLUSION: Rules are critical. When you establish your rules, you must always correct Zelda when she breaks a rule. Don’t get mad or go nuts when she misbehaves. As the teacher, you must portray a calm and non-adrenalized figure to gain Zelda’s respect and attention.

Our fundamental form of communication is speaking. Conversely, Zelda’s fundamental form of communication is body language. Begin your communication with Zelda through proper body language. That is what she is expecting and will understand.

Practice every day. Both you and Zelda benefit when you implement and actively engage in a daily training regimen with her. You become a better teacher the more you have the opportunity to direct and educate. Zelda becomes a better student the more she has the opportunity to focus and learn.

Persistence, patience, and perseverance are necessary for your success. Concentrate on the positive results you are achieving and not the length of time they may take to complete.

Call us as soon as you have any questions. Finally, take a deep breath and just have fun.


Client: Dayle and Steve Vanderwerff
Visit Date: 11/06/2023
Visit Number: 01
Trainer: Bruce
Paid Today: 0
Still Owe: 0
Comments:

Initial Issues:
Barking. Not listening.

Training Notes:
Fergus and Holland are sweet dogs and I enjoyed working with them. They were very yappy and demanding at first, but quickly decided to obey us as soon as we began the training. Because of their breeds they naturally tend to be demanding and wanting it “their way or the highway”. You will need to remain focused and consistent with the enforcement of your rules and obedience training in order to let them know that you guys are now “the bosses of them”. They are great puppies and will be excellent dogs.

Everything starts with rules. A “rule” identifies what you want them to do and what you don’t want them to do. “Come” is a rule that tells Fergus and Holland to go to your side. “Don’t jump” is a rule that tells them to remain on the ground. You can easily determine your rules for Fergus and Holland by asking yourself “Are they bugging me?”. If they are, they are breaking your rule.

Your rules must be simple and consistent. For example, if you don’t want them to jump, they can’t jump for any reason at any time. Everything must be on your terms. They cannot tell you what to do (i.e. please pet me) because they “are not the boss of you”.

We suggest that you consider having between five and ten rules. If you have too many rules, it will become difficult to effectively administer them.

Correct them as soon as they break one of your rules. This must be done in a manner that does not scare or frighten them and still gets their respectful focus directed towards you. Once you have guided them to the correct thing (no longer breaking your rules), acknowledge their appropriate action.

As with all dogs, they primarily communicate through body language. Stand tall and calm when correcting them. Remember, all their communication starts with body language.

To augment your body language communication, you may need to introduce a verbal interaction. Use a unique sound (if needed) to get their attention. I was using the “GRRRRRRRy” sound today. Any sound that gets them to calmly look at you is fine. The key is that the sound should be distinctive and only used when they have broken your rules and you need their focus.

There may be times where you need to “ramp it up” and include a passive/physical form of communication in addition to your body language and verbal interaction. If necessary, introduce a passive/physical action such as the squirt bottle or shake bottle to get their focus. Sometimes, a loud clap of your hands may be all you need.

As a final note on this subject, consider using the leash as a corrective and directive tool. This is a distractive method used to gain their focus and guide them towards the right actions. Have their leashes on them at different times during the day. Always have their leashes on them when you think they may be approaching times of heightened activity, excitement, and bad behavior.

Step on the leash if they start to adrenalize and focus away from you. If needed, walk them to a calm area until they are deadrenalized and focused on you.

When performing the exercises, remember that repetition, consistency, observation, and simplicity are key. ACTION is essential to the process. If you catch yourself thinking “Oh, what bad dogs. I wish they would stop doing that!”, you have missed the point. If Fergus or Holland do something wrong, you must actively correct now.

They are dogs and not people. Do not assume that they are experiencing “human emotions”. Perform your actions because you are keeping them safe and secure.

When you give them a command, only say it once. As we discussed today, they are dogs and understand sounds and not words. “Come Come Come” is a different sound than “Come”. Make your sounds consistent so that they understand what you want them to do.

It is fine if you want to include hand gestures with any of the obedience commands. Simply include the hand gesture as you are verbalizing your obedience command to them.

Although we don’t normally use treats in our exercises, they are sometimes helpful in the initial stages of obedience lessons (i.e. Come, Sit, etc.). Use them sparingly and try to ween Fergus and Holland off of them as quickly as possible. Show them the treat as you begin the command and only give it to them after they have successfully completed the command and you have provided them with your verbal confirmation.

All the exercises I will discuss are pertinent to both Fergus and Holland. As I review them, I will use Fergus as “my example dog” in explaining the exercise. Be assured, the same information is completely relevant, as needed, for Holland.

I suggest that you do the exercises with them one at a time. It also may be a good idea to have the other out of the room so that one dog does not distract the other.

If appropriate, and only when both Fergus and Holland are effectively performing the exercise on an individual basis, should you have both concurrently participating in the exercise. The rules that you employ when working with them individually still pertain when working with them concurrently.

Some general exercises we worked on today were:

1. BARKING – Barking is always annoying and can be caused by many things. This exercise is designed to redirect Fergus’s attention away from the distraction causing the barking and to place the focus on you.

Have his leash on in the house when you know there might be things that normally cause him to bark. As soon as he starts to bark, step on the leash, and place the handle in your hand. Make your correction sound as you briskly walk him in a direction away from the distraction to a point where he is giving you focus and has lost interest in whatever was causing him to bark. Have him sit for you. As soon as he does, praise him with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”.

(If he has not mastered the SIT command, have him calmly remain next to you while providing you with calm and respectful focus for one or two seconds. At that point, praise him with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”.)

Drop the leash and calmly walk back to whatever you were doing before Fergus started to bark.

If Fergus’s focus can be easily directed back to you, simply standing tall, giving your correction sound, and using your physical correction (squirt bottle or shake bottle) may suffice in getting him to stop barking. Once he has stopped barking, praise him with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”.

TRAINER’S NOTE: Since this is a behavioral issue, there will probably be times where Fergus and Holland will be together barking at the same time. You will need to perform these actions with them concurrently. Focus on the “biggest offender” first and then move on to the other.

2. JUMPING – Dogs normally jump because they are showing assertion or are excited. An important facet of this exercise is your ability to remain calm. Your calm demeanor will demonstrate your strong leadership and neutralize Fergus’s heightened adrenaline level.

Always have Fergus’s leash on when you are concerned that he might be jumping. If you are sitting on a chair or sofa and he approaches to jump, stand up, give him your correction sound, and use your physical correction (squirt bottle or shake bottle). As soon as he stops and gives you focus, praise him with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”.

If you are standing and Fergus begins to jump on you or your guest, use your squirt bottle with your correction sound to stop him. You can also step on the leash so he doesn’t have the ability to jump. As soon as he calms down, praise him with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”.

If things are a little “too crazy”, you may need to ramp it up. Momentarily remove Fergus from the immediate area. Please refer to the USE OF THE LEASH discussion below.

TRAINER’S NOTE: Since this is a behavioral issue, there will probably be times where Fergus and Holland will be together jumping at the same time. You will need to perform these actions with them concurrently. Focus on the “biggest offender” first and then move on to the other.

3. WHEN GUESTS OR FAMILY COME OVER – It is always a crazy time when family or guests come over to the house. You would rather that Fergus and Holland aren’t going nuts as you are having people come in the door and you are trying to greet them. Because of the heightened level of adrenaline being created by dogs and people alike, trying to keep everything and everyone calm is next to impossible.

The rule for Fergus and Holland is to be calm, don’t bark, don’t jump, and be good little boys. This is an almost impossible rule to implement and maintain as you are having people entering the house. Because of this, we suggest the following process when you have invited guests and/or family to your house.

Before your guests arrive, have Fergus and Holland wearing their leashes in another room with the door closed. There will be someone watching them, keeping them occupied, and maintaining their focus. When your guests arrive, the person watching the dogs will be vigilant in keeping them quiet and focused.

He may need to correct by making the correction sound and giving them one or multiple squirts of water. Remember to always make your correction sound every time you give them a squirt. Once they calm down, be sure to let them know they are doing the right thing by giving them a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”.

If the squirt bottle doesn’t work, pick up the leash and walk the offending puppy around in a circle until you gain his focus. Have him pause or sit for a moment and then reward his good behavior with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”. (Remember, you can’t direct the offending puppy out of the room because that is where all your arriving guests are currently gathering.)

Continue to keep Fergus and Holland calm in the other room with the door closed as all your guests enter, take their seats, or perform any activity they desire. The important thing is that you have now created a calm and stable environment in the house. Let the house remain calm for about ten to fifteen minutes.

It is now time to bring in Fergus and Holland. Before you begin, tell your guests and family members to remain calm and not to pay attention to Fergus or Holland.

Whoever was not in the room now needs to enter and both of you should take a dog’s leash. You can now enter the room with both dogs on their leashes. Do not walk directly towards any guest or family member. Walk the dogs past your guests, allowing them to look and sniff. Everyone should remain still, calm, and quiet.

If Fergus or Holland start to jump or bark, give their leash a quick tug, make your correction sound, and give them one or multiple squirts of water. If this eliminates their inappropriate behavior, that is great. You should give them a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”.

If they continue, calmly remove them from the room to a location where they are giving you respectful focus. Have them sit or remain by your side giving you focus for three to five seconds. Let them know they are doing the right thing by giving them a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”. Now, slowly return to the area with your guests and continue your walk around the room.

Once both dogs can calmly walk around the room without barking, jumping, or being generally annoying for about three to five minutes, calmly drop their leashes. Let them continue to “move about” as you remain “near at hand”. If they start to act up, step on the leash, remove them from the area, and correct them as described above.

TRAINER’S NOTE: If any of your guests or family members want to play with Fergus and Holland, that is perfectly acceptable. They should take them on their leashes into the yard, unhook their leashes, and play with them. When they are finished playing, they should not bring them inside immediately. Sit outside with them for a few minutes to allow their “excitement levels” to drop. When they are calm, you should reattach their leashes and calmly bring them back inside.

4. COME: INSIDE WITH LEASH – You must initially perform this exercise in the house when it is quiet (no distractions). Put a six-foot leash on Fergus. Slowly step away from him (facing him) until you have reached the end of the leash. Drop to your knees or crouch down low and say “COME” once. If he doesn’t start to move towards you, give the leash a slight tug. You may need to give several tugs.

If he is unresponsive to the tug, make your correction sound, wait for one or two seconds, say “COME” again, and give the leash another tug with slightly more force. Repeat this, if needed, until Fergus is moving towards you.

Once he reaches you, praise his action with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”. Stand up and repeat this process for several minutes.

When he can always come to you from six feet, extend the length by using a longer leash or attaching several together. Practice from ten feet, fifteen feet, and twenty feet. When he can come to you from the longest distance, repeat the exercise at that length, but no longer hold the leash. Let it lie on the ground between you and Fergus. The “handle end” of the leash should still be near you and easily accessible if Fergus is not responding to your command.

Continue practicing confirming that he constantly comes to you without the need to grab and tug on the leash. Once this is achieved, unhook the leash and practice the COME exercise without the leash.

After he has successfully completed the COME exercise when he is inside, repeat the process outside. Practice from ten, fifteen, twenty, and thirty feet. Only allow Fergus off leash (final step) if you are in a fenced-in area (i.e., your back yard).

A HELPFUL TIP: If Fergus is slow in learning the COME command, you may need to enhance his ability to focus on you when the command is given. As you are down low and about to verbalize “COME”, pat your knees, snap your fingers, or call his name (“Fergus”). This may help draw his attention to you as you command him to COME.

ONE MORE THING: There are times where you may be “too far away”. For example, he may have been coming to you from ten feet yesterday, but won’t respond at all from that distance today. Instead of “reinforcing failure” at ten feet, shorten the distance between you and Fergus until he starts to come to you. Continue your exercise at that length and expand the distance as he consistently obeys your command.

NOTE: Never give Fergus the COME command without the leash being attached to him if you have any hesitation that he will not come to you. If you want to attempt to have him come to you without the leash, get down low, call his name, become visibly animated, and clap your hands or pat your knees. Just don’t say “COME”.

If he comes to you, that is great. If Fergus does not come to you, that is no big deal. You offered him an invitation and you allowed him to respond “yes” or “no”.

If you had said “COME” to Fergus; that is a command and he must comply. If he does not, the only tool you have to gain his compliance and maintain your leadership role is the leash.

5. SIT – Initially perform this exercise in a quiet location with minimal or no distractions. Put a six-foot leash on Fergus. Stand directly in front of him and say “SIT” once. If he doesn’t sit, give him your correction sound and a slight tug on the leash. Say “SIT” again.

If he doesn’t sit immediately, move to his side and pull the leash up and behind his head. At the same time use your other hand to guide his rear end backwards until you see his hindquarters moving towards the ground. Continue to slightly pull the leash so that his head is moving backwards and his hindquarters are still descending. Once he is sitting, praise his action with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”.

Move Fergus a few feet and repeat the exercise for several minutes. As you continue your sessions and he is constantly sitting on the first command, slowly add distractions.

6. FOLLOW THRU DOOR – You always want to go through a doorway before Fergus. The reason for this is twofold. First, you are the leader, and you want to show Fergus that you are always leading. Second, you want to keep Fergus safe. The only way you can do this is to “check out” whatever is on the other side of the door before you allow him to proceed.

Have Fergus on a leash. Walk him up to the doorway and have him sit. Hold your hand out like a traffic policeman while you slowly step backwards through the doorway. Always face him.

When both of your feet are across the threshold, pat your leg to allow Fergus to proceed. Once he has crossed the threshold, have him sit again. Praise his action with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY” for obeying your command.

NOTE: If Fergus is a little too pensive to sit while he is on either side of the doorway, have him quietly stand and stay still. “Although it may not be pretty”, as long as he is remaining stable as you place your feet on the other side of the door, he has obeyed your rule.

7. WALKING OUTSIDE – Before you begin your walk, remember that you are Fergus’s protector, boss, and best friend. It is your responsibility to always keep him safe. As you are on your walk, visually scan the immediate area to determine if there are any issues that might place Fergus in danger or cause him to feel scared. If you find such a situation, create a plan ahead of time to mitigate or eliminate the danger before it takes place. This will prepare you to easily solve any problem you and Fergus may encounter on your walk.

Just like any other time, when you are walking with Fergus, he must be obeying your rules. I suggest that your “walking rules” for Fergus are to be near you, do not pull on the leash, listen to your commands when given, and have a good time. These are only my suggestions. You must create your own rules so that you and Fergus have an excellent walking experience.

(If you are inside and need to get outside to start your walk, be sure to perform the FOLLOW THROUGH DOOR exercise first. If you are going to finish the walk by bringing Fergus back inside the house, repeat the FOLLOW THRU DOOR exercise to bring him back inside.)

Start your walk outside with Fergus calmly next to you wearing his collar and Easy Walk Harness (size Small). (Holland will need a size Medium/Small.) Have his leash attached to both the collar and harness. Give your WALK command, tug the leash slightly, and begin your walk.

As long as Fergus is maintaining your rules as mentioned above, all is fine. If he starts to break your rules (pull, not listen, etc.), give the leash a slight tug back towards you as you are walking. Make your correction sound as you tug the leash. Have him look at you and give you focus. Acknowledge his correct behavior with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”.

If he is unresponsive to your slight tug while walking, stop walking, make your correction sound, and give the leash a slightly more forceful tug back towards you. Have him look at you and give you focus. Acknowledge his correct behavior with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”. Continue your walk.

If he really starts to pull or focus on something too much, you may need to “ramp up” your correction. In this case, you can turn around 180 degrees and walk in the opposite direction for about ten to thirty feet. Make sure he is properly walking with you. When he is calm and focused on you, reverse your direction by 180 degrees and continue your walk in the original direction. Acknowledge his correct behavior with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”.

It is frequently difficult to determine “who is walking who”. Are you walking at the pace that Fergus has set or is he walking at your pace? It must be your pace because you are the boss. Set the tempo by creating “a cadence in your head”. Think to yourself, “1… 2… 3… 4…; 1… 2… 3… 4…”, as you walk and mark your steps to your count. This will compel you to set a speed and maintain it. It will also allow you to determine if Fergus is walking at your speed. If he is not, correct him using one of the methods previously discussed in this exercise.

Do not allow Fergus to tell you when he wants to stop. You need to let him know when he can stop and sniff around. Try and make your “stops” at places you know he likes.

Another issue with WALKING takes place when an inappropriate distraction such as a dog, jogger, neighbor, bicyclist, car, etc. approaches. Fergus will often start to adrenalize, lock focus on the approaching distraction, jump, bark, and pull. You need to redirect Fergus’s focus back towards you. We suggest that you do the following:

a) Remove Fergus from the immediate line of approach by directing him at a 90 degree angle up a driveway, onto a front lawn, etc.

b) Calmly give the leash several tugs as you walk him about ten to fifteen feet up the driveway, onto the front lawn, etc.

c) Have Fergus focus on you as you remain calm. If he is still concentrating on the approaching distraction, move him farther up the driveway or onto the lawn. Display confidence the entire time while you are gently tugging the leash to maintain Fergus’s attention on you. Quietly talk to him using a reassuring tone. If needed, step on the leash so that he does not have the ability to jump or move around.

d) If, after doing all this, he is still focusing on the approaching distraction, move Fergus behind an object that will block his view of the approaching object. This could be a car in the driveway, a fence, or a bush. Continue to have Fergus focus on you while you display a calm and “in charge” demeanor. If needed, step on the leash to keep him stable and focused on you.

e) Once the distraction has passed, reward Fergus’s actions of focusing on you with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”. Continue your walk.

NOTE: Whenever we are directing you to give Fergus a tug on the leash, it may require more than one tug. If you have given him a single tug without success, repeat by giving him several tugs in quick succession. Make your correction sound each time you give him a tug.

ONE MORE THING: Dogs often chew their harnesses when they are bored. Please remember to remove Fergus’s harness when you are not walking with him

8. GOING OUT AND IN THE DOOR – You want to be able to come in and out the door without Fergus rushing you, jumping on you, running out the door, or causing other mischief. Let’s first look at leaving and then coming back inside.

Your rule for Fergus when you leave through the door is for him to stay out of the “Fergus can’t be here zone”. This is a zone approximately six to eight feet extending from the door into the house. Calmly walk up to the door as you are preparing to leave. Turn around to determine if Fergus is within the “Fergus can’t be here zone”. If he is, face him, stand tall, make your correction sound, and give him one or more squirts of water until he backs up and out of the immediate area. (Remember to repeat your correction sound every time you give him a squirt.)

When he is out of the immediate area, slowly open the door while still facing him. If he starts to approach again and enter the “Fergus can’t be here zone”, correct him as described above until he has retreated. Continue through the door and close the door. Give him a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY” just before the door finally closes shut. You can now leave and do whatever you need to do away from the house.

When you return home, make sure you have your squirt bottle with you as you reach the door. Your rule is you want Fergus to be away from the door when you enter and not to bug you until you are ready to greet him.

Loudly make your correction sound while you are outside the door. Next, slowly crack the door open just wide enough for you to extend the squirt bottle into the door opening.

If Fergus is within the “Fergus can’t be here zone”, correct him as described above. Continue your correction until he has retreated outside the “Fergus can’t be here zone”. Now, slowly open the door, correcting if necessary until you can step through the opening and close the door.

There is one more thing to do before the COMING BACK INSIDE exercise is finished. You must decide when you want to greet Fergus. In order to do this, perform any overt, physical action that you clearly initiate. Put your keys or phone on the table, open the refrigerator for a bottle of water, turn on the TV, etc.

Ignore him until you complete this task. If he tries to get your attention while you are performing “your task”, correct him. Once you are done with your task, let him know he was a good boy by providing him with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”. Now, you can greet him.

9. MANAGE ATTENTION SEEKING BEHAVIOR – Always make sure that it is your idea. If Fergus comes up to you and nudges your hand for a pet, ignore him until he turns away. If you want to pet him, call him over to you. This assures he is responding to you.

If Fergus brings you a toy, ignore him until he turns away and you can then call him back. Remember, the leader always says, “I want you to…”. Make sure you are the leader.

10. USE OF THE LEASH – The leash is a passive training tool that is very effective in redirecting Fergus’s focus to you. We suggest that you place the leash on him at different times during the day when you are home. Be sure that you have the leash on at times when you expect higher adrenaline levels from Fergus.

As he begins to perform an action that you don’t want, step on the leash. If he is moving, let him go to the end of the leash, tug himself slightly, and then look back at you. Your still and calm demeanor will display leadership and Fergus will understand that you took control, and you are the boss.

If you need to remove Fergus from the area, calmly pick up the end of the leash, quietly make your correction sound, and walk him away. Once you observe that he is no longer adrenalized, stop, and have him sit or calmly stand next to you while providing you with respectful focus for about three to five seconds. Praise him with a quiet but high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”. Drop the leash and calmly walk away.

IN CONCLUSION: Rules are critical. When you establish your rules, you must always correct them when they break a rule. Don’t get mad or go nuts when Fergus or Holland misbehave. As the teacher, you must portray a calm and non-adrenalized figure to gain their respect and attention.

Our fundamental form of communication is speaking. Conversely, their fundamental form of communication is body language. Begin your communication with Fergus and Holland through proper body language. That is what they are expecting and will understand.

Practice every day. Both you, Fergus, and Holland benefit when you implement and actively engage in a daily training regimen with them. You become a better teacher the more you have the opportunity to direct and educate. Fergus and Holland become better students the more they have the opportunity to focus and learn.

Persistence, patience, and perseverance are necessary for your success. Concentrate on the positive results you are achieving and not the length of time they may take to complete.

Call us as soon as you have any questions. Finally, take a deep breath and just have fun.


Client: Sally Miller
Visit Date: 11/09/2023
Visit Number: 01
Trainer: Bruce
Paid Today: 0
Still Owe: 0
Comments:

Initial Issues:
Rescue – Been in & out of several homes. Doesn’t Listen. Jumps. Chews. Walking Manners. They are at wits end.

Training Notes:
River is a sweet dog and I enjoyed working with her. Her overall demeanor is excellent and far better than one would expect from a newly acquired rescue dog. She quickly provided us with respectful focus when we started to work with her. She is an outstanding student and gives every indication that she will be a wonderful addition to your family.

Everything starts with rules. A “rule” identifies what you want her to do and what you don’t want her to do. “Come” is a rule that tells River to go to your side. “Don’t jump” is a rule that tells her to remain on the ground. You can easily determine your rules for River by asking yourself “Is she bugging me?”. If she is, River is breaking your rule.

Your rules must be simple and consistent. For example, if you don’t want her to jump, she can’t jump for any reason at any time. Everything must be on your terms. She cannot tell you what to do (i.e. please pet me) because she is not the boss.

We suggest that you consider having between five and ten rules. If you have too many rules, it will become difficult to effectively administer them.

Correct her as soon as she breaks one of your rules. This must be done in a manner that does not scare or frighten her and still gets her respectful focus directed towards you. Once you have guided her to the correct thing (no longer breaking your rules), acknowledge her appropriate action.

As with all dogs, River primarily communicates through body language. Stand tall and calm when correcting her. Remember, all River’s communication begins with body language.

To augment your body language communication, you may need to introduce a verbal interaction. Use a unique sound (if needed) to get her attention. I was using the “GRRRRRRRy” sound today. Any sound that gets her to calmly look at you is fine. The key is that the sound should be distinctive and only used when she has broken your rules and you need her focus.

There may be times where you need to “ramp it up” and include a passive/physical form of communication in addition to your body language and verbal interaction. If necessary, introduce a passive/physical action such as the squirt bottle or shake bottle to get her focus. Sometimes, a loud clap of your hands may be all you need.

As a final note on this subject, consider using the leash as a corrective and directive tool. This is a distractive method used to gain her focus and guide her towards the right actions. Have the leash on her at different times during the day. Always have it on her when you think she may be approaching times of heightened activity, excitement, and bad behavior.

Step on the leash if she starts to adrenalize and focus away from you. If needed, walk her to a calm area until she is deadrenalized and focused on you.

When performing the exercises, remember that repetition, consistency, observation, and simplicity are key. ACTION is essential to the process. If you catch yourself thinking “Oh, what a bad dog. I wish she would stop doing that!”, you have missed the point. If River does something wrong, you must actively correct now.

River is a dog and not a person. Do not assume that she is experiencing “human emotions”. Perform your actions because you want to keep her safe and secure.

When you give her a command, only say it once. As we discussed today, River is a dog and understands sounds and not words. “Come Come Come” is a different sound than “Come”. Make your sounds consistent so that River understands what you want her to do.

Some general exercises we worked on today were:

1. COME: OUTSIDE WITH LEAD – Put a thirty-foot training lead on River. (I suggest thirty feet, but any long length is fine. We use a thirty-foot training lead from Leash Boss. Their web site is http://LeashBoss.com.) Slowly step away from her (facing her) until you have reached about five feet. Drop to your knees or crouch down low and say “COME” once. If she doesn’t start to move towards you, give the lead a slight tug. You may need to give several tugs.

If she is unresponsive to the tug, make your correction sound, wait for one or two seconds, say “COME” again, and give the lead another tug with slightly more force. Repeat this, if needed, until River is moving towards you.

When she reaches you, praise her action with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”. Stand up and repeat this process for several minutes. Slowly add distraction to the process to provide a more “real world” environment.

Once she can always come to you from the initial distance, extend the length by using more of the training lead. Practice from ten feet, fifteen feet, twenty feet, and thirty feet. When she can come to you from the longest distance, repeat the exercise at that length, but no longer hold the lead. Let it lie on the ground between you and River. The “handle end” of the lead should still be near you and easily accessible if River is not responding to your command.

Keep practicing until she repeatedly comes to you without the need to grab and tug on the lead. If you are in an enclosed area, (i.e., your fenced-in backyard) you can attempt one more step. Unhook the lead and practice the COME exercise without the lead. If you are in an area that is not enclosed (surrounded with a fence, etc.), we do not recommend that you allow River to be off the lead.

A HELPFUL TIP: If River is far away from you and not focused on you when you are about to give the “COME” command, you may need to get her attention. Try calling her name or clapping your hands to get her to look at you. If she is “overly-distracted”, give the lead a slight tug to have her look back at you. Although not required, these actions often help with the successful execution of the command.

ONE MORE THING: There are times where you may be “too far away”. For example, she may have been coming to you from twenty feet yesterday, but won’t respond at all from that distance today. Instead of “reinforcing failure” at twenty feet, shorten the distance between you and River until she starts to come to you. Continue your exercise at that length and expand the distance as she consistently obeys your command.

A SLIGHT ALTERNATIVE: Our instructions above state that you are constantly holding the lead when you give the COME command. An alternative to this method is to allow the lead to stretch out behind River as she moves around the yard. You are not holding the lead, but allowing it to freely flow behind River. Always remain close to the lead. When you are ready to execute the COME command, step on the lead at the appropriate length, pick it up in your hands, and deliver the COME command. All the other instructions remain the same.

NOTE: Never give River the COME command without the lead being attached to her if you have any hesitation that she will not come to you. If you want to attempt to have her come to you without the lead, get down low, call her name, become visibly animated, and clap your hands or pat your knees. Just don’t say “COME”.

If she comes to you, that is great. If River does not come to you, that is no big deal. You offered her an invitation and you allowed her to respond “yes” or “no”.

If you had said “COME” to River; that is a command and she must comply. If she does not, the only tool you have to gain her compliance and maintain your leadership role is the lead.

2. SIT – Initially perform this exercise in a quiet location with minimal or no distractions. Put a six-foot leash on River. Stand directly in front of her and say “SIT” once. If she doesn’t sit, give her your correction sound and a slight tug on the leash. Say “SIT” again.

If she doesn’t sit immediately, move to her side and pull the leash up and behind her head. At the same time use your other hand to guide her rear end backwards until you see her hindquarters moving towards the ground. Continue to slightly pull the leash so that her head is moving backwards and her hindquarters are still descending. Once she is sitting, praise her action with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”.

Move River a few feet and repeat the exercise for several minutes. As you continue your sessions and she is constantly sitting on the first command, slowly add distractions.

3. FOLLOW THRU DOOR – You always want to go through a doorway before River. The reason for this is twofold. First, you are the leader, and you want to show River that you are always leading. Second, you want to keep River safe. The only way you can do this is to “check out” whatever is on the other side of the door before you allow her to proceed.

Have River on a leash. Walk her up to the doorway and have her sit. Hold your hand out like a traffic policeman while you slowly step backwards through the doorway. Always face her.

When both of your feet are across the threshold, pat your leg to allow River to proceed. Once she has crossed the threshold, have her sit again. Praise her action with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY” for obeying your command.

NOTE: If River is a little too pensive to sit while she is on either side of the doorway, have her quietly stand and stay still. “Although it may not be pretty”, as long as she is remaining stable as you place your feet on the other side of the door, she has obeyed your rule.

4. WALKING OUTSIDE – Before you begin your walk, remember that you are River’s protector, boss, and best friend. It is your responsibility to always keep her safe. As you are on your walk, visually scan the immediate area to determine if there are any issues that might place River in danger or cause her to feel scared. If you find such a situation, create a plan ahead of time to mitigate or eliminate the danger before it takes place. This will prepare you to easily solve any problem you and River may encounter on your walk.

Just like any other time, when you are walking with River, she must be obeying your rules. I suggest that your “walking rules” for River are to be near you, do not pull on the leash, listen to your commands when given, and have a good time. These are only my suggestions. You must create your own rules so that you and River have an excellent walking experience.

(If you are inside and need to get outside to start your walk, be sure to perform the FOLLOW THROUGH DOOR exercise first. If you are going to finish the walk by bringing River back inside the house, repeat the FOLLOW THRU DOOR exercise to bring her back inside.)

Start your walk outside with River calmly next to you wearing her collar and Easy Walk Harness (size Medium). Have her leash attached to both the collar and harness. Give your WALK command, tug the leash slightly, and begin your walk.

As long as River is maintaining your rules as mentioned above, all is fine. If she starts to break your rules (pull, not listen, etc.), give the leash a slight tug back towards you as you are walking. Make your correction sound as you tug the leash. Have her look at you and give you focus. Acknowledge her correct behavior with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”.

If she is unresponsive to your slight tug while walking, stop walking, make your correction sound, and give the leash a slightly more forceful tug back towards you. Have her look at you and give you focus. Acknowledge her correct behavior with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”. Continue your walk.

If she really starts to pull or focus on something too much, you may need to “ramp up” your correction. In this case, you can turn around 180 degrees and walk in the opposite direction for about ten to thirty feet. Make sure she is properly walking with you. When she is calm and focused on you, reverse your direction by 180 degrees and continue your walk in the original direction. Acknowledge her correct behavior with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”.

It is frequently difficult to determine “who is walking who”. Are you walking at the pace that River has set or is she walking at your pace? It must be your pace because you are the boss. Set the tempo by creating “a cadence in your head”. Think to yourself, “1… 2… 3… 4…; 1… 2… 3… 4…”, as you walk and mark your steps to your count. This will compel you to set a speed and maintain it. It will also allow you to determine if River is walking at your speed. If she is not, correct her using one of the methods previously discussed in this exercise.

Do not allow River to tell you when she wants to stop. You need to let her know when she can stop and sniff around. Try and make your “stops” at places you know she likes.

Another issue with WALKING takes place when an inappropriate distraction such as a dog, jogger, neighbor, bicyclist, car, etc. approaches. River will often start to adrenalize, lock focus on the approaching distraction, jump, bark, and pull. You need to redirect River’s focus back towards you. We suggest that you do the following:

a) Remove River from the immediate line of approach by directing her at a 90 degree angle up a driveway, onto a front lawn, etc.

b) Calmly give the leash several tugs as you walk her about ten to fifteen feet up the driveway, onto the front lawn, etc.

c) Have River focus on you as you remain calm. If she is still concentrating on the approaching distraction, move her farther up the driveway or onto the lawn. Display confidence the entire time while you are gently tugging the leash to maintain River’s attention on you. Quietly talk to her using a reassuring tone. If needed, step on the leash so that she does not have the ability to jump or move around.

d) If, after doing all this, she is still focusing on the approaching distraction, move River behind an object that will block her view of the approaching object. This could be a car in the driveway, a fence, or a bush. Continue to have River focus on you while you display a calm and “in charge” demeanor. If needed, step on the leash to keep her stable and focused on you.

e) Once the distraction has passed, reward River’s actions of focusing on you with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”. Continue your walk.

NOTE: Whenever we are directing you to give River a tug on the leash, it may require more than one tug. If you have given her a single tug without success, repeat by giving her several tugs in quick succession. Make your correction sound each time you give her a tug.

ONE MORE THING: Dogs often chew their harnesses when they are bored. Please remember to remove River’s harness when you are not walking with her.

5. BARKING – Barking is always annoying and can be caused by many things. This exercise is designed to redirect River’s attention away from the distraction causing the barking and to place the focus on you.

Have her leash on in the house when you know there might be things that normally cause her to bark. As soon as she starts to bark, step on the leash, and place the handle in your hand. Make your correction sound as you briskly walk her in a direction away from the distraction to a point where she is giving you focus and has lost interest in whatever was causing her to bark. Have her sit for you. As soon as she does, praise her with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”.

(If she is currently a little too pensive to perform the SIT command, have her calmly remain next to you while providing you with calm and respectful focus for one or two seconds. At that point, praise her with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”.)

Drop the leash and calmly walk back to whatever you were doing before River started to bark.

If River’s focus can be easily directed back to you, simply standing tall, giving your correction sound, and using your physical correction (squirt bottle or shake bottle) may suffice in getting her to stop barking. Once she has stopped barking, praise her with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”.

6. JUMPING – Dogs normally jump because they are showing assertion or are excited. An important facet of this exercise is your ability to remain calm. Your calm demeanor will demonstrate your strong leadership and neutralize River’s heightened adrenaline level.

Always have River’s leash on when you are concerned that she might be jumping. If you are sitting on a chair or sofa and she approaches to jump, stand up, give her your correction sound, and use your physical correction (squirt bottle or shake bottle). As soon as she stops and gives you focus, praise her with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”.

If you are standing and River begins to jump on you or your guest, use your squirt bottle with your correction sound to stop her. You can also step on the leash so she doesn’t have the ability to jump. As soon as she calms down, praise her with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”.

If things are a little “too crazy”, you may need to ramp it up. Momentarily remove River from the immediate area. Please refer to the USE OF THE LEASH discussion below.

7. CHEWING – Let’s talk about the method of stopping River from chewing when you can “catch her in the act” and another method when you can’t “catch River in the act” of chewing.

If you “catch her in the act”, you must correct her in the moment. Calmly approach her, stand tall and stoic in front of her, make your correction sound, and use the squirt bottle to get her attention focused on you. It may take two or three corrections (Stand/GRRRR/Squirt’s), but River should stop chewing, drop the item, and move away. (Be sure to repeat your correction sound every time you give her a squirt.) Once she is moving away, calmly pick up the item and praise her correct choice with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”.

After you correct her, you need to give her “an acceptable thing to chew”. One example of “an acceptable thing to chew” is the Kong Toy. Take the Kong Toy, put some peanut butter in the food hole, and freeze it. Give this to River to direct her chewing to something you find acceptable.

Another example of “an acceptable thing to chew” is the Deer Antler. These are very safe and (obviously) all natural. Spray some low sodium chicken broth on the antler to make it a little “tastier” and give it to her.

As soon as you take away the “thing you don’t want her to chew”, give her one of these. You can also leave them out for her to naturally locate and chew.

Remember, you can only perform the above procedure if you see River in the act of chewing.

If you can’t “catch her in the act”, you will need to find a way to passively discourage River from chewing. To do this, you need to make the thing you don’t want her to chew to taste yucky. We suggest that you use Bitter Apple.

You need to let River understand that anything that tastes like Bitter Apple is yucky. You do this by spraying a very small amount of it into her mouth. You are not trying to have her drink it; you want the mist of the spray to reach the taste buds in the back of her mouth. This will trigger a “bad taste memory”. She will then associate other things with this same smell as tasting bad.

Spray Bitter Apple on things you don’t want River to chew. The Bitter Apple will eventually evaporate on the object, so you must re-spray from time to time. Once you have sprayed the “don’t chew this” object, place a Kong Toy or Deer Antler in the immediate vicinity.

As she equates that one thing is bad (the thing you don’t want her to chew), she will find something good (the thing you want her to chew). After a few encounters, River will ignore the thing you don’t want her to chew (it tastes yucky) for the thing you want her to chew (it tastes good).

If the Bitter Apple becomes ineffective, you can ramp up to Tabasco Sauce, Jalapeno Sauce, or Habanero Sauce (in that order). Place the sauce on the item you don’t want River to chew. Since you can’t spray the sauce as you would the Bitter Apple, put a little on your finger and rub it on the top of her tongue.

8. NIPPING – Let’s review the active approach to stop River from nipping and then a “set the scene” method of getting her from nipping.

In our first approach, as soon as you see River start to become adrenalized, stay calm and still. If you are playing with her, stop. If possible, slowly move your hands away from her and calmly stand up. This will proactively send a signal to her that you will not engage her and do not condone her actions. If needed, make your correction sound and use the squirt bottle or shake bottle. Praise her with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY” when she stops trying to nip.

If she has already started to nip you, remain calm and still. Make your correction sound and stand up, if possible. The important thing is to stay calm. Praise her with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY” when she stops nipping.

When you don’t energetically engage her, River will place additional focus on your calm demeanor. This will deescalate her adrenalated actions and allow things to cool down.

Our second approach involves “setting the scene” when you want to discourage River’s nipping.

We suggest that you use Bitter Apple as your “yucky trigger”. River must understand that anything that tastes like Bitter Apple is yucky. You do this by spraying a very small amount of it into her mouth. You are not trying to have her drink it; you want the mist of the spray to reach the taste buds in the back of her mouth. This will trigger a “bad taste memory”. She will then associate other things with this same smell as tasting bad.

Now, spray some Bitter Apple on your hands. Make your hands “available to River” but don’t “stick them in her face”. If she starts to go for your hands, she should smell or taste how “yucky your hands have become” and will not want any part of them.

Make sure you have something else for her such as a chew toy or goodie to distract her away. As soon as she has been directed away from your hands (the target), praise her with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”.

If the Bitter Apple is not effective, you can ramp up to Tabasco Sauce, Jalapeno Sauce, or Habanero Sauce (in that order). Be sure to wash your hands thoroughly when you have finished your exercise using these liquids.

9. MANAGE ATTENTION SEEKING BEHAVIOR – Always make sure that it is your idea. If River comes up to you and nudges your hand for a pet, ignore her until she turns away. If you want to pet her, call her over to you. This assures she is responding to you.

If River brings you a toy, ignore her until she turns away and you can then call her back. Remember, the leader always says, “I want you to…”. Make sure you are the leader.

10. USE OF THE LEASH – The leash is a passive training tool that is very effective in redirecting River’s focus to you. We suggest that you place the leash on her at different times during the day when you are home. Be sure that you have the leash on at times when you expect higher adrenaline levels from River.

As she begins to perform an action that you don’t want, step on the leash. If she is moving, let her go to the end of the leash, tug herself slightly, and then look back at you. Your still and calm demeanor will display leadership and River will understand that you took control, and you are the boss.

If you need to remove River from the area, calmly pick up the end of the leash, quietly make your correction sound, and walk her away. Once you observe that she is no longer adrenalized, stop, and have her sit. Praise her with a quiet but high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”. Drop the leash and calmly walk away.

NOTE (SLIGHT ALTERNATIVE): If River is a little too pensive to currently perform the SIT command, replace the SIT command by allowing her to calmly remain next to you while providing you with calm and respectful focus. After one or two seconds, praise her with a quiet but high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”. Drop the leash and calmly walk away.

11. COUNTER SURFING – Counter surfing occurs when River takes something off the kitchen counter. You don’t want her to do this.

The most important thing you need to understand about counter surfing is that you can only correct her if you are in the immediate vicinity while she is going for the goodies. The reason for this relates to the concept of “ownership”.

In a dog’s world, “ownership” is based on vicinity. You must be near “your stuff” for it to be yours. If you walk away from it, you are giving up ownership and sending a signal that others can take it. To put this in clear terms, if you have a ham sandwich on the kitchen counter, are standing right next to it, and River jumps to get it; you can correct. If you walk out of the room, you have signaled to River that she can have it. You may eventually walk back into the room and the ham sandwich is still on the counter. It is still there because River simply did not want it.

Here is what you do:

We suggest that you begin with two people. One of you will be the “food preparer” and one of you will be the “corrector”. Your goal is to keep her out of the immediate vicinity of the food. It is a boundary control exercise. The rule is that River can’t be in the kitchen when food is out and/or being prepared.

The food preparer is in the kitchen taking food out, putting it on the counter, and engaging in the general actions that are required in preparing a snack or meal. The corrector will be at the edge of the kitchen area directly between the food preparer and River. The corrector will have a squirt bottle and River will be wearing a leash. River must be outside the kitchen at the start of the exercise.

The food preparer goes about their activity as the corrector is at the edge of the kitchen observing River. If she starts to approach the boundary of the kitchen, the corrector will calmly face her, make their correction sound, and give her one or more squirts of water. (Remember that the corrector must repeat their correction sound every time they give River a squirt.) Once she moves back out of the kitchen, the corrector will give her a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY” to let her know that she is doing the right thing by staying out of the kitchen while there is food present.

If River is being obstinate and will not leave the kitchen, the corrector will step on the leash, pick it up, and calmly direct her out of the kitchen. The corrector should then have her sit, drop the leash, and slowly back into the kitchen while constantly facing her. At that point, the corrector should give River a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY” for being out of the kitchen when there is food present.

Continue this exercise for five to ten minutes to assure that River understands that the rule is to stay out of the kitchen when you are there with food.

When River is obeying your rule with two people, you can “ramp up the exercise” by only using one person. In this advanced scenario, the food preparer will wear both hats of food preparer and corrector. This requires multitasking on your part; but helps to emulate a more “real world scenario”.

IN CONCLUSION: Rules are critical. When you establish your rules, you must always correct River when she breaks a rule. Don’t get mad or go nuts when she misbehaves. As the teacher, you must portray a calm and non-adrenalized figure to gain River’s respect and attention.

Our fundamental form of communication is speaking. Conversely, River’s fundamental form of communication is body language. Begin your communication with River through proper body language. That is what she is expecting and will understand.

Practice every day. Both you and River benefit when you implement and actively engage in a daily training regimen with her. You become a better teacher the more you have the opportunity to direct and educate. River becomes a better student the more she has the opportunity to focus and learn.

Persistence, patience, and perseverance are necessary for your success. Concentrate on the positive results you are achieving and not the length of time they may take to complete.

Call us as soon as you have any questions. Finally, take a deep breath and just have fun.


Client: Amanda Lawrence
Visit Date: 12/09/2023
Visit Number: 01
Trainer: Bruce
Paid Today: 0
Still Owe: 0
Comments:

Initial Issues:
Greeting visitors. Front Door. Leash/Walking. Come. Destroying things. Counter Surfing.

Training Notes:
Boone is a sweet dog and I enjoyed working with him. Although he was a bit jumpy and demanding when I first arrived, it wasn’t long until he settled down and provided us with calm and respectful focus. He quickly learned his lessons and demonstrated very good behavior. Daily practice is now the key to having Boone become a great canine companion.

Everything starts with rules. A “rule” identifies what you want him to do and what you don’t want him to do. “Come” is a rule that tells Boone to go to your side. “Don’t jump” is a rule that tells him to remain on the ground. You can easily determine your rules for Boone by asking yourself “Is he bugging me?”. If he is, Boone is breaking your rule.

Your rules must be simple and consistent. For example, if you don’t want him to jump, he can’t jump for any reason at any time. Everything must be on your terms. He cannot tell you what to do (i.e. please pet me) because he is not the boss.

We suggest that you consider having between five and ten rules. If you have too many rules, it will become difficult to effectively administer them.

Correct him as soon as he breaks one of your rules. This must be done in a manner that does not scare or frighten him and still gets his respectful focus directed towards you. Once you have guided him to the correct thing (no longer breaking your rules), acknowledge his appropriate action.

As with all dogs, Boone primarily communicates through body language. Stand tall and calm when correcting him. Remember, all Boone’s communication begins with body language.

To augment your body language communication, you may need to introduce a verbal interaction. Use a unique sound (if needed) to get his attention. I was using the “GRRRRRRRy” sound today. Any sound that gets him to calmly look at you is fine. The key is that the sound should be distinctive and only used when he has broken your rules and you need his focus.

There may be times where you need to “ramp it up” and include a passive/physical form of communication in addition to your body language and verbal interaction. If necessary, introduce a passive/physical action such as the squirt bottle or shake bottle to get his focus. Sometimes, a loud clap of your hands may be all you need.

As a final note on this subject, consider using the leash as a corrective and directive tool. This is a distractive method used to gain his focus and guide him towards the right actions. Have the leash on him at different times during the day. Always have it on him when you think he may be approaching times of heightened activity, excitement, and bad behavior.

Step on the leash if he starts to adrenalize and focus away from you. If needed, walk him to a calm area until he is deadrenalized and focused on you.

When performing the exercises, remember that repetition, consistency, observation, and simplicity are key. ACTION is essential to the process. If you catch yourself thinking “Oh, what a bad dog. I wish he would stop doing that!”, you have missed the point. If Boone does something wrong, you must actively correct now.

Boone is a dog and not a person. Do not assume that he is experiencing “human emotions”. Perform your actions because you want to keep him safe and secure.

When you give him a command, only say it once. As we discussed today, Boone is a dog and understands sounds and not words. “Come Come Come” is a different sound than “Come”. Make your sounds consistent so that Boone understands what you want him to do.

Although we don’t normally use treats in our exercises, they are sometimes helpful in the initial stages of obedience lessons (i.e. Come, Sit, etc.). Use them sparingly and try to ween Boone off of them as quickly as possible. Show him the treat as you begin the command and only give it to him after he has successfully completed the command and you have provided him with your verbal confirmation.

Some general exercises we worked on today were:

1. THE CRATE – You mentioned that Boone will destroy items when you leave him alone. You also mentioned that there will be times where you will need to leave him alone (i.e. Zoom calls, etc.). You want to establish a rule that states, “Don’t be destructive when I can’t watch or manage you”.

Since you can’t actively correct Boone when you are not with him, you will have to create a rule based on creating the appropriate environment to fulfill your rule. I suggest that you place Boone in a crate when you can’t actively manage or watch him.

You must remember that the crate is not “a jail” and is not used for punishment. It is simply “another place” that you have created in your home. When needed, you will invite Boone to go into “this place” while you perform some tasks. It is never used as a “place of punishment”. From Boone’s perspective, it is his fun and happy place.

Step One: The Crate is a Happy Place: This is where Boone will remain when you are out of sight or otherwise engaged. He must believe that the crate is a secure place that will fulfill his needs and keep him safe. Accomplish this by slowly socializing him to the crate. To start off, place the crate at a location that is central to family activities.

Walk Boone with the leash around the room and then into the crate. Sometimes you may need to give the leash a few tugs; that is for guidance only. Once he is in the crate, sit at the door of the crate to engage him.

If he doesn’t easily go into the crate, take him to the open door but allow him to remain outside. Play with him just outside the crate while slowly enticing him through treats and toys to enter the crate.

Once inside, play with him with the crate door open. Feed him in the crate and put toys in the crate. Initially, let him leave the crate if he so desires. Keep him on the leash and guide him back inside after a minute or two.

Eventually, close the door briefly while he is in the crate. Do not make a big thing of the closed door. Open it almost immediately and allow him to leave if he desires. Continue to engage him in the crate while closing the door for longer and longer periods of time. If you see him starting to become pensive, calmly open the door.

You are seated by the crate door and calmly interacting with Boone during this entire step. When he is happy in the crate for several minutes with the door closed, you can move on to the next step.

Step Two: Moving Around the Room: Get up from in front of the crate and walk around the room. Sit in a chair at the far corner of the room, talk on the phone, and move around some more. Pay no attention to Boone unless he starts to whine. At that point, use your correction to let him know that his actions are inappropriate. When Boone is calm while you are moving around the room, you can proceed to the next step.

Step Three: Move out of Sight: Leave the room for a few seconds. Step out, count to five, and step back. If he starts to whine, step back in sight and make your correction sound. Slowly increase the time that you are out of sight. Step back in sight and give your correction sound every time he starts to whine. Repeat this process until you can be out of sight with no whining for several minutes. This step will take several days, so be patient.

Boone is now trained to happily accept the crate as a safe place. Be sure that he has toys and goodies in the crate as you perform any required tasks away from him.

2. CHEWING – Let’s talk about the method of stopping Boone from chewing when you can “catch him in the act” and another method when you can’t “catch Boone in the act” of chewing.

If you “catch him in the act”, you must correct him in the moment. Calmly approach him, stand tall and stoic in front of him, make your correction sound, and use the squirt bottle to get his attention focused on you. It may take two or three corrections (Stand/GRRRR/Squirt’s), but Boone should stop chewing, drop the item, and move away. (Be sure to repeat your correction sound every time you give him a squirt.) Once he is moving away, calmly pick up the item and praise his correct choice with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”.

After you correct him, you need to give him “an acceptable thing to chew”. One example of “an acceptable thing to chew” is the Kong Toy. Take the Kong Toy, put some peanut butter in the food hole, and freeze it. Give this to Boone to direct his chewing to something you find acceptable.

Another example of “an acceptable thing to chew” is the Deer Antler. These are very safe and (obviously) all natural. Spray some low sodium chicken broth on the antler to make it a little “tastier” and give it to him.

As soon as you take away the “thing you don’t want him to chew”, give him one of these. You can also leave them out for him to naturally locate and chew.

Remember, you can only perform the above procedure if you see Boone in the act of chewing.

If you can’t “catch him in the act”, you will need to find a way to passively discourage Boone from chewing. To do this, you need to make the thing you don’t want him to chew to taste yucky. We suggest that you use Bitter Apple.

You need to let Boone understand that anything that tastes like Bitter Apple is yucky. You do this by spraying a very small amount of it into his mouth. You are not trying to have him drink it; you want the mist of the spray to reach the taste buds in the back of his mouth. This will trigger a “bad taste memory”. He will then associate other things with this same smell as tasting bad.

Spray Bitter Apple on things you don’t want Boone to chew. The Bitter Apple will eventually evaporate on the object, so you must re-spray from time to time. Once you have sprayed the “don’t chew this” object, place a Kong Toy or Deer Antler in the immediate vicinity.

As he equates that one thing is bad (the thing you don’t want him to chew), he will find something good (the thing you want him to chew). After a few encounters, Boone will ignore the thing you don’t want him to chew (it tastes yucky) for the thing you want him to chew (it tastes good).

If the Bitter Apple becomes ineffective, you can ramp up to Tabasco Sauce, Jalapeno Sauce, or Habanero Sauce (in that order). Place the sauce on the item you don’t want Boone to chew. Since you can’t spray the sauce as you would the Bitter Apple, put a little on your finger and rub it on the top of his tongue.

3. COME: OUTSIDE WITH LEAD – Put a thirty-foot training lead on Boone. (I suggest thirty feet, but any long length is fine. We use a thirty-foot training lead from Leash Boss. Their web site is http://LeashBoss.com.) Slowly step away from him (facing him) until you have reached about five feet. Drop to your knees or crouch down low and say “COME” once. If he doesn’t start to move towards you, give the lead a slight tug. You may need to give several tugs.

If he is unresponsive to the tug, make your correction sound, wait for one or two seconds, say “COME” again, and give the lead another tug with slightly more force. Repeat this, if needed, until Boone is moving towards you.

When he reaches you, praise his action with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”. Stand up and repeat this process for several minutes. Slowly add distraction to the process to provide a more “real world” environment.

Once he can always come to you from the initial distance, extend the length by using more of the training lead. Practice from ten feet, fifteen feet, twenty feet, and thirty feet. When he can come to you from the longest distance, repeat the exercise at that length, but no longer hold the lead. Let it lie on the ground between you and Boone. The “handle end” of the lead should still be near you and easily accessible if Boone is not responding to your command.

Keep practicing until he repeatedly comes to you without the need to grab and tug on the lead. If you are in an enclosed area, you can attempt one more step. Unhook the lead and practice the COME exercise without the lead. If you are in an area that is not enclosed (surrounded with a fence, etc.), we do not recommend that you allow Boone to be off the lead.

When you are outside and you want Boone to come to you, this is mostly because you want him to get in the house. When outside, we suggest that you set up many of your exercises where you are near the door and Boone is away from the house.

A HELPFUL TIP: If Boone is far away from you and not focused on you when you are about to give the “COME” command, you may need to get his attention. Try calling his name or clapping your hands to get him to look at you. If he is “overly-distracted”, give the lead a slight tug to have him look back at you. Although not required, these actions often help with the successful execution of the command.

ONE MORE THING: There are times where you may be “too far away”. For example, he may have been coming to you from twenty feet yesterday, but won’t respond at all from that distance today. Instead of “reinforcing failure” at twenty feet, shorten the distance between you and Boone until he starts to come to you. Continue your exercise at that length and expand the distance as he consistently obeys your command.

A SLIGHT ALTERNATIVE: Our instructions above state that you are constantly holding the lead when you give the COME command. An alternative to this method is to allow the lead to stretch out behind Boone as he moves around the area. You are not holding the lead, but allowing it to freely flow behind Boone. Always remain close to the lead. When you are ready to execute the COME command, step on the lead at the appropriate length, pick it up in your hands, and deliver the COME command. All the other instructions remain the same.

NOTE: Never give Boone the COME command without the lead being attached to him if you have any hesitation that he will not come to you. If you want to attempt to have him come to you without the lead, get down low, call his name, become visibly animated, and clap your hands or pat your knees. Just don’t say “COME”.

If he comes to you, that is great. If Boone does not come to you, that is no big deal. You offered him an invitation and you allowed him to respond “yes” or “no”.

If you had said “COME” to Boone; that is a command and he must comply. If he does not, the only tool you have to gain his compliance and maintain your leadership role is the lead.

4. SIT – Initially perform this exercise in a quiet location with minimal or no distractions. Put a six-foot leash on Boone. Stand directly in front of him and say “SIT” once. If he doesn’t sit, give him your correction sound and a slight tug on the leash. Say “SIT” again.

If he doesn’t sit immediately, move to his side and pull the leash up and behind his head. At the same time use your other hand to guide his rear end backwards until you see his hindquarters moving towards the ground. Continue to slightly pull the leash so that his head is moving backwards and his hindquarters are still descending. Once he is sitting, praise his action with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”.

Move Boone a few feet and repeat the exercise for several minutes. As you continue your sessions and he is constantly sitting on the first command, slowly add distractions.

5. FOLLOW THRU DOOR – You always want to go through a doorway before Boone. The reason for this is twofold. First, you are the leader, and you want to show Boone that you are always leading. Second, you want to keep Boone safe. The only way you can do this is to “check out” whatever is on the other side of the door before you allow him to proceed.

Have Boone on a leash. Walk him up to the doorway and have him sit. Hold your hand out like a traffic policeman while you slowly step backwards through the doorway. Always face him.

When both of your feet are across the threshold, pat your leg to allow Boone to proceed. Once he has crossed the threshold, have him sit again. Praise his action with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY” for obeying your command.

NOTE: If Boone is a little too pensive to sit while he is on either side of the doorway, have him quietly stand and stay still. “Although it may not be pretty”, as long as he is remaining stable as you place your feet on the other side of the door, he has obeyed your rule.

6. WALKING OUTSIDE – Before you begin your walk, remember that you are Boone’s protector, boss, and best friend. It is your responsibility to always keep him safe. As you are on your walk, visually scan the immediate area to determine if there are any issues that might place Boone in danger or cause him to feel scared. If you find such a situation, create a plan ahead of time to mitigate or eliminate the danger before it takes place. This will prepare you to easily solve any problem you and Boone may encounter on your walk.

Just like any other time, when you are walking with Boone, he must be obeying your rules. I suggest that your “walking rules” for Boone are to be near you, do not pull on the leash, listen to your commands when given, and have a good time. These are only my suggestions. You must create your own rules so that you and Boone have an excellent walking experience.

(If you are inside and need to get outside to start your walk, be sure to perform the FOLLOW THROUGH DOOR exercise first. If you are going to finish the walk by bringing Boone back inside the house, repeat the FOLLOW THRU DOOR exercise to bring him back inside.)

Start your walk outside with Boone calmly next to you wearing his collar and harness. Have his leash attached to both the collar and harness. Give your WALK command, tug the leash slightly, and begin your walk.

As long as Boone is maintaining your rules as mentioned above, all is fine. If he starts to break your rules (pull, not listen, etc.), give the leash a slight tug back towards you as you are walking. Make your correction sound as you tug the leash. Have him look at you and give you focus. Acknowledge his correct behavior with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”.

If he is unresponsive to your slight tug while walking, stop walking, make your correction sound, and give the leash a slightly more forceful tug back towards you. Have him look at you and give you focus. Acknowledge his correct behavior with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”. Continue your walk.

If he really starts to pull or focus on something too much, you may need to “ramp up” your correction. In this case, you can turn around 180 degrees and walk in the opposite direction for about ten to thirty feet. Make sure he is properly walking with you. When he is calm and focused on you, reverse your direction by 180 degrees and continue your walk in the original direction. Acknowledge his correct behavior with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”.

It is frequently difficult to determine “who is walking who”. Are you walking at the pace that Boone has set or is he walking at your pace? It must be your pace because you are the boss. Set the tempo by creating “a cadence in your head”. Think to yourself, “1… 2… 3… 4…; 1… 2… 3… 4…”, as you walk and mark your steps to your count. This will compel you to set a speed and maintain it. It will also allow you to determine if Boone is walking at your speed. If he is not, correct him using one of the methods previously discussed in this exercise.

Do not allow Boone to tell you when he wants to stop. You need to let him know when he can stop and sniff around. Try and make your “stops” at places you know he likes.

Another issue with WALKING takes place when an inappropriate distraction such as a dog, jogger, neighbor, bicyclist, car, etc. approaches. Boone will often start to adrenalize, lock focus on the approaching distraction, jump, bark, and pull. You need to redirect Boone’s focus back towards you. We suggest that you do the following: (The following explanation assumes that you are on a woodland trail.)

a) Remove Boone from the immediate line of approach by directing him at a 90 degree angle off the trail.

b) Calmly give the leash several tugs as you walk him about ten to fifteen feet off the trail.

c) Have Boone focus on you as you remain calm. If he is still concentrating on the approaching distraction, move him farther off the trail. Display confidence the entire time while you are gently tugging the leash to maintain Boone’s attention on you. Quietly talk to him using a reassuring tone. If needed, step on the leash so that he does not have the ability to jump or move around.

d) If, after doing all this, he is still focusing on the approaching distraction, move Boone behind an object that will block his view of the approaching object. This could be a tree, bush, building, etc. Continue to have Boone focus on you while you display a calm and “in charge” demeanor. If needed, step on the leash to keep him stable and focused on you.

e) Once the distraction has passed, reward Boone’s actions of focusing on you with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”. Continue your walk.

NOTE: Whenever we are directing you to give Boone a tug on the leash, it may require more than one tug. If you have given him a single tug without success, repeat by giving him several tugs in quick succession. Make your correction sound each time you give him a tug.

ONE MORE THING: Dogs often chew their harnesses when they are bored. Please remember to remove Boone’s harness when you are not walking with him

7. WALKING OUTSIDE WITH TRAINING LEAD – This is an additional level to the instructions we have provided regarding WALKING OUTSIDE. Although we did not walk Boone on a long lead today, we discussed that it may be beneficial to allow him to have a little more freedom to “smell the roses”.

All the information detailed in our WALKING OUTSIDE exercise should still be considered and followed. The only difference in this discussion is that you will replace the standard leash with a training lead. Because of this, you will need to consider some additional procedures.

We suggest a 20-foot training lead for walking Boone; but any long length should suffice. We use a training lead from Leash Boss. Their web site is http://LeashBoss.com.

When you walk Boone on the training lead, you give him the ability to roam, sniff, and just be a happy dog. He does not have the same experience when you walk him on a six-foot leash. You have the choice to give him a short amount of lead (a few feet) or, if you so desire, to give him a longer amount of lead (up to the length of the training lead).

The critical point you should remember is that YOU determine how much training lead you are giving Boone. It is your decision, and you are the boss.

Boone must still obey all the rules you established in the WALKING OUTSIDE exercise. You will continue to make all the same corrections if he starts to break a rule (i.e. pull, loss of focus, irritating barking, etc.).

When you are walking Boone at a greater distance, you can replace or enhance the “quick tug” correction by swiftly stepping on the training lead. You can accomplish this if the training lead is dragging on the ground near your feet as you are walking Boone. This is quite effective in getting his immediate attention and allows you to give a speedy correction and then continue the walk.

Since Boone is farther away from you than on a “normal walk” with a six-foot leash; you must be more observant of your surroundings. You should be aware of any approaching cars, neighbors, loose dogs, “lead-wrapping” obstacles, or any other condition that may impact his wellbeing. When any of these situations start to arise, you should direct him closer to your side. Give the lead a slight tug and then guide him to you.

You can also practice COME and SIT while walking. At your discretion, stop and perform a COME command (as detailed above). When he has successfully completed the command and you have verbalized your “GOOD PUPPY”, you can execute the SIT command (as detailed above).

Please note that some dogs may be a little too pensive to sit while out on a walk. If Boone doesn’t want to sit, don’t make a big deal of it. Just be sure that he can successfully perform the command while inside at a quiet, calm, and secure location.

ONE MORE THING: Dogs often chew their harnesses when they are bored. Please remember to remove Boone’s harness when you are not walking with him.

8. BARKING – Barking is always annoying and can be caused by many things. This exercise is designed to redirect Boone’s attention away from the distraction causing the barking and to place the focus on you.

Have his leash on in the house when you know there might be things that normally cause him to bark. As soon as he starts to bark, step on the leash, and place the handle in your hand. Make your correction sound as you briskly walk him in a direction away from the distraction to a point where he is giving you focus and has lost interest in whatever was causing him to bark. Have him sit for you. As soon as he does, praise him with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”.

(If he is a little too pensive to sit for you, have him calmly remain next to you while providing you with calm and respectful focus for one or two seconds. At that point, praise him with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”.)

Drop the leash and calmly walk back to whatever you were doing before Boone started to bark.

If Boone’s focus can be easily directed back to you, simply standing tall, giving your correction sound, and using your physical correction (squirt bottle or shake bottle) may suffice in getting him to stop barking. Once he has stopped barking, praise him with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”.

9. JUMPING – Dogs normally jump because they are showing assertion or are excited. An important facet of this exercise is your ability to remain calm. Your calm demeanor will demonstrate your strong leadership and neutralize Boone’s heightened adrenaline level.

Always have Boone’s leash on when you are concerned that he might be jumping. If you are sitting on a chair or sofa and he approaches to jump, stand up, give him your correction sound, and use your physical correction (squirt bottle or shake bottle). As soon as he stops and gives you focus, praise him with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”.

If you are standing and Boone begins to jump on you or your guest, use your squirt bottle with your correction sound to stop him. You can also step on the leash so he doesn’t have the ability to jump. As soon as he calms down, praise him with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”.

If things are a little “too crazy”, you may need to ramp it up. Momentarily remove Boone from the immediate area. Please refer to the USE OF THE LEASH discussion below.

10. MANNERS AT THE FRONT DOOR – This exercise is based on the rule that Boone can be anywhere in the house except near you when you are opening the front door. As a rule of thumb, I define “near you” as within six to eight feet of the front door. This is the “Boone can’t be here zone”. Everything else (away from the door and outside the six-to-eight-foot boundary of the door) is the “Boone can be here zone”.

You and Boone can be anywhere in the house at the start of this exercise. Try to do “regular things” while not directly engaging him or causing him to become adrenalized. Make sure you know the location of your squirt bottle (either out of sight by the front door or in your pocket.)

Have someone knock on the door. Calmly walk to the front door. If Boone runs ahead of you, don’t worry about that yet. When you are at the front door, turn around and visibly locate him.

If he is within the “Boone can’t be here zone” (close to you and the front door), stand tall and face him, make your correction sound, and (if needed) give him several squirts to have him back out of the “Boone can’t be here zone”, away from the door, and into the “Boone can be here zone”. It may take multiple squirts to have him back away. (Remember to repeat your correction sound every time you give him a squirt.)

Once he is away from the front door, slowly reach for the door handle while always facing him. Gradually open the door for the outside visitor. If Boone makes any attempt to continue his approach, correct him as described above.

Continue facing him while opening the door to allow the outside visitor to enter. Close the door. Praise Boone’s action with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY” for obeying your rule of staying away from the front door when you are opening it. Repeat this exercise daily with family members, neighbors, the piano teacher, and strangers (UPS, Domino’s, etc.)

11. MANAGE ATTENTION SEEKING BEHAVIOR – Always make sure that it is your idea. If Boone comes up to you and nudges your hand for a pet, ignore him until he turns away. If you want to pet him, call him over to you. This assures he is responding to you.

If Boone brings you a toy, ignore him until he turns away and you can then call him back. Remember, the leader always says, “I want you to…”. Make sure you are the leader.

12. USE OF THE LEASH – The leash is a passive training tool that is very effective in redirecting Boone’s focus to you. We suggest that you place the leash on him at different times during the day when you are home. Be sure that you have the leash on at times when you expect higher adrenaline levels from Boone.

As he begins to perform an action that you don’t want, step on the leash. If he is moving, let him go to the end of the leash, tug himself slightly, and then look back at you. Your still and calm demeanor will display leadership and Boone will understand that you took control, and you are the boss.

If you need to remove Boone from the area, calmly pick up the end of the leash, quietly make your correction sound, and walk him away. Once you observe that he is no longer adrenalized, stop, and have him sit. Praise him with a quiet but high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”. Drop the leash and calmly walk away.

NOTE (SLIGHT ALTERNATIVE): If Boone is a little too pensive to perform the SIT command for you, replace the SIT command by allowing him to calmly remain next to you while providing you with calm and respectful focus. After one or two seconds, praise him with a quiet but high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”. Drop the leash and calmly walk away.

13. COUNTER SURFING – Counter surfing occurs when Boone takes something off the kitchen counter. You don’t want him to do this.

The most important thing you need to understand about counter surfing is that you can only correct him if you are in the immediate vicinity while he is going for the goodies. The reason for this relates to the concept of “ownership”.

In a dog’s world, “ownership” is based on vicinity. You must be near “your stuff” for it to be yours. If you walk away from it, you are giving up ownership and sending a signal that others can take it. To put this in clear terms, if you have a ham sandwich on the kitchen counter, are standing right next to it, and Boone jumps to get it; you can correct. If you walk out of the room, you have signaled to Boone that he can have it. You may eventually walk back into the room and the ham sandwich is still on the counter. It is still there because Boone simply did not want it.

Here is what you do:

We suggest that you begin with two people. One of you will be the “food preparer” and one of you will be the “corrector”. Your goal is to keep him out of the immediate vicinity of the food. It is a boundary control exercise. The rule is that Boone can’t be in the kitchen when food is out and/or being prepared.

The food preparer is in the kitchen taking food out, putting it on the counter, and engaging in the general actions that are required in preparing a snack or meal. The corrector will be at the edge of the kitchen area directly between the food preparer and Boone. The corrector will have a squirt bottle and Boone will be wearing a leash. Boone must be outside the kitchen at the start of the exercise.

The food preparer goes about their activity as the corrector is at the edge of the kitchen observing Boone. If he starts to approach the boundary of the kitchen, the corrector will calmly face him, make their correction sound, and give him one or more squirts of water. (Remember that the corrector must repeat their correction sound every time they give Boone a squirt.) Once he moves back out of the kitchen, the corrector will give him a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY” to let him know that he is doing the right thing by staying out of the kitchen while there is food present.

If Boone is being obstinate and will not leave the kitchen, the corrector will step on the leash, pick it up, and calmly direct him out of the kitchen. The corrector should then have him sit, drop the leash, and slowly back into the kitchen while constantly facing him. At that point, the corrector should give Boone a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY” for being out of the kitchen when there is food present.

Continue this exercise for five to ten minutes to assure that Boone understands that the rule is to stay out of the kitchen when you are there with food.

When Boone is obeying your rule with two people, you can “ramp up the exercise” by only using one person. In this advanced scenario, the food preparer will wear both hats of food preparer and corrector. This requires multitasking on your part; but helps to emulate a more “real world scenario”.

IN CONCLUSION: Rules are critical. When you establish your rules, you must always correct Boone when he breaks a rule. Don’t get mad or go nuts when he misbehaves. As the teacher, you must portray a calm and non-adrenalized figure to gain Boone’s respect and attention.

Our fundamental form of communication is speaking. Conversely, Boone’s fundamental form of communication is body language. Begin your communication with Boone through proper body language. That is what he is expecting and will understand.

Practice every day. Both you and Boone benefit when you implement and actively engage in a daily training regimen with him. You become a better teacher the more you have the opportunity to direct and educate. Boone becomes a better student the more he has the opportunity to focus and learn.

Persistence, patience, and perseverance are necessary for your success. Concentrate on the positive results you are achieving and not the length of time they may take to complete.

Call us as soon as you have any questions. Finally, take a deep breath and just have fun.


Client: Lisa Hazan
Visit Date: 12/13/2023
Visit Number: 01
Trainer: Robin
Paid Today: 0
Still Owe: 0
Comments:

Initial Issues:
Barking. Jumping. Drop It. Getting in Car. Stay. Walking. Crate.

Training Notes:
Charlie is a sweet dog and we enjoyed working with him. He was a wonderful house guest and very well socialized with our dogs. As we taught him his lessons, we needed to remember that he is a puppy and prone to shorter attention spans than older, more mature dogs. With that said, he responded way above expectations for a young puppy.

Everything starts with rules. A “rule” identifies what you want him to do and what you don’t want him to do. “Come” is a rule that tells Charlie to go to your side. “Don’t jump” is a rule that tells him to remain on the ground. You can easily determine your rules for Charlie by asking yourself “Is he bugging me?”. If he is, Charlie is breaking your rule.

Your rules must be simple and consistent. For example, if you don’t want him to jump, he can’t jump for any reason at any time. Everything must be on your terms. He cannot tell you what to do (i.e. please pet me) because he is not the boss.

We suggest that you consider having between five and ten rules. If you have too many rules, it will become difficult to effectively administer them.

Correct him as soon as he breaks one of your rules. This must be done in a manner that does not scare or frighten him and still gets his respectful focus directed towards you. Once you have guided him to the correct thing (no longer breaking your rules), acknowledge his appropriate action.

As with all dogs, Charlie primarily communicates through body language. Stand tall and calm when correcting him. Remember, all Charlie’s communication begins with body language.

To augment your body language communication, you may need to introduce a verbal interaction. Use a unique sound (if needed) to get his attention. We were using the “GRRRRRRRy” sound during our board and train program. Any sound that gets him to calmly look at you is fine. The key is that the sound should be distinctive and only used when he has broken your rules and you need his focus.

There may be times where you need to “ramp it up” and include a passive/physical form of communication in addition to your body language and verbal interaction. If necessary, introduce a passive/physical action such as the squirt bottle or shake bottle to get his focus. Sometimes, a loud clap of your hands may be all you need.

As a final note on this subject, consider using the leash as a corrective and directive tool. This is a distractive method used to gain his focus and guide him towards the right actions. Have the leash on him at different times during the day. Always have it on him when you think he may be approaching times of heightened activity, excitement, and bad behavior.

Step on the leash if he starts to adrenalize and focus away from you. If needed, walk him to a calm area until he is deadrenalized and focused on you.

When performing the exercises, remember that repetition, consistency, observation, and simplicity are key. ACTION is essential to the process. If you catch yourself thinking “Oh, what a bad dog. I wish he would stop doing that!”, you have missed the point. If Charlie does something wrong, you must actively correct now.

Charlie is a dog and not a person. Do not assume that he is experiencing “human emotions”. Perform your actions because you want to keep him safe and secure.

When you give him a command, only say it once. As we discussed today, Charlie is a dog and understands sounds and not words. “Come Come Come” is a different sound than “Come”. Make your sounds consistent so that Charlie understands what you want him to do.

It is fine if you want to include hand gestures with any of the obedience commands. Simply include the hand gesture as you are verbalizing your obedience command to Charlie.

Although we don’t normally use treats in our exercises, they are sometimes helpful in the initial stages of obedience lessons (i.e. Come, Sit, Stay). Use them sparingly and try to ween Charlie off of them as quickly as possible. Show him the treat as you begin the command and only give it to him after he has successfully completed the command and you have provided him with your verbal confirmation.

Some general exercises we worked on during our board and train program were:

1. COME: INSIDE WITH LEASH – You must initially perform this exercise in the house when it is quiet (no distractions). Put a six-foot leash on Charlie. Slowly step away from him (facing him) until you have reached the end of the leash. Drop to your knees or crouch down low and say “COME” once. If he doesn’t start to move towards you, give the leash a slight tug. You may need to give several tugs.

If he is unresponsive to the tug, make your correction sound, wait for one or two seconds, say “COME” again, and give the leash another tug with slightly more force. Repeat this, if needed, until Charlie is moving towards you.

Once he reaches you, praise his action with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”. Stand up and repeat this process for several minutes.

When he can always come to you from six feet, extend the length by using a longer leash or attaching several together. Practice from ten feet, fifteen feet, and twenty feet. When he can come to you from the longest distance, repeat the exercise at that length, but no longer hold the leash. Let it lie on the ground between you and Charlie. The “handle end” of the leash should still be near you and easily accessible if Charlie is not responding to your command.

Continue practicing confirming that he constantly comes to you without the need to grab and tug on the leash. Once this is achieved, unhook the leash and practice the COME exercise without the leash.

After he has successfully completed the COME exercise when he is inside, repeat the process outside. Practice from ten, fifteen, twenty, and thirty feet. Only allow Charlie off leash (final step) if you are in a fenced-in area.

A HELPFUL TIP: If Charlie is slow in learning the COME command, you may need to enhance his ability to focus on you when the command is given. As you are down low and about to verbalize “COME”, pat your knees, snap your fingers, or call his name (“Charlie”). This may help draw his attention to you as you command him to COME.

ONE MORE THING: There are times where you may be “too far away”. For example, he may have been coming to you from ten feet yesterday, but won’t respond at all from that distance today. Instead of “reinforcing failure” at ten feet, shorten the distance between you and Charlie until he starts to come to you. Continue your exercise at that length and expand the distance as he consistently obeys your command.

NOTE: Never give Charlie the COME command without the leash being attached to him if you have any hesitation that he will not come to you. If you want to attempt to have him come to you without the leash, get down low, call his name, become visibly animated, and clap your hands or pat your knees. Just don’t say “COME”.

If he comes to you, that is great. If Charlie does not come to you, that is no big deal. You offered him an invitation and you allowed him to respond “yes” or “no”.

If you had said “COME” to Charlie; that is a command and he must comply. If he does not, the only tool you have to gain his compliance and maintain your leadership role is the leash.

2. SIT – Initially perform this exercise in a quiet location with minimal or no distractions. Put a six-foot leash on Charlie. Stand directly in front of him and say “SIT” once. If he doesn’t sit, give him your correction sound and a slight tug on the leash. Say “SIT” again.

If he doesn’t sit immediately, move to his side and pull the leash up and behind his head. At the same time use your other hand to guide his rear end backwards until you see his hindquarters moving towards the ground. Continue to slightly pull the leash so that his head is moving backwards and his hindquarters are still descending. Once he is sitting, praise his action with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”.

Move Charlie a few feet and repeat the exercise for several minutes. As you continue your sessions and he is constantly sitting on the first command, slowly add distractions.

3. STAY – Charlie must be able to sit with a single command and no assistance before you can work on this exercise. If he still has a problem sitting, work on SIT.

This exercise has several levels. Work on each level until Charlie can always perform the actions before you move on to the next. Don’t rush to the next level when he appears to be succeeding in the current level. Have one or two days of “constant success” before you move on.

Place Charlie in a SIT before you start this command:

Level One: Stand directly in front of Charlie, hold your hand up as if you were a traffic policeman, and say “STAY”. If he begins to move, give him your correction sound to have him stop. Wait until he is sitting quietly for about five to ten seconds. Praise his action with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY” for obeying your command. Continue to practice while extending the time you are standing in front of him and he is remaining in place. When you have accomplished this and Charlie can remain in place for about fifteen to twenty seconds, you can move on to Level Two.

Level Two: Stand directly in front of Charlie, hold your hand up as if you were a traffic policeman, and say “STAY”. Slowly back up (always holding the leash and facing him) until you have reached the end of the leash. Make sure you do not tug the leash. If he begins to move, give him your correction sound to have him stop. Wait until he is sitting quietly for about five seconds. Step back until you are next to him. Praise his action with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY” for obeying your command. Once you have accomplished this, you can move on to Level Three.

Level Three: Stand directly in front of Charlie, hold your hand up as if you were a traffic policeman, and say “STAY”. Slowly back up (always holding the leash and facing him) until you have reached the end of the leash. Make sure you do not tug the leash. Walk in a partial semi-circle to your left until you are all the way to Charlie’s side. Slowly move to the right, pass in front of him, and stop when you have reached his other side. Next, move back until you are in front of him again. If he begins to move, give him your correction sound to have him stop. Make sure you keep your “policeman’s hand” up the entire time. Finally, step back until you are next to him. Praise his action with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY” for obeying your command. Now that you have accomplished this, you can move on to Level Four.

Level Four: Stand directly in front of Charlie, hold your hand up as if you were a traffic policeman, and say “STAY”. Slowly back up (always holding the leash and facing him) until you have reached the end of the leash. Make sure you do not tug the leash. Walk completely around him. If he begins to move, give him your correction sound to have him stop. Make sure you keep your “policeman’s hand” up the entire time. Now, step back until you are next to him. Praise his action with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY” for obeying your command. Practice this exercise for several days with continual success. Once you have accomplished this, you can move on to Level Five.

Level Five: At this point you can walk completely around Charlie with your hand up and he is remaining in his STAY. It is time to add a “real world” situation to the exercise. You will not be holding the leash. Place Charlie in a SIT and then a STAY. Walk around the room/area while facing him and keeping your hand up in your “traffic policeman’s pose”. Continue this while you slowly add actions such as picking up objects and opening and closing doors and drawers. Always remain in his sight.

If Charlie moves from his spot, correct him, step back to a prior level, and continue from there. The more you can move around the room/area while he remains stationary in a STAY, the more you can add additional actions that you would normally perform when you want him in a STAY in a “real world situation”.

NOTE: Charlie is remaining in his STAY because you have conditioned him to remain still while focusing on your outstretched hand. If you leave the room and/or leave his sight, your outstretched hand (the trigger to have him STAY) will be gone and he will probably get up and break his stay.

4. WALKING OUTSIDE – Before you begin your walk, remember that you are Charlie’s protector, boss, and best friend. It is your responsibility to always keep him safe. As you are on your walk, visually scan the immediate area to determine if there are any issues that might place Charlie in danger or cause him to feel scared. If you find such a situation, create a plan ahead of time to mitigate or eliminate the danger before it takes place. This will prepare you to easily solve any problem you and Charlie may encounter on your walk.

Just like any other time, when you are walking with Charlie, he must be obeying your rules. I suggest that your “walking rules” for Charlie are to be near you, do not pull on the leash, listen to your commands when given, and have a good time. These are only my suggestions. You must create your own rules so that you and Charlie have an excellent walking experience.

Start your walk outside with Charlie calmly next to you wearing his collar and Easy Walk Harness (size Medium). Have his leash attached to both the collar and harness. Give your WALK command, tug the leash slightly, and begin your walk.

As long as Charlie is maintaining your rules as mentioned above, all is fine. If he starts to break your rules (pull, not listen, etc.), give the leash a slight tug back towards you as you are walking. Make your correction sound as you tug the leash. Have him look at you and give you focus. Acknowledge his correct behavior with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”.

If he is unresponsive to your slight tug while walking, stop walking, make your correction sound, and give the leash a slightly more forceful tug back towards you. Have him look at you and give you focus. Acknowledge his correct behavior with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”. Continue your walk.

You can also add an enhanced level of reinforcement to the above correction, if you so desire. After Charlie has given you focus and you have verbalized your “GOOD PUPPY”, execute a SIT command. Praise him with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY” and then continue your walk.

If he really starts to pull or focus on something too much, you may need to “ramp up” your correction. In this case, you can turn around 180 degrees and walk in the opposite direction for about ten to thirty feet. Make sure he is properly walking with you. When he is calm and focused on you, reverse your direction by 180 degrees and continue your walk in the original direction. Acknowledge his correct behavior with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”.

It is frequently difficult to determine “who is walking who”. Are you walking at the pace that Charlie has set or is he walking at your pace? It must be your pace because you are the boss. Set the tempo by creating “a cadence in your head”. Think to yourself, “1… 2… 3… 4…; 1… 2… 3… 4…”, as you walk and mark your steps to your count. This will compel you to set a speed and maintain it. It will also allow you to determine if Charlie is walking at your speed. If he is not, correct him using one of the methods previously discussed in this exercise.

Dogs sometimes like to grab the leash in their mouth as they walk. If Charlie grabs the leash in his mouth as you are walking, make your correction sound and squirt him with your squirt bottle. It may take multiple squirts to have him drop the leash from his mouth. (Remember to repeat your correction sound every time you give him a squirt.) Praise him with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY” after he drops the leash. Continue your walk.

Do not allow Charlie to tell you when he wants to stop. You need to let him know when he can stop and sniff around. Try and make your “stops” at places you know he likes.

Another issue with WALKING takes place when an inappropriate distraction such as a dog, jogger, neighbor, bicyclist, car, etc. approaches. Charlie will often start to adrenalize, lock focus on the approaching distraction, jump, bark, and pull. You need to redirect Charlie’s focus back towards you. We suggest that you do the following:

a) Remove Charlie from the immediate line of approach by directing him at a 90 degree angle up a driveway, onto a front lawn, etc.

b) Calmly give the leash several tugs as you walk him about ten to fifteen feet up the driveway, onto the front lawn, etc.

c) Have Charlie focus on you as you remain calm. If he is still concentrating on the approaching distraction, move him farther up the driveway or onto the lawn. Display confidence the entire time while you are gently tugging the leash to maintain Charlie’s attention on you. Quietly talk to him using a reassuring tone. If needed, step on the leash so that he does not have the ability to jump or move around.

d) If, after doing all this, he is still focusing on the approaching distraction, move Charlie behind an object that will block his view of the approaching object. This could be a car in the driveway, a fence, or a bush. Continue to have Charlie focus on you while you display a calm and “in charge” demeanor. If needed, step on the leash to keep him stable and focused on you.

e) Once the distraction has passed, reward Charlie’s actions of focusing on you with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”. Continue your walk.

f) If you do not have the ability to perform the above steps (step a thru e) with Charlie, calmly move him as far away from the approaching object as possible. Turn around and calmly, but briskly walk the way you came until you reach a point where you can leave the road. If that is not an option, move to the other side of the road as far away from the approaching object as possible. Actively engage him to gain his complete focus. Position yourself away from the object and then place Charlie so that when he focuses on you, his back is to the object. This will keep his focus on you and keep the object out of his sight. Step on the leash to minimize his movement. The one thing you don’t want to do is to freeze in place and let the object directly approach you and Charlie.

NOTE: Whenever we are directing you to give Charlie a tug on the leash, it may require more than one tug. If you have given him a single tug without success, repeat by giving him several tugs in quick succession. Make your correction sound each time you give him a tug.

ONE MORE THING: Dogs often chew their harnesses when they are bored. Please remember to remove Charlie’s harness when you are not walking with him

5. BARKING – Barking is always annoying and can be caused by many things. This exercise is designed to redirect Charlie’s attention away from the distraction causing the barking and to place the focus on you.

Have his leash on in the house when you know there might be things that normally cause him to bark. As soon as he starts to bark, step on the leash, and place the handle in your hand. Make your correction sound as you briskly walk him in a direction away from the distraction to a point where he is giving you focus and has lost interest in whatever was causing him to bark. Have him sit for you. As soon as he does, praise him with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”.

(If he is a little too pensive to sit, have him calmly remain next to you while providing you with calm and respectful focus for one or two seconds. At that point, praise him with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”.)

Drop the leash and calmly walk back to whatever you were doing before Charlie started to bark.

If Charlie’s focus can be easily directed back to you, simply standing tall, giving your correction sound, and using your physical correction (squirt bottle or shake bottle) may suffice in getting him to stop barking. Once he has stopped barking, praise him with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”.

6. JUMPING – Dogs normally jump because they are showing assertion or are excited. An important facet of this exercise is your ability to remain calm. Your calm demeanor will demonstrate your strong leadership and neutralize Charlie’s heightened adrenaline level.

Always have Charlie’s leash on when you are concerned that he might be jumping. If you are sitting on a chair or sofa and he approaches to jump, stand up, give him your correction sound, and use your physical correction (squirt bottle or shake bottle). As soon as he stops and gives you focus, praise him with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”.

If you are standing and Charlie begins to jump on you or your guest, use your squirt bottle with your correction sound to stop him. You can also step on the leash so he doesn’t have the ability to jump. As soon as he calms down, praise him with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”.

If things are a little “too crazy”, you may need to ramp it up. Momentarily remove Charlie from the immediate area. Please refer to the USE OF THE LEASH discussion below.

7. MANNERS AT THE FRONT DOOR – This exercise is based on the rule that Charlie can be anywhere in the house except near you when you are opening the front door. As a rule of thumb, I define “near you” as within six to eight feet of the front door. This is the “Charlie can’t be here zone”. Everything else (away from the door and outside the six-to-eight-foot boundary of the door) is the “Charlie can be here zone”.

You and Charlie can be anywhere in the house at the start of this exercise. Try to do “regular things” while not directly engaging him or causing him to become adrenalized. Make sure you know the location of your squirt bottle (either out of sight by the front door or in your pocket.)

Have someone knock on the door. Calmly walk to the front door. If Charlie runs ahead of you, don’t worry about that yet. When you are at the front door, turn around and visibly locate him.

If he is within the “Charlie can’t be here zone” (close to you and the front door), stand tall and face him, make your correction sound, and (if needed) give him several squirts to have him back out of the “Charlie can’t be here zone”, away from the door, and into the “Charlie can be here zone”. It may take multiple squirts to have him back away. (Remember to repeat your correction sound every time you give him a squirt.)

If the use of the squirt bottle is not effective in directing Charlie away from the door area, include the shake bottle in your correction process. Make your correction sound and use the squirt bottle as before, but now simultaneously introduce the shaking chain sound of the shake bottle into the correction process. As before, repeat these actions multiple times, if needed.

Once he is away from the front door, slowly reach for the door handle while always facing him. Gradually open the door for the outside visitor. If Charlie makes any attempt to continue his approach, correct him as described above.

Continue facing him while opening the door to allow the outside visitor to enter. Close the door. Praise Charlie’s action with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY” for obeying your rule of staying away from the front door when you are opening it. Repeat this exercise daily with family members, neighbors, and strangers (UPS, Domino’s, etc.)

8. MANAGE ATTENTION SEEKING BEHAVIOR – Always make sure that it is your idea. If Charlie comes up to you and nudges your hand for a pet, ignore him until he turns away. If you want to pet him, call him over to you. This assures he is responding to you.

If Charlie brings you a toy, ignore him until he turns away and you can then call him back. Remember, the leader always says, “I want you to…”. Make sure you are the leader.

9. USE OF THE LEASH – The leash is a passive training tool that is very effective in redirecting Charlie’s focus to you. We suggest that you place the leash on him at different times during the day when you are home. Be sure that you have the leash on at times when you expect higher adrenaline levels from Charlie.

As he begins to perform an action that you don’t want, step on the leash. If he is moving, let him go to the end of the leash, tug himself slightly, and then look back at you. Your still and calm demeanor will display leadership and Charlie will understand that you took control, and you are the boss.

If you need to remove Charlie from the area, calmly pick up the end of the leash, quietly make your correction sound, and walk him away. Once you observe that he is no longer adrenalized, stop, and have him sit. Praise him with a quiet but high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”. Drop the leash and calmly walk away.

NOTE (SLIGHT ALTERNATIVE): If Charlie is a little too pensive to sit, replace the SIT command by allowing him to calmly remain next to you while providing you with calm and respectful focus. After one or two seconds, praise him with a quiet but high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”. Drop the leash and calmly walk away.

10. COUNTER SURFING – Counter surfing occurs when Charlie takes something off the kitchen counter. You don’t want him to do this.

The most important thing you need to understand about counter surfing is that you can only correct him if you are in the immediate vicinity while he is going for the goodies. The reason for this relates to the concept of “ownership”.

In a dog’s world, “ownership” is based on vicinity. You must be near “your stuff” for it to be yours. If you walk away from it, you are giving up ownership and sending a signal that others can take it. To put this in clear terms, if you have a ham sandwich on the kitchen counter, are standing right next to it, and Charlie jumps to get it; you can correct. If you walk out of the room, you have signaled to Charlie that he can have it. You may eventually walk back into the room and the ham sandwich is still on the counter. It is still there because Charlie simply did not want it.

Here is what you do:

We suggest that you begin with two people. One of you will be the “food preparer” and one of you will be the “corrector”. Your goal is to keep him out of the immediate vicinity of the food. It is a boundary control exercise. The rule is that Charlie can’t be in the kitchen when food is out and/or being prepared.

The food preparer is in the kitchen taking food out, putting it on the counter, and engaging in the general actions that are required in preparing a snack or meal. The corrector will be at the edge of the kitchen area directly between the food preparer and Charlie. The corrector will have a squirt bottle and Charlie will be wearing a leash. Charlie must be outside the kitchen at the start of the exercise.

The food preparer goes about their activity as the corrector is at the edge of the kitchen observing Charlie. If he starts to approach the boundary of the kitchen, the corrector will calmly face him, make their correction sound, and give him one or more squirts of water. (Remember that the corrector must repeat their correction sound every time they give Charlie a squirt.) Once he moves back out of the kitchen, the corrector will give him a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY” to let him know that he is doing the right thing by staying out of the kitchen while there is food present.

If Charlie is being obstinate and will not leave the kitchen, the corrector will step on the leash, pick it up, and calmly direct him out of the kitchen. The corrector should then have him sit, drop the leash, and slowly back into the kitchen while constantly facing him. At that point, the corrector should give Charlie a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY” for being out of the kitchen when there is food present.

Continue this exercise for five to ten minutes to assure that Charlie understands that the rule is to stay out of the kitchen when you are there with food.

When Charlie is obeying your rule with two people, you can “ramp up the exercise” by only using one person. In this advanced scenario, the food preparer will wear both hats of food preparer and corrector. This requires multitasking on your part; but helps to emulate a more “real world scenario”.

IN CONCLUSION: Rules are critical. When you establish your rules, you must always correct Charlie when he breaks a rule. Don’t get mad or go nuts when he misbehaves. As the teacher, you must portray a calm and non-adrenalized figure to gain Charlie’s respect and attention.

Our fundamental form of communication is speaking. Conversely, Charlie’s fundamental form of communication is body language. Begin your communication with Charlie through proper body language. That is what he is expecting and will understand.

Practice every day. Both you and Charlie benefit when you implement and actively engage in a daily training regimen with him. You become a better teacher the more you have the opportunity to direct and educate. Charlie becomes a better student the more he has the opportunity to focus and learn.

Persistence, patience, and perseverance are necessary for your success. Concentrate on the positive results you are achieving and not the length of time they may take to complete.

Call us as soon as you have any questions. Finally, take a deep breath and just have fun.

P.S. We look forward to seeing Charlie again next year!


Client: Martha Womack and Margaret Conner
Visit Date: 12/16/2023
Visit Number: 01
Trainer: Bruce
Paid Today: 0
Still Owe: 0
Comments:

Initial Issues:
Doesn’t Listen. Barking. Bad Habits. Misbehavior.

Training Notes:
Phoebe and Janie are sweet dogs and I enjoyed working with them. They responded excellently when introduced to the passive corrections and gave us outstanding focus during the lessons. Consistent practice will quickly turn them into exceptional family members.

Everything starts with rules. A “rule” identifies what you want them to do and what you don’t want them to do. “Come” is a rule that tells Phoebe and Janie to go to your side. “Don’t jump” is a rule that tells them to remain on the ground. You can easily determine your rules for Phoebe and Janie by asking yourself “Are they bugging me?”. If they are, they are breaking your rule.

Your rules must be simple and consistent. For example, if you don’t want them to jump, they can’t jump for any reason at any time. Everything must be on your terms. They cannot tell you what to do (i.e. please pet me) because they “are not the boss of you”.

We suggest that you consider having between five and ten rules. If you have too many rules, it will become difficult to effectively administer them.

Correct them as soon as they break one of your rules. This must be done in a manner that does not scare or frighten them and still gets their respectful focus directed towards you. Once you have guided them to the correct thing (no longer breaking your rules), acknowledge their appropriate action.

As with all dogs, they primarily communicate through body language. Stand tall and calm when correcting them. Remember, all their communication starts with body language.

To augment your body language communication, you may need to introduce a verbal interaction. Use a unique sound (if needed) to get their attention. I was using the “GRRRRRRRy” sound today. Any sound that gets them to calmly look at you is fine. The key is that the sound should be distinctive and only used when they have broken your rules and you need their focus.

There may be times where you need to “ramp it up” and include a passive/physical form of communication in addition to your body language and verbal interaction. If necessary, introduce a passive/physical action such as the squirt bottle or shake bottle to get their focus. Sometimes, a loud clap of your hands may be all you need.

As a final note on this subject, consider using the leash as a corrective and directive tool. This is a distractive method used to gain their focus and guide them towards the right actions. Have their leashes on them at different times during the day. Always have their leashes on them when you think they may be approaching times of heightened activity, excitement, and bad behavior.

Step on the leash if they start to adrenalize and focus away from you. If needed, walk them to a calm area until they are deadrenalized and focused on you.

When performing the exercises, remember that repetition, consistency, observation, and simplicity are key. ACTION is essential to the process. If you catch yourself thinking “Oh, what bad dogs. I wish they would stop doing that!”, you have missed the point. If Phoebe or Janie do something wrong, you must actively correct now.

They are dogs and not people. Do not assume that they are experiencing “human emotions”. Perform your actions because you are keeping them safe and secure.

When you give them a command, only say it once. As we discussed today, they are dogs and understand sounds and not words. “Come Come Come” is a different sound than “Come”. Make your sounds consistent so that they understand what you want them to do.

It is fine if you want to include hand gestures with any of the obedience commands. Simply include the hand gesture as you are verbalizing your obedience command to them.

Although we don’t normally use treats in our exercises, they are sometimes helpful in the initial stages of obedience lessons (i.e. Come, Sit, Stay). Use them sparingly and try to ween Phoebe and Janie off of them as quickly as possible. Show them the treat as you begin the command and only give it to them after they have successfully completed the command and you have provided them with your verbal confirmation.

All the exercises I will discuss are pertinent to both Phoebe and Janie. As I review them, I will use Phoebe as “my example dog” in explaining many of the exercises. Be assured, the same information is completely relevant, as needed, for Janie.

We simultaneously worked with them while performing the behavioral exercises. They performed quite well, and I suggest that you continue working with them concurrently with the behavioral lessons.

I suggest that you work with them independently when performing the Come, Sit, and (eventually Stay) exercises. When both can easily perform the exercise individually, work with them simultaneously. This will help to create a more “real world” environment.

Some general exercises we worked on today were:

1. COME: INSIDE WITH LEASH – You must initially perform this exercise in the house when it is quiet (no distractions). Put a six-foot leash on Phoebe. Slowly step away from her (facing her) until you have reached the end of the leash. Drop to your knees or crouch down low and say “COME” once. If she doesn’t start to move towards you, give the leash a slight tug. You may need to give several tugs.

If she is unresponsive to the tug, make your correction sound, wait for one or two seconds, say “COME” again, and give the leash another tug with slightly more force. Repeat this, if needed, until Phoebe is moving towards you.

Once she reaches you, praise her action with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”. Stand up and repeat this process for several minutes.

When she can always come to you from six feet, extend the length by using a longer leash or attaching several together. Practice from ten feet, fifteen feet, and twenty feet. When she can come to you from the longest distance, repeat the exercise at that length, but no longer hold the leash. Let it lie on the ground between you and Phoebe. The “handle end” of the leash should still be near you and easily accessible if Phoebe is not responding to your command.

Continue practicing confirming that she constantly comes to you without the need to grab and tug on the leash. Once this is achieved, unhook the leash and practice the COME exercise without the leash.

After she has successfully completed the COME exercise when she is inside, repeat the process outside. Practice from ten, fifteen, twenty, and thirty feet. Only allow Phoebe off leash (final step) if you are in a fenced-in area.

When you are outside and you want Phoebe to come to you, this is mostly because you want her to get in the house. When outside, we suggest that you set up many of your exercises where you are near the door and Phoebe is in the yard.

A HELPFUL TIP: If Phoebe is slow in learning the COME command, you may need to enhance her ability to focus on you when the command is given. As you are down low and about to verbalize “COME”, pat your knees, snap your fingers, or call her name (“Phoebe”). This may help draw her attention to you as you command her to COME.

ONE MORE THING: There are times where you may be “too far away”. For example, she may have been coming to you from ten feet yesterday, but won’t respond at all from that distance today. Instead of “reinforcing failure” at ten feet, shorten the distance between you and Phoebe until she starts to come to you. Continue your exercise at that length and expand the distance as she consistently obeys your command.

NOTE: Never give Phoebe the COME command without the leash being attached to her if you have any hesitation that she will not come to you. If you want to attempt to have her come to you without the leash, get down low, call her name, become visibly animated, and clap your hands or pat your knees. Just don’t say “COME”.

If she comes to you, that is great. If Phoebe does not come to you, that is no big deal. You offered her an invitation and you allowed her to respond “yes” or “no”.

If you had said “COME” to Phoebe; that is a command and she must comply. If she does not, the only tool you have to gain her compliance and maintain your leadership role is the leash.

2. SIT – Initially perform this exercise in a quiet location with minimal or no distractions. Put a six-foot leash on Phoebe. Stand directly in front of her and say “SIT” once. If she doesn’t sit, give her your correction sound and a slight tug on the leash. Say “SIT” again.

If she doesn’t sit immediately, move to her side and pull the leash up and behind her head. At the same time use your other hand to guide her rear end backwards until you see her hindquarters moving towards the ground. Continue to slightly pull the leash so that her head is moving backwards and her hindquarters are still descending. Once she is sitting, praise her action with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”.

Move Phoebe a few feet and repeat the exercise for several minutes. As you continue your sessions and she is constantly sitting on the first command, slowly add distractions.

3. STAY – We did not work on this today because Phoebe and Janie have to master SIT before they can move on to STAY. I am providing you with this information so you can review what you must do once they are ready to proceed.

This exercise has several levels. Work on each level until Phoebe can always perform the actions before you move on to the next. Don’t rush to the next level when she appears to be succeeding in the current level. Have one or two days of “constant success” before you move on.

Place Phoebe in a SIT before you start this command:

Level One: Stand directly in front of Phoebe, hold your hand up as if you were a traffic policeman, and say “STAY”. If she begins to move, give her your correction sound to have her stop. Wait until she is sitting quietly for about five to ten seconds. Praise her action with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY” for obeying your command. Continue to practice while extending the time you are standing in front of her and she is remaining in place. When you have accomplished this and Phoebe can remain in place for about fifteen to twenty seconds, you can move on to Level Two.

Level Two: Stand directly in front of Phoebe, hold your hand up as if you were a traffic policeman, and say “STAY”. Slowly back up (always holding the leash and facing her) until you have reached the end of the leash. Make sure you do not tug the leash. If she begins to move, give her your correction sound to have her stop. Wait until she is sitting quietly for about five seconds. Step back until you are next to her. Praise her action with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY” for obeying your command. Once you have accomplished this, you can move on to Level Three.

Level Three: Stand directly in front of Phoebe, hold your hand up as if you were a traffic policeman, and say “STAY”. Slowly back up (always holding the leash and facing her) until you have reached the end of the leash. Make sure you do not tug the leash. Walk in a partial semi-circle to your left until you are all the way to Phoebe’s side. Slowly move to the right, pass in front of her, and stop when you have reached her other side. Next, move back until you are in front of her again. If she begins to move, give her your correction sound to have her stop. Make sure you keep your “policeman’s hand” up the entire time. Finally, step back until you are next to her. Praise her action with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY” for obeying your command. Now that you have accomplished this, you can move on to Level Four.

Level Four: Stand directly in front of Phoebe, hold your hand up as if you were a traffic policeman, and say “STAY”. Slowly back up (always holding the leash and facing her) until you have reached the end of the leash. Make sure you do not tug the leash. Walk completely around her. If she begins to move, give her your correction sound to have her stop. Make sure you keep your “policeman’s hand” up the entire time. Now, step back until you are next to her. Praise her action with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY” for obeying your command. Practice this exercise for several days with continual success. Once you have accomplished this, you can move on to Level Five.

Level Five: At this point you can walk completely around Phoebe with your hand up and she is remaining in her STAY. It is time to add a “real world” situation to the exercise. You will not be holding the leash. Place Phoebe in a SIT and then a STAY. Walk around the room/area while facing her and keeping your hand up in your “traffic policeman’s pose”. Continue this while you slowly add actions such as picking up objects and opening and closing doors and drawers. Always remain in her sight.

If Phoebe moves from her spot, correct her, step back to a prior level, and continue from there. The more you can move around the room/area while she remains stationary in a STAY, the more you can add additional actions that you would normally perform when you want her in a STAY in a “real world situation”.

NOTE: Phoebe is remaining in her STAY because you have conditioned her to remain still while focusing on your outstretched hand. If you leave the room and/or leave her sight, your outstretched hand (the trigger to have her STAY) will be gone and she will probably get up and break her stay.

4. DOGS IN THE REAR OF THE HOUSE AND SOMEONE COMES TO THE DOOR – Phoebe and Janie are always in their area at the rear of the house when someone comes to the door. We worked on two scenarios today. The first scenario consisted of someone coming to the front door and the second scenario consisted of friends coming in the back door (through the garage). Let’s review both situations.

NOTE: I am about to randomly assign responsibilities to each of you. This is for illustrative purposes only. I suggest that you trade off roles so that each of you experience the entire process.

Scenario One – Someone Coming to the Front Door: We broke this scenario down into several steps:

Step One: Martha will be in the back with Phoebe and Janie. Both Phoebe and Janie should be wearing their leashes. Martha will have her squirt bottle easily accessible but not visible and will be interacting with them in a calm and quiet manner.

Margaret will be in the front of the house doing “normal things”. A third person will ring the front doorbell and actively knock on the door. Margaret will calmly walk to the door to let the outside person inside.

Martha will now be standing. She will be observing Phoebe and Janie to see if they are becoming physically excited or are beginning to provide a high level of focus towards the front door and person entering. If either dog begins to jump, run towards the fence, or bark; Martha will stand tall, make her correction sound, and squirt them with one or more squirts of water. Martha will continue to stand tall, make her correction sound, and squirt until they have calmed down.

Once both dogs are calm and uninterested in the entering party, Martha should let them know that they are doing the right thing by providing them with a high-pitched “GOOD PUPPY”.

If they are too adrenalized and the squirt bottle is ineffective in gaining their focus, Martha should switch to the USE OF THE LEASH method as described below.

Both of you should continue this process until the person can ring the doorbell, knock on the door, and come inside with little or no response from Phoebe and Janie. Once this is accomplished, you can move on to Step Two.

Step Two: Instead of being in the area with Phoebe and Janie, Martha will be in the kitchen. She should remain in view of Phoebe and Janie. Martha and Margaret will now repeat the process as described earlier, but Martha will perform all her corrections from the kitchen side of the doggie fence.

If Martha corrects them from the kitchen side of the doggie fence and they are not responding, she will step through the doggie gate and correct them on their side of the doggie fence as described in Step One. Once Martha no longer needs to return to their side of the doggie fence to calm them down, she should remain in the kitchen to make any needed corrections.

Martha will continue this process until she can remain on the kitchen side of the doggie fence, and Phoebe and Janie are remaining calm when someone comes to the front door. When this is accomplished, you can move on to Step Three.

Step Three: Martha will be in the living room area with Margaret. When someone knocks on the door and rings the doorbell, Margaret will answer the door while Martha remains out of sight, waiting to correct Phoebe and Janie if they act inappropriately. If Phoebe or Janie start to act inappropriately, Martha will calmly walk to the doggie fence and correct them as described earlier.

Once both of you can be in the living room area and have a person come to the front door with Phoebe and Janie calm, this scenario is complete. Please understand that this will not be an “overnight process”.

Scenario Two – Friends Coming in the Back Door: This scenario is similar to the exercise I just described with one, very important exception. Instead of someone coming to the front door, someone will be coming to the back door.

Margaret will be in the back with Phoebe and Janie. Margaret will have the squirt bottle easily accessible but not visible to Phoebe and Janie. She can interact with them or do “other miscellaneous things” in the back area.

Martha will be playing the role of “friends”. She will come around the side of the house and hopefully get the dog next door to bark and make a ruckus. Martha will come in the side garage door and then slowly open the back door while saying something like “Hi, anybody home?”. Martha will still be standing on the garage side of the back door.

Margaret should instruct Martha to remain at the back door. The back door should only be “slightly cracked”. This will allow Martha to hear any instruction from Margaret but not allow the dogs to run through the open back door. Margaret should now calmly stand up, water bottle in hand, and slowly walk towards the back door.

If Phoebe and Janie remain calm and non-interested, that is great. If they begin to bark and act inappropriately, Margaret should correct using the methods previously discussed. Once they are behaving, she should provide them with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”. If the dogs are not approaching the back door, Margaret does not have to walk all the way to the back door.

If Phoebe and Janie run towards the back door, Margaret should continue to calmly walk to the back door. Margaret should now place herself between the back door and the dogs. Margaret will now stand tall, face the dogs, make her correction sound, and give them one or more squirts of water.

Once Phoebe and Janie are no longer in the immediate vicinity of the back door, Margaret will instruct Martha to calmly continue to open the back door, step through, and close the door. Margaret should now provide Phoebe and Janie with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY” for staying away from the door.

Martha and Margaret can now proceed into the back of the house. If Phoebe or Janie act inappropriately, correct them using the BARKING, JUMPING, or USE OF LEASH methods described below. As I mentioned in Scenario One, this will not be an “overnight process”.

5. BARKING – Barking is always annoying and can be caused by many things. This exercise is designed to redirect Phoebe’s attention away from the distraction causing the barking and to place the focus on you.

Have her leash on in the house when you know there might be things that normally cause her to bark. As soon as she starts to bark, step on the leash, and place the handle in your hand. Make your correction sound as you briskly walk her in a direction away from the distraction to a point where she is giving you focus and has lost interest in whatever was causing her to bark. Have her sit for you. As soon as she does, praise her with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”.

(If she is a little too pensive to sit, have her calmly remain next to you while providing you with calm and respectful focus for one or two seconds. At that point, praise her with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”.)

Drop the leash and calmly walk back to whatever you were doing before Phoebe started to bark.

If Phoebe’s focus can be easily directed back to you, simply standing tall, giving your correction sound, and using your physical correction (squirt bottle or shake bottle) may suffice in getting her to stop barking. Once she has stopped barking, praise her with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”.

6. JUMPING – Dogs normally jump because they are showing assertion or are excited. An important facet of this exercise is your ability to remain calm. Your calm demeanor will demonstrate your strong leadership and neutralize Phoebe’s heightened adrenaline level.

Always have Phoebe’s leash on when you are concerned that she might be jumping. If you are sitting on a chair or sofa and she approaches to jump, stand up, give her your correction sound, and use your physical correction (squirt bottle or shake bottle). As soon as she stops and gives you focus, praise her with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”.

If you are standing and Phoebe begins to jump on you or your guest, use your squirt bottle with your correction sound to stop her. You can also step on the leash so she doesn’t have the ability to jump. As soon as she calms down, praise her with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”.

If things are a little “too crazy”, you may need to ramp it up. Momentarily remove Phoebe from the immediate area. Please refer to the USE OF THE LEASH discussion below.

7. THE CRATE – You are doing very well with the crate. My advice to you is to continue to use the treats to guide Phoebe into the crate. I suggest that you place the leash on Phoebe and guide her around the room for a bit. Next, say CRATE and show her the treat. Become a little more animated as you guide her towards the crate with the leash and treat. Once she is at the crate door, toss the treat into the crate.

Once she can easily go into the crate with the treat and guidance from the leash, start dropping the leash a slight distance from the crate door as you continue to guide her to the crate by showing her the treat. Continue this until you can drop the leash from about halfway across the room and Phoebe will still go into the crate door with only the guidance of the treat.

Once she will easily go into the crate with only the guidance of the treat, start to display the treat less and less. This will help to enhance Phoebe’s “sound to action” correlation of “CRATE means walk into my crate”.

8. GOING OUT AND IN THE DOOR – You want to be able to come in and out the door without Phoebe rushing you, jumping on you, running out the door, or causing other mischief. Let’s first look at leaving and then coming back inside.

Your rule for Phoebe when you leave through the door is for her to stay out of the “Phoebe can’t be here zone”. This is a zone approximately six to eight feet extending from the door into the house. Calmly walk up to the door as you are preparing to leave. Turn around to determine if Phoebe is within the “Phoebe can’t be here zone”. If she is, face her, stand tall, make your correction sound, and give her one or more squirts of water until she backs up and out of the immediate area. (Remember to repeat your correction sound every time you give her a squirt.)

When she is out of the immediate area, slowly open the door while still facing her. If she starts to approach again and enter the “Phoebe can’t be here zone”, correct her as described above until she has retreated. Continue through the door and close the door. Give her a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY” just before the door finally closes shut. You can now leave and do whatever you need to do away from the house.

When you return home, make sure you have your squirt bottle with you as you reach the door. Your rule is you want Phoebe to be away from the door when you enter and not to bug you until you are ready to greet her.

Loudly make your correction sound while you are outside the door. Next, slowly crack the door open just wide enough for you to extend the squirt bottle into the door opening.

If Phoebe is within the “Phoebe can’t be here zone”, correct her as described above. Continue your correction until she has retreated outside the “Phoebe can’t be here zone”. Now, slowly open the door, correcting if necessary until you can step through the opening and close the door.

There is one more thing to do before the COMING BACK INSIDE exercise is finished. You must decide when you want to greet Phoebe. In order to do this, perform any overt, physical action that you clearly initiate. Put your keys or phone on the table, open the refrigerator for a bottle of water, turn on the TV, etc.

Ignore her until you complete this task. If she tries to get your attention while you are performing “your task”, correct her. Once you are done with your task, let her know she was a good girl by providing her with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”. Now, you can greet her.

9. MANAGE ATTENTION SEEKING BEHAVIOR – Always make sure that it is your idea. If Phoebe comes up to you and nudges your hand for a pet, ignore her until she turns away. If you want to pet her, call her over to you. This assures she is responding to you.

If Phoebe brings you a toy, ignore her until she turns away and you can then call her back. Remember, the leader always says, “I want you to…”. Make sure you are the leader.

10. USE OF THE LEASH – The leash is a passive training tool that is very effective in redirecting Phoebe’s focus to you. We suggest that you place the leash on her at different times during the day when you are home. Be sure that you have the leash on at times when you expect higher adrenaline levels from Phoebe.

As she begins to perform an action that you don’t want, step on the leash. If she is moving, let her go to the end of the leash, tug herself slightly, and then look back at you. Your still and calm demeanor will display leadership and Phoebe will understand that you took control, and you are the boss.

If you need to remove Phoebe from the area, calmly pick up the end of the leash, quietly make your correction sound, and walk her away. Once you observe that she is no longer adrenalized, stop, and have her sit. Praise her with a quiet but high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”. Drop the leash and calmly walk away.

NOTE (SLIGHT ALTERNATIVE): If Phoebe is a little too pensive to sit, replace the SIT command by allowing her to calmly remain next to you while providing you with calm and respectful focus. After one or two seconds, praise her with a quiet but high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”. Drop the leash and calmly walk away.

IN CONCLUSION: Rules are critical. When you establish your rules, you must always correct Phoebe and Janie when they break a rule. Don’t get mad or go nuts when they misbehave. As the teacher, you must portray a calm and non-adrenalized figure to gain their respect and attention.

Our fundamental form of communication is speaking. Conversely, their fundamental form of communication is body language. Begin your communication with them through proper body language. That is what they are expecting and will understand.

Practice every day. Both you, Phoebe, and Janie benefit when you implement and actively engage in a daily training regimen with them. You become a better teacher the more you have the opportunity to direct and educate. They become better students the more they have the opportunity to focus and learn.

Persistence, patience, and perseverance are necessary for your success. Concentrate on the positive results you are achieving and not the length of time they may take to complete.

Call us as soon as you have any questions. Finally, take a deep breath and just have fun.


Client: Karen Crawford
Visit Date: 01/06/2024
Visit Number: 01
Trainer: Bruce
Paid Today: 0
Still Owe: 0
Comments:

Initial Issues:
Goal is Therapy Dog Certified (Pet Partners). Needs help with additional skills re AKC CGC Test to prepare for certification.

Training Notes:
Ginger is a sweet dog and I enjoyed working with her. I was excited to see that she was able to pass her Canine Good Citizen Test while I was there yesterday. She is a great dog and showed us that she was ready to learn her lessons and give us respectful focus. It is now up to you to reinforce what she has learned.

Everything starts with rules. A “rule” identifies what you want her to do and what you don’t want her to do. “Come” is a rule that tells Ginger to go to your side. “Don’t jump” is a rule that tells her to remain on the ground. You can easily determine your rules for Ginger by asking yourself “Is she bugging me?”. If she is, Ginger is breaking your rule.

Your rules must be simple and consistent. For example, if you don’t want her to jump, she can’t jump for any reason at any time. Everything must be on your terms. She cannot tell you what to do (i.e. please pet me) because she is not the boss.

We suggest that you consider having between five and ten rules. If you have too many rules, it will become difficult to effectively administer them.

Correct her as soon as she breaks one of your rules. This must be done in a manner that does not scare or frighten her and still gets her respectful focus directed towards you. Once you have guided her to the correct thing (no longer breaking your rules), acknowledge her appropriate action.

As with all dogs, Ginger primarily communicates through body language. Stand tall and calm when correcting her. Remember, all Ginger’s communication begins with body language.

To augment your body language communication, you may need to introduce a verbal interaction. Use a unique sound (if needed) to get her attention. I was using the “GRRRRRRRy” sound yesterday. Any sound that gets her to calmly look at you is fine. The key is that the sound should be distinctive and only used when she has broken your rules and you need her focus.

There may be times where you need to “ramp it up” and include a passive/physical form of communication in addition to your body language and verbal interaction. If necessary, introduce a passive/physical action such as the squirt bottle or shake bottle to get her focus. Sometimes, a loud clap of your hands may be all you need.

As a final note on this subject, consider using the leash as a corrective and directive tool. This is a distractive method used to gain her focus and guide her towards the right actions. Have the leash on her at different times during the day. Always have it on her when you think she may be approaching times of heightened activity, excitement, and bad behavior.

Step on the leash if she starts to adrenalize and focus away from you. If needed, walk her to a calm area until she is deadrenalized and focused on you.

When performing the exercises, remember that repetition, consistency, observation, and simplicity are key. ACTION is essential to the process. If you catch yourself thinking “Oh, what a bad dog. I wish she would stop doing that!”, you have missed the point. If Ginger does something wrong, you must actively correct now.

Ginger is a dog and not a person. Do not assume that she is experiencing “human emotions”. Perform your actions because you want to keep her safe and secure.

When you give her a command, only say it once. As we discussed yesterday, Ginger is a dog and understands sounds and not words. “Come Come Come” is a different sound than “Come”. Make your sounds consistent so that Ginger understands what you want her to do.

Most of the obedience exercises we worked on yesterday were focused on the Canine Good Citizen test. As I mentioned earlier, she performed them quite well. For additional tips on these exercises, please check out the AKC Canine Good Citizen section in your Training Support Center.

We also expanded many of these exercises into “real world” situations. Although she demonstrated that she could successfully perform many of the exercises yesterday, there may come a time where you will need to “review some things with her”. I would like to review some “standard obedience and behavior” procedures below:

1. COME: OUTSIDE WITH LEAD – Put a thirty-foot training lead on Ginger. (I suggest thirty feet, but any long length is fine. We use a thirty-foot training lead from Leash Boss. Their web site is http://LeashBoss.com.) Slowly step away from her (facing her) until you have reached about five feet. Drop to your knees or crouch down low and say “COME” once. If she doesn’t start to move towards you, give the lead a slight tug. You may need to give several tugs.

If she is unresponsive to the tug, make your correction sound, wait for one or two seconds, say “COME” again, and give the lead another tug with slightly more force. Repeat this, if needed, until Ginger is moving towards you.

When she reaches you, praise her action with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”. Stand up and repeat this process for several minutes. Slowly add distraction to the process to provide a more “real world” environment.

Once she can always come to you from the initial distance, extend the length by using more of the training lead. Practice from ten feet, fifteen feet, twenty feet, and thirty feet. When she can come to you from the longest distance, repeat the exercise at that length, but no longer hold the lead. Let it lie on the ground between you and Ginger. The “handle end” of the lead should still be near you and easily accessible if Ginger is not responding to your command.

Keep practicing until she repeatedly comes to you without the need to grab and tug on the lead. If you are in an enclosed area, you can attempt one more step. Unhook the lead and practice the COME exercise without the lead. If you are in an area that is not enclosed (surrounded with a fence, etc.), we do not recommend that you allow Ginger to be off the lead.

A HELPFUL TIP: If Ginger is far away from you and not focused on you when you are about to give the “COME” command, you may need to get her attention. Try calling her name or clapping your hands to get her to look at you. If she is “overly-distracted”, give the lead a slight tug to have her look back at you. Although not required, these actions often help with the successful execution of the command.

ONE MORE THING: There are times where you may be “too far away”. For example, she may have been coming to you from twenty feet yesterday, but won’t respond at all from that distance today. Instead of “reinforcing failure” at twenty feet, shorten the distance between you and Ginger until she starts to come to you. Continue your exercise at that length and expand the distance as she consistently obeys your command.

A SLIGHT ALTERNATIVE: Our instructions above state that you are constantly holding the lead when you give the COME command. An alternative to this method is to allow the lead to stretch out behind Ginger as she moves around the yard. You are not holding the lead, but allowing it to freely flow behind Ginger. Always remain close to the lead. When you are ready to execute the COME command, step on the lead at the appropriate length, pick it up in your hands, and deliver the COME command. All the other instructions remain the same.

NOTE: Never give Ginger the COME command without the lead being attached to her if you have any hesitation that she will not come to you. If you want to attempt to have her come to you without the lead, get down low, call her name, become visibly animated, and clap your hands or pat your knees. Just don’t say “COME”.

If she comes to you, that is great. If Ginger does not come to you, that is no big deal. You offered her an invitation and you allowed her to respond “yes” or “no”.

If you had said “COME” to Ginger; that is a command and she must comply. If she does not, the only tool you have to gain her compliance and maintain your leadership role is the lead.

2. SIT – Initially perform this exercise in a quiet location with minimal or no distractions. Put a six-foot leash on Ginger. Stand directly in front of her and say “SIT” once. If she doesn’t sit, give her your correction sound and a slight tug on the leash. Say “SIT” again.

If she doesn’t sit immediately, move to her side and pull the leash up and behind her head. At the same time use your other hand to guide her rear end backwards until you see her hindquarters moving towards the ground. Continue to slightly pull the leash so that her head is moving backwards and her hindquarters are still descending. Once she is sitting, praise her action with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”.

Move Ginger a few feet and repeat the exercise for several minutes. As you continue your sessions and she is constantly sitting on the first command, slowly add distractions.

3. STAY – Ginger must be able to sit with a single command and no assistance before you can work on this exercise. If she still has a problem sitting, work on SIT.

This exercise has several levels. Work on each level until Ginger can always perform the actions before you move on to the next. Don’t rush to the next level when she appears to be succeeding in the current level. Have one or two days of “constant success” before you move on.

Place Ginger in a SIT before you start this command:

Level One: Stand directly in front of Ginger, hold your hand up as if you were a traffic policeman, and say “STAY”. If she begins to move, give her your correction sound to have her stop. Wait until she is sitting quietly for about five to ten seconds. Praise her action with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY” for obeying your command. Continue to practice while extending the time you are standing in front of her and she is remaining in place. When you have accomplished this and Ginger can remain in place for about fifteen to twenty seconds, you can move on to Level Two.

Level Two: Stand directly in front of Ginger, hold your hand up as if you were a traffic policeman, and say “STAY”. Slowly back up (always holding the leash and facing her) until you have reached the end of the leash. Make sure you do not tug the leash. If she begins to move, give her your correction sound to have her stop. Wait until she is sitting quietly for about five seconds. Step back until you are next to her. Praise her action with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY” for obeying your command. Once you have accomplished this, you can move on to Level Three.

Level Three: Stand directly in front of Ginger, hold your hand up as if you were a traffic policeman, and say “STAY”. Slowly back up (always holding the leash and facing her) until you have reached the end of the leash. Make sure you do not tug the leash. Walk in a partial semi-circle to your left until you are all the way to Ginger’s side. Slowly move to the right, pass in front of her, and stop when you have reached her other side. Next, move back until you are in front of her again. If she begins to move, give her your correction sound to have her stop. Make sure you keep your “policeman’s hand” up the entire time. Finally, step back until you are next to her. Praise her action with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY” for obeying your command. Now that you have accomplished this, you can move on to Level Four.

Level Four: Stand directly in front of Ginger, hold your hand up as if you were a traffic policeman, and say “STAY”. Slowly back up (always holding the leash and facing her) until you have reached the end of the leash. Make sure you do not tug the leash. Walk completely around her. If she begins to move, give her your correction sound to have her stop. Make sure you keep your “policeman’s hand” up the entire time. Now, step back until you are next to her. Praise her action with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY” for obeying your command. Practice this exercise for several days with continual success. Once you have accomplished this, you can move on to Level Five.

Level Five: At this point you can walk completely around Ginger with your hand up and she is remaining in her STAY. It is time to add a “real world” situation to the exercise. You will not be holding the leash. Place Ginger in a SIT and then a STAY. Walk around the room/area while facing her and keeping your hand up in your “traffic policeman’s pose”. Continue this while you slowly add actions such as picking up objects and opening and closing doors and drawers. Always remain in her sight.

If Ginger moves from her spot, correct her, step back to a prior level, and continue from there. The more you can move around the room/area while she remains stationary in a STAY, the more you can add additional actions that you would normally perform when you want her in a STAY in a “real world situation”.

NOTE: Ginger is remaining in her STAY because you have conditioned her to remain still while focusing on your outstretched hand. If you leave the room and/or leave her sight, your outstretched hand (the trigger to have her STAY) will be gone and she will probably get up and break her stay.

4. FOLLOW THRU DOOR – You always want to go through a doorway before Ginger. The reason for this is twofold. First, you are the leader, and you want to show Ginger that you are always leading. Second, you want to keep Ginger safe. The only way you can do this is to “check out” whatever is on the other side of the door before you allow her to proceed.

Have Ginger on a leash. Walk her up to the doorway and have her sit. Hold your hand out like a traffic policeman while you slowly step backwards through the doorway. Always face her.

When both of your feet are across the threshold, pat your leg to allow Ginger to proceed. Once she has crossed the threshold, have her sit again. Praise her action with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY” for obeying your command.

NOTE: If Ginger is a little too pensive to sit while she is on either side of the doorway, have her quietly stand and stay still. “Although it may not be pretty”, as long as she is remaining stable as you place your feet on the other side of the door, she has obeyed your rule.

5. WALKING OUTSIDE – Before you begin your walk, remember that you are Ginger’s protector, boss, and best friend. It is your responsibility to always keep her safe. As you are on your walk, visually scan the immediate area to determine if there are any issues that might place Ginger in danger or cause her to feel scared. If you find such a situation, create a plan ahead of time to mitigate or eliminate the danger before it takes place. This will prepare you to easily solve any problem you and Ginger may encounter on your walk.

Just like any other time, when you are walking with Ginger, she must be obeying your rules. I suggest that your “walking rules” for Ginger are to be near you, do not pull on the leash, listen to your commands when given, and have a good time. These are only my suggestions. You must create your own rules so that you and Ginger have an excellent walking experience.

(If you are inside and need to get outside to start your walk, be sure to perform the FOLLOW THROUGH DOOR exercise first. If you are going to finish the walk by bringing Ginger back inside the house, repeat the FOLLOW THRU DOOR exercise to bring her back inside.)

Start your walk outside with Ginger calmly next to you wearing her collar and Easy Walk Harness (size Medium Small). Have her leash attached to both the collar and harness. Give your WALK command, tug the leash slightly, and begin your walk.

As long as Ginger is maintaining your rules as mentioned above, all is fine. If she starts to break your rules (pull, not listen, etc.), give the leash a slight tug back towards you as you are walking. Make your correction sound as you tug the leash. Have her look at you and give you focus. Acknowledge her correct behavior with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”.

If she is unresponsive to your slight tug while walking, stop walking, make your correction sound, and give the leash a slightly more forceful tug back towards you. Have her look at you and give you focus. Acknowledge her correct behavior with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”. Continue your walk.

If she really starts to pull or focus on something too much, you may need to “ramp up” your correction. In this case, you can turn around 180 degrees and walk in the opposite direction for about ten to thirty feet. Make sure she is properly walking with you. When she is calm and focused on you, reverse your direction by 180 degrees and continue your walk in the original direction. Acknowledge her correct behavior with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”.

It is frequently difficult to determine “who is walking who”. Are you walking at the pace that Ginger has set or is she walking at your pace? It must be your pace because you are the boss. Set the tempo by creating “a cadence in your head”. Think to yourself, “1… 2… 3… 4…; 1… 2… 3… 4…”, as you walk and mark your steps to your count. This will compel you to set a speed and maintain it. It will also allow you to determine if Ginger is walking at your speed. If she is not, correct her using one of the methods previously discussed in this exercise.

Do not allow Ginger to tell you when she wants to stop. You need to let her know when she can stop and sniff around. Try and make your “stops” at places you know she likes.

Another issue with WALKING takes place when an inappropriate distraction such as a dog, jogger, neighbor, bicyclist, car, etc. approaches. Ginger will often start to adrenalize, lock focus on the approaching distraction, jump, bark, and pull. You need to redirect Ginger’s focus back towards you. We suggest that you do the following:

a) Remove Ginger from the immediate line of approach by directing her at a 90 degree angle up a driveway, onto a front lawn, etc.

b) Calmly give the leash several tugs as you walk her about ten to fifteen feet up the driveway, onto the front lawn, etc.

c) Have Ginger focus on you as you remain calm. If she is still concentrating on the approaching distraction, move her farther up the driveway or onto the lawn. Display confidence the entire time while you are gently tugging the leash to maintain Ginger’s attention on you. Quietly talk to her using a reassuring tone. If needed, step on the leash so that she does not have the ability to jump or move around.

d) If, after doing all this, she is still focusing on the approaching distraction, move Ginger behind an object that will block her view of the approaching object. This could be a car in the driveway, a fence, or a bush. Continue to have Ginger focus on you while you display a calm and “in charge” demeanor. If needed, step on the leash to keep her stable and focused on you.

e) Once the distraction has passed, reward Ginger’s actions of focusing on you with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”. Continue your walk.

NOTE: Whenever we are directing you to give Ginger a tug on the leash, it may require more than one tug. If you have given her a single tug without success, repeat by giving her several tugs in quick succession. Make your correction sound each time you give her a tug.

ONE MORE THING: Dogs often chew their harnesses when they are bored. Please remember to remove Ginger’s harness when you are not walking with her.

6. BARKING – Barking is always annoying and can be caused by many things. This exercise is designed to redirect Ginger’s attention away from the distraction causing the barking and to place the focus on you.

Have her leash on in the house when you know there might be things that normally cause her to bark. As soon as she starts to bark, step on the leash, and place the handle in your hand. Make your correction sound as you briskly walk her in a direction away from the distraction to a point where she is giving you focus and has lost interest in whatever was causing her to bark. Have her sit for you. As soon as she does, praise her with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”.

(If she is a little too pensive to sit, have her calmly remain next to you while providing you with calm and respectful focus for one or two seconds. At that point, praise her with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”.)

Drop the leash and calmly walk back to whatever you were doing before Ginger started to bark.

If Ginger’s focus can be easily directed back to you, simply standing tall, giving your correction sound, and using your physical correction (squirt bottle or shake bottle) may suffice in getting her to stop barking. Once she has stopped barking, praise her with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”.

7. JUMPING – Dogs normally jump because they are showing assertion or are excited. An important facet of this exercise is your ability to remain calm. Your calm demeanor will demonstrate your strong leadership and neutralize Ginger’s heightened adrenaline level.

Always have Ginger’s leash on when you are concerned that she might be jumping. If you are sitting on a chair or sofa and she approaches to jump, stand up, give her your correction sound, and use your physical correction (squirt bottle or shake bottle). As soon as she stops and gives you focus, praise her with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”.

If you are standing and Ginger begins to jump on you or your guest, use your squirt bottle with your correction sound to stop her. You can also step on the leash so she doesn’t have the ability to jump. As soon as she calms down, praise her with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”.

If things are a little “too crazy”, you may need to ramp it up. Momentarily remove Ginger from the immediate area. Please refer to the USE OF THE LEASH discussion below.

8. MANNERS AT THE FRONT DOOR – This exercise is based on the rule that Ginger can be anywhere in the house except near you when you are opening the front door. As a rule of thumb, I define “near you” as within six to eight feet of the front door. This is the “Ginger can’t be here zone”. Everything else (away from the door and outside the six-to-eight-foot boundary of the door) is the “Ginger can be here zone”.

You and Ginger can be anywhere in the house at the start of this exercise. Try to do “regular things” while not directly engaging her or causing her to become adrenalized. Make sure you know the location of your squirt bottle (either out of sight by the front door or in your pocket.)

Have someone knock on the door. Calmly walk to the front door. If Ginger runs ahead of you, don’t worry about that yet. When you are at the front door, turn around and visibly locate her.

If she is within the “Ginger can’t be here zone” (close to you and the front door), stand tall and face her, make your correction sound, and (if needed) give her several squirts to have her back out of the “Ginger can’t be here zone”, away from the door, and into the “Ginger can be here zone”. It may take multiple squirts to have her back away. (Remember to repeat your correction sound every time you give her a squirt.)

Once she is away from the front door, slowly reach for the door handle while always facing her. Gradually open the door for the outside visitor. If Ginger makes any attempt to continue her approach, correct her as described above.

Continue facing her while opening the door to allow the outside visitor to enter. Close the door. Praise Ginger’s action with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY” for obeying your rule of staying away from the front door when you are opening it. Repeat this exercise daily with family members, neighbors, and strangers (UPS, Domino’s, etc.)

NOTE: If you are having difficulty directing Ginger away from the front door area and into the “Ginger can be here zone”, use the leash to guide her away. Calmly step on the leash, place it in your hand, and give the leash several slight tugs to have her cross the boundary out of the “Ginger can’t be here zone” and into the “Ginger can be here zone”. Once that is done, drop the leash and slowly back up to the door. Continue to face her and brandish the squirt bottle in her direction. Correct with the squirt bottle, if needed, and continue the exercise by opening the door for the outside visitor.

9. MANAGE ATTENTION SEEKING BEHAVIOR – Always make sure that it is your idea. If Ginger comes up to you and nudges your hand for a pet, ignore her until she turns away. If you want to pet her, call her over to you. This assures she is responding to you.

If Ginger brings you a toy, ignore her until she turns away and you can then call her back. Remember, the leader always says, “I want you to…”. Make sure you are the leader.

10. USE OF THE LEASH – The leash is a passive training tool that is very effective in redirecting Ginger’s focus to you. We suggest that you place the leash on her at different times during the day when you are home. Be sure that you have the leash on at times when you expect higher adrenaline levels from Ginger.

As she begins to perform an action that you don’t want, step on the leash. If she is moving, let her go to the end of the leash, tug herself slightly, and then look back at you. Your still and calm demeanor will display leadership and Ginger will understand that you took control, and you are the boss.

If you need to remove Ginger from the area, calmly pick up the end of the leash, quietly make your correction sound, and walk her away. Once you observe that she is no longer adrenalized, stop, and have her sit. Praise her with a quiet but high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”. Drop the leash and calmly walk away.

NOTE (SLIGHT ALTERNATIVE): If Ginger is a little too pensive to sit, replace the SIT command by allowing her to calmly remain next to you while providing you with calm and respectful focus. After one or two seconds, praise her with a quiet but high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”. Drop the leash and calmly walk away.

IN CONCLUSION: Rules are critical. When you establish your rules, you must always correct Ginger when she breaks a rule. Don’t get mad or go nuts when she misbehaves. As the teacher, you must portray a calm and non-adrenalized figure to gain Ginger’s respect and attention.

Our fundamental form of communication is speaking. Conversely, Ginger’s fundamental form of communication is body language. Begin your communication with Ginger through proper body language. That is what she is expecting and will understand.

Practice every day. Both you and Ginger benefit when you implement and actively engage in a daily training regimen with her. You become a better teacher the more you have the opportunity to direct and educate. Ginger becomes a better student the more she has the opportunity to focus and learn.

Persistence, patience, and perseverance are necessary for your success. Concentrate on the positive results you are achieving and not the length of time they may take to complete.

Call us as soon as you have any questions. Finally, take a deep breath and just have fun.


Client: Gus Hames
Visit Date: 01/17/2024
Visit Number: 01
Trainer: Bruce
Paid Today: 0
Still Owe: 0
Comments:

Initial Issues:
Likes to run away after dogs and doesn’t listen when called back. General Behavior. Has Shock Collar but hasn’t used yet.

Training Notes:
Roscoe is a sweet dog and I enjoyed working with him. He quickly gave us focus and showed us that he had the ability and willingness to learn and be a great dog. It will take several months to have him reach his full potential, but I am confident that he will learn to provide you with respectful focus when commanded and obey your rules when instructed.

Everything starts with rules. A “rule” identifies what you want him to do and what you don’t want him to do. “Come” is a rule that tells Roscoe to go to your side. “Don’t jump” is a rule that tells him to remain on the ground. You can easily determine your rules for Roscoe by asking yourself “Is he bugging me?”. If he is, Roscoe is breaking your rule.

Your rules must be simple and consistent. For example, if you don’t want him to jump, he can’t jump for any reason at any time. Everything must be on your terms. He cannot tell you what to do (i.e. please pet me) because he is not the boss.

We suggest that you consider having between five and ten rules. If you have too many rules, it will become difficult to effectively administer them.

Correct him as soon as he breaks one of your rules. This must be done in a manner that does not scare or frighten him and still gets his respectful focus directed towards you. Once you have guided him to the correct thing (no longer breaking your rules), acknowledge his appropriate action.

As with all dogs, Roscoe primarily communicates through body language. Stand tall and calm when correcting him. Remember, all Roscoe’s communication begins with body language.

To augment your body language communication, you may need to introduce a verbal interaction. Use a unique sound (if needed) to get his attention. I was using the “GRRRRRRRy” sound today. Any sound that gets him to calmly look at you is fine. The key is that the sound should be distinctive and only used when he has broken your rules and you need his focus.

There may be times where you need to “ramp it up” and include a passive/physical form of communication in addition to your body language and verbal interaction. If necessary, introduce a passive/physical action into the educational process. Although I normally use items such as the squirt bottle or shake bottle (demonstrated today), our process mainly focused on the use of the shock collar to gain Roscoe’s attention. (More on that later.)

When performing the exercises, remember that repetition, consistency, observation, and simplicity are key. ACTION is essential to the process. If you catch yourself thinking “Oh, what a bad dog. I wish he would stop doing that!”, you have missed the point. If Roscoe does something wrong, you must actively correct now.

Roscoe is a dog and not a person. Do not assume that he is experiencing “human emotions”. Perform your actions because you want to keep him safe and secure.

When you give him a command, only say it once. As we discussed today, Roscoe is a dog and understands sounds and not words. “Come Come Come” is a different sound than “Come”. Make your sounds consistent so that Roscoe understands what you want him to do.

Roscoe’s overwhelming issue is focused around not listening when he gets too engrossed with your neighbor’s dogs. That is the main issue we addressed today. There are multiple baby steps that we need to effectively complete before you can successfully have Roscoe pay attention to you and return to your side. Let’s begin:

1. GET USED TO THE LEAD:
Roscoe has never been comfortable wearing a leash or lead. Since the lead is an integral part of this entire process, it is critical that he is acclimated to it. Today we used a thirty-foot training lead. Since you have a large property, you may consider getting a longer lead or several leads of different lengths.

Have his collar on him before you attach his lead. I suggest that you have his collar on him at least an hour ahead of time before you attempt to attach the lead. This will minimize the overall excitement that may take place when you attach the lead.

Have the lead behind you as you call him over to you. Do this by stooping down low, calling his name, and patting your leg or side. If he doesn’t come over to you, slowly stand up and move towards him while you continue to call his name.

Approach him in a round-about manner so that you are not directly moving toward him. When you approach him directly, he may interpret that as an aggressive act and become excited. He may also think you want to play follow-the-leader and run off.

Once you reach him, calmly pet him as you reach for his collar. Slowly place the collar in your hand as you bring the lead from behind your back. Make sure that you have assumed a position that will not allow you to become easily off balanced.

If Roscoe starts to become excited, remain calm and continue to firmly hold his collar. You may ask your spouse or son to help to hold him in place. Now, calmly hook the lead to his collar while you allow the rest of the lead to flow out and away from you. Place the lead in your hand and slowly stand up.

Now that Roscoe is attached to the lead, your first step is to have Roscoe accept the concept of “Oh, I have a lead attached to my collar and I am fine with that”. You can accomplish this by standing next to him while you calmly pet him. Get down on your knees or sit down to “engage him in conversation”. Show him the lead so that it becomes “no big deal”.

2. WALKING WITH THE LEAD:
Now that Roscoe is attached to the lead and is fine with that, you can start the process of walking with him. In the above step, he became used to the lead but wasn’t moving. Now he will be moving.

Start the walking process by being about eight to twelve feet in front of Roscoe with the lead in your hand. Give him your “Walk Command” and slightly tug the lead. It may take several tugs (sometimes in rapid succession) to get him to move. If he only takes one step, that is fine. If he walks for you up the driveway, that is excellent.

The goal of this step is to have him attached to the lead and moving with you (i.e. walking). This step is critical because it teaches Roscoe that it is fine to move around with you while on the lead. It will make the COME COMMAND (still to follow) a natural progression in his training process.

Continue this process until you and Roscoe can walk up and down the driveway and through parts of the field.

3. ACCLIMATION TO THE SHOCK COLLAR:
You can separately start this exercise at any time as long as it is complete before you start the COME commands (below).

You must first shave an area around Roscoe’s neck where you will place the shock collar. This location should be below his regular collar. This will allow you to tug the regular collar (if needed) and not impact the location or position of the shock collar.

Place the shock collar on him with the prongs touching his bare skin (where you shaved his fur). Allow him to walk around a bit to become acclimated to the feeling of the shock collar. Once you see that he is calm and disinterested in the shock collar, it is time to test the collar.

Start off by giving him a vibration sensation. You should see him slightly flinch. If he shows no sign of feeling the vibration, check to make sure that the collar is working.

Next, you will test the “shock portion” of the collar. Set the setting to “2” and tap the shock button twice in quick succession. If you see him flinch, you know that he is feeling it. If all you see is a slight flinch, that demonstrates that he is experiencing the “shock sensation” and is not scared. This is a good thing.

If you see that he is agitated or appears frightened, lower the shock level and repeat. If he does not appear to respond to the two, quick shocks, check to make sure that the collar is working and that the prongs are firmly touching his skin where you have shaved his fur. If they are not properly in place, reposition them and repeat the “double tap” at the same shock level.

If you checked and the shock collar was properly positioned on the shaved skin portion of his neck, that may indicate that Roscoe is not feeling the shock at the current intensity level. Increase the level by 2 and then repeat the above procedure. Continue this until Roscoe responds to the shock with a slight flinch.

You have now properly set the shock collar for safe use with Roscoe.

4. HAVING ROSCOE COME TO YOU (PT. 1):
Now that you and Roscoe can comfortably walk around the area while he is attached to the lead, you will start the COME EXERCISE.

The initial area for this exercise will be the area around your house or in the field near your house. I do not want you to be in the area where Roscoe normally loses focus on you and runs after the neighbor’s dogs.

Roscoe should be wearing his collar with the training lead attached to the collar. Walk around the area for a moment and then take “a break”. Stop and allow Roscoe to look around or sit down. While he is not focused on you, move back about ten feet. At that point, stoop down low, call his name, verbalize his COME command, and give the lead a slight tug.

Roscoe should focus on you and move towards you. If he does not, correct him by verbalizing your correction sound (I had suggested the GRRRR sound). Repeat the above process (stoop down low, call his name, verbalize his COME command, and give the lead a tug). You may need to repeat this process several times to have him come to you.

As soon as he has reached you, stand up and let him know he has done the right thing by praising him with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”.

As he is coming to you on a regular basis from a specific length without the need to correct him, extend the distance between you and Roscoe.

NOTE: If you are experiencing difficulty having him come to you at a specific distance, decrease the distance between you and Roscoe and continue your COME exercise at that point.

ADDITIONAL POINT: As Roscoe is doing well and will provide you focus and return to you when commanded, add a little complexity to the process. Have a car drive down the driveway, your spouse or son out in the field waving their hands, etc. Distractions such as these will make it harder for Roscoe to easily look back to you and obey you. Once he can obey you with distractions, you have been able to duplicate “real world situations”.

5: COMBINING THE COME EXERCISE WITH THE SHOCK COLLAR CORRECTION (PT. 2):
This is really an extension of the COME Exercise PT1. There will be a time in the above exercise where Roscoe may not properly respond to your verbal correction and tug on the leash. This is where you insert the Shock Collar Correction into the process.

Roscoe will need to be wearing his shock collar in addition to the regular collar for this process. Remember that you want to have his shock collar lower on his neck than his regular collar. This will allow you to tug the lead (if needed) on his regular collar and not have that interfere with his shock collar.

If Roscoe is not coming to you when you issue the COME command, give him your verbal correction, tug the lead, and simultaneously engage the shock collar. Initially use the vibration simulation to determine if you can properly get his focus and obedience.

If that does not work, engage the shock stimulation in short bursts one or multiple times. As you are doing this, simultaneously verbalize your correction sound and give the lead one or multiple tugs towards you in likewise quick succession.

6: MOVE THE VENUE OF THE COME EXERCISE AND INCLUDE A “NO CROSS-BOUNDARY COMPONENT”:
Now that Roscoe can return to you at the extent of your training lead with little or no correction, move the venue to the part of your property where the largest issue resides. The first thing you must do is to set up some “boundary flags” that will clearly mark where Roscoe cannot proceed. I assume that you will place the flags at the boundary of your property and the property with the neighbors’ dogs. You may want to place the flags inside of your property line to establish a “no-dog zone”.

Allow Roscoe to peruse the area. As soon as he starts to approach the flags, issue the COME command in the manner previously discussed.

7: TIME TO INTRODUCE THE NEIGHBOR’S DOGS: All you are doing here is to perform the above COME command at the boundary except the distraction that you have introduced will be the neighbor’s dogs. This is the final, real-world scenario.

THOUGHTS: As I mentioned today, this process will take several months to complete. Practice a step for just a few minutes at a time. Practice several times a day. As you proceed through these steps, there may be nuances that we did not discuss or envision in today’s session. Please contact us so that I can revise my instructions as required.

WRAP UP: Rules are critical. When you establish your rules, you must always correct Roscoe when he breaks a rule. Don’t get mad or go nuts when he misbehaves. As the teacher, you must portray a calm and non-adrenalized figure to gain Roscoe’s respect and attention.

Our fundamental form of communication is speaking. Conversely, Roscoe’s fundamental form of communication is body language. Begin your communication with Roscoe through proper body language. That is what he is expecting and will understand.

Practice every day. Both you and Roscoe benefit when you implement and actively engage in a daily training regimen with him. You become a better teacher the more you have the opportunity to direct and educate. Roscoe becomes a better student the more he has the opportunity to focus and learn.

Persistence, patience, and perseverance are necessary for your success. Concentrate on the positive results you are achieving and not the length of time they may take to complete.

Call us as soon as you have any questions. Finally, take a deep breath and just have fun.


Client: Alexis Travers
Visit Date: 01/28/2024
Visit Number: 01
Trainer: Robin
Paid Today: 0
Still Owe: 0
Comments:

Initial Issues:
First time puppy owner. Potty Training.

Training Notes:
Zoey is a sweet dog and I enjoyed working with her. Remember she is so stinking cute; don’t let her rule you.

Everything starts with rules. A “rule” identifies what you want her to do and what you don’t want her to do. “Come” is a rule that tells Zoey to go to your side. “Don’t jump” is a rule that tells her to remain on the ground. You can easily determine your rules for Zoey by asking yourself “Is she bugging me?”. If she is, Zoey is breaking your rule.

Your rules must be simple and consistent. For example, if you don’t want her to jump, she can’t jump for any reason at any time. Everything must be on your terms. She cannot tell you what to do (i.e. please pet me) because she is not the boss.

We suggest that you consider having between five and ten rules. If you have too many rules, it will become difficult to effectively administer them.

Correct her as soon as she breaks one of your rules. This must be done in a manner that does not scare or frighten her and still gets her respectful focus directed towards you. Once you have guided her to the correct thing (no longer breaking your rules), acknowledge her appropriate action.

As with all dogs, Zoey primarily communicates through body language. Stand tall and calm when correcting her. Remember, all Zoey’s communication begins with body language.

To augment your body language communication, you may need to introduce a verbal interaction. Use a unique sound (if needed) to get her attention. I was using the “GRRRRRRRy” sound today. Any sound that gets her to calmly look at you is fine. The key is that the sound should be distinctive and only used when she has broken your rules and you need her focus.

There may be times where you need to “ramp it up” and include a passive/physical form of communication in addition to your body language and verbal interaction. If necessary, introduce a passive/physical action such as the squirt bottle or shake bottle to get her focus. Sometimes, a loud clap of your hands may be all you need.

As a final note on this subject, consider using the leash as a corrective and directive tool. This is a distractive method used to gain her focus and guide her towards the right actions. Have the leash on her at different times during the day. Always have it on her when you think she may be approaching times of heightened activity, excitement, and bad behavior.

Step on the leash if she starts to adrenalize and focus away from you. If needed, walk her to a calm area until she is deadrenalized and focused on you.

When performing the exercises, remember that repetition, consistency, observation, and simplicity are key. ACTION is essential to the process. If you catch yourself thinking “Oh, what a bad dog. I wish she would stop doing that!”, you have missed the point. If Zoey does something wrong, you must actively correct now.

Zoey is a dog and not a person. Do not assume that she is experiencing “human emotions”. Perform your actions because you want to keep her safe and secure.

When you give her a command, only say it once. As we discussed today, Zoey is a dog and understands sounds and not words. “Come Come Come” is a different sound than “Come”. Make your sounds consistent so that Zoey understands what you want her to do.

It is fine if you want to include hand gestures with any of the obedience commands. Simply include the hand gesture as you are verbalizing your obedience command to Zoey.

Although we don’t normally use treats in our exercises, they are sometimes helpful in the initial stages of obedience lessons (i.e. Come, Sit, Stay). Use them sparingly and try to ween Zoey off of them as quickly as possible. Show her the treat as you begin the command and only give it to her after she has successfully completed the command and you have provided her with your verbal confirmation.

Some general exercises we worked on today were:

1. COME: INSIDE WITH LEASH – You must initially perform this exercise in the house when it is quiet (no distractions). Put a six-foot leash on Zoey. Slowly step away from her (facing her) until you have reached the end of the leash. Drop to your knees or crouch down low and say “COME” once. If she doesn’t start to move towards you, give the leash a slight tug. You may need to give several tugs.

If she is unresponsive to the tug, make your correction sound, wait for one or two seconds, say “COME” again, and give the leash another tug with slightly more force. Repeat this, if needed, until Zoey is moving towards you.

Once she reaches you, praise her action with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”. Stand up and repeat this process for several minutes.

When she can always come to you from six feet, extend the length by using a longer leash or attaching several together. Practice from ten feet, fifteen feet, and twenty feet. When she can come to you from the longest distance, repeat the exercise at that length, but no longer hold the leash. Let it lie on the ground between you and Zoey. The “handle end” of the leash should still be near you and easily accessible if Zoey is not responding to your command.

Continue practicing confirming that she constantly comes to you without the need to grab and tug on the leash. Once this is achieved, unhook the leash and practice the COME exercise without the leash.

A HELPFUL TIP: If Zoey is slow in learning the COME command, you may need to enhance her ability to focus on you when the command is given. As you are down low and about to verbalize “COME”, pat your knees, snap your fingers, or call her name (“Zoey”). This may help draw her attention to you as you command her to COME.

ONE MORE THING: There are times where you may be “too far away”. For example, she may have been coming to you from ten feet yesterday, but won’t respond at all from that distance today. Instead of “reinforcing failure” at ten feet, shorten the distance between you and Zoey until she starts to come to you. Continue your exercise at that length and expand the distance as she consistently obeys your command.

NOTE: Never give Zoey the COME command without the leash being attached to her if you have any hesitation that she will not come to you. If you want to attempt to have her come to you without the leash, get down low, call her name, become visibly animated, and clap your hands or pat your knees. Just don’t say “COME”.

If she comes to you, that is great. If Zoey does not come to you, that is no big deal. You offered her an invitation and you allowed her to respond “yes” or “no”.

If you had said “COME” to Zoey; that is a command and she must comply. If she does not, the only tool you have to gain her compliance and maintain your leadership role is the leash.

2. SIT – Initially perform this exercise in a quiet location with minimal or no distractions. Put a six-foot leash on Zoey. Stand directly in front of her and say “SIT” once. If she doesn’t sit, give her your correction sound and a slight tug on the leash. Say “SIT” again.

If she doesn’t sit immediately, move to her side and pull the leash up and behind her head. At the same time use your other hand to guide her rear end backwards until you see her hindquarters moving towards the ground. Continue to slightly pull the leash so that her head is moving backwards and her hindquarters are still descending. Once she is sitting, praise her action with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”.

Move Zoey a few feet and repeat the exercise for several minutes. As you continue your sessions and she is constantly sitting on the first command, slowly add distractions.

3. CHEWING – Let’s talk about the method of stopping Zoey from chewing when you can “catch her in the act” and another method when you can’t “catch Zoey in the act” of chewing.

If you “catch her in the act”, you must correct her in the moment. Calmly approach her, stand tall and stoic in front of her, make your correction sound, and use the squirt bottle to get her attention focused on you. It may take two or three corrections (Stand/GRRRR/Squirt’s), but Zoey should stop chewing, drop the item, and move away. (Be sure to repeat your correction sound every time you give her a squirt.) Once she is moving away, calmly pick up the item and praise her correct choice with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”.

After you correct her, you need to give her “an acceptable thing to chew”. One example of “an acceptable thing to chew” is the Kong Toy. Take the Kong Toy, put some peanut butter in the food hole, and freeze it. Give this to Zoey to direct her chewing to something you find acceptable.

Another example of “an acceptable thing to chew” is the Deer Antler. These are very safe and (obviously) all natural. Spray some low sodium chicken broth on the antler to make it a little “tastier” and give it to her.

As soon as you take away the “thing you don’t want her to chew”, give her one of these. You can also leave them out for her to naturally locate and chew.

Remember, you can only perform the above procedure if you see Zoey in the act of chewing.

If you can’t “catch her in the act”, you will need to find a way to passively discourage Zoey from chewing. To do this, you need to make the thing you don’t want her to chew to taste yucky. We suggest that you use Bitter Apple.

You need to let Zoey understand that anything that tastes like Bitter Apple is yucky. You do this by spraying a very small amount of it into her mouth. You are not trying to have her drink it; you want the mist of the spray to reach the taste buds in the back of her mouth. This will trigger a “bad taste memory”. She will then associate other things with this same smell as tasting bad.

Spray Bitter Apple on things you don’t want Zoey to chew. The Bitter Apple will eventually evaporate on the object, so you must re-spray from time to time. Once you have sprayed the “don’t chew this” object, place a Kong Toy or Deer Antler in the immediate vicinity.

As she equates that one thing is bad (the thing you don’t want her to chew), she will find something good (the thing you want her to chew). After a few encounters, Zoey will ignore the thing you don’t want her to chew (it tastes yucky) for the thing you want her to chew (it tastes good).

If the Bitter Apple becomes ineffective, you can ramp up to Tabasco Sauce, Jalapeno Sauce, or Habanero Sauce (in that order). Place the sauce on the item you don’t want Zoey to chew. Since you can’t spray the sauce as you would the Bitter Apple, put a little on your finger and rub it on the top of her tongue.

4. NIPPING – Let’s review the active approach to stop Zoey from nipping and then a “set the scene” method of getting her from nipping.

In our first approach, as soon as you see Zoey start to become adrenalized, stay calm and still. If you are playing with her, stop. If possible, slowly move your hands away from her and calmly stand up. This will proactively send a signal to her that you will not engage her and do not condone her actions. If needed, make your correction sound and use the squirt bottle or shake bottle. Praise her with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY” when she stops trying to nip.

If she has already started to nip you, remain calm and still. Make your correction sound and stand up, if possible. The important thing is to stay calm. Praise her with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY” when she stops nipping.

When you don’t energetically engage her, Zoey will place additional focus on your calm demeanor. This will deescalate her adrenalated actions and allow things to cool down.

Our second approach involves “setting the scene” when you want to discourage Zoey’s nipping.

We suggest that you use Bitter Apple as your “yucky trigger”. Zoey must understand that anything that tastes like Bitter Apple is yucky. You do this by spraying a very small amount of it into her mouth. You are not trying to have her drink it; you want the mist of the spray to reach the taste buds in the back of her mouth. This will trigger a “bad taste memory”. She will then associate other things with this same smell as tasting bad.

Now, spray some Bitter Apple on your hands. Make your hands “available to Zoey” but don’t “stick them in her face”. If she starts to go for your hands, she should smell or taste how “yucky your hands have become” and will not want any part of them.

Make sure you have something else for her such as a chew toy or goodie to distract her away. As soon as she has been directed away from your hands (the target), praise her with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”.

If the Bitter Apple is not effective, you can ramp up to Tabasco Sauce, Jalapeno Sauce, or Habanero Sauce (in that order). Be sure to wash your hands thoroughly when you have finished your exercise using these liquids.

There is one more “NIPPING issue” that involves “WALKING”. As you pass by her, she will come at you and nip at your pants. You need to set a rule that she can’t nip your pants. Here is what you do:

Slowly approach Zoey with your squirt bottle in hand. As you get close to her, watch to see if there is any increase in her adrenaline level or excitement. If there is, stop, make your correction sound, and give her one or more squirts of water. (Remember to repeat your correction sound every time you give her a squirt.) When you observe that Zoey has become calm and disinterested in you, let her know that she is doing the right thing by praising her with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”.

Continue to walk past her. As you pass her, turn to face her as you walk. This means that you will be walking backwards once you pass Zoey. This will assure that she will always be observing your dominant side. This sends her the visual message that you are the boss. If you see her start to adrenalize, focus heavily on you, or move towards you, correct her again as described above.

After you have moved about eight feet past her (the distance may vary), slowly turn around and continue your walk normally (not walking backwards).

5. MANAGE ATTENTION SEEKING BEHAVIOR – Always make sure that it is your idea. If Zoey comes up to you and nudges your hand for a pet, ignore her until she turns away. If you want to pet her, call her over to you. This assures she is responding to you.

If Zoey brings you a toy, ignore her until she turns away and you can then call her back. Remember, the leader always says, “I want you to…”. Make sure you are the leader.

6. POTTY ON WEE-WEE PADS – We went over a great deal of information on this. You can review what we discussed today and find additional material by returning to the “Training Support Center Menu” and clicking on the “Potty & Wee-Wee Pad Training” button. From there, click on the “Wee-Wee Pad Training” button. You will now be at our Wee-Wee Pad Training Module that goes into great detail regarding “the art of getting your puppy to go on the wee-wee pad”.

Some of the major points to remember with Wee-Wee Pad Training are:

a) Food Management: We often overfeed our puppies because we are Americans and love our Big Macs. Measure Zoey’s daily food allowance at the start of the day and only give her that amount for the entire day. (As always, if there is a situation where your veterinarian suggests differently, do that.)

Based on your schedule, put Zoey’s food and water down and pick the bowls up again after twenty to thirty minutes. Think of this as a meal and not an all-day buffet. We suggest leaving a little water down between meals for Zoey. (We will go into detail regarding this in the next section.)

If there are a large number of “out of area” potty accidents, you may want to change her feeding schedule and individual meal amounts.

b) Water: We all need water for hydration and puppies need extra water because their bodies are in a state of rapid growth and development. You want to give Zoey enough water to hydrate for her growth, but not so much water that she is bloated, and the water just passes through her (like flood waters overflowing the top of a dam.)

After each meal, leave the water bowl down with a little bit of water. Check the bowl every 1 or 2 hours. If the bowl is empty, pour a little bit of water into the bowl. If there are out-of-area wee-wee accidents or the Wee-Wee Pads are “soaked”, you may be giving her too much water between meals. If this is happening and the water bowl is empty, wait for 30 to 60 minutes before you add water to the bowl (just a little bit of water) again. Continue to adjust your “refill” until the out-of-area wee-wee accidents decrease, and the Wee-Wee Pads are no longer “soaked”.

c) Watch: You NEED TO WATCH ZOEY WHEN SHE IS OUT AND ABOUT. This doesn’t mean “I think she just went over there”. It is constant “eyes on her”. When you are always watching her, you will know that she made a mistake and observe any unusual characteristics she may have shown just before the potty accident. This allows you to properly document the accident with the time, location, and possible reason for the accident.

d) Potty Area: Wee-Wee Pad training is based on educating Zoey that the Wee-Wee Pad is her toilet. You must give her a very simple problem to solve. The problem is: Potty on the Wee-Wee Pad when most of the world is a Wee-Wee Pad. Once she learns this; slowly and consistently give her harder problems to solve.

As Zoey successfully seeks out the “really close to us” Wee-Wee Pad as her toilet, you “enlarge the playing field”. Pick up some Wee-Wee Pads so she has farther to travel to find “her toilet”. This is done in a slow and methodical process that allows Zoey to actively seek out the more distant Wee-Wee Pads.

Consistency and repetition enable Zoey to create a strong drive to seek out the Wee-Wee Pad as her potty area. Your methodical and observant process allows the pads to be placed farther away while Zoey continually finds the more distant pads.

IN CONCLUSION: Rules are critical. When you establish your rules, you must always correct Zoey when she breaks a rule. Don’t get mad or go nuts when she misbehaves. As the teacher, you must portray a calm and non-adrenalized figure to gain Zoey’s respect and attention.

Our fundamental form of communication is speaking. Conversely, Zoey’s fundamental form of communication is body language. Begin your communication with Zoey through proper body language. That is what she is expecting and will understand.

Practice every day. Both you and Zoey benefit when you implement and actively engage in a daily training regimen with her. You become a better teacher the more you have the opportunity to direct and educate. Zoey becomes a better student the more she has the opportunity to focus and learn.

Persistence, patience, and perseverance are necessary for your success. Concentrate on the positive results you are achieving and not the length of time they may take to complete.

Call us as soon as you have any questions. Finally, take a deep breath and just have fun.


Client: Melissa Klawitter
Visit Date: 01/28/2024
Visit Number: 01
Trainer: Bruce
Paid Today: 0
Still Owe: 0
Comments:

Initial Issues:
Dogs are fighting. She was bitten last week. Things were fine and then the bad behavior recently started. They are getting muzzles

Training Notes:
Wyatt and Katy are sweet dogs and I enjoyed working with them. Katy was pretty submissive and “just wanted to get along”. Wyatt was a little head strong and needed a little more direction in order to understand the rules. The excellent news is that both of them were willing to give you respectful focus.

The challenge resides with getting Wyatt used to some of the tools that you will be using in his training process. We took the first steps today. Through thoughtful vigilance and ongoing confidence, you will succeed, and they will be excellent canine members of your family.

Everything starts with rules. A “rule” identifies what you want them to do and what you don’t want them to do. “Come” is a rule that tells Wyatt and Katy to go to your side. “Don’t jump” is a rule that tells them to remain on the ground. You can easily determine your rules for Wyatt and Katy by asking yourself “Are they bugging me?”. If they are, they are breaking your rule.

Your rules must be simple and consistent. For example, if you don’t want them to jump, they can’t jump for any reason at any time. Everything must be on your terms. They cannot tell you what to do (i.e. please pet me) because they “are not the boss of you”.

We suggest that you consider having between five and ten rules. If you have too many rules, it will become difficult to effectively administer them.

Correct them as soon as they break one of your rules. This must be done in a manner that does not scare or frighten them and still gets their respectful focus directed towards you. Once you have guided them to the correct thing (no longer breaking your rules), acknowledge their appropriate action.

As with all dogs, they primarily communicate through body language. Stand tall and calm when correcting them. Remember, all their communication starts with body language.

To augment your body language communication, you may need to introduce a verbal interaction. Use a unique sound (if needed) to get their attention. I was using the “GRRRRRRRy” sound today. Any sound that gets them to calmly look at you is fine. The key is that the sound should be distinctive and only used when they have broken your rules and you need their focus.

There may be times where you need to “ramp it up” and include a passive/physical form of communication in addition to your body language and verbal interaction. If necessary, introduce a passive/physical action such as the squirt bottle or shake bottle to get their focus. Sometimes, a loud clap of your hands may be all you need.

As a final note on this subject, consider using the leash as a corrective and directive tool. This is a distractive method used to gain their focus and guide them towards the right actions. Have their leashes on them at different times during the day. Always have their leashes on them when you think they may be approaching times of heightened activity, excitement, and bad behavior.

Step on the leash if they start to adrenalize and focus away from you. If needed, walk them to a calm area until they are deadrenalized and focused on you.

When performing the exercises, remember that repetition, consistency, observation, and simplicity are key. ACTION is essential to the process. If you catch yourself thinking “Oh, what bad dogs. I wish they would stop doing that!”, you have missed the point. If Wyatt or Katy do something wrong, you must actively correct now.

They are dogs and not people. Do not assume that they are experiencing “human emotions”. Perform your actions because you are keeping them safe and secure.

When you give them a command, only say it once. As we discussed today, they are dogs and understand sounds and not words. “Come Come Come” is a different sound than “Come”. Make your sounds consistent so that they understand what you want them to do.

All the exercises I will discuss are pertinent to both Wyatt and Katy. In some cases, I will use Wyatt as “my example dog” in explaining the exercise. Be assured, the same information is completely relevant, as needed, for Katy.

Some general exercises we worked on today were:

1. MANNERS AT THE DOOR – We worked with Wyatt and Katy at the same time with this exercise today, so it should be fine to continue to have them concurrently participate in this exercise. (Even though Katy did not actively engage in this exercise today, she may decide to “rush the door with Wyatt” sometime in the future. It is important that you are prepared.)

This exercise is based on the rule that Wyatt and Katy can be anywhere in the house except near you when you are opening the door. As a rule of thumb, I define “near you” as within six to eight feet of the door. This is the “Wyatt and Katy can’t be here zone”. Everywhere else (away from the door and outside the six-to-eight-foot boundary of the door) is the “Wyatt and Katy can be here zone”.

You, Wyatt, and Katy can be anywhere in the house at the start of this exercise. Try to do “regular things” while not directly engaging them or causing them to become adrenalized. Make sure you know the location of your squirt bottle (either out of sight by the door or in your pocket.)

Have someone knock on the door. Calmly walk to the door. If they run ahead of you, don’t worry about that yet. When you are at the door, turn around and visibly locate Wyatt and Katy.

If either are within the “Wyatt and Katy can’t be here zone” (close to you and the door), stand tall and face them, make your correction sound, and (if needed) give them several squirts to have them back out of the “Wyatt and Katy can’t be here zone”, away from the door, and into the “Wyatt and Katy can be here zone”. It may take multiple squirts to have them back away. (Remember to repeat your correction sound every time you give them a squirt.)

Once the offender or offenders are away from the door, slowly reach for the door handle while always facing them. Gradually open the door for the outside visitor. If they make any attempt to continue their approach, correct them as described above.

Continue facing them while opening the door to allow the outside visitor to enter. Close the door. Praise their action with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY” for obeying your rule of staying away from the door when you are opening it. Repeat this exercise daily with family members, neighbors, and strangers (UPS, Domino’s, etc.)

2. GOING OUT AND IN THE DOOR – As noted above, we worked with both Wyatt and Katy today on this exercise. Although Katy did not actively participate in this exercise, you should understand what to do is she decides to “double team you” with Wyatt.

The bottom line is that you want to be able to come in and out the door without Wyatt or Katy rushing you, jumping on you, running out the door, or causing other mischief. Let’s first look at leaving and then coming back inside.

Your rule for Wyatt and Katy when you leave through the door is for them to stay out of the “Wyatt and Katy can’t be here zone”. This is a zone approximately six to eight feet extending from the door into the house. Calmly walk up to the door as you are preparing to leave. Turn around to determine if either of them is within the “Wyatt and Katy can’t be here zone”. If either is within the zone, stand tall, make your correction sound, and give them one or more squirts of water until they back up and out of the immediate area. (Remember to repeat your correction sound every time you give a squirt.)

When neither of them are within the immediate area, slowly open the door while still facing them. If either Wyatt or Katy starts to approach again and enter the “Wyatt and Katy can’t be here zone”, correct them as described above until they have retreated. Continue through the door and close the door. Verbalize a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY” just before the door finally closes shut. You can now leave and do whatever you need to do away from the house.

When you return home, make sure you have your squirt bottle with you as you reach the door. Your rule is you want Wyatt and Katy to be away from the door when you enter and not to bug you until you are ready to greet them.

Loudly make your correction sound while you are outside the door. Next, slowly crack the door open just wide enough for you to extend the squirt bottle into the door opening.

If either Wyatt or Katy are within the “Wyatt and Katie can’t be here zone”, correct them as described above. Continue your correction until the offender has retreated outside the “Wyatt and Katy can’t be here zone”. Now, slowly open the door, correcting if necessary until you can step through the opening and close the door.

There is one more thing to do before the COMING BACK INSIDE exercise is finished. You must decide when you want to greet Wyatt and Katy. In order to do this, perform any overt, physical action that you clearly initiate. Put your keys or phone on the table, open the refrigerator for a bottle of water, turn on the TV, etc.

Ignore both of them until you complete this task. If either of them tries to get your attention while you are performing “your task”, correct the offender. Once you are done with your task, let Wyatt and Katy know they were good little doggies by verbalizing a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”. Now, you can greet them. (Remember, don’t allow them to jump on you. We had decided that that was inappropriate. I will review that later in this document.)

3. MANAGE ATTENTION SEEKING BEHAVIOR – Always make sure that it is your idea. If Wyatt or Katy come up to you and nudge your hand for a pet, ignore them until they turn away. If you want to pet them, call them over to you. This assures they are responding to you.

If they bring you a toy, ignore them until they turn away and you can then call them back. Remember, the leader always says, “I want you to…”. Make sure you are the leader.

4. GET USED TO THE LEASH – This exercise is mainly for Wyatt because of his craziness when wearing a leash. It doesn’t appear that Katy had an issue with the leash, but the information described here is equally appropriate for Katy, if needed.

It is best if you keep Wyatt’s and Katy’s collars on them most of the day. This is because the collar is the “attachment location” for their leash. They do not need their collars on if they are in a crate. I also suggest that you take their collars off from time to time while inside to simply “give them a break from wearing them”.

Wyatt demonstrated that he has an “over the top” response when the leash is clicked on him. He must be calm when wearing the leash so that you can perform the USE OF THE LEASH exercise (described below) as well as many other obedience exercises. We must employ “baby steps” in order to get Wyatt used to the leash.

I suggest that you start the process by having Wyatt wear his collar as described above. Continue this for a few days. After two or three days, calmly approach him with the leash concealed behind your back. Have the hook already opened with your thumb while it is still behind your back and out of his sight.

Pet him for a moment while you handle his collar in order to find the “leash clip”. Once you have the leash clip in one hand, slowly bring the leash around (hook already opened) and hook the leash onto his collar. Praise him with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY” and allow him to freely roam.

Allow him to roam around the room with the leash freely flowing behind him. Permit this to continue until he starts to become agitated, nervous, or overly excited. This indicates that he “is having enough of the leash”. Once you observe this behavior, calmly step on the leash, stoop down, grasp his collar with one hand, and release the leash from Wyatt’s collar with the other hand. He has had “enough of the leash” for that session.

Repeat this process several times a day. Be aware that sometimes Wyatt may just not want to wear the leash at that moment or wear it for a shorter time than before. This is fine. The key is to slowly get him used to the leash and to understand that having the leash attached to his collar simply means “I am wearing a leash” and not “I am going on a walk”. It could take a week or two of daily exercises before Wyatt is fine with the leash.

5. THE BASKERVILLE MUZZLES – The purpose of the Baskerville Muzzle is to eliminate biting. Although both Wyatt and Katy have the “ability to bite”, you mentioned that you are most concerned about the possibility of Wyatt biting. I will review this exercise using Wyatt as “my example”. Be assured that, if necessary, you can perform the same steps with Katy, if needed.

This exercise will focus around getting the Baskerville Muzzle on Wyatt. When we tried to get the muzzle on him today, he was very excited and not able to understand that he needed to calmly wear the muzzle. We must employ baby steps to transform the muzzle from “no way” to “I don’t mind wearing it”.

I used peanut butter today to start this process. I first placed some peanut butter on my fingers and allowed Wyatt to lick the peanut butter from my fingers. After Wyatt had become excited and focused about licking the peanut butter from my fingers, I placed a small amount on the outside of the muzzle and offered him the opportunity to lick the peanut butter from the muzzle.

Once Wyatt licked the peanut butter from the outside of the muzzle, I wanted to get him to start sticking his nose inside the muzzle for his “really yummy peanut butter”. I proceeded to place some peanut butter on my finger and then stuck my “peanut butter ladened” finger through the nose of the muzzle in such a way that Wyatt would need to stick his nose inside the muzzle to lick the peanut butter from my finger.

Once Wyatt would lick the peanut butter from my finger by sticking his nose in the muzzle, I would start to move my finger back towards the tip of the muzzle so that he would have to stick his nose farther and farther into the muzzle to get the peanut butter.

This is where we stopped today. I suggest that you repeat this for several days until Wyatt is more than happy to stick his nose all the way into the muzzle to lick the peanut butter. Your next step is to remove your finger completely from the muzzle.

The last thing you should do before your finger leaves the muzzle is to smear the remaining peanut butter from your finger onto the inside tip of the muzzle. This will direct Wyatt to continue to eat the peanut butter while his nose is completely inside the muzzle and your finger is removed.

Repeat the above process until all you have to do is to smear some peanut butter inside the end of the muzzle and he freely sticks his nose inside the muzzle for his tasty treat. At this point, he is calmly placing his nose in the muzzle. You are ready to move on to a big step.

Once you can calmly place the muzzle on Wyatt’s nose, it is time to attach the muzzle strap around the back of his neck. Slowly pull the strap around the back of his neck and click it into place. You may want to keep the strap a little loose at first. Click it on just for a moment and then release it.

Repeat the above process while keeping the strap attached for longer and longer periods. If he starts to become agitated at any time, immediately unstrap and remove the muzzle. Always remain calm during this entire procedure.

It may take a little time, but Wyatt will slowly become acclimated to the feel of wearing the muzzle. Once this takes place, begin to walk him around on a leash while wearing the muzzle. You can also allow him to free-roam around the house while wearing the muzzle. If he starts to attempt to remove it, correct him by standing tall, verbalizing your correction sound, and giving him one or multiple squirts of water. As soon as he stops trying to remove the muzzle, praise him with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”.

TRAINER’S NOTE: Please be aware that there may be times when “Wyatt has decided that he just doesn’t want to have anything to do with the muzzle”. If this takes place, remove the muzzle and end your session. Any further attempt to acclimate Wyatt to that muzzle at the current time will probably be counterproductive. Wait for a while and then continue your exercise at a more conducive time.

6. BARKING – Barking is always annoying and can be caused by many things. This exercise is designed to redirect Wyatt’s attention away from the distraction causing the barking and to place the focus on you.

Have his leash on in the house when you know there might be things that normally cause him to bark. As soon as he starts to bark, step on the leash, and place the handle in your hand. Make your correction sound as you briskly walk him in a direction away from the distraction to a point where he is giving you focus and has lost interest in whatever was causing him to bark. Have him sit for you. As soon as he does, praise him with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”.

(If he is a little too pensive to sit, have him calmly remain next to you while providing you with calm and respectful focus for one or two seconds. At that point, praise him with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”.)

Drop the leash and calmly walk back to whatever you were doing before Wyatt started to bark.

If Wyatt’s focus can be easily directed back to you, simply standing tall, giving your correction sound, and using your physical correction (squirt bottle or shake bottle) may suffice in getting him to stop barking. Once he has stopped barking, praise him with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”.

7. JUMPING – Dogs normally jump because they are showing assertion or are excited. An important facet of this exercise is your ability to remain calm. Your calm demeanor will demonstrate your strong leadership and neutralize Wyatt’s heightened adrenaline level.

Always have Wyatt’s leash on when you are concerned that he might be jumping. If you are sitting on a chair or sofa and he approaches to jump, stand up, give him your correction sound, and use your physical correction (squirt bottle or shake bottle). As soon as he stops and gives you focus, praise him with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”.

If you are standing and Wyatt begins to jump on you or your guest, use your squirt bottle with your correction sound to stop him. You can also step on the leash so he doesn’t have the ability to jump. As soon as he calms down, praise him with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”.

If things are a little “too crazy”, you may need to ramp it up. Momentarily remove Wyatt from the immediate area. Please refer to the USE OF THE LEASH discussion below.

8. NIPPING – Let’s review the active approach to stop Wyatt from nipping and then a “set the scene” method of getting him from nipping.

In our first approach, as soon as you see Wyatt start to become adrenalized, stay calm and still. If you are playing with him, stop. If possible, slowly move your hands away from him and calmly stand up. This will proactively send a signal to him that you will not engage him and do not condone his actions. If needed, make your correction sound and use the squirt bottle or shake bottle. Praise him with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY” when he stops trying to nip.

If he has already started to nip you, remain calm and still. Make your correction sound and stand up, if possible. The important thing is to stay calm. Praise him with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY” when he stops nipping.

When you don’t energetically engage him, Wyatt will place additional focus on your calm demeanor. This will deescalate his adrenalated actions and allow things to cool down.

Our second approach involves “setting the scene” when you want to discourage Wyatt’s nipping.

We suggest that you use Bitter Apple as your “yucky trigger”. Wyatt must understand that anything that tastes like Bitter Apple is yucky. You do this by spraying a very small amount of it into his mouth. You are not trying to have him drink it; you want the mist of the spray to reach the taste buds in the back of his mouth. This will trigger a “bad taste memory”. He will then associate other things with this same smell as tasting bad.

Now, spray some Bitter Apple on your hands. Make your hands “available to Wyatt” but don’t “stick them in his face”. If he starts to go for your hands, he should smell or taste how “yucky your hands have become” and will not want any part of them.

Make sure you have something else for him such as a chew toy or goodie to distract him away. As soon as he has been directed away from your hands (the target), praise him with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”.

If the Bitter Apple is not effective, you can ramp up to Tabasco Sauce, Jalapeno Sauce, or Habanero Sauce (in that order). Be sure to wash your hands thoroughly when you have finished your exercise using these liquids.

9. USE OF THE LEASH – The leash is a passive training tool that is very effective in redirecting Wyatt’s focus to you. We suggest that you place the leash on him at different times during the day when you are home. Be sure that you have the leash on at times when you expect higher adrenaline levels from Wyatt.

As he begins to perform an action that you don’t want, step on the leash. If he is moving, let him go to the end of the leash, tug himself slightly, and then look back at you. Your still and calm demeanor will display leadership and Wyatt will understand that you took control, and you are the boss.

If you need to remove Wyatt from the area, calmly pick up the end of the leash, quietly make your correction sound, and walk him away. Once you observe that he is no longer adrenalized, stop, and have him sit. Praise him with a quiet but high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”. Drop the leash and calmly walk away.

NOTE (SLIGHT ALTERNATIVE): If Wyatt is a little to pensive to sit, replace the SIT command by allowing him to calmly remain next to you while providing you with calm and respectful focus. After one or two seconds, praise him with a quiet but high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”. Drop the leash and calmly walk away.

10. COME: INSIDE WITH LEASH – We didn’t actively work on this exercise today because we still needed to get Wyatt acclimated to calmly wearing his leash. Once this is accomplished, you can practice this exercise.

You must initially perform this exercise in the house when it is quiet (no distractions). Put a six-foot leash on Wyatt. Slowly step away from him (facing him) until you have reached the end of the leash. Drop to your knees or crouch down low and say “COME” once. If he doesn’t start to move towards you, give the leash a slight tug. You may need to give several tugs.

If he is unresponsive to the tug, make your correction sound, wait for one or two seconds, say “COME” again, and give the leash another tug with slightly more force. Repeat this, if needed, until Wyatt is moving towards you.

Once he reaches you, praise his action with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”. Stand up and repeat this process for several minutes.

When he can always come to you from six feet, extend the length by using a longer leash or attaching several together. Practice from ten feet, fifteen feet, and twenty feet. When he can come to you from the longest distance, repeat the exercise at that length, but no longer hold the leash. Let it lie on the ground between you and Wyatt. The “handle end” of the leash should still be near you and easily accessible if Wyatt is not responding to your command.

Continue practicing confirming that he constantly comes to you without the need to grab and tug on the leash. Once this is achieved, unhook the leash and practice the COME exercise without the leash.

After he has successfully completed the COME exercise when he is inside, repeat the process outside. Practice from ten, fifteen, twenty, and thirty feet. Only allow Wyatt off leash (final step) if you are in a fenced-in area.

When you are outside and you want Wyatt to come to you, this is mostly because you want him to get in the house. When outside, we suggest that you set up many of your exercises where you are near the door and Wyatt is in the yard.

A HELPFUL TIP: If Wyatt is slow in learning the COME command, you may need to enhance his ability to focus on you when the command is given. As you are down low and about to verbalize “COME”, pat your knees, snap your fingers, or call his name (“Wyatt”). This may help draw his attention to you as you command him to COME.

ONE MORE THING: There are times where you may be “too far away”. For example, he may have been coming to you from ten feet yesterday, but won’t respond at all from that distance today. Instead of “reinforcing failure” at ten feet, shorten the distance between you and Wyatt until he starts to come to you. Continue your exercise at that length and expand the distance as he consistently obeys your command.

NOTE: Never give Wyatt the COME command without the leash being attached to him if you have any hesitation that he will not come to you. If you want to attempt to have him come to you without the leash, get down low, call his name, become visibly animated, and clap your hands or pat your knees. Just don’t say “COME”.

If he comes to you, that is great. If Wyatt does not come to you, that is no big deal. You offered him an invitation and you allowed him to respond “yes” or “no”.

If you had said “COME” to Wyatt; that is a command and he must comply. If he does not, the only tool you have to gain his compliance and maintain your leadership role is the leash.

11. SIT – We didn’t actively work on this exercise today because we still needed to get Wyatt acclimated to calmly wearing his leash. Once this is accomplished, you can practice this exercise.

Initially perform this exercise in a quiet location with minimal or no distractions. Put a six-foot leash on Wyatt. Stand directly in front of him and say “SIT” once. If he doesn’t sit, give him your correction sound and a slight tug on the leash. Say “SIT” again.

If he doesn’t sit immediately, move to his side and pull the leash up and behind his head. At the same time use your other hand to guide his rear end backwards until you see his hindquarters moving towards the ground. Continue to slightly pull the leash so that his head is moving backwards and his hindquarters are still descending. Once he is sitting, praise his action with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”.

Move Wyatt a few feet and repeat the exercise for several minutes. As you continue your sessions and he is constantly sitting on the first command, slowly add distractions.

IN CONCLUSION: Rules are critical. When you establish your rules, you must always correct them when they break a rule. Don’t get mad or go nuts when they misbehave. As the teacher, you must portray a calm and non-adrenalized figure to gain their respect and attention.

Our fundamental form of communication is speaking. Conversely, Wyatt’s and Katy’s fundamental form of communication is body language. Begin your communication with them through proper body language. That is what they are expecting and will understand.

Practice every day. Both you, Wyatt, and Katy benefit when you implement and actively engage in a daily training regimen with them. You become a better teacher the more you have the opportunity to direct and educate. They become better students the more they have the opportunity to focus and learn.

Persistence, patience, and perseverance are necessary for your success. Concentrate on the positive results you are achieving and not the length of time they may take to complete.

Call us as soon as you have any questions. Finally, take a deep breath and just have fun.


Client: Tanya Dean
Visit Date: 02/01/2024
Visit Number: 01
Trainer: Bruce
Paid Today: 0
Still Owe: 0
Comments:

Initial Issues:
Dog runs out of house and down street. Doesn’t listen. Sit. Stay. Come.

Training Notes:
Leo is a sweet dog and I enjoyed working with him. He quickly gave us the focus we needed so that he could effectively learn his lessons. He stayed away from the front door when directed and showed very little interest in the passing cars while we were outside. It will now require consistent education and direction to allow him to clearly understand, “Here is what I am supposed to do for Mommie”.

Everything starts with rules. A “rule” identifies what you want him to do and what you don’t want him to do. “Come” is a rule that tells Leo to go to your side. “Don’t jump” is a rule that tells him to remain on the ground. You can easily determine your rules for Leo by asking yourself “Is he bugging me?”. If he is, Leo is breaking your rule.

Your rules must be simple and consistent. For example, if you don’t want him to jump, he can’t jump for any reason at any time. Everything must be on your terms. He cannot tell you what to do (i.e. please pet me) because he is not the boss.

We suggest that you consider having between five and ten rules. If you have too many rules, it will become difficult to effectively administer them.

Correct him as soon as he breaks one of your rules. This must be done in a manner that does not scare or frighten him and still gets his respectful focus directed towards you. Once you have guided him to the correct thing (no longer breaking your rules), acknowledge his appropriate action.

As with all dogs, Leo primarily communicates through body language. Stand tall and calm when correcting him. Remember, all Leo’s communication begins with body language.

To augment your body language communication, you may need to introduce a verbal interaction. Use a unique sound (if needed) to get his attention. I was using the “GRRRRRRRy” sound today. Any sound that gets him to calmly look at you is fine. The key is that the sound should be distinctive and only used when he has broken your rules and you need his focus.

There may be times where you need to “ramp it up” and include a passive/physical form of communication in addition to your body language and verbal interaction. If necessary, introduce a passive/physical action such as the squirt bottle or shake bottle to get his focus. Sometimes, a loud clap of your hands may be all you need.

As a final note on this subject, consider using the leash as a corrective and directive tool. This is a distractive method used to gain his focus and guide him towards the right actions. Have the leash on him at different times during the day. Always have it on him when you think he may be approaching times of heightened activity, excitement, and bad behavior.

Step on the leash if he starts to adrenalize and focus away from you. If needed, walk him to a calm area until he is deadrenalized and focused on you.

When performing the exercises, remember that repetition, consistency, observation, and simplicity are key. ACTION is essential to the process. If you catch yourself thinking “Oh, what a bad dog. I wish he would stop doing that!”, you have missed the point. If Leo does something wrong, you must actively correct now.

Leo is a dog and not a person. Do not assume that he is experiencing “human emotions”. Perform your actions because you want to keep him safe and secure.

When you give him a command, only say it once. As we discussed today, Leo is a dog and understands sounds and not words. “Come Come Come” is a different sound than “Come”. Make your sounds consistent so that Leo understands what you want him to do.

It is fine if you want to include hand gestures with any of the obedience commands. Simply include the hand gesture as you are verbalizing your obedience command to Leo.

Although we normally don’t use treats in our exercises, they are sometimes helpful in the initial stages of obedience lessons. Use them sparingly and try to ween Leo off of them as quickly as possible. Show him the treat as you begin the command and only give it to him after he has successfully completed the command and you have provided him with your verbal confirmation.

Some general exercises we worked on today were:

1. GETTING ACCOSTOMED TO WEARING THE LEASH – Leo is not used to wearing the leash. Place the leash on Leo at different times when you are home. Allow him to walk around the house with the leash freely flowing behind him.

Every once in a while, calmly step on the leash, place the handle in your hand, and direct him to walk with you for one or two steps. Drop the leash and praise his calm response by verbalizing a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”. Continue to allow him to walk around the house, lie in his bed, etc. with the leash freely flowing behind him.

The goal of this exercise is to allow Leo to get used to the sensation of wearing the leash. I estimate that it should take about a week for Leo to become fully acclimated to the “feel of wearing the leash”. Do not actively work on other exercises that require the use of the leash until Leo has mastered this exercise and is “happy with the leash”.

2. OUTSIDE SAFETY: – In my opinion this is probably the most important exercise for Leo. This is because it is critical that this be performed to keep Leo safe. It is a subset of the COME OUTSIDE WITH LEAD exercise detailed later.

Always have a long training lead (We were using a ½ inch thick by 20-foot-long lead today) attached to Leo’s harness when you are in the front yard with Leo. You can either have it freely flowing behind him or you can have the handle in your hand while it is freely flowing behind him.

You must always be in a position where you can easily and quickly step on the lead flowing behind Leo. This is critical.

You can allow Leo to play and run and do anything you allow as long as he does not wander farther from you than the length of the lead. Always be watchful for cars approaching on the road. If you see Leo begin to focus on the approaching car, you can give him your correction sound to attempt to get his focus.

If Leo continues to fixate on the approaching car or begins to run toward the car and the road, quickly and calmly step on the lead. This should cause him to quickly stop his movement towards the car and the road.

Leo is now safe and has learned that he cannot run towards the car and the road. At this point, you can let him know that he is doing the right thing by verbalizing a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”.

You can now allow him to continue to move about as long as he is not getting too close to the road. If there are games he likes to play, engage him in those games in order to divert his attention away from the road.

TRAINER’S NOTE: You can practice this exercise by yourself or with other people in the front yard. It is imperative that you always keep an eye on Leo because the only way he will remain safe is if you step on the lead as he starts to move towards the road. The option of holding the lead in your hand is also fully acceptable as a “final fail-safe” to assure he will be 100% safe in any situation.

3. MANNERS AT THE FRONT DOOR – This exercise is based on the rule that Leo can be anywhere in the house except near you when you are opening the front door. As a rule of thumb, I define “near you” as within six to eight feet of the front door. This is the “Leo can’t be here zone”. Everything else (away from the door and outside the six-to-eight-foot boundary of the door) is the “Leo can be here zone”.

You and Leo can be anywhere in the house at the start of this exercise. Try to do “regular things” while not directly engaging him or causing him to become adrenalized. Make sure you know the location of your squirt bottle (either out of sight by the front door or in your pocket.)

Have someone knock on the door. Calmly walk to the front door. If Leo runs ahead of you, don’t worry about that yet. When you are at the front door, turn around and visibly locate him.

If he is within the “Leo can’t be here zone” (close to you and the front door), stand tall and face him, make your correction sound, and (if needed) give him several squirts to have him back out of the “Leo can’t be here zone”, away from the door, and into the “Leo can be here zone”. It may take multiple squirts to have him back away. (Remember to repeat your correction sound every time you give him a squirt.)

Once he is away from the front door, slowly reach for the door handle while always facing him. Gradually open the door for the outside visitor. If Leo makes any attempt to continue his approach, correct him as described above.

Continue facing him while opening the door to allow the outside visitor to enter. Close the door. Praise Leo’s action with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY” for obeying your rule of staying away from the front door when you are opening it. Repeat this exercise daily with family members, neighbors, and strangers (UPS, Domino’s, etc.)

NOTE: If you are having difficulty directing Leo away from the front door area and into the “Leo can be here zone”, use the leash to guide him away. Calmly step on the leash, place it in your hand, and give the leash several slight tugs to have him cross the boundary out of the “Leo can’t be here zone” and into the “Leo can be here zone”. Once that is done, drop the leash and slowly back up to the door. Continue to face him and brandish the squirt bottle in his direction. Correct with the squirt bottle, if needed, and continue the exercise by opening the door for the outside visitor.

4. GOING OUT AND IN THE DOOR – You want to be able to come in and out the door without Leo rushing you, jumping on you, running out the door, or causing other mischief. Let’s first look at leaving and then coming back inside.

Your rule for Leo when you leave through the door is for him to stay out of the “Leo can’t be here zone”. This is a zone approximately six to eight feet extending from the door into the house. Calmly walk up to the door as you are preparing to leave. Turn around to determine if Leo is within the “Leo can’t be here zone”. If he is, face him, stand tall, make your correction sound, and give him one or more squirts of water until he backs up and out of the immediate area. (Remember to repeat your correction sound every time you give him a squirt.)

When he is out of the immediate area, slowly open the door while still facing him. If he starts to approach again and enter the “Leo can’t be here zone”, correct him as described above until he has retreated. Continue through the door and close the door. Give him a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY” just before the door finally closes shut. You can now leave and do whatever you need to do away from the house.

When you return home, make sure you have your squirt bottle with you as you reach the door. Your rule is you want Leo to be away from the door when you enter and not to bug you until you are ready to greet him.

Loudly make your correction sound while you are outside the door. Next, slowly crack the door open just wide enough for you to extend the squirt bottle into the door opening.

If Leo is within the “Leo can’t be here zone”, correct him as described above. Continue your correction until he has retreated outside the “Leo can’t be here zone”. Now, slowly open the door, correcting if necessary until you can step through the opening and close the door.

There is one more thing to do before the COMING BACK INSIDE exercise is finished. You must decide when you want to greet Leo. In order to do this, perform any overt, physical action that you clearly initiate. Put your keys or phone on the table, open the refrigerator for a bottle of water, turn on the TV, etc.

Ignore him until you complete this task. If he tries to get your attention while you are performing “your task”, correct him. Once you are done with your task, let him know he was a good boy by providing him with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”. Now, you can greet him.

5. COME: INSIDE WITH LEASH – You must initially perform this exercise in the house when it is quiet (no distractions). Put a six-foot leash on Leo. Slowly step away from him (facing him) until you have reached the end of the leash. Drop to your knees or crouch down low and say “COME” once. If he doesn’t start to move towards you, give the leash a slight tug. You may need to give several tugs.

If he is unresponsive to the tug, make your correction sound, wait for one or two seconds, say “COME” again, and give the leash another tug with slightly more force. Repeat this, if needed, until Leo is moving towards you.

Once he reaches you, praise his action with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”. Stand up and repeat this process for several minutes.

When he can always come to you from six feet, extend the length by using a longer leash or attaching several together. Practice from ten feet, fifteen feet, and twenty feet. When he can come to you from the longest distance, repeat the exercise at that length, but no longer hold the leash. Let it lie on the ground between you and Leo. The “handle end” of the leash should still be near you and easily accessible if Leo is not responding to your command.

Continue practicing confirming that he constantly comes to you without the need to grab and tug on the leash. Once this is achieved, unhook the leash and practice the COME exercise without the leash.

A HELPFUL TIP: If Leo is slow in learning the COME command, you may need to enhance his ability to focus on you when the command is given. As you are down low and about to verbalize “COME”, pat your knees, snap your fingers, or call his name (“Leo”). This may help draw his attention to you as you command him to COME.

ONE MORE THING: There are times where you may be “too far away”. If this is the case, shorten the distance between you and Leo until he starts to come to you. Continue your exercise at that length and expand the distance as he consistently obeys your command.

NOTE: Never give Leo the COME command without the leash being attached to him if you have any hesitation that he will not come to you. If you want to attempt to have him come to you without the leash, get down low, call his name, become visibly animated, and clap your hands or pat your knees. Just don’t say “COME”.

If he comes to you, that is great. If Leo does not come to you, that is no big deal. You offered him an invitation and you allowed him to respond “yes” or “no”.

If you had said “COME” to Leo; that is a command and he must comply. If he does not, the only tool you have to gain his compliance and maintain your leadership role is the leash.

6. COME: OUTSIDE WITH LEAD – Perform this exercise once Leo can successfully complete the COME INSIDE WITH LEASH exercise. Put a twenty-foot training lead on Leo. (I suggest twenty feet, but any long length is fine.) Slowly step away from him (facing him) until you have reached about five feet. Drop to your knees or crouch down low and say “COME” once. If he doesn’t start to move towards you, give the lead a slight tug. You may need to give several tugs.

If he is unresponsive to the tug, make your correction sound, wait for one or two seconds, say “COME” again, and give the lead another tug with slightly more force. Repeat this, if needed, until Leo is moving towards you.

When he reaches you, praise his action with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”. Stand up and repeat this process for several minutes. Slowly add distraction to the process to provide a more “real world” environment.

Once he can always come to you from the initial distance, extend the length by using more of the training lead. Practice from ten feet, fifteen feet, and twenty feet. When he can come to you from the longest distance, repeat the exercise at that length, but no longer hold the lead. Let it lie on the ground between you and Leo with the handle end of the lead directly next to you and immediately accessible.

If Leo is unresponsive to your COME command while the lead is on the ground, pick it up and continue to practice with the handle in your hand.

A HELPFUL TIP: If Leo is far away from you and not focused on you when you are about to give the “COME” command, you may need to get his attention. Try calling his name or clapping your hands to get him to look at you. If he is “overly-distracted”, give the lead a slight tug to have him look back at you. Although not required, these actions often help with the successful execution of the command.

ONE MORE THING: There are times where you may be “too far away”. For example, he may have been coming to you from twenty feet yesterday, but won’t respond at all from that distance today. Instead of “reinforcing failure” at twenty feet, shorten the distance between you and Leo until he starts to come to you. Continue your exercise at that length and expand the distance as he consistently obeys your command.

A SLIGHT ALTERNATIVE: Our instructions above state that you are constantly holding the lead when you give the COME command. An alternative to this method is to allow the lead to stretch out behind Leo as he moves around the yard. You are not holding the lead, but allowing it to freely flow behind Leo. Always remain close to the lead. When you are ready to execute the COME command, step on the lead at the appropriate length, pick it up in your hands, and deliver the COME command. All the other instructions remain the same.

7. BARKING – Barking is always annoying and can be caused by many things. This exercise is designed to redirect Leo’s attention away from the distraction causing the barking and to place the focus on you.

Have his leash on in the house when you know there might be things that normally cause him to bark. As soon as he starts to bark, step on the leash, and place the handle in your hand. Make your correction sound as you briskly walk him in a direction away from the distraction to a point where he is giving you focus and has lost interest in whatever was causing him to bark. Have him calmly stand next to you while providing you with calm and respectful focus for about two to three seconds. At that point, praise him with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”.

Drop the leash and calmly walk back to whatever you were doing before Leo started to bark.

If Leo’s focus can be easily directed back to you, simply standing tall, giving your correction sound, and using your physical correction (squirt bottle or shake bottle) may suffice in getting him to stop barking. Once he has stopped barking, praise him with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”.

8. JUMPING – Dogs normally jump because they are showing assertion or are excited. An important facet of this exercise is your ability to remain calm. Your calm demeanor will demonstrate your strong leadership and neutralize Leo’s heightened adrenaline level.

Always have Leo’s leash on when you are concerned that he might be jumping. If you are sitting on a chair or sofa and he approaches to jump, stand up, give him your correction sound, and use your physical correction (squirt bottle or shake bottle). As soon as he stops and gives you focus, praise him with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”.

If you are standing and Leo begins to jump on you or your guest, use your squirt bottle with your correction sound to stop him. You can also step on the leash so he doesn’t have the ability to jump. As soon as he calms down, praise him with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”.

If things are a little “too crazy”, you may need to ramp it up. Momentarily remove Leo from the immediate area. Please refer to the USE OF THE LEASH discussion below.

9. MANAGE ATTENTION SEEKING BEHAVIOR – Always make sure that it is your idea. If Leo comes up to you and nudges your hand for a pet, ignore him until he turns away. If you want to pet him, call him over to you. This assures he is responding to you.

If Leo brings you a toy, ignore him until he turns away and you can then call him back. Remember, the leader always says, “I want you to…”. Make sure you are the leader.

10. USE OF THE LEASH – The leash is a passive training tool that is very effective in redirecting Leo’s focus to you. We suggest that you place the leash on him at different times during the day when you are home. Be sure that you have the leash on at times when you expect higher adrenaline levels from Leo.

As he begins to perform an action that you don’t want, step on the leash. If he is moving, let him go to the end of the leash, tug himself slightly, and then look back at you. Your still and calm demeanor will display leadership and Leo will understand that you took control, and you are the boss.

If you need to remove Leo from the area, calmly pick up the end of the leash, quietly make your correction sound, and walk him away. Once you observe that he is no longer adrenalized, stop and have him calmly stand next to you while providing you with calm and respectful focus for about two to three seconds. At that point, praise him with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”.

IN CONCLUSION: Rules are critical. When you establish your rules, you must always correct Leo when he breaks a rule. Don’t get mad or go nuts when he misbehaves. As the teacher, you must portray a calm and non-adrenalized figure to gain Leo’s respect and attention.

Our fundamental form of communication is speaking. Conversely, Leo’s fundamental form of communication is body language. Begin your communication with Leo through proper body language. That is what he is expecting and will understand.

Practice every day. Both you and Leo benefit when you implement and actively engage in a daily training regimen with him. You become a better teacher the more you have the opportunity to direct and educate. Leo becomes a better student the more he has the opportunity to focus and learn.

Persistence, patience, and perseverance are necessary for your success. Concentrate on the positive results you are achieving and not the length of time they may take to complete.

Call us as soon as you have any questions. Finally, take a deep breath and just have fun.


Client: Erica Bowie
Visit Date: 02/07/2024
Visit Number: 01
Trainer: Robin
Paid Today: 0
Still Owe: 0
Comments:

Initial Issues:
Come. Sit. Stay. Walk Outside on Leash. Barking. Jumping. Manners at Front Door. Use of Leash.

Training Notes:
Boone is a sweet dog and we enjoyed working with him. He was very energetic and full of love and kisses. He responded well to our direction and commands but remember that he is still a puppy with an inquisitive nature of the world around him. His natural curiosity will mean that it will take a little longer to have him master all his commands. This is natural with all puppies. He is a great puppy and, through maintaining the rules and exercises we have initiated, will be a superlative dog.

Everything starts with rules. A “rule” identifies what you want him to do and what you don’t want him to do. “Come” is a rule that tells Boone to go to your side. “Don’t jump” is a rule that tells him to remain on the ground. You can easily determine your rules for Boone by asking yourself “Is he bugging me?”. If he is, Boone is breaking your rule.

Your rules must be simple and consistent. For example, if you don’t want him to jump, he can’t jump for any reason at any time. Everything must be on your terms. He cannot tell you what to do (i.e. please pet me) because he is not the boss.

We suggest that you consider having between five and ten rules. If you have too many rules, it will become difficult to effectively administer them.

Correct him as soon as he breaks one of your rules. This must be done in a manner that does not scare or frighten him and still gets his respectful focus directed towards you. Once you have guided him to the correct thing (no longer breaking your rules), acknowledge his appropriate action.

As with all dogs, Boone primarily communicates through body language. Stand tall and calm when correcting him. Remember, all Boone’s communication begins with body language.

To augment your body language communication, you may need to introduce a verbal interaction. Use a unique sound (if needed) to get his attention. We were using the “GRRRRRRRy” sound during our board and train program. Any sound that gets him to calmly look at you is fine. The key is that the sound should be distinctive and only used when he has broken your rules and you need his focus.

There may be times where you need to “ramp it up” and include a passive/physical form of communication in addition to your body language and verbal interaction. If necessary, introduce a passive/physical action such as the squirt bottle or shake bottle to get his focus. Sometimes, a loud clap of your hands may be all you need.

As a final note on this subject, consider using the leash as a corrective and directive tool. This is a distractive method used to gain his focus and guide him towards the right actions. Have the leash on him at different times during the day. Always have it on him when you think he may be approaching times of heightened activity, excitement, and bad behavior.

Step on the leash if he starts to adrenalize and focus away from you. If needed, walk him to a calm area until he is deadrenalized and focused on you.

When performing the exercises, remember that repetition, consistency, observation, and simplicity are key. ACTION is essential to the process. If you catch yourself thinking “Oh, what a bad dog. I wish he would stop doing that!”, you have missed the point. If Boone does something wrong, you must actively correct now.

Boone is a dog and not a person. Do not assume that he is experiencing “human emotions”. Perform your actions because you want to keep him safe and secure.

When you give him a command, only say it once. As we discussed today, Boone is a dog and understands sounds and not words. “Come Come Come” is a different sound than “Come”. Make your sounds consistent so that Boone understands what you want him to do.

It is fine if you want to include hand gestures with any of the obedience commands. Simply include the hand gesture as you are verbalizing your obedience command to Boone.

Although we don’t normally use treats in our exercises, they are sometimes helpful in the initial stages of obedience lessons (i.e. Come, Sit, Stay). Use them sparingly and try to ween Boone off of them as quickly as possible. Show him the treat as you begin the command and only give it to him after he has successfully completed the command and you have provided him with your verbal confirmation.

Some general exercises we worked on during our board and train program were:

1. COME: INSIDE WITH LEASH – You must initially perform this exercise in the house when it is quiet (no distractions). Put a six-foot leash on Boone. Slowly step away from him (facing him) until you have reached the end of the leash. Drop to your knees or crouch down low and say “COME” once. If he doesn’t start to move towards you, give the leash a slight tug. You may need to give several tugs.

If he is unresponsive to the tug, make your correction sound, wait for one or two seconds, say “COME” again, and give the leash another tug with slightly more force. Repeat this, if needed, until Boone is moving towards you.

Once he reaches you, praise his action with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”. Stand up and repeat this process for several minutes.

When he can always come to you from six feet, extend the length by using a longer leash or attaching several together. Practice from ten feet, fifteen feet, and twenty feet. When he can come to you from the longest distance, repeat the exercise at that length, but no longer hold the leash. Let it lie on the ground between you and Boone. The “handle end” of the leash should still be near you and easily accessible if Boone is not responding to your command.

Continue practicing confirming that he constantly comes to you without the need to grab and tug on the leash. Once this is achieved, unhook the leash and practice the COME exercise without the leash.

After he has successfully completed the COME exercise when he is inside, repeat the process outside. Practice from ten, fifteen, twenty, and thirty feet. Only allow Boone off leash (final step) if you are in a fenced-in area.

When you are outside and you want Boone to come to you, this is mostly because you want him to get in the house. When outside, we suggest that you set up many of your exercises where you are near the door and Boone is in the yard.

A HELPFUL TIP: If Boone is slow in learning the COME command, you may need to enhance his ability to focus on you when the command is given. As you are down low and about to verbalize “COME”, pat your knees, snap your fingers, or call his name (“Boone”). This may help draw his attention to you as you command him to COME.

ONE MORE THING: There are times where you may be “too far away”. For example, he may have been coming to you from ten feet yesterday, but won’t respond at all from that distance today. Instead of “reinforcing failure” at ten feet, shorten the distance between you and Boone until he starts to come to you. Continue your exercise at that length and expand the distance as he consistently obeys your command.

NOTE: Never give Boone the COME command without the leash being attached to him if you have any hesitation that he will not come to you. If you want to attempt to have him come to you without the leash, get down low, call his name, become visibly animated, and clap your hands or pat your knees. Just don’t say “COME”.

If he comes to you, that is great. If Boone does not come to you, that is no big deal. You offered him an invitation and you allowed him to respond “yes” or “no”.

If you had said “COME” to Boone; that is a command, and he must comply. If he does not, the only tool you have to gain his compliance and maintain your leadership role is the leash.

2. SIT – Initially perform this exercise in a quiet location with minimal or no distractions. Put a six-foot leash on Boone. Stand directly in front of him and say “SIT” once. If he doesn’t sit, give him your correction sound and a slight tug on the leash. Say “SIT” again.

If he doesn’t sit immediately, move to his side and pull the leash up and behind his head. At the same time use your other hand to guide his rear end backwards until you see his hindquarters moving towards the ground. Continue to slightly pull the leash so that his head is moving backwards and his hindquarters are still descending. Once he is sitting, praise his action with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”.

Move Boone a few feet and repeat the exercise for several minutes. As you continue your sessions and he is constantly sitting on the first command, slowly add distractions.

3. STAY – Boone must be able to sit with a single command and no assistance before you can work on this exercise. If he still has a problem sitting, work on SIT.

We suggest that you work on SIT for another several weeks before you actively start to work on STAY. With this said, we did work on Levels One and Two with Boone while he was with us. He showed promise and would comply over half the time.

This exercise has several levels. Work on each level until Boone can always perform the actions before you move on to the next. Don’t rush to the next level when he appears to be succeeding in the current level. Have one or two days of “constant success” before you move on.

Place Boone in a SIT before you start this command:

Level One: Stand directly in front of Boone, hold your hand up as if you were a traffic policeman, and say “STAY”. If he begins to move, give him your correction sound to have him stop. Wait until he is sitting quietly for about five to ten seconds. Praise his action with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY” for obeying your command. Continue to practice while extending the time you are standing in front of him, and he is remaining in place. When you have accomplished this and Boone can remain in place for about fifteen to twenty seconds, you can move on to Level Two.

Level Two: Stand directly in front of Boone, hold your hand up as if you were a traffic policeman, and say “STAY”. Slowly back up (always holding the leash and facing him) until you have reached the end of the leash. Make sure you do not tug the leash. If he begins to move, give him your correction sound to have him stop. Wait until he is sitting quietly for about five seconds. Step back until you are next to him. Praise his action with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY” for obeying your command. Once you have accomplished this, you can move on to Level Three.

Level Three: Stand directly in front of Boone, hold your hand up as if you were a traffic policeman, and say “STAY”. Slowly back up (always holding the leash and facing him) until you have reached the end of the leash. Make sure you do not tug the leash. Walk in a partial semi-circle to your left until you are all the way to Boone’s side. Slowly move to the right, pass in front of him, and stop when you have reached his other side. Next, move back until you are in front of him again. If he begins to move, give him your correction sound to have him stop. Make sure you keep your “policeman’s hand” up the entire time. Finally, step back until you are next to him. Praise his action with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY” for obeying your command. Now that you have accomplished this, you can move on to Level Four.

Level Four: Stand directly in front of Boone, hold your hand up as if you were a traffic policeman, and say “STAY”. Slowly back up (always holding the leash and facing him) until you have reached the end of the leash. Make sure you do not tug the leash. Walk completely around him. If he begins to move, give him your correction sound to have him stop. Make sure you keep your “policeman’s hand” up the entire time. Now, step back until you are next to him. Praise his action with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY” for obeying your command. Practice this exercise for several days with continual success. Once you have accomplished this, you can move on to Level Five.

Level Five: At this point you can walk completely around Boone with your hand up and he is remaining in his STAY. It is time to add a “real world” situation to the exercise. You will not be holding the leash. Place Boone in a SIT and then a STAY. Walk around the room/area while facing him and keeping your hand up in your “traffic policeman’s pose”. Continue this while you slowly add actions such as picking up objects and opening and closing doors and drawers. Always remain in his sight.

If Boone moves from his spot, correct him, step back to a prior level, and continue from there. The more you can move around the room/area while he remains stationary in a STAY, the more you can add additional actions that you would normally perform when you want him in a STAY in a “real world situation”.

NOTE: Boone is remaining in his STAY because you have conditioned him to remain still while focusing on your outstretched hand. If you leave the room and/or leave his sight, your outstretched hand (the trigger to have him STAY) will be gone and he will probably get up and break his stay.

4. WALKING OUTSIDE – Before you begin your walk, remember that you are Boone’s protector, boss, and best friend. It is your responsibility to always keep him safe. As you are on your walk, visually scan the immediate area to determine if there are any issues that might place Boone in danger or cause him to feel scared. If you find such a situation, create a plan ahead of time to mitigate or eliminate the danger before it takes place. This will prepare you to easily solve any problem you and Boone may encounter on your walk.

Just like any other time, when you are walking with Boone, he must be obeying your rules. I suggest that your “walking rules” for Boone are to be near you, do not pull on the leash, listen to your commands when given, and have a good time. These are only my suggestions. You must create your own rules so that you and Boone have an excellent walking experience.

Start your walk outside with Boone calmly next to you wearing his collar and Easy Walk Harness (size Medium/Small). Have his leash attached to both the collar and harness. Give your WALK command, tug the leash slightly, and begin your walk.

As long as Boone is maintaining your rules as mentioned above, all is fine. If he starts to break your rules (pull, not listen, etc.), give the leash a slight tug back towards you as you are walking. Make your correction sound as you tug the leash. Have him look at you and give you focus. Acknowledge his correct behavior with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”.

If he is unresponsive to your slight tug while walking, stop walking, make your correction sound, and give the leash a slightly more forceful tug back towards you. Have him look at you and give you focus. Acknowledge his correct behavior with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”. Continue your walk.

If he really starts to pull or focus on something too much, you may need to “ramp up” your correction. In this case, you can turn around 180 degrees and walk in the opposite direction for about ten to thirty feet. Make sure he is properly walking with you. When he is calm and focused on you, reverse your direction by 180 degrees and continue your walk in the original direction. Acknowledge his correct behavior with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”.

It is frequently difficult to determine “who is walking who”. Are you walking at the pace that Boone has set or is he walking at your pace? It must be your pace because you are the boss. Set the tempo by creating “a cadence in your head”. Think to yourself, “1… 2… 3… 4…; 1… 2… 3… 4…”, as you walk and mark your steps to your count. This will compel you to set a speed and maintain it. It will also allow you to determine if Boone is walking at your speed. If he is not, correct him using one of the methods previously discussed in this exercise.

Dogs sometimes like to grab the leash in their mouth as they walk. If Boone grabs the leash in his mouth as you are walking, make your correction sound and squirt him with your squirt bottle. It may take multiple squirts to have him drop the leash from his mouth. (Remember to repeat your correction sound every time you give him a squirt.) Praise him with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY” after he drops the leash. Continue your walk.

Do not allow Boone to tell you when he wants to stop. You need to let him know when he can stop and sniff around. Try and make your “stops” at places you know he likes.

5. BARKING – Barking is always annoying and can be caused by many things. This exercise is designed to redirect Boone’s attention away from the distraction causing the barking and to place the focus on you.

Have his leash on in the house when you know there might be things that normally cause him to bark. As soon as he starts to bark, step on the leash, and place the handle in your hand. Make your correction sound as you briskly walk him in a direction away from the distraction to a point where he is giving you focus and has lost interest in whatever was causing him to bark. Have him sit for you. As soon as he does, praise him with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”.

(If he is a little too pensive to sit or has not mastered the SIT command, have him calmly remain next to you while providing you with calm and respectful focus for one or two seconds. At that point, praise him with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”.)

Drop the leash and calmly walk back to whatever you were doing before Boone started to bark.

If Boone’s focus can be easily directed back to you, simply standing tall, giving your correction sound, and using your physical correction (squirt bottle or shake bottle) may suffice in getting him to stop barking. Once he has stopped barking, praise him with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”.

6. JUMPING – Dogs normally jump because they are showing assertion or are excited. An important facet of this exercise is your ability to remain calm. Your calm demeanor will demonstrate your strong leadership and neutralize Boone’s heightened adrenaline level.

Always have Boone’s leash on when you are concerned that he might be jumping. If you are sitting on a chair or sofa and he approaches to jump, stand up, give him your correction sound, and use your physical correction (squirt bottle or shake bottle). As soon as he stops and gives you focus, praise him with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”.

If you are standing and Boone begins to jump on you or your guest, use your squirt bottle with your correction sound to stop him. You can also step on the leash so he doesn’t have the ability to jump. As soon as he calms down, praise him with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”.

If things are a little “too crazy”, you may need to ramp it up. Momentarily remove Boone from the immediate area. Please refer to the USE OF THE LEASH discussion below.

7. MANNERS AT THE FRONT DOOR – This exercise is based on the rule that Boone can be anywhere in the house except near you when you are opening the front door. As a rule of thumb, I define “near you” as within six to eight feet of the front door. This is the “Boone can’t be here zone”. Everything else (away from the door and outside the six-to-eight-foot boundary of the door) is the “Boone can be here zone”.

You and Boone can be anywhere in the house at the start of this exercise. Try to do “regular things” while not directly engaging him or causing him to become adrenalized. Make sure you know the location of your squirt bottle (either out of sight by the front door or in your pocket.)

Have someone knock on the door. Calmly walk to the front door. If Boone runs ahead of you, don’t worry about that yet. When you are at the front door, turn around and visibly locate him.

If he is within the “Boone can’t be here zone” (close to you and the front door), stand tall and face him, make your correction sound, and (if needed) give him several squirts to have him back out of the “Boone can’t be here zone”, away from the door, and into the “Boone can be here zone”. It may take multiple squirts to have him back away. (Remember to repeat your correction sound every time you give him a squirt.)

If the use of the squirt bottle is not effective in directing Boone away from the door area, include the shake bottle in your correction process. Make your correction sound and use the squirt bottle as before, but now simultaneously introduce the shaking chain sound of the shake bottle into the correction process. As before, repeat these actions multiple times, if needed.

Once he is away from the front door, slowly reach for the door handle while always facing him. Gradually open the door for the outside visitor. If Boone makes any attempt to continue his approach, correct him as described above.

Continue facing him while opening the door to allow the outside visitor to enter. Close the door. Praise Boone’s action with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY” for obeying your rule of staying away from the front door when you are opening it. Repeat this exercise daily with family members, neighbors, and strangers (UPS, Domino’s, etc.)

NOTE: If you are having difficulty directing Boone away from the front door area and into the “Boone can be here zone”, use the leash to guide him away. Calmly step on the leash, place it in your hand, and give the leash several slight tugs to have him cross the boundary out of the “Boone can’t be here zone” and into the “Boone can be here zone”. Once that is done, drop the leash and slowly back up to the door. Continue to face him and brandish the squirt bottle in his direction. Correct with the squirt bottle, if needed, and continue the exercise by opening the door for the outside visitor.

8. MANAGE ATTENTION SEEKING BEHAVIOR – Always make sure that it is your idea. If Boone comes up to you and nudges your hand for a pet, ignore him until he turns away. If you want to pet him, call him over to you. This assures he is responding to you.

If Boone brings you a toy, ignore him until he turns away and you can then call him back. Remember, the leader always says, “I want you to…”. Make sure you are the leader.

9. USE OF THE LEASH – The leash is a passive training tool that is very effective in redirecting Boone’s focus to you. We suggest that you place the leash on him at different times during the day when you are home. Be sure that you have the leash on at times when you expect higher adrenaline levels from Boone.

As he begins to perform an action that you don’t want, step on the leash. If he is moving, let him go to the end of the leash, tug himself slightly, and then look back at you. Your still and calm demeanor will display leadership and Boone will understand that you took control, and you are the boss.

If you need to remove Boone from the area, calmly pick up the end of the leash, quietly make your correction sound, and walk him away. Once you observe that he is no longer adrenalized, stop, and have him sit. Praise him with a quiet but high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”. Drop the leash and calmly walk away.

NOTE (SLIGHT ALTERNATIVE): If Boone is a little to pensive to sit or has not mastered the SIT command, replace the SIT command by allowing him to calmly remain next to you while providing you with calm and respectful focus. After one or two seconds, praise him with a quiet but high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”. Drop the leash and calmly walk away.

IN CONCLUSION: Rules are critical. When you establish your rules, you must always correct Boone when he breaks a rule. Don’t get mad or go nuts when he misbehaves. As the teacher, you must portray a calm and non-adrenalized figure to gain Boone’s respect and attention.

Our fundamental form of communication is speaking. Conversely, Boone’s fundamental form of communication is body language. Begin your communication with Boone through proper body language. That is what he is expecting and will understand.

Practice every day. Both you and Boone benefit when you implement and actively engage in a daily training regimen with him. You become a better teacher the more you have the opportunity to direct and educate. Boone becomes a better student the more he has the opportunity to focus and learn.

Persistence, patience, and perseverance are necessary for your success. Concentrate on the positive results you are achieving and not the length of time they may take to complete.

Call us as soon as you have any questions. Finally, take a deep breath and just have fun.


Client: Emily Evett
Visit Date: 02/10/2024
Visit Number: 01
Trainer: Bruce
Paid Today: 0
Still Owe: 0
Comments:

Initial Issues:
Has 2 Goldens. Older one is fine. Younger one is goofy. Come. Sit. Listening. Walking.

Training Notes:
Penny is a sweet dog and I enjoyed working with her. She was a little jumpy at first, but quickly provided us with respectful focus and was ready to “learn her lessons”. She will turn out just great. And, although Finn was not the “problem child”, he responded quite well when he took part in the exercises.

Everything starts with rules. A “rule” identifies what you want her to do and what you don’t want her to do. “Come” is a rule that tells Penny to go to your side. “Don’t jump” is a rule that tells her to remain on the ground. You can easily determine your rules for Penny by asking yourself “Is she bugging me?”. If she is, Penny is breaking your rule.

Your rules must be simple and consistent. For example, if you don’t want her to jump, she can’t jump for any reason at any time. Everything must be on your terms. She cannot tell you what to do (i.e. please pet me) because she is not the boss.

We suggest that you consider having between five and ten rules. If you have too many rules, it will become difficult to effectively administer them.

Correct her as soon as she breaks one of your rules. This must be done in a manner that does not scare or frighten her and still gets her respectful focus directed towards you. Once you have guided her to the correct thing (no longer breaking your rules), acknowledge her appropriate action.

As with all dogs, Penny primarily communicates through body language. Stand tall and calm when correcting her. Remember, all Penny’s communication begins with body language.

To augment your body language communication, you may need to introduce a verbal interaction. Use a unique sound (if needed) to get her attention. I was using the “GRRRRRRRy” sound today. Any sound that gets her to calmly look at you is fine. The key is that the sound should be distinctive and only used when she has broken your rules and you need her focus.

There may be times where you need to “ramp it up” and include a passive/physical form of communication in addition to your body language and verbal interaction. If necessary, introduce a passive/physical action such as the squirt bottle or shake bottle to get her focus. Sometimes, a loud clap of your hands may be all you need.

As a final note on this subject, consider using the leash as a corrective and directive tool. This is a distractive method used to gain her focus and guide her towards the right actions. Have the leash on her at different times during the day. Always have it on her when you think she may be approaching times of heightened activity, excitement, and bad behavior.

Step on the leash if she starts to adrenalize and focus away from you. If needed, walk her to a calm area until she is deadrenalized and focused on you.

When performing the exercises, remember that repetition, consistency, observation, and simplicity are key. ACTION is essential to the process. If you catch yourself thinking “Oh, what a bad dog. I wish she would stop doing that!”, you have missed the point. If Penny does something wrong, you must actively correct now.

Penny is a dog and not a person. Do not assume that she is experiencing “human emotions”. Perform your actions because you want to keep her safe and secure.

When you give her a command, only say it once. As we discussed today, Penny is a dog and understands sounds and not words. “Come Come Come” is a different sound than “Come”. Make your sounds consistent so that Penny understands what you want her to do.

It is fine if you want to include hand gestures with any of the obedience commands. Simply include the hand gesture as you are verbalizing your obedience command to Penny.

Although Finn passively participated in our exercises today, I will focus my attention and review of the exercises by using Penny as our main student. Please understand that everything I review regarding Penny is equally relevant when it comes to Finn’s behavior.

Some general exercises we worked on today were:

1. USED TO WEARING THE LEASH – Most of the exercises we performed today required that Penny wear her leash. Since you said that she only wears the leash while on walks and hasn’t had a great deal of experience in wearing the leash, it is important that she becomes “comfortable in wearing the leash”.

I suggest that you have the leash on her on a regular basis for the next week or so. Click it on her and let her “just hang out with it or walk around with it”. It should get to the point where Penny feels, “Oh well, I have a leash attached to my collar and that is no big deal”.

This will also help break her association that “leash means walk”. Since the leash is a training tool, it should give off a “neutral trigger”. When wearing the leash, Penny should have no specific anticipation of what is about to happen.

Although you and Penny can practice all the following exercises requiring the leash immediately, understand that she may have some “leash means walkies” association for the next week or so.

2. COME: INSIDE WITH LEASH – You must initially perform this exercise in the house when it is quiet (no distractions). Put a six-foot leash on Penny. Slowly step away from her (facing her) until you have reached the end of the leash. Drop to your knees or crouch down low and say “COME” once. If she doesn’t start to move towards you, give the leash a slight tug. You may need to give several tugs.

If she is unresponsive to the tug, make your correction sound, wait for one or two seconds, say “COME” again, and give the leash another tug with slightly more force. Repeat this, if needed, until Penny is moving towards you.

Once she reaches you, praise her action with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”. Stand up and repeat this process for several minutes.

When she can always come to you from six feet, extend the length by using a longer leash or attaching several together. Practice from ten feet, fifteen feet, and twenty feet. When she can come to you from the longest distance, repeat the exercise at that length, but no longer hold the leash. Let it lie on the ground between you and Penny. The “handle end” of the leash should still be near you and easily accessible if Penny is not responding to your command.

Continue practicing confirming that she constantly comes to you without the need to grab and tug on the leash. Once this is achieved, unhook the leash and practice the COME exercise without the leash.

After she has successfully completed the COME exercise when she is inside, repeat the process outside. We will discuss that next.

ONE MORE THING: There are times where you may be “too far away”. For example, she may have been coming to you from ten feet yesterday, but won’t respond at all from that distance today. Instead of “reinforcing failure” at ten feet, shorten the distance between you and Penny until she starts to come to you. Continue your exercise at that length and expand the distance as she consistently obeys your command.

NOTE: Never give Penny the COME command without the leash being attached to her if you have any hesitation that she will not come to you. If you want to attempt to have her come to you without the leash, get down low, call her name, become visibly animated, and clap your hands or pat your knees. Just don’t say “COME”.

If she comes to you, that is great. If Penny does not come to you, that is no big deal. You offered her an invitation and you allowed her to respond “yes” or “no”.

If you had said “COME” to Penny; that is a command and she must comply. If she does not, the only tool you have to gain her compliance and maintain your leadership role is the leash.

3. COME: OUTSIDE WITH LEAD – Put a thirty-foot training lead on Penny. (I suggest thirty feet, but any long length is fine. We use a thirty-foot training lead from Leash Boss. Their web site is http://LeashBoss.com.) Slowly step away from her (facing her) until you have reached about five feet. Drop to your knees or crouch down low and say “COME” once. If she doesn’t start to move towards you, give the lead a slight tug. You may need to give several tugs.

If she is unresponsive to the tug, make your correction sound, wait for one or two seconds, say “COME” again, and give the lead another tug with slightly more force. Repeat this, if needed, until Penny is moving towards you.

When she reaches you, praise her action with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”. Stand up and repeat this process for several minutes. Slowly add distraction to the process to provide a more “real world” environment.

Once she can always come to you from the initial distance, extend the length by using more of the training lead. Practice from ten feet, fifteen feet, twenty feet, and thirty feet. When she can come to you from the longest distance, repeat the exercise at that length, but no longer hold the lead. Let it lie on the ground between you and Penny. The “handle end” of the lead should still be near you and easily accessible if Penny is not responding to your command.

Keep practicing until she repeatedly comes to you without the need to grab and tug on the lead. If you are in an enclosed area, you can attempt one more step. Unhook the lead and practice the COME exercise without the lead. If you are in an area that is not enclosed (surrounded with a fence, etc.), we do not recommend that you allow Penny to be off the lead.

A HELPFUL TIP: If Penny is far away from you and not focused on you when you are about to give the “COME” command, you may need to get her attention. Try calling her name or clapping your hands to get her to look at you. If she is “overly-distracted”, quietly verbalize your correction sound and (if needed) give the lead a slight tug to have her look back at you. Although not required, these actions often help with the successful execution of the command.

ONE MORE THING: There are times where you may be “too far away”. For example, she may have been coming to you from twenty feet yesterday, but won’t respond at all from that distance today. Instead of “reinforcing failure” at twenty feet, shorten the distance between you and Penny until she starts to come to you. Continue your exercise at that length and expand the distance as she consistently obeys your command.

A SLIGHT ALTERNATIVE: Our instructions above state that you are constantly holding the lead when you give the COME command. An alternative to this method is to allow the lead to stretch out behind Penny as she moves around the yard. You are not holding the lead, but allowing it to freely flow behind Penny. Always remain close to the lead. When you are ready to execute the COME command, step on the lead at the appropriate length, pick it up in your hands, and deliver the COME command. All the other instructions remain the same.

NOTE: Never give Penny the COME command without the lead being attached to her if you have any hesitation that she will not come to you. If you want to attempt to have her come to you without the lead, get down low, call her name, become visibly animated, and clap your hands or pat your knees. Just don’t say “COME”.

If she comes to you, that is great. If Penny does not come to you, that is no big deal. You offered her an invitation and you allowed her to respond “yes” or “no”.

If you had said “COME” to Penny; that is a command and she must comply. If she does not, the only tool you have to gain her compliance and maintain your leadership role is the lead.

4. SIT – Initially perform this exercise in a quiet location with minimal or no distractions. Put a six-foot leash on Penny. Stand directly in front of her and say “SIT” once. If she doesn’t sit, give her your correction sound and a slight tug on the leash. Say “SIT” again.

If she doesn’t sit immediately, move to her side and pull the leash up and behind her head. At the same time use your other hand to guide her rear end backwards until you see her hindquarters moving towards the ground. Continue to slightly pull the leash so that her head is moving backwards and her hindquarters are still descending. Once she is sitting, praise her action with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”.

Move Penny a few feet and repeat the exercise for several minutes. As you continue your sessions and she is constantly sitting on the first command, slowly add distractions.

5. STAY – You are currently working on STAY with Penny, and she seems to be responding properly. If you start to have an issue with this command, I wanted to provide you with some enhanced instructions that may assist you in getting her to keep in place.

This exercise has several levels. Work on each level until Penny can always perform the actions before you move on to the next. Don’t rush to the next level when she appears to be succeeding in the current level. Have one or two days of “constant success” before you move on.

Place Penny in a SIT before you start this command:

Level One: Stand directly in front of Penny, hold your hand up as if you were a traffic policeman, and say “STAY”. If she begins to move, give her your correction sound to have her stop. Wait until she is sitting quietly for about five to ten seconds. Praise her action with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY” for obeying your command. Continue to practice while extending the time you are standing in front of her and she is remaining in place. When you have accomplished this and Penny can remain in place for about fifteen to twenty seconds, you can move on to Level Two.

Level Two: Stand directly in front of Penny, hold your hand up as if you were a traffic policeman, and say “STAY”. Slowly back up (always holding the leash and facing her) until you have reached the end of the leash. Make sure you do not tug the leash. If she begins to move, give her your correction sound to have her stop. Wait until she is sitting quietly for about five seconds. Step back until you are next to her. Praise her action with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY” for obeying your command. Once you have accomplished this, you can move on to Level Three.

Level Three: Stand directly in front of Penny, hold your hand up as if you were a traffic policeman, and say “STAY”. Slowly back up (always holding the leash and facing her) until you have reached the end of the leash. Make sure you do not tug the leash. Walk in a partial semi-circle to your left until you are all the way to Penny’s side. Slowly move to the right, pass in front of her, and stop when you have reached her other side. Next, move back until you are in front of her again. If she begins to move, give her your correction sound to have her stop. Make sure you keep your “policeman’s hand” up the entire time. Finally, step back until you are next to her. Praise her action with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY” for obeying your command. Now that you have accomplished this, you can move on to Level Four.

Level Four: Stand directly in front of Penny, hold your hand up as if you were a traffic policeman, and say “STAY”. Slowly back up (always holding the leash and facing her) until you have reached the end of the leash. Make sure you do not tug the leash. Walk completely around her. If she begins to move, give her your correction sound to have her stop. Make sure you keep your “policeman’s hand” up the entire time. Now, step back until you are next to her. Praise her action with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY” for obeying your command. Practice this exercise for several days with continual success. Once you have accomplished this, you can move on to Level Five.

Level Five: At this point you can walk completely around Penny with your hand up and she is remaining in her STAY. It is time to add a “real world” situation to the exercise. You will not be holding the leash. Place Penny in a SIT and then a STAY. Walk around the room/area while facing her and keeping your hand up in your “traffic policeman’s pose”. Continue this while you slowly add actions such as picking up objects and opening and closing doors and drawers. Always remain in her sight.

If Penny moves from her spot, correct her, step back to a prior level, and continue from there. The more you can move around the room/area while she remains stationary in a STAY, the more you can add additional actions that you would normally perform when you want her in a STAY in a “real world situation”.

NOTE: Penny is remaining in her STAY because you have conditioned her to remain still while focusing on your outstretched hand. If you leave the room and/or leave her sight, your outstretched hand (the trigger to have her STAY) will be gone and she will probably get up and break her stay.

6. FOLLOW THRU DOOR – You always want to go through a doorway before Penny. The reason for this is twofold. First, you are the leader, and you want to show Penny that you are always leading. Second, you want to keep Penny safe. The only way you can do this is to “check out” whatever is on the other side of the door before you allow her to proceed.

Have Penny on a leash. Walk her up to the doorway and have her sit. Hold your hand out like a traffic policeman while you slowly step backwards through the doorway. Always face her.

When both of your feet are across the threshold, pat your leg to allow Penny to proceed. Once she has crossed the threshold, have her sit again. Praise her action with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY” for obeying your command.

NOTE: If Penny is a little too pensive to sit while she is on either side of the doorway, have her quietly stand and stay still. “Although it may not be pretty”, as long as she is remaining stable as you place your feet on the other side of the door, she has obeyed your rule.

7. WALKING OUTSIDE – Before you begin your walk, remember that you are Penny’s protector, boss, and best friend. It is your responsibility to always keep her safe. As you are on your walk, visually scan the immediate area to determine if there are any issues that might place Penny in danger or cause her to feel scared. If you find such a situation, create a plan ahead of time to mitigate or eliminate the danger before it takes place. This will prepare you to easily solve any problem you and Penny may encounter on your walk.

Just like any other time, when you are walking with Penny, she must be obeying your rules. I suggest that your “walking rules” for Penny are to be near you, do not pull on the leash, listen to your commands when given, and have a good time. These are only my suggestions. You must create your own rules so that you and Penny have an excellent walking experience.

(If you are inside and need to get outside to start your walk, be sure to perform the FOLLOW THROUGH DOOR exercise first. If you are going to finish the walk by bringing Penny back inside the house, repeat the FOLLOW THRU DOOR exercise to bring her back inside.)

Start your walk outside with Penny calmly next to you wearing her collar and Easy Walk Harness (size Medium). Have her leash attached to both the collar and harness. Give your WALK command, tug the leash slightly, and begin your walk.

As long as Penny is maintaining your rules as mentioned above, all is fine. If she starts to break your rules (pull, not listen, etc.), give the leash a slight tug back towards you as you are walking. Make your correction sound as you tug the leash. Have her look at you and give you focus. Acknowledge her correct behavior with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”.

If she is unresponsive to your slight tug while walking, stop walking, make your correction sound, and give the leash a slightly more forceful tug back towards you. Have her look at you and give you focus. Acknowledge her correct behavior with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”. Continue your walk.

If she really starts to pull or focus on something too much, you may need to “ramp up” your correction. In this case, you can turn around 180 degrees and walk in the opposite direction for about ten to thirty feet. Make sure she is properly walking with you. When she is calm and focused on you, reverse your direction by 180 degrees and continue your walk in the original direction. Acknowledge her correct behavior with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”.

It is frequently difficult to determine “who is walking who”. Are you walking at the pace that Penny has set or is she walking at your pace? It must be your pace because you are the boss. Set the tempo by creating “a cadence in your head”. Think to yourself, “1… 2… 3… 4…; 1… 2… 3… 4…”, as you walk and mark your steps to your count. This will compel you to set a speed and maintain it. It will also allow you to determine if Penny is walking at your speed. If she is not, correct her using one of the methods previously discussed in this exercise.

Dogs sometimes like to grab the leash in their mouth as they walk. If Penny grabs the leash in her mouth as you are walking, make your correction sound and squirt her with your squirt bottle. It may take multiple squirts to have her drop the leash from her mouth. (Remember to repeat your correction sound every time you give her a squirt.) Praise her with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY” after she drops the leash. Continue your walk.

Do not allow Penny to tell you when she wants to stop. You need to let her know when she can stop and sniff around. Try and make your “stops” at places you know she likes.

Another issue with WALKING takes place when an inappropriate distraction such as a dog, jogger, neighbor, bicyclist, car, etc. approaches. Penny will often start to adrenalize, lock focus on the approaching distraction, jump, bark, and pull. You need to redirect Penny’s focus back towards you. We suggest that you do the following:

a) Remove Penny from the immediate line of approach by directing her at a 90 degree angle up a driveway, onto a front lawn, etc.

b) Calmly give the leash several tugs as you walk her about ten to fifteen feet up the driveway, onto the front lawn, etc.

c) Have Penny focus on you as you remain calm. If she is still concentrating on the approaching distraction, move her farther up the driveway or onto the lawn. Display confidence the entire time while you are gently tugging the leash to maintain Penny’s attention on you. Quietly talk to her using a reassuring tone. If needed, step on the leash so that she does not have the ability to jump or move around.

d) If, after doing all this, she is still focusing on the approaching distraction, move Penny behind an object that will block her view of the approaching object. This could be a car in the driveway, a fence, or a bush. Continue to have Penny focus on you while you display a calm and “in charge” demeanor. If needed, step on the leash to keep her stable and focused on you.

e) Once the distraction has passed, reward Penny’s actions of focusing on you with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”. Continue your walk.

NOTE: Whenever we are directing you to give Penny a tug on the leash, it may require more than one tug. If you have given her a single tug without success, repeat by giving her several tugs in quick succession. Make your correction sound each time you give her a tug.

ONE MORE THING: Dogs often chew their harnesses when they are bored. Please remember to remove Penny’s harness when you are not walking with her.

8. BARKING – Barking is always annoying and can be caused by many things. This exercise is designed to redirect Penny’s attention away from the distraction causing the barking and to place the focus on you.

Have her leash on in the house when you know there might be things that normally cause her to bark. As soon as she starts to bark, step on the leash, and place the handle in your hand. Make your correction sound as you briskly walk her in a direction away from the distraction to a point where she is giving you focus and has lost interest in whatever was causing her to bark. Have her sit for you. As soon as she does, praise her with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”.

(If she is a little too pensive to sit, have her calmly remain next to you while providing you with calm and respectful focus for one or two seconds. At that point, praise her with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”.)

Drop the leash and calmly walk back to whatever you were doing before Penny started to bark.

If Penny’s focus can be easily directed back to you, simply standing tall, giving your correction sound, and using your physical correction (squirt bottle or shake bottle) may suffice in getting her to stop barking. Once she has stopped barking, praise her with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”.

9. JUMPING – Dogs normally jump because they are showing assertion or are excited. An important facet of this exercise is your ability to remain calm. Your calm demeanor will demonstrate your strong leadership and neutralize Penny’s heightened adrenaline level.

Always have Penny’s leash on when you are concerned that she might be jumping. If you are sitting on a chair or sofa and she approaches to jump, stand up, give her your correction sound, and use your physical correction (squirt bottle or shake bottle). As soon as she stops and gives you focus, praise her with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”.

If you are standing and Penny begins to jump on you or your guest, use your squirt bottle with your correction sound to stop her. You can also step on the leash so she doesn’t have the ability to jump. As soon as she calms down, praise her with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”.

If things are a little “too crazy”, you may need to ramp it up. Momentarily remove Penny from the immediate area. Please refer to the USE OF THE LEASH discussion below.

10. MANNERS AT THE FRONT DOOR – This exercise is based on the rule that Penny can be anywhere in the house except near you when you are opening the front door. As a rule of thumb, I define “near you” as within six to eight feet of the front door. This is the “Penny can’t be here zone”. Everything else (away from the door and outside the six-to-eight-foot boundary of the door) is the “Penny can be here zone”.

You and Penny can be anywhere in the house at the start of this exercise. Try to do “regular things” while not directly engaging her or causing her to become adrenalized. Make sure you know the location of your squirt bottle (either out of sight by the front door or in your pocket.)

Have someone knock on the door. Calmly walk to the front door. If Penny runs ahead of you, don’t worry about that yet. When you are at the front door, turn around and visibly locate her.

If she is within the “Penny can’t be here zone” (close to you and the front door), stand tall and face her, make your correction sound, and (if needed) give her several squirts to have her back out of the “Penny can’t be here zone”, away from the door, and into the “Penny can be here zone”. It may take multiple squirts to have her back away. (Remember to repeat your correction sound every time you give her a squirt.)

If the use of the squirt bottle is not effective in directing Penny away from the door area, include the shake bottle in your correction process. Make your correction sound and use the squirt bottle as before, but now simultaneously introduce the shaking chain sound of the shake bottle into the correction process. As before, repeat these actions multiple times, if needed.

Once she is away from the front door, slowly reach for the door handle while always facing her. Gradually open the door for the outside visitor. If Penny makes any attempt to continue her approach, correct her as described above.

Continue facing her while opening the door to allow the outside visitor to enter. Close the door. Praise Penny’s action with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY” for obeying your rule of staying away from the front door when you are opening it. Repeat this exercise daily with family members, neighbors, and strangers (UPS, Domino’s, etc.)

NOTE: If you are having difficulty directing Penny away from the front door area and into the “Penny can be here zone”, use the leash to guide her away. Calmly step on the leash, place it in your hand, and give the leash several slight tugs to have her cross the boundary out of the “Penny can’t be here zone” and into the “Penny can be here zone”. Once that is done, drop the leash and slowly back up to the door. Continue to face her and brandish the squirt bottle in her direction. Correct with the squirt bottle, if needed, and continue the exercise by opening the door for the outside visitor.

11. GOING OUT AND IN THE DOOR – You want to be able to come in and out the door without Penny rushing you, jumping on you, running out the door, or causing other mischief. Let’s first look at leaving and then coming back inside.

Your rule for Penny when you leave through the door is for her to stay out of the “Penny can’t be here zone”. This is a zone approximately six to eight feet extending from the door into the house. Calmly walk up to the door as you are preparing to leave. Turn around to determine if Penny is within the “Penny can’t be here zone”. If she is, face her, stand tall, make your correction sound, and give her one or more squirts of water until she backs up and out of the immediate area. (Remember to repeat your correction sound every time you give her a squirt.)

If the use of the squirt bottle is not effective in directing Penny away from the door area, include the shake bottle in your correction process. Make your correction sound and use the squirt bottle as before, but now simultaneously introduce the shaking chain sound of the shake bottle into the correction process. As before, repeat these actions multiple times, if needed.

When she is out of the immediate area, slowly open the door while still facing her. If she starts to approach again and enter the “Penny can’t be here zone”, correct her as described above until she has retreated. Continue through the door and close the door. Give her a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY” just before the door finally closes shut. You can now leave and do whatever you need to do away from the house.

When you return home, make sure you have your squirt bottle with you as you reach the door. Your rule is you want Penny to be away from the door when you enter and not to bug you until you are ready to greet her.

Loudly make your correction sound while you are outside the door. Next, slowly crack the door open just wide enough for you to extend the squirt bottle into the door opening.

If Penny is within the “Penny can’t be here zone”, correct her as described above. Continue your correction until she has retreated outside the “Penny can’t be here zone”. Now, slowly open the door, correcting if necessary until you can step through the opening and close the door.

There is one more thing to do before the COMING BACK INSIDE exercise is finished. You must decide when you want to greet Penny. In order to do this, perform any overt, physical action that you clearly initiate. Put your keys or phone on the table, open the refrigerator for a bottle of water, turn on the TV, etc.

Ignore her until you complete this task. If she tries to get your attention while you are performing “your task”, correct her. Once you are done with your task, let her know she was a good girl by providing her with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”. Now, you can greet her.

12. MANAGE ATTENTION SEEKING BEHAVIOR – Always make sure that it is your idea. If Penny comes up to you and nudges your hand for a pet, ignore her until she turns away. If you want to pet her, call her over to you. This assures she is responding to you.

If Penny brings you a toy, ignore her until she turns away and you can then call her back. Remember, the leader always says, “I want you to…”. Make sure you are the leader.

13. USE OF THE LEASH – The leash is a passive training tool that is very effective in redirecting Penny’s focus to you. We suggest that you place the leash on her at different times during the day when you are home. Be sure that you have the leash on at times when you expect higher adrenaline levels from Penny.

As she begins to perform an action that you don’t want, step on the leash. If she is moving, let her go to the end of the leash, tug herself slightly, and then look back at you. Your still and calm demeanor will display leadership and Penny will understand that you took control, and you are the boss.

If you need to remove Penny from the area, calmly pick up the end of the leash, quietly make your correction sound, and walk her away. Once you observe that she is no longer adrenalized, stop, and have her sit. Praise her with a quiet but high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”. Drop the leash and calmly walk away.

NOTE (SLIGHT ALTERNATIVE): If Penny is a little too pensive to sit, replace the SIT command by allowing her to calmly remain next to you while providing you with calm and respectful focus. After one or two seconds, praise her with a quiet but high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”. Drop the leash and calmly walk away.

IN CONCLUSION: Rules are critical. When you establish your rules, you must always correct Penny when she breaks a rule. Don’t get mad or go nuts when she misbehaves. As the teacher, you must portray a calm and non-adrenalized figure to gain Penny’s respect and attention.

Our fundamental form of communication is speaking. Conversely, Penny’s fundamental form of communication is body language. Begin your communication with Penny through proper body language. That is what she is expecting and will understand.

Practice every day. Both you and Penny benefit when you implement and actively engage in a daily training regimen with her. You become a better teacher the more you have the opportunity to direct and educate. Penny becomes a better student the more she has the opportunity to focus and learn.

Persistence, patience, and perseverance are necessary for your success. Concentrate on the positive results you are achieving and not the length of time they may take to complete.

Call us as soon as you have any questions. Finally, take a deep breath and just have fun.


Client: Erica Jimenez
Visit Date: 02/17/2024
Visit Number: 01
Trainer: Bruce
Paid Today: 0
Still Owe: 0
Comments:

Initial Issues:
Fostering Beck. Likes to play rough with older dogs. Problem listening.

Training Notes:
Beck is a sweet dog and I enjoyed working with him. He quickly responded to our directions and showed us that he could be a well-behaved and obedient little boy. Having him completely deescalate his excitement will take a little time because of all the other “adrenalized distractions” in the house. The great news today is that he demonstrated he is ready to provide you with respectful focus. That is the key to your and his ultimate success.

Everything starts with rules. A “rule” identifies what you want him to do and what you don’t want him to do. “Come” is a rule that tells Beck to go to your side. “Don’t jump” is a rule that tells him to remain on the ground. You can easily determine your rules for Beck by asking yourself “Is he bugging me?”. If he is, Beck is breaking your rule.

Your rules must be simple and consistent. For example, if you don’t want him to jump, he can’t jump for any reason at any time. Everything must be on your terms. He cannot tell you what to do (i.e. please pet me) because he is not the boss.

We suggest that you consider having between five and ten rules. If you have too many rules, it will become difficult to effectively administer them.

Correct him as soon as he breaks one of your rules. This must be done in a manner that does not scare or frighten him and still gets his respectful focus directed towards you. Once you have guided him to the correct thing (no longer breaking your rules), acknowledge his appropriate action.

As with all dogs, Beck primarily communicates through body language. Stand tall and calm when correcting him. Remember, all Beck’s communication begins with body language.

To augment your body language communication, you may need to introduce a verbal interaction. Use a unique sound (if needed) to get his attention. I was using the “GRRRRRRRy” sound today. Any sound that gets him to calmly look at you is fine. The key is that the sound should be distinctive and only used when he has broken your rules and you need his focus.

There may be times where you need to “ramp it up” and include a passive/physical form of communication in addition to your body language and verbal interaction. If necessary, introduce a passive/physical action such as the squirt bottle or shake bottle to get his focus. Sometimes, a loud clap of your hands may be all you need.

As a final note on this subject, consider using the leash as a corrective and directive tool. This is a distractive method used to gain his focus and guide him towards the right actions. Have the leash on him at different times during the day. Always have it on him when you think he may be approaching times of heightened activity, excitement, and bad behavior.

Step on the leash if he starts to adrenalize and focus away from you. If needed, walk him to a calm area until he is deadrenalized and focused on you.

When performing the exercises, remember that repetition, consistency, observation, and simplicity are key. ACTION is essential to the process. If you catch yourself thinking “Oh, what a bad dog. I wish he would stop doing that!”, you have missed the point. If Beck does something wrong, you must actively correct now.

Beck is a dog and not a person. Do not assume that he is experiencing “human emotions”. Perform your actions because you want to keep him safe and secure.

When you give him a command, only say it once. As we discussed today, Beck is a dog and understands sounds and not words. “Come Come Come” is a different sound than “Come”. Make your sounds consistent so that Beck understands what you want him to do.

It is fine if you want to include hand gestures with any of the obedience commands. Simply include the hand gesture as you are verbalizing your obedience command to Beck.

Although we don’t normally use treats in our exercises, they are sometimes helpful in the initial stages of obedience lessons (i.e. Come, Sit, Stay). Use them sparingly and try to ween Beck off of them as quickly as possible. Only give it to him after he has successfully completed the command and you have provided him with your verbal confirmation.

Some general exercises we worked on today were:

1. USE OF THE LEASH – The leash is a passive training tool that is very effective in redirecting Beck’s focus to you. We suggest that you place the leash on him at different times during the day when you are home. Be sure that you have the leash on at times when you expect higher adrenaline levels from Beck.

As he begins to perform an action that you don’t want, step on the leash. If he is moving, let him go to the end of the leash, tug himself slightly, and then look back at you. Your still and calm demeanor will display leadership and Beck will understand that you took control, and you are the boss.

If you need to remove Beck from the area, calmly pick up the end of the leash, quietly make your correction sound, and walk him away. Once you observe that he is no longer adrenalized, stop, and have him sit. Praise him with a quiet but high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”. Drop the leash and calmly walk away.

NOTE (SLIGHT ALTERNATIVE): If Beck is a little too pensive to sit, replace the SIT command by allowing him to calmly remain next to you while providing you with calm and respectful focus. After one or two seconds, praise him with a quiet but high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”. Drop the leash and calmly walk away.

2. IN BACK YARD – You want to make sure that Beck behaves himself with the other dogs in the back yard. The biggest problem takes place when Beck starts to get a little too energetic with one of the other dogs and it gets to a point where the barking, jumping, and nipping becomes unacceptable. You need to be able to stop this in a calm manner while maintaining your leadership.

When Beck was outside today, we had him on a six-foot leash. He could walk around as you followed (holding the leash) and was normally fine. From time to time, either he or the other dog “would start something” and their behavior began to inappropriately escalate. As soon as you see this or know that it is about to happen, make your correction sound and give the leash a forceful tug back towards you. You may have to give the leash several tugs. Make your correction sound every time you tug the leash.

Beck should turn around and give you focus. If this occurs and he remains calm and focused on you, praise his action with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”. If he is still acting up and not providing you with respectful focus, calmly walk him away to a place where he is calm and focused on you. Once he is calm, praise his action with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”.

Continue to calmly walk around with him and eventually return to the other dog. Meander around the back yard, observing Beck’s behavior.

Once Beck can remain calm while you are using the six-foot leash with the other dog in the back yard, attach two leashes together. This means that you are now farther from Beck while he is wandering around the yard, but still completely in charge because you are holding on to the leash.

Once Beck constantly shows that “he is a good little boy” while you are walking around with the two attached leashes, drop the leash and allow it to flow freely behind him. Stay relatively close to the end of the leash in the event that he starts to act inappropriately. If he begins to act up, pick up the leash and correct as described above.

The goal of this exercise is to have Beck understand that he needs to behave with other dogs while outside. Once he completely understands this rule, you can allow him to become more animated and adrenalized in his play with other dogs.

3. MANAGE ATTENTION SEEKING BEHAVIOR – Always make sure that it is your idea. If Beck comes up to you and nudges your hand for a pet, ignore him until he turns away. If you want to pet him, call him over to you. This assures he is responding to you.

If Beck brings you a toy, ignore him until he turns away and you can then call him back. Remember, the leader always says, “I want you to…”. Make sure you are the leader.

4. COME – Put a long training lead or attach several six-foot leads together and attach it to Beck. Slowly step away from him (facing him) until you have reached about five feet. Drop to your knees or crouch down low and say “COME” once. If he doesn’t start to move towards you, give the lead a slight tug. You may need to give several tugs.

If he is unresponsive to the tug, make your correction sound, wait for one or two seconds, say “COME” again, and give the lead another tug with slightly more force. Repeat this, if needed, until Beck is moving towards you.

When he reaches you, praise his action with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”. Stand up and repeat this process for several minutes. Slowly add distraction to the process to provide a more “real world” environment.

Once he can always come to you from the initial distance, extend the length by using more of the training lead. Practice from ten feet, fifteen feet, twenty feet, and thirty feet. When he can come to you from the longest distance, repeat the exercise at that length, but no longer hold the lead. Let it lie on the ground between you and Beck. The “handle end” of the lead should still be near you and easily accessible if Beck is not responding to your command.

Keep practicing until he repeatedly comes to you without the need to grab and tug on the lead. If you are in an enclosed area (i.e. your backyard), you can attempt one more step. Unhook the lead and practice the COME exercise without the lead. If you are in an area that is not enclosed (surrounded with a fence, etc.), we do not recommend that you allow Beck to be off the lead.

A HELPFUL TIP: If Beck is far away from you and not focused on you when you are about to give the “COME” command, you may need to get his attention. Try calling his name or clapping your hands to get him to look at you. If he is “overly-distracted”, give the lead a slight tug to have him look back at you. Although not required, these actions often help with the successful execution of the command.

ONE MORE THING: There are times where you may be “too far away”. For example, he may have been coming to you from twenty feet yesterday, but won’t respond at all from that distance today. Instead of “reinforcing failure” at twenty feet, shorten the distance between you and Beck until he starts to come to you. Continue your exercise at that length and expand the distance as he consistently obeys your command.

A SLIGHT ALTERNATIVE: Our instructions above state that you are constantly holding the lead when you give the COME command. An alternative to this method is to allow the lead to stretch out behind Beck as he moves around the yard. You are not holding the lead, but allowing it to freely flow behind Beck. Always remain close to the lead. When you are ready to execute the COME command, step on the lead at the appropriate length, pick it up in your hands, and deliver the COME command. All the other instructions remain the same.

NOTE: Never give Beck the COME command without the lead being attached to him if you have any hesitation that he will not come to you. If you want to attempt to have him come to you without the lead, get down low, call his name, become visibly animated, and clap your hands or pat your knees. Just don’t say “COME”.

If he comes to you, that is great. If Beck does not come to you, that is no big deal. You offered him an invitation and you allowed him to respond “yes” or “no”.

If you had said “COME” to Beck; that is a command and he must comply. If he does not, the only tool you have to gain his compliance and maintain your leadership role is the lead.

NOTE (SLIGHT ALTERNATIVE): If Beck is a little too pensive to sit, replace the SIT command by allowing him to calmly remain next to you while providing you with calm and respectful focus. After one or two seconds, praise him with a quiet but high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”. Drop the leash and calmly walk away.

5. SIT – Initially perform this exercise in a quiet location with minimal or no distractions. Put a six-foot leash on Beck. Stand directly in front of him and say “SIT” once. If he doesn’t sit, give him your correction sound and a slight tug on the leash. Say “SIT” again.

If he doesn’t sit immediately, move to his side and pull the leash up and behind his head. At the same time use your other hand to guide his rear end backwards until you see his hindquarters moving towards the ground. Continue to slightly pull the leash so that his head is moving backwards and his hindquarters are still descending. Once he is sitting, praise his action with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”.

Move Beck a few feet and repeat the exercise for several minutes. As you continue your sessions and he is constantly sitting on the first command, slowly add distractions.

6. STAY – Beck must be able to sit with a single command and no assistance before you can work on this exercise. We worked a little bit on this exercise today. Beck barely got through Level One. This means that he still needs some work on the SIT command before you take this exercise up in earnest.

This exercise has several levels. Work on each level until Beck can always perform the actions before you move on to the next. Don’t rush to the next level when he appears to be succeeding in the current level. Have one or two days of “constant success” before you move on.

Place Beck in a SIT before you start this command:

Level One: Stand directly in front of Beck, hold your hand up as if you were a traffic policeman, and say “STAY”. If he begins to move, give him your correction sound to have him stop. Wait until he is sitting quietly for about five to ten seconds. Praise his action with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY” for obeying your command. Continue to practice while extending the time you are standing in front of him and he is remaining in place. When you have accomplished this and Beck can remain in place for about fifteen to twenty seconds, you can move on to Level Two.

Level Two: Stand directly in front of Beck, hold your hand up as if you were a traffic policeman, and say “STAY”. Slowly back up (always holding the leash and facing him) until you have reached the end of the leash. Make sure you do not tug the leash. If he begins to move, give him your correction sound to have him stop. Wait until he is sitting quietly for about five seconds. Step back until you are next to him. Praise his action with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY” for obeying your command. Once you have accomplished this, you can move on to Level Three.

Level Three: Stand directly in front of Beck, hold your hand up as if you were a traffic policeman, and say “STAY”. Slowly back up (always holding the leash and facing him) until you have reached the end of the leash. Make sure you do not tug the leash. Walk in a partial semi-circle to your left until you are all the way to Beck’s side. Slowly move to the right, pass in front of him, and stop when you have reached his other side. Next, move back until you are in front of him again. If he begins to move, give him your correction sound to have him stop. Make sure you keep your “policeman’s hand” up the entire time. Finally, step back until you are next to him. Praise his action with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY” for obeying your command. Now that you have accomplished this, you can move on to Level Four.

Level Four: Stand directly in front of Beck, hold your hand up as if you were a traffic policeman, and say “STAY”. Slowly back up (always holding the leash and facing him) until you have reached the end of the leash. Make sure you do not tug the leash. Walk completely around him. If he begins to move, give him your correction sound to have him stop. Make sure you keep your “policeman’s hand” up the entire time. Now, step back until you are next to him. Praise his action with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY” for obeying your command. Practice this exercise for several days with continual success. Once you have accomplished this, you can move on to Level Five.

Level Five: At this point you can walk completely around Beck with your hand up and he is remaining in his STAY. It is time to add a “real world” situation to the exercise. You will not be holding the leash. Place Beck in a SIT and then a STAY. Walk around the room/area while facing him and keeping your hand up in your “traffic policeman’s pose”. Continue this while you slowly add actions such as picking up objects and opening and closing doors and drawers. Always remain in his sight.

If Beck moves from his spot, correct him, step back to a prior level, and continue from there. The more you can move around the room/area while he remains stationary in a STAY, the more you can add additional actions that you would normally perform when you want him in a STAY in a “real world situation”.

NOTE: Beck is remaining in his STAY because you have conditioned him to remain still while focusing on your outstretched hand. If you leave the room and/or leave his sight, your outstretched hand (the trigger to have him STAY) will be gone and he will probably get up and break his stay.

7. FOLLOW THRU DOOR – You always want to go through a doorway before Beck. The reason for this is twofold. First, you are the leader, and you want to show Beck that you are always leading. Second, you want to keep Beck safe. The only way you can do this is to “check out” whatever is on the other side of the door before you allow him to proceed.

Have Beck on a leash. Walk him up to the doorway and have him sit. Hold your hand out like a traffic policeman while you slowly step backwards through the doorway. Always face him.

When both of your feet are across the threshold, pat your leg to allow Beck to proceed. Once he has crossed the threshold, have him sit again. Praise his action with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY” for obeying your command.

NOTE: If Beck is a little too pensive to sit while he is on either side of the doorway, have him quietly stand and stay still. “Although it may not be pretty”, as long as he is remaining stable as you place your feet on the other side of the door, he has obeyed your rule.

8. WALKING OUTSIDE – Before you begin your walk, remember that you are Beck’s protector, boss, and best friend. It is your responsibility to always keep him safe. As you are on your walk, visually scan the immediate area to determine if there are any issues that might place Beck in danger or cause him to feel scared. If you find such a situation, create a plan ahead of time to mitigate or eliminate the danger before it takes place. This will prepare you to easily solve any problem you and Beck may encounter on your walk.

Just like any other time, when you are walking with Beck, he must be obeying your rules. I suggest that your “walking rules” for Beck are to be near you, do not pull on the leash, listen to your commands when given, and have a good time. These are only my suggestions. You must create your own rules so that you and Beck have an excellent walking experience.

(If you are inside and need to get outside to start your walk, be sure to perform the FOLLOW THROUGH DOOR exercise first. If you are going to finish the walk by bringing Beck back inside the house, repeat the FOLLOW THRU DOOR exercise to bring him back inside.)

Start your walk outside with Beck calmly next to you wearing his collar and Easy Walk Harness (size Medium/Large). Have his leash attached to both the collar and harness. Give your WALK command, tug the leash slightly, and begin your walk.

As long as Beck is maintaining your rules as mentioned above, all is fine. If he starts to break your rules (pull, not listen, etc.), give the leash a slight tug back towards you as you are walking. Make your correction sound as you tug the leash. Have him look at you and give you focus. Acknowledge his correct behavior with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”.

If he is unresponsive to your slight tug while walking, stop walking, make your correction sound, and give the leash a slightly more forceful tug back towards you. Have him look at you and give you focus. Acknowledge his correct behavior with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”. Continue your walk.

If he really starts to pull or focus on something too much, you may need to “ramp up” your correction. In this case, you can turn around 180 degrees and walk in the opposite direction for about ten to thirty feet. Make sure he is properly walking with you. When he is calm and focused on you, reverse your direction by 180 degrees and continue your walk in the original direction. Acknowledge his correct behavior with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”.

It is frequently difficult to determine “who is walking who”. Are you walking at the pace that Beck has set or is he walking at your pace? It must be your pace because you are the boss. Set the tempo by creating “a cadence in your head”. Think to yourself, “1… 2… 3… 4…; 1… 2… 3… 4…”, as you walk and mark your steps to your count. This will compel you to set a speed and maintain it. It will also allow you to determine if Beck is walking at your speed. If he is not, correct him using one of the methods previously discussed in this exercise.

Do not allow Beck to tell you when he wants to stop. You need to let him know when he can stop and sniff around. Try and make your “stops” at places you know he likes.

Another issue with WALKING takes place when an inappropriate distraction such as a dog, jogger, neighbor, bicyclist, car, etc. approaches. Beck will often start to adrenalize, lock focus on the approaching distraction, jump, bark, and pull. You need to redirect Beck’s focus back towards you. We suggest that you do the following:

a) Remove Beck from the immediate line of approach by directing him at a 90 degree angle up a driveway, onto a front lawn, etc.

b) Calmly give the leash several tugs as you walk him about ten to fifteen feet up the driveway, onto the front lawn, etc.

c) Have Beck focus on you as you remain calm. If he is still concentrating on the approaching distraction, move him farther up the driveway or onto the lawn. Display confidence the entire time while you are gently tugging the leash to maintain Beck’s attention on you. Quietly talk to him using a reassuring tone. If needed, step on the leash so that he does not have the ability to jump or move around.

d) If, after doing all this, he is still focusing on the approaching distraction, move Beck behind an object that will block his view of the approaching object. This could be a car in the driveway, a fence, or a bush. Continue to have Beck focus on you while you display a calm and “in charge” demeanor. If needed, step on the leash to keep him stable and focused on you.

e) Once the distraction has passed, reward Beck’s actions of focusing on you with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”. Continue your walk.

NOTE: Whenever we are directing you to give Beck a tug on the leash, it may require more than one tug. If you have given him a single tug without success, repeat by giving him several tugs in quick succession. Make your correction sound each time you give him a tug.

ONE MORE THING: Dogs often chew their harnesses when they are bored. Please remember to remove Beck’s harness when you are not walking with him

9. BARKING – Barking is always annoying and can be caused by many things. This exercise is designed to redirect Beck’s attention away from the distraction causing the barking and to place the focus on you.

Have his leash on in the house when you know there might be things that normally cause him to bark. As soon as he starts to bark, step on the leash, and place the handle in your hand. Make your correction sound as you briskly walk him in a direction away from the distraction to a point where he is giving you focus and has lost interest in whatever was causing him to bark. Have him sit for you. As soon as he does, praise him with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”.

(If he is a little too pensive to sit, have him calmly remain next to you while providing you with calm and respectful focus for one or two seconds. At that point, praise him with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”.)

Drop the leash and calmly walk back to whatever you were doing before Beck started to bark.

If Beck’s focus can be easily directed back to you, simply standing tall, giving your correction sound, and using your physical correction (squirt bottle or shake bottle) may suffice in getting him to stop barking. Once he has stopped barking, praise him with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”.

10. JUMPING – Dogs normally jump because they are showing assertion or are excited. An important facet of this exercise is your ability to remain calm. Your calm demeanor will demonstrate your strong leadership and neutralize Beck’s heightened adrenaline level.

Always have Beck’s leash on when you are concerned that he might be jumping. If you are sitting on a chair or sofa and he approaches to jump, stand up, give him your correction sound, and use your physical correction (squirt bottle or shake bottle). As soon as he stops and gives you focus, praise him with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”.

If you are standing and Beck begins to jump on you or your guest, use your squirt bottle with your correction sound to stop him. You can also step on the leash so he doesn’t have the ability to jump. As soon as he calms down, praise him with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”.

If things are a little “too crazy”, you may need to ramp it up. Momentarily remove Beck from the immediate area. Please refer to the USE OF THE LEASH discussion above.

IN CONCLUSION: Rules are critical. When you establish your rules, you must always correct Beck when he breaks a rule. Don’t get mad or go nuts when he misbehaves. As the teacher, you must portray a calm and non-adrenalized figure to gain Beck’s respect and attention.

Our fundamental form of communication is speaking. Conversely, Beck’s fundamental form of communication is body language. Begin your communication with Beck through proper body language. That is what he is expecting and will understand.

Practice every day. Both you and Beck benefit when you implement and actively engage in a daily training regimen with him. You become a better teacher the more you have the opportunity to direct and educate. Beck becomes a better student the more he has the opportunity to focus and learn.

Persistence, patience, and perseverance are necessary for your success. Concentrate on the positive results you are achieving and not the length of time they may take to complete.

Call us as soon as you have any questions. Finally, take a deep breath and just have fun.


Client: Estefany Penate
Visit Date: 02/23/2024
Visit Number: 01
Trainer: Bruce
Paid Today: 0
Still Owe: 0
Comments:

Initial Issues:
Potty Training. Needs to be calmer. Don’t run out the door. Is bad in the house. Goes out and cries. New place.

Training Notes:
Buzz is a sweet dog and I enjoyed working with him. Although he shows a high level of excitement and some uncertainty in his new surroundings, he also demonstrated that he was able to focus and obey our directions. Although it will take him a little bit of time to get accustomed to his new home, he shows the absolute potential of being an excellent member of your family.

Everything starts with rules. A “rule” identifies what you want him to do and what you don’t want him to do. “Come” is a rule that tells Buzz to go to your side. “Don’t jump” is a rule that tells him to remain on the ground. You can easily determine your rules for Buzz by asking yourself “Is he bugging me?”. If he is, Buzz is breaking your rule.

Your rules must be simple and consistent. For example, if you don’t want him to jump, he can’t jump for any reason at any time. Everything must be on your terms. He cannot tell you what to do (i.e. please pet me) because he is not the boss.

We suggest that you consider having between five and ten rules. If you have too many rules, it will become difficult to effectively administer them.

Correct him as soon as he breaks one of your rules. This must be done in a manner that does not scare or frighten him and still gets his respectful focus directed towards you. Once you have guided him to the correct thing (no longer breaking your rules), acknowledge his appropriate action.

As with all dogs, Buzz primarily communicates through body language. Stand tall and calm when correcting him. Remember, all Buzz’s communication begins with body language.

To augment your body language communication, you may need to introduce a verbal interaction. Use a unique sound (if needed) to get his attention. I was using the “GRRRRRRRy” sound today. Any sound that gets him to calmly look at you is fine. The key is that the sound should be distinctive and only used when he has broken your rules and you need his focus.

There may be times where you need to “ramp it up” and include a passive/physical form of communication in addition to your body language and verbal interaction. If necessary, introduce a passive/physical action such as the squirt bottle or shake bottle to get his focus. Sometimes, a loud clap of your hands may be all you need.

As a final note on this subject, consider using the leash as a corrective and directive tool. This is a distractive method used to gain his focus and guide him towards the right actions. Have the leash on him at different times during the day. Always have it on him when you think he may be approaching times of heightened activity, excitement, and bad behavior.

Step on the leash if he starts to adrenalize and focus away from you. If needed, walk him to a calm area until he is deadrenalized and focused on you.

When performing the exercises, remember that repetition, consistency, observation, and simplicity are key. ACTION is essential to the process. If you catch yourself thinking “Oh, what a bad dog. I wish he would stop doing that!”, you have missed the point. If Buzz does something wrong, you must actively correct now.

Buzz is a dog and not a person. Do not assume that he is experiencing “human emotions”. Perform your actions because you want to keep him safe and secure.

When you give him a command, only say it once. As we discussed today, Buzz is a dog and understands sounds and not words. “Come Come Come” is a different sound than “Come”. Make your sounds consistent so that Buzz understands what you want him to do.

Although we don’t normally use treats in our exercises, they are sometimes helpful in the initial stages of obedience lessons (i.e. Come, Sit, Stay). Use them sparingly and try to ween Buzz off of them as quickly as possible. Show him the treat as you begin the command and only give it to him after he has successfully completed the command and you have provided him with your verbal confirmation.

Some general exercises we worked on today were:

1. POTTY OUTSIDE – We went over a great deal of information on this. You can review what we discussed today and find additional material by returning to the “Training Support Center Menu” and clicking on the “Potty & Wee-Wee Pad Training” button. From there, click on the “Potty Training” button. You will now be at our Potty Training Module that goes into great detail regarding “the art of getting your doggie to potty outside”.

Some of the major points to remember with Potty Training are:

a) Food Management: We often overfeed our dogs because we are Americans and love our Big Macs. Measure his daily food allowance at the start of the day and only give him that amount for the entire day. (As always, if there is a situation where your veterinarian suggests differently, do that.)

Based on his potty schedule and “accidents”, you can adjust his feeding times. If he is making accidents in the middle of the night or first thing in the morning as he wakes up, give Buzz his dinner earlier and cut off his water earlier. You can also adjust the amount of food given in each meal. For example, if Buzz is making more poopie accidents at night, you can decrease his feeding amount in the evening and increase his feeding amount in the morning.

Put his food and water down and pick it up after 20 to 30 minutes. Remember that it is a meal and not a buffet. Although we are picking up his food between meals, we recommend giving him a little bit of water between meals. We will review that next.

b) Water: We want to give Buzz enough water to hydrate for his general health, but not so much water that he is bloated, and the water just passes through him (like flood waters overflowing the top of a dam.)

After each meal, leave the water bowl down with a little bit of water. Check the bowl every 1 or 2 hours. If the bowl is empty, pour a little bit of water into the bowl. If he starts to make wee-wee accidents in the house, you may be giving him too much water between meals. If this is happening and the water bowl is empty, wait for 30 to 60 minutes before you add water to the bowl (just a little bit of water) again. If his wee-wee accidents are in the evening or first thing in the morning, start picking up his water bowl earlier in the evening, not putting it down again after his dinner, and/or decreasing the amount of water you are providing him at dinner. Continue until the wee-wee accidents decrease and are eliminated.

c) Watch: You NEED TO WATCH BUZZ. This doesn’t mean “I think he just went over there”. It is constant “eyes on Buzz”. When you are always watching him, you will know that he made a mistake and observe any unusual characteristics he may have shown just before the potty accident. If he does have an accident in the house and you have observed it, remember to immediately correct him with your correction sound and then take him outside for several minutes so that he will begin to understand “where he needs to go to the bathroom”.

d) Schedule: You told me that you take Buzz out in the morning and then in the evening. If this is “working for you”, keep to that schedule. If you see that he is starting to make accidents in the house, you can modify his feeding regimen or add additional “take-out” times based on when he is making the accidents.

d) Outside Potty Break: When you take Buzz out to potty, your one and only goal is to have him potty. You want to do this as efficiently as possible. We discussed the following steps to perform when you are taking Buzz out to potty:

(1) Take Buzz outside with a long training lead. I suggest that it is twenty to thirty feet long. You can attach several leashes together if you don’t have a long training lead.

(2) When outside, get Buzz excited by throwing a ball or perform any other activity that “gets his adrenaline flowing”. Continue to keep him excited and animated for a few minutes.

(3) After several minutes, stop encouraging him to be animated. Stay calm to allow him to “ramp himself down”.

(4) Remain away from him so that you can “give him some room to wee-wee and potty”.

(5) He will normally wee-wee first.

(6) He will now begin to pensively walk around the yard while smelling the grass. There will come a time where he starts to circle and then poop.

(7) Do not bring Buzz in immediately after he finishes going to the bathroom. Allow him to remain outside for a few more minutes (no more than five minutes). Observe him to see if “he is only playing” or if he is looking for another place to potty. (Sometimes dogs will poop more than once while outside.)

(8) If Buzz potties again, wait again for about five minutes to make sure he doesn’t need to go again. Once that occurs, calmly bring him back inside.

(9) Once you bring him inside after his successful potty break, let him know that he has done the right thing by giving him a high pitched “GOOD BOY”. Although not required, you can give him a small treat at this time.

2. THE CRATE (GETTING USED TO BEING IN IT) – Use the crate whenever you need to keep Buzz secured and you do not have the opportunity to watch him. As we discussed today, it is a misnomer to assume that dogs naturally think that the crate is a “bad place”. We (humans) think that the crate is a bad place because we see “the bars”, assume that it is a jail, and always associate jails as bad places.

The one place that a dog feels safest “in his universe” is his den. It is a place that he can enter, and he will always be safe. It doesn’t matter what is happening in the world around him, if he is in his den, he is safe. Period.

We must socialize Buzz so that he understands that the crate you have just brought home is his den. Buzz must associate the den as a happy place where great things are always occurring. We reviewed the following procedure:

a) Get a crate for Buzz. I suggest that the crate is between 42 to 48 inches. Place the crate in a location that is preferably away from superfluous, outside noise (delivery trucks, mail trucks, kids coming down the street after school, etc.)

b) Start off by feeding Buzz in the crate so that he needs to go inside to have his meal. Place his favorite toys in the crate so that he needs to enter the crate to get them. When doing this, always sit next to the open door of the crate.

c) Play with him while he is in the crate. Pet him and talk to him in a soothing and calm voice. Do not force him to remain in the crate. If he wants to leave, that is fine. You can try to coax him back inside, but never force him. Your goal is to have him understand that the crate is a happy place and your immediate presence is assuring him that everything is fine.

d) After a few days, Buss should be able to go in the crate with you and remain for longer and longer periods of time. After he can stay in the crate (with you immediately at the front door) for about five minutes, start to briefly close and then open the door. Do not make a big thing of this.

e) Continue to open and close the door until you can keep the door closed for several minutes and Buzz does not react. Remember, if he starts to become agitated due to the closed door, open it to allow him the ability to freely exit.

f) After Buzz can calmly stay in the crate with the door closed for several minutes, start to latch the door. This is a “new sound” and something that may trigger him. Once you can latch the door with no reaction from Buzz, you can move on to the next step.

g) You are now sitting next to the crate with Buzz. The door is closed and latched and Buzz is calm. You are now going to slowly and calmly stand up. Remain by the crate for about fifteen to thirty seconds. Start to walk around the room while remaining in his sight. You can do things like sitting down in a chair, opening a drawer, turning on the television, etc.

(h) If Buzz starts to whine or bark, stand tall, face him, and make your correction sound to let him know that you are in charge. If Buzz continues to act inappropriately, you have proceeded a little too quickly with this lesson. Calmly return to the crate, sit down by the door, and slowly open the door. Follow the steps previously mentioned until you can successfully walk around the room and Buzz is calmly sitting or lying down in his locked crate.

(i) Now, step through the door or around the corner to a point where Buzz can no longer observe you. If he starts to whine or bark, make your correction sound while remaining out of sight. If he continues to act inappropriately, step back in sight, face him, stand tall, and make your correction sound. If he calms down, that is great and you can continue to step out of sight. If not, go back to the crate, sit down, open the door, and repeat the process from there.

(j) Once you can be out of Buzz’s sight for several minutes, walk to the front door and open and close it. This will emulate the sound of your leaving. Remain very quiet. If Buzz starts to whine or bark, vigorously make your correction sound. If he is still acting inappropriately, step back in sight and follow the procedure previously discussed.

(k) Once Buzz remains calm while you have left his sight and you have emulated the sounds of leaving the house, actually leave. Once outside the door, remain very quiet and intensely listen for any whining or barking from Buzz. If he starts to act inappropriately, crack the door, and vigorously make your correction sound. If needed, step back into his sight and follow the procedure previously discussed.

NOTE: This process might take several weeks to successfully complete. Don’t become frustrated if it appears that Buzz is “stuck on one step”. Consistency and repetition on your part are the needed tools to let Buzz know that the crate is his happy place.

3. MANAGE ATTENTION SEEKING BEHAVIOR – Always make sure that it is your idea. If Buzz comes up to you and nudges your hand for a pet, ignore him until he turns away. If you want to pet him, call him over to you. This assures he is responding to you.

If Buzz brings you a toy, ignore him until he turns away and you can then call him back. Remember, the leader always says, “I want you to…”. Make sure you are the leader.

4. USE OF THE LEASH – The leash is a passive training tool that is very effective in redirecting Buzz’s focus to you. We suggest that you place the leash on him at different times during the day when you are home. Be sure that you have the leash on at times when you expect higher adrenaline levels from Buzz.

As he begins to perform an action that you don’t want, step on the leash. If he is moving, let him go to the end of the leash, tug himself slightly, and then look back at you. Your still and calm demeanor will display leadership and Buzz will understand that you took control, and you are the boss.

If you need to remove Buzz from the area, calmly pick up the end of the leash, quietly make your correction sound, and walk him away. Once you observe that he is no longer adrenalized, stop, and have him sit. Praise him with a quiet but high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”. Drop the leash and calmly walk away.

NOTE (SLIGHT ALTERNATIVE): If Buzz is a little too pensive to sit, replace the SIT command by allowing him to calmly remain next to you while providing you with calm and respectful focus. After one or two seconds, praise him with a quiet but high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”. Drop the leash and calmly walk away.

5. BARKING – Barking is always annoying and can be caused by many things. This exercise is designed to redirect Buzz’s attention away from the distraction causing the barking and to place the focus on you.

Have his leash on in the house when you know there might be things that normally cause him to bark. As soon as he starts to bark, step on the leash, and place the handle in your hand. Make your correction sound as you briskly walk him in a direction away from the distraction to a point where he is giving you focus and has lost interest in whatever was causing him to bark. Have him sit for you. As soon as he does, praise him with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”.

(If he is a little too pensive to sit, have him calmly remain next to you while providing you with calm and respectful focus for one or two seconds. At that point, praise him with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”.)

Drop the leash and calmly walk back to whatever you were doing before Buzz started to bark.

If Buzz’s focus can be easily directed back to you, simply standing tall, giving your correction sound, and using your physical correction (squirt bottle or shake bottle) may suffice in getting him to stop barking. Once he has stopped barking, praise him with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”.

6. JUMPING – Dogs normally jump because they are showing assertion or are excited. An important facet of this exercise is your ability to remain calm. Your calm demeanor will demonstrate your strong leadership and neutralize Buzz’s heightened adrenaline level.

Always have Buzz’s leash on when you are concerned that he might be jumping. If you are sitting on a chair or sofa and he approaches to jump, stand up, give him your correction sound, and use your physical correction (squirt bottle or shake bottle). As soon as he stops and gives you focus, praise him with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”.

If you are standing and Buzz begins to jump on you or your guest, use your squirt bottle with your correction sound to stop him. You can also step on the leash so he doesn’t have the ability to jump. As soon as he calms down, praise him with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”.

If things are a little “too crazy”, you may need to ramp it up. Momentarily remove Buzz from the immediate area. Please refer to the USE OF THE LEASH discussion above.

7. CHEWING – Let’s talk about the method of stopping Buzz from chewing when you can “catch him in the act” and another method when you can’t “catch Buzz in the act” of chewing.

If you “catch him in the act”, you must correct him in the moment. Calmly approach him, stand tall and stoic in front of him, make your correction sound, and use the squirt bottle to get his attention focused on you. It may take two or three corrections (Stand/GRRRR/Squirt’s), but Buzz should stop chewing, drop the item, and move away. (Be sure to repeat your correction sound every time you give him a squirt.) Once he is moving away, calmly pick up the item and praise his correct choice with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”.

After you correct him, you need to give him “an acceptable thing to chew”. One example of “an acceptable thing to chew” is the Kong Toy. Take the Kong Toy, put some peanut butter in the food hole, and freeze it. Give this to Buzz to direct his chewing to something you find acceptable.

Another example of “an acceptable thing to chew” is the Deer Antler. These are very safe and (obviously) all natural. Spray some low sodium chicken broth on the antler to make it a little “tastier” and give it to him.

As soon as you take away the “thing you don’t want him to chew”, give him one of these. You can also leave them out for him to naturally locate and chew.

Remember, you can only perform the above procedure if you see Buzz in the act of chewing.

If you can’t “catch him in the act”, you will need to find a way to passively discourage Buzz from chewing. To do this, you need to make the thing you don’t want him to chew to taste yucky. We suggest that you use Bitter Apple.

You need to let Buzz understand that anything that tastes like Bitter Apple is yucky. You do this by spraying a very small amount of it into his mouth. You are not trying to have him drink it; you want the mist of the spray to reach the taste buds in the back of his mouth. This will trigger a “bad taste memory”. He will then associate other things with this same smell as tasting bad.

Spray Bitter Apple on things you don’t want Buzz to chew. The Bitter Apple will eventually evaporate on the object, so you must re-spray from time to time. Once you have sprayed the “don’t chew this” object, place a Kong Toy or Deer Antler in the immediate vicinity.

As he equates that one thing is bad (the thing you don’t want him to chew), he will find something good (the thing you want him to chew). After a few encounters, Buzz will ignore the thing you don’t want him to chew (it tastes yucky) for the thing you want him to chew (it tastes good).

If the Bitter Apple becomes ineffective, you can ramp up to Tabasco Sauce, Jalapeno Sauce, or Habanero Sauce (in that order). Place the sauce on the item you don’t want Buzz to chew. Since you can’t spray the sauce as you would the Bitter Apple, put a little on your finger and rub it on the top of his tongue.

8. WALKING OUTSIDE – Before you begin your walk, remember that you are Buzz’s protector, boss, and best friend. It is your responsibility to always keep him safe. As you are on your walk, visually scan the immediate area to determine if there are any issues that might place Buzz in danger or cause him to feel scared. If you find such a situation, create a plan ahead of time to mitigate or eliminate the danger before it takes place. This will prepare you to easily solve any problem you and Buzz may encounter on your walk.

Just like any other time, when you are walking with Buzz, he must be obeying your rules. I suggest that your “walking rules” for Buzz are to be near you, do not pull on the leash, listen to your commands when given, and have a good time. These are only my suggestions. You must create your own rules so that you and Buzz have an excellent walking experience.

(If you are inside and need to get outside to start your walk, be sure to perform the FOLLOW THROUGH DOOR (see below) exercise first. If you are going to finish the walk by bringing Buzz back inside the house, repeat the FOLLOW THRU DOOR (see below) exercise to bring him back inside.)

Start your walk outside with Buzz calmly next to you wearing his collar and Easy Walk Harness (size MEDIUM/LARGE). Have his leash attached to both the collar and harness. Give your WALK command, tug the leash slightly, and begin your walk.

As long as Buzz is maintaining your rules as mentioned above, all is fine. If he starts to break your rules (pull, not listen, etc.), give the leash a slight tug back towards you as you are walking. Make your correction sound as you tug the leash. Have him look at you and give you focus. Acknowledge his correct behavior with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”.

If he is unresponsive to your slight tug while walking, stop walking, make your correction sound, and give the leash a slightly more forceful tug back towards you. Have him look at you and give you focus. Acknowledge his correct behavior with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”. Continue your walk.

If he really starts to pull or focus on something too much, you may need to “ramp up” your correction. In this case, you can turn around 180 degrees and walk in the opposite direction for about ten to thirty feet. Make sure he is properly walking with you. When he is calm and focused on you, reverse your direction by 180 degrees and continue your walk in the original direction. Acknowledge his correct behavior with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”.

It is frequently difficult to determine “who is walking who”. Are you walking at the pace that Buzz has set or is he walking at your pace? It must be your pace because you are the boss. Set the tempo by creating “a cadence in your head”. Think to yourself, “1… 2… 3… 4…; 1… 2… 3… 4…”, as you walk and mark your steps to your count. This will compel you to set a speed and maintain it. It will also allow you to determine if Buzz is walking at your speed. If he is not, correct him using one of the methods previously discussed in this exercise.

Do not allow Buzz to tell you when he wants to stop. You need to let him know when he can stop and sniff around. Try and make your “stops” at places you know he likes.

Another issue with WALKING takes place when an inappropriate distraction such as a dog, jogger, neighbor, bicyclist, car, etc. approaches. Buzz will often start to adrenalize, lock focus on the approaching distraction, jump, bark, and pull. You need to redirect Buzz’s focus back towards you. We suggest that you do the following:

a) Remove Buzz from the immediate line of approach by directing him at a 90 degree angle up a driveway, onto a front lawn, etc.

b) Calmly give the leash several tugs as you walk him about ten to fifteen feet up the driveway, onto the front lawn, etc.

c) Have Buzz focus on you as you remain calm. If he is still concentrating on the approaching distraction, move him farther up the driveway or onto the lawn. Display confidence the entire time while you are gently tugging the leash to maintain Buzz’s attention on you. Quietly talk to him using a reassuring tone. If needed, step on the leash so that he does not have the ability to jump or move around.

d) If, after doing all this, he is still focusing on the approaching distraction, move Buzz behind an object that will block his view of the approaching object. This could be a car in the driveway, a fence, or a bush. Continue to have Buzz focus on you while you display a calm and “in charge” demeanor. If needed, step on the leash to keep him stable and focused on you.

e) Once the distraction has passed, reward Buzz’s actions of focusing on you with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”. Continue your walk.

NOTE: Whenever we are directing you to give Buzz a tug on the leash, it may require more than one tug. If you have given him a single tug without success, repeat by giving him several tugs in quick succession. Make your correction sound each time you give him a tug.

ONE MORE THING: Dogs often chew their harnesses when they are bored. Please remember to remove Buzz’s harness when you are not walking with him

9. FOLLOW THRU DOOR – You always want to go through a doorway before Buzz. The reason for this is twofold. First, you are the leader, and you want to show Buzz that you are always leading. Second, you want to keep Buzz safe. The only way you can do this is to “check out” whatever is on the other side of the door before you allow him to proceed.

Have Buzz on a leash. Walk him up to the doorway and have him sit. Hold your hand out like a traffic policeman while you slowly step backwards through the doorway. Always face him.

When both of your feet are across the threshold, pat your leg to allow Buzz to proceed. Once he has crossed the threshold, have him sit again. Praise his action with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY” for obeying your command.

NOTE: If Buzz is a little too pensive to sit while he is on either side of the doorway, have him quietly stand and stay still. “Although it may not be pretty”, as long as he is remaining stable as you place your feet on the other side of the door, he has obeyed your rule.

10. COME: INSIDE WITH LEASH – You must initially perform this exercise in the house when it is quiet (no distractions). Put a six-foot leash on Buzz. Slowly step away from him (facing him) until you have reached the end of the leash. Drop to your knees or crouch down low and say “COME” once. If he doesn’t start to move towards you, give the leash a slight tug. You may need to give several tugs.

If he is unresponsive to the tug, make your correction sound, wait for one or two seconds, say “COME” again, and give the leash another tug with slightly more force. Repeat this, if needed, until Buzz is moving towards you.

Once he reaches you, praise his action with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”. Stand up and repeat this process for several minutes.

When he can always come to you from six feet, extend the length by using a longer leash or attaching several together. Practice from ten feet, fifteen feet, and twenty feet. When he can come to you from the longest distance, repeat the exercise at that length, but no longer hold the leash. Let it lie on the ground between you and Buzz. The “handle end” of the leash should still be near you and easily accessible if Buzz is not responding to your command.

Continue practicing confirming that he constantly comes to you without the need to grab and tug on the leash. Once this is achieved, unhook the leash and practice the COME exercise without the leash.

After he has successfully completed the COME exercise when he is inside, repeat the process outside. Practice from ten, fifteen, twenty, and thirty feet. Only allow Buzz off leash (final step) if you are in a fenced-in area.

A HELPFUL TIP: If Buzz is slow in learning the COME command, you may need to enhance his ability to focus on you when the command is given. As you are down low and about to verbalize “COME”, pat your knees, snap your fingers, or call his name (“Buzz”). This may help draw his attention to you as you command him to COME.

ONE MORE THING: There are times where you may be “too far away”. For example, he may have been coming to you from ten feet yesterday, but won’t respond at all from that distance today. Instead of “reinforcing failure” at ten feet, shorten the distance between you and Buzz until he starts to come to you. Continue your exercise at that length and expand the distance as he consistently obeys your command.

NOTE: Never give Buzz the COME command without the leash being attached to him if you have any hesitation that he will not come to you. If you want to attempt to have him come to you without the leash, get down low, call his name, become visibly animated, and clap your hands or pat your knees. Just don’t say “COME”.

If he comes to you, that is great. If Buzz does not come to you, that is no big deal. You offered him an invitation and you allowed him to respond “yes” or “no”.

If you had said “COME” to Buzz; that is a command and he must comply. If he does not, the only tool you have to gain his compliance and maintain your leadership role is the leash.

11. SIT – Initially perform this exercise in a quiet location with minimal or no distractions. Put a six-foot leash on Buzz. Stand directly in front of him and say “SIT” once. If he doesn’t sit, give him your correction sound and a slight tug on the leash. Say “SIT” again.

If he doesn’t sit immediately, move to his side and pull the leash up and behind his head. At the same time use your other hand to guide his rear end backwards until you see his hindquarters moving towards the ground. Continue to slightly pull the leash so that his head is moving backwards and his hindquarters are still descending. Once he is sitting, praise his action with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”.

Move Buzz a few feet and repeat the exercise for several minutes. As you continue your sessions and he is constantly sitting on the first command, slowly add distractions.

IN CONCLUSION: Rules are critical. When you establish your rules, you must always correct Buzz when he breaks a rule. Don’t get mad or go nuts when he misbehaves. As the teacher, you must portray a calm and non-adrenalized figure to gain Buzz’s respect and attention.

Our fundamental form of communication is speaking. Conversely, Buzz’s fundamental form of communication is body language. Begin your communication with Buzz through proper body language. That is what he is expecting and will understand.

Practice every day. Both you and Buzz benefit when you implement and actively engage in a daily training regimen with him. You become a better teacher the more you have the opportunity to direct and educate. Buzz becomes a better student the more he has the opportunity to focus and learn.

Persistence, patience, and perseverance are necessary for your success. Concentrate on the positive results you are achieving and not the length of time they may take to complete.

Call us as soon as you have any questions. Finally, take a deep breath and just have fun.


Client: Hillary Martin
Visit Date: 02/24/2024
Visit Number: 01
Trainer: Robin
Paid Today: 0
Still Owe: 0
Comments:

Initial Issues:
Digging. Basic Training

Training Notes:
Fallon is a sweet dog and I enjoyed working with her. She responded very well to our commands and directions. I am positive that she will become a wonderful and long-lasting member of your family.

Everything starts with rules. A “rule” identifies what you want her to do and what you don’t want her to do. “Come” is a rule that tells Fallon to go to your side. “Don’t jump” is a rule that tells her to remain on the ground. You can easily determine your rules for Fallon by asking yourself “Is she bugging me?”. If she is, Fallon is breaking your rule.

Your rules must be simple and consistent. For example, if you don’t want her to jump, she can’t jump for any reason at any time. Everything must be on your terms. She cannot tell you what to do (i.e. please pet me) because she is not the boss.

We suggest that you consider having between five and ten rules. If you have too many rules, it will become difficult to effectively administer them.

Correct her as soon as she breaks one of your rules. This must be done in a manner that does not scare or frighten her and still gets her respectful focus directed towards you. Once you have guided her to the correct thing (no longer breaking your rules), acknowledge her appropriate action.

As with all dogs, Fallon primarily communicates through body language. Stand tall and calm when correcting her. Remember, all Fallon’s communication begins with body language.

To augment your body language communication, you may need to introduce a verbal interaction. Use a unique sound (if needed) to get her attention. I was using the “GRRRRRRRy” sound today. Any sound that gets her to calmly look at you is fine. The key is that the sound should be distinctive and only used when she has broken your rules and you need her focus.

There may be times where you need to “ramp it up” and include a passive/physical form of communication in addition to your body language and verbal interaction. If necessary, introduce a passive/physical action such as the squirt bottle or shake bottle to get her focus. Sometimes, a loud clap of your hands may be all you need.

As a final note on this subject, consider using the leash as a corrective and directive tool. This is a distractive method used to gain her focus and guide her towards the right actions. Have the leash on her at different times during the day. Always have it on her when you think she may be approaching times of heightened activity, excitement, and bad behavior.

Step on the leash if she starts to adrenalize and focus away from you. If needed, walk her to a calm area until she is deadrenalized and focused on you.

When performing the exercises, remember that repetition, consistency, observation, and simplicity are key. ACTION is essential to the process. If you catch yourself thinking “Oh, what a bad dog. I wish she would stop doing that!”, you have missed the point. If Fallon does something wrong, you must actively correct now.

Fallon is a dog and not a person. Do not assume that she is experiencing “human emotions”. Perform your actions because you want to keep her safe and secure.

When you give her a command, only say it once. As we discussed today, Fallon is a dog and understands sounds and not words. “Come Come Come” is a different sound than “Come”. Make your sounds consistent so that Fallon understands what you want her to do.

It is fine if you want to include hand gestures with any of the obedience commands. Simply include the hand gesture as you are verbalizing your obedience command to Fallon.

Although we don’t normally use treats in our exercises, they are sometimes helpful in the initial stages of obedience lessons (i.e. Come, Sit, Stay). Use them sparingly and try to ween Fallon off of them as quickly as possible. Show her the treat as you begin the command and only give it to her after she has successfully completed the command and you have provided her with your verbal confirmation.

Some general exercises we worked on today were:

1. COME: INSIDE WITH LEASH – You must initially perform this exercise in the house when it is quiet (no distractions). Put a six-foot leash on Fallon. Slowly step away from her (facing her) until you have reached the end of the leash. Drop to your knees or crouch down low and say “COME” once. If she doesn’t start to move towards you, give the leash a slight tug. You may need to give several tugs.

If she is unresponsive to the tug, make your correction sound, wait for one or two seconds, say “COME” again, and give the leash another tug with slightly more force. Repeat this, if needed, until Fallon is moving towards you.

Once she reaches you, praise her action with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”. Stand up and repeat this process for several minutes.

When she can always come to you from six feet, extend the length by using a longer leash or attaching several together. Practice from ten feet, fifteen feet, and twenty feet. When she can come to you from the longest distance, repeat the exercise at that length, but no longer hold the leash. Let it lie on the ground between you and Fallon. The “handle end” of the leash should still be near you and easily accessible if Fallon is not responding to your command.

Continue practicing confirming that she constantly comes to you without the need to grab and tug on the leash. Once this is achieved, unhook the leash and practice the COME exercise without the leash.

After she has successfully completed the COME exercise when she is inside, repeat the process outside. Practice from ten, fifteen, twenty, and thirty feet. Only allow Fallon off leash (final step) if you are in a fenced-in area.

When you are outside and you want Fallon to come to you, this is mostly because you want her to get in the house. When outside, we suggest that you set up many of your exercises where you are near the door and Fallon is in the yard.

A HELPFUL TIP: If Fallon is slow in learning the COME command, you may need to enhance her ability to focus on you when the command is given. As you are down low and about to verbalize “COME”, pat your knees, snap your fingers, or call her name (“Fallon”). This may help draw her attention to you as you command her to COME.

ONE MORE THING: There are times where you may be “too far away”. For example, she may have been coming to you from ten feet yesterday, but won’t respond at all from that distance today. Instead of “reinforcing failure” at ten feet, shorten the distance between you and Fallon until she starts to come to you. Continue your exercise at that length and expand the distance as she consistently obeys your command.

NOTE: Never give Fallon the COME command without the leash being attached to her if you have any hesitation that she will not come to you. If you want to attempt to have her come to you without the leash, get down low, call her name, become visibly animated, and clap your hands or pat your knees. Just don’t say “COME”.

If she comes to you, that is great. If Fallon does not come to you, that is no big deal. You offered her an invitation and you allowed her to respond “yes” or “no”.

If you had said “COME” to Fallon; that is a command and she must comply. If she does not, the only tool you have to gain her compliance and maintain your leadership role is the leash.

2. COME: OUTSIDE WITH LEAD – Put a thirty-foot training lead on Fallon. (I suggest thirty feet, but any long length is fine. We use a thirty-foot training lead from Leash Boss. Their web site is http://LeashBoss.com.) Slowly step away from her (facing her) until you have reached about five feet. Drop to your knees or crouch down low and say “COME” once. If she doesn’t start to move towards you, give the lead a slight tug. You may need to give several tugs.

If she is unresponsive to the tug, make your correction sound, wait for one or two seconds, say “COME” again, and give the lead another tug with slightly more force. Repeat this, if needed, until Fallon is moving towards you.

When she reaches you, praise her action with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”. Stand up and repeat this process for several minutes. Slowly add distraction to the process to provide a more “real world” environment.

Once she can always come to you from the initial distance, extend the length by using more of the training lead. Practice from ten feet, fifteen feet, twenty feet, and thirty feet. When she can come to you from the longest distance, repeat the exercise at that length, but no longer hold the lead. Let it lie on the ground between you and Fallon. The “handle end” of the lead should still be near you and easily accessible if Fallon is not responding to your command.

Keep practicing until she repeatedly comes to you without the need to grab and tug on the lead. If you are in an enclosed area, you can attempt one more step. Unhook the lead and practice the COME exercise without the lead. If you are in an area that is not enclosed (surrounded with a fence, etc.), we do not recommend that you allow Fallon to be off the lead.

When you are outside and you want Fallon to come to you, this is mostly because you want her to get in the house. When outside, we suggest that you set up many of your exercises where you are near the door and Fallon is in the yard.

A HELPFUL TIP: If Fallon is far away from you and not focused on you when you are about to give the “COME” command, you may need to get her attention. Try calling her name or clapping your hands to get her to look at you. If she is “overly-distracted”, give the lead a slight tug to have her look back at you. Although not required, these actions often help with the successful execution of the command.

ONE MORE THING: There are times where you may be “too far away”. For example, she may have been coming to you from twenty feet yesterday, but won’t respond at all from that distance today. Instead of “reinforcing failure” at twenty feet, shorten the distance between you and Fallon until she starts to come to you. Continue your exercise at that length and expand the distance as she consistently obeys your command.

A SLIGHT ALTERNATIVE: Our instructions above state that you are constantly holding the lead when you give the COME command. An alternative to this method is to allow the lead to stretch out behind Fallon as she moves around the yard. You are not holding the lead, but allowing it to freely flow behind Fallon. Always remain close to the lead. When you are ready to execute the COME command, step on the lead at the appropriate length, pick it up in your hands, and deliver the COME command. All the other instructions remain the same.

NOTE: Never give Fallon the COME command without the lead being attached to her if you have any hesitation that she will not come to you. If you want to attempt to have her come to you without the lead, get down low, call her name, become visibly animated, and clap your hands or pat your knees. Just don’t say “COME”.

If she comes to you, that is great. If Fallon does not come to you, that is no big deal. You offered her an invitation and you allowed her to respond “yes” or “no”.

If you had said “COME” to Fallon; that is a command and she must comply. If she does not, the only tool you have to gain her compliance and maintain your leadership role is the lead.

3. SIT – Initially perform this exercise in a quiet location with minimal or no distractions. Put a six-foot leash on Fallon. Stand directly in front of her and say “SIT” once. If she doesn’t sit, give her your correction sound and a slight tug on the leash. Say “SIT” again.

If she doesn’t sit immediately, move to her side and pull the leash up and behind her head. At the same time use your other hand to guide her rear end backwards until you see her hindquarters moving towards the ground. Continue to slightly pull the leash so that her head is moving backwards and her hindquarters are still descending. Once she is sitting, praise her action with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”.

Move Fallon a few feet and repeat the exercise for several minutes. As you continue your sessions and she is constantly sitting on the first command, slowly add distractions.

4. STAY – Fallon must be able to sit with a single command and no assistance before you can work on this exercise. If she still has a problem sitting, work on SIT.

This exercise has several levels. Work on each level until Fallon can always perform the actions before you move on to the next. Don’t rush to the next level when she appears to be succeeding in the current level. Have one or two days of “constant success” before you move on.

Place Fallon in a SIT before you start this command:

Level One: Stand directly in front of Fallon, hold your hand up as if you were a traffic policeman, and say “STAY”. If she begins to move, give her your correction sound to have her stop. Wait until she is sitting quietly for about five to ten seconds. Praise her action with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY” for obeying your command. Continue to practice while extending the time you are standing in front of her and she is remaining in place. When you have accomplished this and Fallon can remain in place for about fifteen to twenty seconds, you can move on to Level Two.

Level Two: Stand directly in front of Fallon, hold your hand up as if you were a traffic policeman, and say “STAY”. Slowly back up (always holding the leash and facing her) until you have reached the end of the leash. Make sure you do not tug the leash. If she begins to move, give her your correction sound to have her stop. Wait until she is sitting quietly for about five seconds. Step back until you are next to her. Praise her action with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY” for obeying your command. Once you have accomplished this, you can move on to Level Three.

Level Three: Stand directly in front of Fallon, hold your hand up as if you were a traffic policeman, and say “STAY”. Slowly back up (always holding the leash and facing her) until you have reached the end of the leash. Make sure you do not tug the leash. Walk in a partial semi-circle to your left until you are all the way to Fallon’s side. Slowly move to the right, pass in front of her, and stop when you have reached her other side. Next, move back until you are in front of her again. If she begins to move, give her your correction sound to have her stop. Make sure you keep your “policeman’s hand” up the entire time. Finally, step back until you are next to her. Praise her action with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY” for obeying your command. Now that you have accomplished this, you can move on to Level Four.

Level Four: Stand directly in front of Fallon, hold your hand up as if you were a traffic policeman, and say “STAY”. Slowly back up (always holding the leash and facing her) until you have reached the end of the leash. Make sure you do not tug the leash. Walk completely around her. If she begins to move, give her your correction sound to have her stop. Make sure you keep your “policeman’s hand” up the entire time. Now, step back until you are next to her. Praise her action with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY” for obeying your command. Practice this exercise for several days with continual success. Once you have accomplished this, you can move on to Level Five.

Level Five: At this point you can walk completely around Fallon with your hand up and she is remaining in her STAY. It is time to add a “real world” situation to the exercise. You will not be holding the leash. Place Fallon in a SIT and then a STAY. Walk around the room/area while facing her and keeping your hand up in your “traffic policeman’s pose”. Continue this while you slowly add actions such as picking up objects and opening and closing doors and drawers. Always remain in her sight.

If Fallon moves from her spot, correct her, step back to a prior level, and continue from there. The more you can move around the room/area while she remains stationary in a STAY, the more you can add additional actions that you would normally perform when you want her in a STAY in a “real world situation”.

NOTE: Fallon is remaining in her STAY because you have conditioned her to remain still while focusing on your outstretched hand. If you leave the room and/or leave her sight, your outstretched hand (the trigger to have her STAY) will be gone and she will probably get up and break her stay.

5. BARKING – Barking is always annoying and can be caused by many things. This exercise is designed to redirect Fallon’s attention away from the distraction causing the barking and to place the focus on you.

Have her leash on in the house when you know there might be things that normally cause her to bark. As soon as she starts to bark, step on the leash, and place the handle in your hand. Make your correction sound as you briskly walk her in a direction away from the distraction to a point where she is giving you focus and has lost interest in whatever was causing her to bark. Have her sit for you. As soon as she does, praise her with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”.

(If she is a little too pensive to sit, have her calmly remain next to you while providing you with calm and respectful focus for one or two seconds. At that point, praise her with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”.)

Drop the leash and calmly walk back to whatever you were doing before Fallon started to bark.

If Fallon’s focus can be easily directed back to you, simply standing tall, giving your correction sound, and using your physical correction (squirt bottle or shake bottle) may suffice in getting her to stop barking. Once she has stopped barking, praise her with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”.

6. JUMPING – Dogs normally jump because they are showing assertion or are excited. An important facet of this exercise is your ability to remain calm. Your calm demeanor will demonstrate your strong leadership and neutralize Fallon’s heightened adrenaline level.

Always have Fallon’s leash on when you are concerned that she might be jumping. If you are sitting on a chair or sofa and she approaches to jump, stand up, give her your correction sound, and use your physical correction (squirt bottle or shake bottle). As soon as she stops and gives you focus, praise her with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”.

If you are standing and Fallon begins to jump on you or your guest, use your squirt bottle with your correction sound to stop her. You can also step on the leash so she doesn’t have the ability to jump. As soon as she calms down, praise her with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”.

If things are a little “too crazy”, you may need to ramp it up. Momentarily remove Fallon from the immediate area. Please refer to the USE OF THE LEASH discussion below.

7. CHEWING – Let’s talk about the method of stopping Fallon from chewing when you can “catch her in the act” and another method when you can’t “catch Fallon in the act” of chewing.

If you “catch her in the act”, you must correct her in the moment. Calmly approach her, stand tall and stoic in front of her, make your correction sound, and use the squirt bottle to get her attention focused on you. It may take two or three corrections (Stand/GRRRR/Squirt’s), but Fallon should stop chewing, drop the item, and move away. (Be sure to repeat your correction sound every time you give her a squirt.) Once she is moving away, calmly pick up the item and praise her correct choice with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”.

After you correct her, you need to give her “an acceptable thing to chew”. One example of “an acceptable thing to chew” is the Kong Toy. Take the Kong Toy, put some peanut butter in the food hole, and freeze it. Give this to Fallon to direct her chewing to something you find acceptable.

Another example of “an acceptable thing to chew” is the Deer Antler. These are very safe and (obviously) all natural. Spray some low sodium chicken broth on the antler to make it a little “tastier” and give it to her.

As soon as you take away the “thing you don’t want her to chew”, give her one of these. You can also leave them out for her to naturally locate and chew.

Remember, you can only perform the above procedure if you see Fallon in the act of chewing.

If you can’t “catch her in the act”, you will need to find a way to passively discourage Fallon from chewing. To do this, you need to make the thing you don’t want her to chew to taste yucky. We suggest that you use Bitter Apple.

You need to let Fallon understand that anything that tastes like Bitter Apple is yucky. You do this by spraying a very small amount of it into her mouth. You are not trying to have her drink it; you want the mist of the spray to reach the taste buds in the back of her mouth. This will trigger a “bad taste memory”. She will then associate other things with this same smell as tasting bad.

Spray Bitter Apple on things you don’t want Fallon to chew. The Bitter Apple will eventually evaporate on the object, so you must re-spray from time to time. Once you have sprayed the “don’t chew this” object, place a Kong Toy or Deer Antler in the immediate vicinity.

As she equates that one thing is bad (the thing you don’t want her to chew), she will find something good (the thing you want her to chew). After a few encounters, Fallon will ignore the thing you don’t want her to chew (it tastes yucky) for the thing you want her to chew (it tastes good).

If the Bitter Apple becomes ineffective, you can ramp up to Tabasco Sauce, Jalapeno Sauce, or Habanero Sauce (in that order). Place the sauce on the item you don’t want Fallon to chew. Since you can’t spray the sauce as you would the Bitter Apple, put a little on your finger and rub it on the top of her tongue.

8. MANNERS AT THE FRONT DOOR – This exercise is based on the rule that Fallon can be anywhere in the house except near you when you are opening the front door. As a rule of thumb, I define “near you” as within six to eight feet of the front door. This is the “Fallon can’t be here zone”. Everything else (away from the door and outside the six-to-eight-foot boundary of the door) is the “Fallon can be here zone”.

You and Fallon can be anywhere in the house at the start of this exercise. Try to do “regular things” while not directly engaging her or causing her to become adrenalized. Make sure you know the location of your squirt bottle (either out of sight by the front door or in your pocket.)

Have someone knock on the door. Calmly walk to the front door. If Fallon runs ahead of you, don’t worry about that yet. When you are at the front door, turn around and visibly locate her.

If she is within the “Fallon can’t be here zone” (close to you and the front door), stand tall and face her, make your correction sound, and (if needed) give her several squirts to have her back out of the “Fallon can’t be here zone”, away from the door, and into the “Fallon can be here zone”. It may take multiple squirts to have her back away. (Remember to repeat your correction sound every time you give her a squirt.)

If the use of the squirt bottle is not effective in directing Fallon away from the door area, include the shake bottle in your correction process. Make your correction sound and use the squirt bottle as before, but now simultaneously introduce the shaking chain sound of the shake bottle into the correction process. As before, repeat these actions multiple times, if needed.

Once she is away from the front door, slowly reach for the door handle while always facing her. Gradually open the door for the outside visitor. If Fallon makes any attempt to continue her approach, correct her as described above.

Continue facing her while opening the door to allow the outside visitor to enter. Close the door. Praise Fallon’s action with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY” for obeying your rule of staying away from the front door when you are opening it. Repeat this exercise daily with family members, neighbors, and strangers (UPS, Domino’s, etc.)

NOTE: If you are having difficulty directing Fallon away from the front door area and into the “Fallon can be here zone”, use the leash to guide her away. Calmly step on the leash, place it in your hand, and give the leash several slight tugs to have her cross the boundary out of the “Fallon can’t be here zone” and into the “Fallon can be here zone”. Once that is done, drop the leash and slowly back up to the door. Continue to face her and brandish the squirt bottle in her direction. Correct with the squirt bottle, if needed, and continue the exercise by opening the door for the outside visitor.

9. MANAGE ATTENTION SEEKING BEHAVIOR – Always make sure that it is your idea. If Fallon comes up to you and nudges your hand for a pet, ignore her until she turns away. If you want to pet her, call her over to you. This assures she is responding to you.

If Fallon brings you a toy, ignore her until she turns away and you can then call her back. Remember, the leader always says, “I want you to…”. Make sure you are the leader.

10. USE OF THE LEASH – The leash is a passive training tool that is very effective in redirecting Fallon’s focus to you. We suggest that you place the leash on her at different times during the day when you are home. Be sure that you have the leash on at times when you expect higher adrenaline levels from Fallon.

As she begins to perform an action that you don’t want, step on the leash. If she is moving, let her go to the end of the leash, tug herself slightly, and then look back at you. Your still and calm demeanor will display leadership and Fallon will understand that you took control, and you are the boss.

If you need to remove Fallon from the area, calmly pick up the end of the leash, quietly make your correction sound, and walk her away. Once you observe that she is no longer adrenalized, stop, and have her sit. Praise her with a quiet but high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”. Drop the leash and calmly walk away.

NOTE (SLIGHT ALTERNATIVE): If Fallon is a little to pensive to sit, replace the SIT command by allowing her to calmly remain next to you while providing you with calm and respectful focus. After one or two seconds, praise her with a quiet but high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”. Drop the leash and calmly walk away.

IN CONCLUSION: Rules are critical. When you establish your rules, you must always correct Fallon when she breaks a rule. Don’t get mad or go nuts when she misbehaves. As the teacher, you must portray a calm and non-adrenalized figure to gain Fallon’s respect and attention.

Our fundamental form of communication is speaking. Conversely, Fallon’s fundamental form of communication is body language. Begin your communication with Fallon through proper body language. That is what she is expecting and will understand.

Practice every day. Both you and Fallon benefit when you implement and actively engage in a daily training regimen with her. You become a better teacher the more you have the opportunity to direct and educate. Fallon becomes a better student the more she has the opportunity to focus and learn.

Persistence, patience, and perseverance are necessary for your success. Concentrate on the positive results you are achieving and not the length of time they may take to complete.

Call us as soon as you have any questions. Finally, take a deep breath and just have fun.


Client: Jose Mota
Visit Date: 02/25/2024
Visit Number: 01
Trainer: Bruce
Paid Today: 0
Still Owe: 0
Comments:

Initial Issues:
Gary: Had about 2 yr. Marks. Anxious. Nervous. Barks at people. Rushes Door. Afraid may bite. Although anxious around other dogs, fine with family. BIG THING IS AFRAID MAY BITE.
DOZER: Potty. Pulls on leash. General puppy misbehavior.

Training Notes:
Dozer and Gary are sweet dogs and I enjoyed working with them. Although we thought that Gary would be a “problem child”, he immediately submitted to our direction and correction. Dozer was slightly playful, but quickly began to obey us when he understood that “we were the boss”. They will both turn out just great.

Everything starts with rules. A “rule” identifies what you want them to do and what you don’t want them to do. “Come” is a rule that tells Dozer and Gary to go to your side. “Don’t jump” is a rule that tells them to remain on the ground. You can easily determine your rules for Dozer and Gary by asking yourself “Are they bugging me?”. If they are, they are breaking your rule.

Your rules must be simple and consistent. For example, if you don’t want them to jump, they can’t jump for any reason at any time. Everything must be on your terms. They cannot tell you what to do (i.e. please pet me) because they “are not the boss of you”.

We suggest that you consider having between five and ten rules. If you have too many rules, it will become difficult to effectively administer them.

Correct them as soon as they break one of your rules. This must be done in a manner that does not scare or frighten them and still gets their respectful focus directed towards you. Once you have guided them to the correct thing (no longer breaking your rules), acknowledge their appropriate action.

As with all dogs, they primarily communicate through body language. Stand tall and calm when correcting them. Remember, all their communication starts with body language.

To augment your body language communication, you may need to introduce a verbal interaction. Use a unique sound (if needed) to get their attention. I was using the “GRRRRRRRy” sound today. Any sound that gets them to calmly look at you is fine. The key is that the sound should be distinctive and only used when they have broken your rules, and you need their focus.

There may be times where you need to “ramp it up” and include a passive/physical form of communication in addition to your body language and verbal interaction. If necessary, introduce a passive/physical action such as the squirt bottle or shake bottle to get their focus. Sometimes, a loud clap of your hands may be all you need.

As a final note on this subject, consider using the leash as a corrective and directive tool. This is a distractive method used to gain their focus and guide them towards the right actions. Have their leashes on them at different times during the day. Always have their leashes on them when you think they may be approaching times of heightened activity, excitement, and bad behavior.

Step on the leash if they start to adrenalize and focus away from you. If needed, walk them to a calm area until they are deadrenalized and focused on you.

When performing the exercises, remember that repetition, consistency, observation, and simplicity are key. ACTION is essential to the process. If you catch yourself thinking “Oh, what bad dogs, I wish they would stop doing that!”, you have missed the point. If Dozer or Gary do something wrong, you must actively correct now.

They are dogs and not people. Do not assume that they are experiencing “human emotions”. Perform your actions because you are keeping them safe and secure.

When you give them a command, only say it once. As we discussed today, they are dogs and understand sounds and not words. “Come Come Come” is a different sound than “Come”. Make your sounds consistent so that they understand what you want them to do.

It is fine if you want to include hand gestures with any of the obedience commands. Simply include the hand gesture as you are verbalizing your obedience command to them.

All the exercises I will discuss are pertinent to both Dozer and Gary. As I review them, I will use Dozer as “my example dog” in explaining the exercise. Be assured, the same information is completely relevant, as needed, for Gary.

I suggest that you work on the exercises with them one at a time. It also may be a good idea to have the other out of the room or out of the immediate area so that one dog does not distract the other.

Some general exercises we worked on today were:

1. COME: INSIDE WITH LEASH – You must initially perform this exercise in the house when it is quiet (no distractions). Put a six-foot leash on Dozer. Slowly step away from him (facing him) until you have reached the end of the leash. Drop to your knees or crouch down low and say “COME” once. If he doesn’t start to move towards you, give the leash a slight tug. You may need to give several tugs.

If he is unresponsive to the tug, make your correction sound, wait for one or two seconds, say “COME” again, and give the leash another tug with slightly more force. Repeat this, if needed, until Dozer is moving towards you.

Once he reaches you, praise his action with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”. Stand up and repeat this process for several minutes.

When he can always come to you from six feet, extend the length by using a longer leash or attaching several together. Practice from ten feet, fifteen feet, and twenty feet. When he can come to you from the longest distance, repeat the exercise at that length, but no longer hold the leash. Let it lie on the ground between you and Dozer. The “handle end” of the leash should still be near you and easily accessible if Dozer is not responding to your command.

Continue practicing confirming that he constantly comes to you without the need to grab and tug on the leash. Once this is achieved, unhook the leash and practice the COME exercise without the leash.

After he has successfully completed the COME exercise when he is inside, repeat the process outside. (More on this below.)

A HELPFUL TIP: If Dozer is slow in learning the COME command, you may need to enhance his ability to focus on you when the command is given. As you are down low and about to verbalize “COME”, pat your knees, snap your fingers, or call his name (“Dozer”). This may help draw his attention to you as you command him to COME.

ONE MORE THING: There are times where you may be “too far away”. For example, he may have been coming to you from ten feet yesterday, but won’t respond at all from that distance today. Instead of “reinforcing failure” at ten feet, shorten the distance between you and Dozer until he starts to come to you. Continue your exercise at that length and expand the distance as he consistently obeys your command.

NOTE: Never give Dozer the COME command without the leash being attached to him if you have any hesitation that he will not come to you. If you want to attempt to have him come to you without the leash, get down low, call his name, become visibly animated, and clap your hands or pat your knees. Just don’t say “COME”.

If he comes to you, that is great. If Dozer does not come to you, that is no big deal. You offered him an invitation and you allowed him to respond “yes” or “no”.

If you had said “COME” to Dozer; that is a command and he must comply. If he does not, the only tool you have to gain his compliance and maintain your leadership role is the leash.

2. COME: OUTSIDE WITH LEAD – Put a thirty-foot training lead on Dozer. (I suggest thirty feet, but any long length is fine. We use a thirty-foot training lead from Leash Boss. Their web site is http://LeashBoss.com.) Slowly step away from him (facing him) until you have reached about five feet. Drop to your knees or crouch down low and say “COME” once. If he doesn’t start to move towards you, give the lead a slight tug. You may need to give several tugs.

If he is unresponsive to the tug, make your correction sound, wait for one or two seconds, say “COME” again, and give the lead another tug with slightly more force. Repeat this, if needed, until Dozer is moving towards you.

When he reaches you, praise his action with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”. Stand up and repeat this process for several minutes. Slowly add distraction to the process to provide a more “real world” environment.

Once he can always come to you from the initial distance, extend the length by using more of the training lead. Practice from ten feet, fifteen feet, twenty feet, and thirty feet. When he can come to you from the longest distance, repeat the exercise at that length, but no longer hold the lead.

Let it lie on the ground between you and Dozer. The “handle end” of the lead should be immediately next to you so that you can grab it if he is not responding to your command. If you are not in an enclosed area (backyard fence not installed yet), step or kneel on the lead when performing this step.

Keep practicing until he repeatedly comes to you without the need to grab and tug on the lead. If you are in an enclosed area (after you have installed the fence in the backyard), you can attempt one more step. Unhook the lead and practice the COME exercise without the lead. If you are in an area that is not enclosed (surrounded with a fence, etc.), we do not recommend that you allow Dozer to be off the lead.

A HELPFUL TIP: If Dozer is far away from you and not focused on you when you are about to give the “COME” command, you may need to get his attention. Try calling his name or clapping your hands to get him to look at you. If he is “overly-distracted”, give the lead a slight tug to have him look back at you. Although not required, these actions often help with the successful execution of the command.

ONE MORE THING: There are times where you may be “too far away”. For example, he may have been coming to you from twenty feet yesterday, but won’t respond at all from that distance today. Instead of “reinforcing failure” at twenty feet, shorten the distance between you and Dozer until he starts to come to you. Continue your exercise at that length and expand the distance as he consistently obeys your command.

A SLIGHT ALTERNATIVE: Our instructions above state that you are constantly holding the lead when you give the COME command. An alternative to this method is to allow the lead to stretch out behind Dozer as he moves around the yard. You are not holding the lead, but allowing it to freely flow behind Dozer. Always remain close to the lead. When you are ready to execute the COME command, step on the lead at the appropriate length, pick it up in your hands, and deliver the COME command. All the other instructions remain the same.

NOTE: Never give Dozer the COME command without the lead being attached to him if you have any hesitation that he will not come to you. If you want to attempt to have him come to you without the lead, get down low, call his name, become visibly animated, and clap your hands or pat your knees. Just don’t say “COME”.

If he comes to you, that is great. If Dozer does not come to you, that is no big deal. You offered him an invitation and you allowed him to respond “yes” or “no”.

If you had said “COME” to Dozer; that is a command and he must comply. If he does not, the only tool you have to gain his compliance and maintain your leadership role is the lead.

3. SIT – Initially perform this exercise in a quiet location with minimal or no distractions. Put a six-foot leash on Dozer. Stand directly in front of him and say “SIT” once. If he doesn’t sit, give him your correction sound and a slight tug on the leash. Say “SIT” again.

If he doesn’t sit immediately, move to his side and pull the leash up and behind his head. At the same time use your other hand to guide his rear end backwards until you see his hindquarters moving towards the ground. Continue to slightly pull the leash so that his head is moving backwards and his hindquarters are still descending. Once he is sitting, praise his action with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”.

Move Dozer a few feet and repeat the exercise for several minutes. As you continue your sessions and he is constantly sitting on the first command, slowly add distractions.

4. FOLLOW THRU DOOR – You always want to go through a doorway before Dozer. The reason for this is twofold. First, you are the leader, and you want to show Dozer that you are always leading. Second, you want to keep Dozer safe. The only way you can do this is to “check out” whatever is on the other side of the door before you allow him to proceed.

Have Dozer on a leash. Walk him up to the doorway and have him sit. Hold your hand out like a traffic policeman while you slowly step backwards through the doorway. Always face him.

When both of your feet are across the threshold, pat your leg to allow Dozer to proceed. Once he has crossed the threshold, have him sit again. Praise his action with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY” for obeying your command.

NOTE: If Dozer is a little too pensive to sit while he is on either side of the doorway, have him quietly stand and stay still. “Although it may not be pretty”, as long as he is remaining stable as you place your feet on the other side of the door, he has obeyed your rule.

5. WALKING OUTSIDE – Before you begin your walk, remember that you are Dozer’s protector, boss, and best friend. It is your responsibility to always keep him safe. As you are on your walk, visually scan the immediate area to determine if there are any issues that might place Dozer in danger or cause him to feel scared. If you find such a situation, create a plan ahead of time to mitigate or eliminate the danger before it takes place. This will prepare you to easily solve any problem you and Dozer may encounter on your walk.

Just like any other time, when you are walking with Dozer, he must be obeying your rules. I suggest that your “walking rules” for Dozer are to be near you, do not pull on the leash, listen to your commands when given, and have a good time. These are only my suggestions. You must create your own rules so that you and Dozer have an excellent walking experience.

(If you are inside and need to get outside to start your walk, be sure to perform the FOLLOW THROUGH DOOR exercise first. If you are going to finish the walk by bringing Dozer back inside the house, repeat the FOLLOW THRU DOOR exercise to bring him back inside.)

Start your walk outside with Dozer calmly next to you wearing his collar and Easy Walk Harness (size Medium/Large)(I believe that Gary will wear a Medium/Small). Have his leash attached to both the collar and harness. Give your WALK command, tug the leash slightly, and begin your walk.

As long as Dozer is maintaining your rules as mentioned above, all is fine. If he starts to break your rules (pull, not listen, etc.), give the leash a slight tug back towards you as you are walking. Make your correction sound as you tug the leash. Have him look at you and give you focus. Acknowledge his correct behavior with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”.

If he is unresponsive to your slight tug while walking, stop walking, make your correction sound, and give the leash a slightly more forceful tug back towards you. Have him look at you and give you focus. Acknowledge his correct behavior with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”. Continue your walk.

If he really starts to pull or focus on something too much, you may need to “ramp up” your correction. In this case, you can turn around 180 degrees and walk in the opposite direction for about ten to thirty feet. Make sure he is properly walking with you. When he is calm and focused on you, reverse your direction by 180 degrees and continue your walk in the original direction. Acknowledge his correct behavior with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”.

It is frequently difficult to determine “who is walking who”. Are you walking at the pace that Dozer has set or is he walking at your pace? It must be your pace because you are the boss. Set the tempo by creating “a cadence in your head”. Think to yourself, “1… 2… 3… 4…; 1… 2… 3… 4…”, as you walk and mark your steps to your count. This will compel you to set a speed and maintain it. It will also allow you to determine if Dozer is walking at your speed. If he is not, correct him using one of the methods previously discussed in this exercise.

Do not allow Dozer to tell you when he wants to stop. You need to let him know when he can stop and sniff around. Try and make your “stops” at places you know he likes.

Another issue with WALKING takes place when an inappropriate distraction such as a dog, jogger, neighbor, bicyclist, car, etc. approaches. Dozer will often start to adrenalize, lock focus on the approaching distraction, jump, bark, and pull. You need to redirect Dozer’s focus back towards you. We suggest that you do the following:

a) Remove Dozer from the immediate line of approach by directing him at a 90 degree angle up a driveway, onto a front lawn, etc.

b) Calmly give the leash several tugs as you walk him about ten to fifteen feet up the driveway, onto the front lawn, etc.

c) Have Dozer focus on you as you remain calm. If he is still concentrating on the approaching distraction, move him farther up the driveway or onto the lawn. Display confidence the entire time while you are gently tugging the leash to maintain Dozer’s attention on you. Quietly talk to him using a reassuring tone. If needed, step on the leash so that he does not have the ability to jump or move around.

d) If, after doing all this, he is still focusing on the approaching distraction, move Dozer behind an object that will block his view of the approaching object. This could be a car in the driveway, a fence, or a bush. Continue to have Dozer focus on you while you display a calm and “in charge” demeanor. If needed, step on the leash to keep him stable and focused on you.

e) Once the distraction has passed, reward Dozer’s actions of focusing on you with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”. Continue your walk.

NOTE: Whenever we are directing you to give Dozer a tug on the leash, it may require more than one tug. If you have given him a single tug without success, repeat by giving him several tugs in quick succession. Make your correction sound each time you give him a tug.

ONE MORE THING: Dogs often chew their harnesses when they are bored. Please remember to remove Dozer’s harness when you are not walking with him.

6. BARKING – Barking is always annoying and can be caused by many things. This exercise is designed to redirect Dozer’s attention away from the distraction causing the barking and to place the focus on you.

Have his leash on in the house when you know there might be things that normally cause him to bark. As soon as he starts to bark, step on the leash, and place the handle in your hand. Make your correction sound as you briskly walk him in a direction away from the distraction to a point where he is giving you focus and has lost interest in whatever was causing him to bark. Have him sit for you. As soon as he does, praise him with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”.

(If he is a little too pensive to sit, have him calmly remain next to you while providing you with calm and respectful focus for one or two seconds. At that point, praise him with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”.)

Drop the leash and calmly walk back to whatever you were doing before Dozer started to bark.

If Dozer’s focus can be easily directed back to you, simply standing tall, giving your correction sound, and using your physical correction (squirt bottle or shake bottle) may suffice in getting him to stop barking. Once he has stopped barking, praise him with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”.

7. JUMPING – Dogs normally jump because they are showing assertion or are excited. An important facet of this exercise is your ability to remain calm. Your calm demeanor will demonstrate your strong leadership and neutralize Dozer’s heightened adrenaline level.

Always have Dozer’s leash on when you are concerned that he might be jumping. If you are sitting on a chair or sofa and he approaches to jump, stand up, give him your correction sound, and use your physical correction (squirt bottle or shake bottle). As soon as he stops and gives you focus, praise him with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”.

If you are standing and Dozer begins to jump on you or your guest, use your squirt bottle with your correction sound to stop him. You can also step on the leash so he doesn’t have the ability to jump. As soon as he calms down, praise him with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”.

If things are a little “too crazy”, you may need to ramp it up. Momentarily remove Dozer from the immediate area. Please refer to the USE OF THE LEASH discussion below.

8. CHEWING – Let’s talk about the method of stopping Dozer from chewing when you can “catch him in the act” and another method when you can’t “catch Dozer in the act” of chewing.

If you “catch him in the act”, you must correct him in the moment. Calmly approach him, stand tall and stoic in front of him, make your correction sound, and use the squirt bottle to get his attention focused on you. It may take two or three corrections (Stand/GRRRR/Squirt’s), but Dozer should stop chewing, drop the item, and move away. (Be sure to repeat your correction sound every time you give him a squirt.) Once he is moving away, calmly pick up the item and praise his correct choice with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”.

After you correct him, you need to give him “an acceptable thing to chew”. One example of “an acceptable thing to chew” is the Kong Toy. Take the Kong Toy, put some peanut butter in the food hole, and freeze it. Give this to Dozer to direct his chewing to something you find acceptable.

Another example of “an acceptable thing to chew” is the Deer Antler. These are very safe and (obviously) all natural. Spray some low sodium chicken broth on the antler to make it a little “tastier” and give it to him.

As soon as you take away the “thing you don’t want him to chew”, give him one of these. You can also leave them out for him to naturally locate and chew.

Remember, you can only perform the above procedure if you see Dozer in the act of chewing.

If you can’t “catch him in the act”, you will need to find a way to passively discourage Dozer from chewing. To do this, you need to make the thing you don’t want him to chew to taste yucky. We suggest that you use Bitter Apple.

You need to let Dozer understand that anything that tastes like Bitter Apple is yucky. You do this by spraying a very small amount of it into his mouth. You are not trying to have him drink it; you want the mist of the spray to reach the taste buds in the back of his mouth. This will trigger a “bad taste memory”. He will then associate other things with this same smell as tasting bad.

Spray Bitter Apple on things you don’t want Dozer to chew. The Bitter Apple will eventually evaporate on the object, so you must re-spray from time to time. Once you have sprayed the “don’t chew this” object, place a Kong Toy or Deer Antler in the immediate vicinity.

As he equates that one thing is bad (the thing you don’t want him to chew), he will find something good (the thing you want him to chew). After a few encounters, Dozer will ignore the thing you don’t want him to chew (it tastes yucky) for the thing you want him to chew (it tastes good).

If the Bitter Apple becomes ineffective, you can ramp up to Tabasco Sauce, Jalapeno Sauce, or Habanero Sauce (in that order). Place the sauce on the item you don’t want Dozer to chew. Since you can’t spray the sauce as you would the Bitter Apple, put a little on your finger and rub it on the top of his tongue.

9. NIPPING – Let’s review the active approach to stop Dozer from nipping and then a “set the scene” method of getting him from nipping.

In our first approach, as soon as you see Dozer start to become adrenalized, stay calm and still. If you are playing with him, stop. If possible, slowly move your hands away from him and calmly stand up. This will proactively send a signal to him that you will not engage him and do not condone his actions. If needed, make your correction sound and use the squirt bottle or shake bottle. Praise him with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY” when he stops trying to nip.

If he has already started to nip you, remain calm and still. Make your correction sound and stand up, if possible. The important thing is to stay calm. Praise him with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY” when he stops nipping.

When you don’t energetically engage him, Dozer will place additional focus on your calm demeanor. This will deescalate his adrenalated actions and allow things to cool down.

Our second approach involves “setting the scene” when you want to discourage Dozer’s nipping.

We suggest that you use Bitter Apple as your “yucky trigger”. Dozer must understand that anything that tastes like Bitter Apple is yucky. You do this by spraying a very small amount of it into his mouth. You are not trying to have him drink it; you want the mist of the spray to reach the taste buds in the back of his mouth. This will trigger a “bad taste memory”. He will then associate other things with this same smell as tasting bad.

Now, spray some Bitter Apple on your hands. Make your hands “available to Dozer” but don’t “stick them in his face”. If he starts to go for your hands, he should smell or taste how “yucky your hands have become” and will not want any part of them.

Make sure you have something else for him such as a chew toy or goodie to distract him away. As soon as he has been directed away from your hands (the target), praise him with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”.

If the Bitter Apple is not effective, you can ramp up to Tabasco Sauce, Jalapeno Sauce, or Habanero Sauce (in that order). Be sure to wash your hands thoroughly when you have finished your exercise using these liquids.

There is one more “NIPPING issue” that involves “WALKING”. As you pass by him, he will come at you and nip at your pants. You need to set a rule that he can’t nip your pants. Here is what you do:

Slowly approach Dozer with your squirt bottle in hand. As you get close to him, watch to see if there is any increase in his adrenaline level or excitement. If there is, stop, make your correction sound, and give him one or more squirts of water. (Remember to repeat your correction sound every time you give him a squirt.) When you observe that Dozer has become calm and disinterested in you, let him know that he is doing the right thing by praising him with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”.

Continue to walk past him. As you pass him, turn to face him as you walk. This means that you will be walking backwards once you pass Dozer. This will assure that he will always be observing your dominant side. This sends him the visual message that you are the boss. If you see him start to adrenalize, focus heavily on you, or move towards you, correct him again as described above.

After you have moved about eight feet past him (the distance may vary), slowly turn around and continue your walk normally (not walking backwards).

10. MANNERS AT THE FRONT DOOR – We worked with Dozer and Gary at the same time with this exercise today, so it should be fine to continue to have them concurrently participate in this exercise.

This exercise is based on the rule that Dozer and Gary can be anywhere in the house except near you when you are opening the front door. As a rule of thumb, I define “near you” as within six to eight feet of the front door. This is the “Dozer and Gary can’t be here zone”. Everywhere else (away from the front door and outside the six-to-eight-foot boundary of the door) is the “Dozer and Gary can be here zone”.

You, Dozer, and Gary can be anywhere in the house at the start of this exercise. Try to do “regular things” while not directly engaging them or causing them to become adrenalized. Make sure you know the location of your squirt bottle (either out of sight by the front door or in your pocket.)

Have someone knock on the door. Calmly walk to the front door. If they run ahead of you, don’t worry about that yet. When you are at the front door, turn around and visibly locate Dozer and Gary.

If either are within the “Dozer and Gary can’t be here zone” (close to you and the front door), stand tall and face them, make your correction sound, and (if needed) give them several squirts to have them back out of the “Dozer and Gary can’t be here zone”, away from the door, and into the “Dozer and Gary can be here zone”. It may take multiple squirts to have them back away. (Remember to repeat your correction sound every time you give them a squirt.)

If the use of the squirt bottle is not effective in directing either dog away from the door area, include the shake bottle in your correction process. Make your correction sound and use the squirt bottle as before, but now simultaneously introduce the shaking chain sound of the shake bottle into the correction process. As before, repeat these actions multiple times, if needed.

Once the offender or offenders are away from the front door, slowly reach for the door handle while always facing them. Gradually open the door for the outside visitor. If they make any attempt to continue their approach, correct them as described above.

Continue facing them while opening the door to allow the outside visitor to enter. Close the door. Praise their action with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY” for obeying your rule of staying away from the front door when you are opening it. Repeat this exercise daily with family members, neighbors, and strangers (UPS, Domino’s, etc.)

NOTE: If you are having difficulty directing either dog away from the front door area and into the “Dozer and Gary can be here zone”, use the leash to guide the offender away. Calmly step on the leash, place it in your hand, and give the leash several slight tugs to have the offender cross the boundary out of the “Dozer and Gary can’t be here zone” and into the “Dozer and Gary can be here zone”. Once that is done, drop the leash and slowly back up to the door. Continue to face the offender and brandish the squirt bottle in their direction. Correct with the squirt bottle, if needed, and continue the exercise by opening the door for the outside visitor.

11. MANAGE ATTENTION SEEKING BEHAVIOR – Always make sure that it is your idea. If Dozer comes up to you and nudges your hand for a pet, ignore him until he turns away. If you want to pet him, call him over to you. This assures he is responding to you.

If Dozer brings you a toy, ignore him until he turns away and you can then call him back. Remember, the leader always says, “I want you to…”. Make sure you are the leader.

12. USE OF THE LEASH – The leash is a passive training tool that is very effective in redirecting Dozer’s focus to you. We suggest that you place the leash on him at different times during the day when you are home. Be sure that you have the leash on at times when you expect higher adrenaline levels from Dozer.

As he begins to perform an action that you don’t want, step on the leash. If he is moving, let him go to the end of the leash, tug himself slightly, and then look back at you. Your still and calm demeanor will display leadership and Dozer will understand that you took control, and you are the boss.

If you need to remove Dozer from the area, calmly pick up the end of the leash, quietly make your correction sound, and walk him away. Once you observe that he is no longer adrenalized, stop, and have him sit. Praise him with a quiet but high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”. Drop the leash and calmly walk away.

NOTE (SLIGHT ALTERNATIVE): If Dozer is a little too pensive to sit, replace the SIT command by allowing him to calmly remain next to you while providing you with calm and respectful focus. After one or two seconds, praise him with a quiet but high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”. Drop the leash and calmly walk away.

13. POTTY OUTSIDE – We went over a great deal of information on this. You can review what we discussed today and find additional material by returning to the “Training Support Center Menu” and clicking on the “Potty & Wee-Wee Pad Training” button. From there, click on the “Potty Training” button. You will now be at our Potty Training Module that goes into great detail regarding “the art of getting your doggie to potty outside”.

Some of the major points to remember with Dozer’s Potty Training are:

a) Food Management: We often overfeed our dogs because we are Americans and love our Big Macs. Measure his daily food allowance at the start of the day and only give him that amount for the entire day. (As always, if there is a situation where your veterinarian suggests differently, do that.)

Based on his potty schedule and “accidents”, you can adjust his feeding times. If he is making accidents in the middle of the night or first thing in the morning as he wakes up, give Dozer his dinner earlier and cut off his water earlier. You can also adjust the amount of food given in each meal. For example, if Dozer is making more poopie accidents at night, you can decrease his feeding amount in the evening and increase his feeding amount in the morning.

Put his food and water down and pick it up after 20 to 30 minutes. Remember that it is a meal and not a buffet. Although we are picking up his food between meals, we recommend giving him a little bit of water between meals. We will review that next.

b) Water: We all need water for hydration. We want to give Dozer enough water to hydrate for his wellbeing, but not so much water that he is bloated, and the water just passes through him (like flood waters overflowing the top of a dam.)

You will always give Dozer a bowl of water at his mealtimes. Between mealtimes, you will be giving him water every two to three hours.

Every few hours, put the water bowl down in front of Dozer. Only put a small amount of water in the bowl. Stay with him for about five minutes to see if he drinks any water. Make sure that Gary stays away. After five minutes, pick up the bowl. Wait for a few hours and repeat this step. Always give Dozer a small amount of water if he has just come inside from excited play or a long walk.

If you notice that Dozer is making wee-wee accidents in the house, decrease the number of times you are giving him water between meals. If you have gotten to the point where you are giving him no water between meals and he is still making wee-wee accidents, start to slowly decrease the amount of water you are placing in his bowl at mealtime.

c) Watch: You NEED TO WATCH DOZER. This doesn’t mean “I think he just went over there”. It is constant “eyes on Dozer”. When you are always watching him, you will know that he made a mistake and observe any unusual characteristics he may have shown just before the potty accident. This information will allow you to decide what you must do to minimize the possibility of the accident taking place again.

IN CONCLUSION: Rules are critical. When you establish your rules, you must always correct them when they break a rule. Don’t get mad or go nuts when they misbehave. As the teacher, you must portray a calm and non-adrenalized figure to gain their respect and attention.

Our fundamental form of communication is speaking. Conversely, their fundamental form of communication is body language. Begin your communication with them through proper body language. That is what they are expecting and will understand.

Practice every day. Both you, Dozer, and Gary benefit when you implement and actively engage in a daily training regimen with them. You become a better teacher the more you have the opportunity to direct and educate. They become better students the more they have the opportunity to focus and learn.

Persistence, patience, and perseverance are necessary for your success. Concentrate on the positive results you are achieving and not the length of time they may take to complete.

Call us as soon as you have any questions. Finally, take a deep breath and just have fun.


Client: Diane Spencer
Visit Date: 03/07/2024
Visit Number: 01
Trainer: Bruce
Paid Today: 0
Still Owe: 0
Comments:

Initial Issues:
Doesn’t Listen. Jumps. Doesn’t Come.

Training Notes:
Bella is a sweet dog and I enjoyed working with her. When I first arrived, she was extremely precocious and was always trying to be in charge. She quickly and willingly submitted as soon as we began to naturally tell her that she was not the boss. She began to provide us with respectful focus and willingly obeyed our directions and commands.

Everything starts with rules. A “rule” identifies what you want her to do and what you don’t want her to do. “Come” is a rule that tells Bella to go to your side. “Don’t jump” is a rule that tells her to remain on the ground. You can easily determine your rules for Bella by asking yourself “Is she bugging me?”. If she is, Bella is breaking your rule.

Your rules must be simple and consistent. For example, if you don’t want her to jump, she can’t jump for any reason at any time. Everything must be on your terms. She cannot tell you what to do (i.e. please pet me) because she is not the boss.

We suggest that you consider having between five and ten rules. If you have too many rules, it will become difficult to effectively administer them.

Correct her as soon as she breaks one of your rules. This must be done in a manner that does not scare or frighten her and still gets her respectful focus directed towards you. Once you have guided her to the correct thing (no longer breaking your rules), acknowledge her appropriate action.

As with all dogs, Bella primarily communicates through body language. Stand tall and calm when correcting her. Remember, all Bella’s communication begins with body language.

To augment your body language communication, you may need to introduce a verbal interaction. Use a unique sound (if needed) to get her attention. I was using the “GRRRRRRRy” sound today. Any sound that gets her to calmly look at you is fine. The key is that the sound should be distinctive and only used when she has broken your rules and you need her focus.

There may be times where you need to “ramp it up” and include a passive/physical form of communication in addition to your body language and verbal interaction. If necessary, introduce a passive/physical action such as the squirt bottle or shake bottle to get her focus. Sometimes, a loud clap of your hands may be all you need.

As a final note on this subject, consider using the leash as a corrective and directive tool. This is a distractive method used to gain her focus and guide her towards the right actions. Have the leash on her at different times during the day. Always have it on her when you think she may be approaching times of heightened activity, excitement, and bad behavior.

Step on the leash if she starts to adrenalize and focus away from you. If needed, walk her to a calm area until she is deadrenalized and focused on you.

When performing the exercises, remember that repetition, consistency, observation, and simplicity are key. ACTION is essential to the process. If you catch yourself thinking “Oh, what a bad dog. I wish she would stop doing that!”, you have missed the point. If Bella does something wrong, you must actively correct now.

Bella is a dog and not a person. Do not assume that she is experiencing “human emotions”. Perform your actions because you want to keep her safe and secure.

When you give her a command, only say it once. As we discussed today, Bella is a dog and understands sounds and not words. “Come Come Come” is a different sound than “Come”. Make your sounds consistent so that Bella understands what you want her to do.

It is fine if you want to include hand gestures with any of the obedience commands. Simply include the hand gesture as you are verbalizing your obedience command to Bella.

Some general exercises we worked on today were:

1. JUMPING – Dogs normally jump because they are showing assertion or are excited. An important facet of this exercise is your ability to remain calm. Your calm demeanor will demonstrate your strong leadership and neutralize Bella’s heightened adrenaline level.

Always have Bella’s leash on when you are concerned that she might be jumping. If you are sitting on a chair or sofa and she approaches to jump, stand up, give her your correction sound, and use your physical correction (squirt bottle or shake bottle). As soon as she stops and gives you focus, praise her with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”.

If you are standing and Bella begins to jump on you or your guest, use your squirt bottle with your correction sound to stop her. You can also step on the leash so she doesn’t have the ability to jump. As soon as she calms down, praise her with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”.

If things are a little “too crazy”, you may need to ramp it up. Momentarily remove Bella from the immediate area. Please refer to the USE OF THE LEASH discussion below.

2. BARKING – Barking is always annoying and can be caused by many things. This exercise is designed to redirect Bella’s attention away from the distraction causing the barking and to place the focus on you.

Have her leash on in the house when you know there might be things that normally cause her to bark. As soon as she starts to bark, step on the leash, and place the handle in your hand. Make your correction sound as you briskly walk her in a direction away from the distraction to a point where she is giving you focus and has lost interest in whatever was causing her to bark. Have her sit for you. As soon as she does, praise her with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”.

(If she is a little too pensive to sit, have her calmly remain next to you while providing you with calm and respectful focus for one or two seconds. At that point, praise her with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”.)

Drop the leash and calmly walk back to whatever you were doing before Bella started to bark.

If Bella’s focus can be easily directed back to you, simply standing tall, giving your correction sound, and using your physical correction (squirt bottle or shake bottle) may suffice in getting her to stop barking. Once she has stopped barking, praise her with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”.

3. GOING OUT AND IN THE DOOR – You want to be able to come in and out the door without Bella rushing you, jumping on you, running out the door, or causing other mischief. Let’s first look at leaving and then coming back inside.

Your rule for Bella when you leave through the door is for her to stay out of the “Bella can’t be here zone”. This is a zone approximately six to eight feet extending from the door into the house. Calmly walk up to the door as you are preparing to leave. Turn around to determine if Bella is within the “Bella can’t be here zone”. If she is, face her, stand tall, make your correction sound, and give her one or more squirts of water until she backs up and out of the immediate area. (Remember to repeat your correction sound every time you give her a squirt.)

When she is out of the immediate area, slowly open the door while still facing her. If she starts to approach again and enter the “Bella can’t be here zone”, correct her as described above until she has retreated. Continue through the door and close the door. Give her a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY” just before the door finally closes shut. You can now leave and do whatever you need to do away from the house.

When you return home, make sure you have your squirt bottle with you as you reach the door. Your rule is you want Bella to be away from the door when you enter and not to bug you until you are ready to greet her.

Loudly make your correction sound while you are outside the door. Next, slowly crack the door open just wide enough for you to extend the squirt bottle into the door opening.

If Bella is within the “Bella can’t be here zone”, correct her as described above. Continue your correction until she has retreated outside the “Bella can’t be here zone”. Now, slowly open the door, correcting if necessary until you can step through the opening and close the door.

There is one more thing to do before the COMING BACK INSIDE exercise is finished. You must decide when you want to greet Bella. In order to do this, perform any overt, physical action that you clearly initiate. Put your keys or phone on the table, open the refrigerator for a bottle of water, turn on the TV, etc.

Ignore her until you complete this task. If she tries to get your attention while you are performing “your task”, correct her. Once you are done with your task, let her know she was a good girl by providing her with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”. Now, you can greet her.

4. WALKING OUTSIDE – Before you begin your walk, remember that you are Bella’s protector, boss, and best friend. It is your responsibility to always keep her safe. As you are on your walk, visually scan the immediate area to determine if there are any issues that might place Bella in danger or cause her to feel scared. If you find such a situation, create a plan ahead of time to mitigate or eliminate the danger before it takes place. This will prepare you to easily solve any problem you and Bella may encounter on your walk.

Just like any other time, when you are walking with Bella, she must be obeying your rules. I suggest that your “walking rules” for Bella are to be near you, do not pull on the leash, listen to your commands when given, and have a good time. These are only my suggestions. You must create your own rules so that you and Bella have an excellent walking experience.

(If you are inside and need to get outside to start your walk, be sure to perform the FOLLOW THROUGH DOOR exercise first (see below). If you are going to finish the walk by bringing Bella back inside the house, repeat the FOLLOW THRU DOOR exercise to bring her back inside.)

Start your walk outside with Bella calmly next to you wearing her collar and Easy Walk Harness (size Medium). Have her leash attached to both the collar and harness. Give your WALK command, tug the leash slightly, and begin your walk.

As long as Bella is maintaining your rules as mentioned above, all is fine. If she starts to break your rules (pull, not listen, etc.), give the leash a slight tug back towards you as you are walking. Make your correction sound as you tug the leash. Have her look at you and give you focus. Acknowledge her correct behavior with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”.

If she is unresponsive to your slight tug while walking, stop walking, make your correction sound, and give the leash a slightly more forceful tug back towards you. Have her look at you and give you focus. Acknowledge her correct behavior with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”. Continue your walk.

If she really starts to pull or focus on something too much, you may need to “ramp up” your correction. In this case, you can turn around 180 degrees and walk in the opposite direction for about ten to thirty feet. Make sure she is properly walking with you. When she is calm and focused on you, reverse your direction by 180 degrees and continue your walk in the original direction. Acknowledge her correct behavior with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”.

It is frequently difficult to determine “who is walking who”. Are you walking at the pace that Bella has set or is she walking at your pace? It must be your pace because you are the boss. Set the tempo by creating “a cadence in your head”. Think to yourself, “1… 2… 3… 4…; 1… 2… 3… 4…”, as you walk and mark your steps to your count. This will compel you to set a speed and maintain it. It will also allow you to determine if Bella is walking at your speed. If she is not, correct her using one of the methods previously discussed in this exercise.

Although I did not observe Bella doing this today, some dogs like to grab the leash in their mouth as they walk. If Bella grabs the leash in her mouth as you are walking, make your correction sound and squirt her with your squirt bottle. It may take multiple squirts to have her drop the leash from her mouth. (Remember to repeat your correction sound every time you give her a squirt.) Praise her with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY” after she drops the leash. Continue your walk.

Do not allow Bella to tell you when she wants to stop. You need to let her know when she can stop and sniff around. Try and make your “stops” at places you know she likes.

NOTE: Whenever we are directing you to give Bella a tug on the leash, it may require more than one tug. If you have given her a single tug without success, repeat by giving her several tugs in quick succession. Make your correction sound each time you give her a tug.

ONE MORE THING: Dogs often chew their harnesses when they are bored. Please remember to remove Bella’s harness when you are not walking with her.

5. FOLLOW THRU DOOR – You always want to go through a doorway before Bella. The reason for this is twofold. First, you are the leader, and you want to show Bella that you are always leading. Second, you want to keep Bella safe. The only way you can do this is to “check out” whatever is on the other side of the door before you allow her to proceed.

Have Bella on a leash. Walk her up to the doorway and have her sit. Hold your hand out like a traffic policeman while you slowly step backwards through the doorway. Always face her.

When both of your feet are across the threshold, pat your leg to allow Bella to proceed. Once she has crossed the threshold, have her sit again. Praise her action with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY” for obeying your command.

NOTE: If Bella is a little too pensive to sit while she is on either side of the doorway, have her quietly stand and stay still. “Although it may not be pretty”, as long as she is remaining stable as you place your feet on the other side of the door, she has obeyed your rule.

6. CHEWING – Let’s talk about the method of stopping Bella from chewing when you can “catch her in the act” and another method when you can’t “catch Bella in the act” of chewing.

If you “catch her in the act”, you must correct her in the moment. Calmly approach her, stand tall and stoic in front of her, make your correction sound, and use the squirt bottle to get her attention focused on you. It may take two or three corrections (Stand/GRRRR/Squirt’s), but Bella should stop chewing, drop the item, and move away. (Be sure to repeat your correction sound every time you give her a squirt.) Once she is moving away, calmly pick up the item and praise her correct choice with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”.

After you correct her, you need to give her “an acceptable thing to chew”. One example of “an acceptable thing to chew” is the Kong Toy. Take the Kong Toy, put some peanut butter in the food hole, and freeze it. Give this to Bella to direct her chewing to something you find acceptable.

Another example of “an acceptable thing to chew” is the Deer Antler. These are very safe and (obviously) all natural. Spray some low sodium chicken broth on the antler to make it a little “tastier” and give it to her.

As soon as you take away the “thing you don’t want her to chew”, give her one of these. You can also leave them out for her to naturally locate and chew.

Remember, you can only perform the above procedure if you see Bella in the act of chewing.

If you can’t “catch her in the act”, you will need to find a way to passively discourage Bella from chewing. To do this, you need to make the thing you don’t want her to chew to taste yucky. We suggest that you use Bitter Apple.

You need to let Bella understand that anything that tastes like Bitter Apple is yucky. You do this by spraying a very small amount of it into her mouth. You are not trying to have her drink it; you want the mist of the spray to reach the taste buds in the back of her mouth. This will trigger a “bad taste memory”. She will then associate other things with this same smell as tasting bad.

Spray Bitter Apple on things you don’t want Bella to chew. The Bitter Apple will eventually evaporate on the object, so you must re-spray from time to time. Once you have sprayed the “don’t chew this” object, place a Kong Toy or Deer Antler in the immediate vicinity.

As she equates that one thing is bad (the thing you don’t want her to chew), she will find something good (the thing you want her to chew). After a few encounters, Bella will ignore the thing you don’t want her to chew (it tastes yucky) for the thing you want her to chew (it tastes good).

If the Bitter Apple becomes ineffective, you can ramp up to Tabasco Sauce, Jalapeno Sauce, or Habanero Sauce (in that order). Place the sauce on the item you don’t want Bella to chew. Since you can’t spray the sauce as you would the Bitter Apple, put a little on your finger and rub it on the top of her tongue.

NOTE: You had mentioned that there are often times that you are gone from the house for long periods of time and come home to find that Bella has chewed on something. If you have tried the above method and you still find that she is chewing on specific items, remove them from the area.

7. NIPPING – Let’s review the active approach to stop Bella from nipping and then a “set the scene” method of getting her from nipping.

In our first approach, as soon as you see Bella start to become adrenalized, stay calm and still. If you are playing with her, stop. If possible, slowly move your hands away from her and calmly stand up. This will proactively send a signal to her that you will not engage her and do not condone her actions. If needed, make your correction sound and use the squirt bottle or shake bottle. Praise her with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY” when she stops trying to nip.

If she has already started to nip you, remain calm and still. Make your correction sound and stand up, if possible. The important thing is to stay calm. Praise her with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY” when she stops nipping.

When you don’t energetically engage her, Bella will place additional focus on your calm demeanor. This will deescalate her adrenalated actions and allow things to cool down.

Our second approach involves “setting the scene” when you want to discourage Bella’s nipping.

We suggest that you use Bitter Apple as your “yucky trigger”. Bella must understand that anything that tastes like Bitter Apple is yucky. You do this by spraying a very small amount of it into her mouth. You are not trying to have her drink it; you want the mist of the spray to reach the taste buds in the back of her mouth. This will trigger a “bad taste memory”. She will then associate other things with this same smell as tasting bad.

Now, spray some Bitter Apple on your hands. Make your hands “available to Bella” but don’t “stick them in her face”. If she starts to go for your hands, she should smell or taste how “yucky your hands have become” and will not want any part of them.

Make sure you have something else for her such as a chew toy or goodie to distract her away. As soon as she has been directed away from your hands (the target), praise her with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”.

If the Bitter Apple is not effective, you can ramp up to Tabasco Sauce, Jalapeno Sauce, or Habanero Sauce (in that order). Be sure to wash your hands thoroughly when you have finished your exercise using these liquids.

8. COME: INSIDE WITH LEASH – You must initially perform this exercise in the house when it is quiet (no distractions). Put a six-foot leash on Bella. Slowly step away from her (facing her) until you have reached the end of the leash. Drop to your knees or crouch down low and say “COME” once. If she doesn’t start to move towards you, give the leash a slight tug. You may need to give several tugs.

If she is unresponsive to the tug, make your correction sound, wait for one or two seconds, say “COME” again, and give the leash another tug with slightly more force. Repeat this, if needed, until Bella is moving towards you.

Once she reaches you, praise her action with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”. Stand up and repeat this process for several minutes.

When she can always come to you from six feet, extend the length by using a longer leash or attaching several together. Practice from ten feet, fifteen feet, and twenty feet. When she can come to you from the longest distance, repeat the exercise at that length, but no longer hold the leash. Let it lie on the ground between you and Bella. The “handle end” of the leash should still be near you and easily accessible if Bella is not responding to your command.

Continue practicing confirming that she constantly comes to you without the need to grab and tug on the leash. Once this is achieved, unhook the leash and practice the COME exercise without the leash.

After she has successfully completed the COME exercise when she is inside, repeat the process outside. Practice from ten, fifteen, twenty, and thirty feet. Only allow Bella off leash (final step) if she is wearing her Dog Guard collar and she is in “the contained area”.

A HELPFUL TIP: If Bella is slow in learning the COME command, you may need to enhance her ability to focus on you when the command is given. As you are down low and about to verbalize “COME”, pat your knees, snap your fingers, or call her name (“Bella”). This may help draw her attention to you as you command her to COME.

ONE MORE THING: There are times where you may be “too far away”. For example, she may have been coming to you from ten feet yesterday, but won’t respond at all from that distance today. Instead of “reinforcing failure” at ten feet, shorten the distance between you and Bella until she starts to come to you. Continue your exercise at that length and expand the distance as she consistently obeys your command.

NOTE: Never give Bella the COME command without the leash being attached to her if you have any hesitation that she will not come to you. If you want to attempt to have her come to you without the leash, get down low, call her name, become visibly animated, and clap your hands or pat your knees. Just don’t say “COME”.

If she comes to you, that is great. If Bella does not come to you, that is no big deal. You offered her an invitation and you allowed her to respond “yes” or “no”.

If you had said “COME” to Bella; that is a command and she must comply. If she does not, the only tool you have to gain her compliance and maintain your leadership role is the leash.

9. SIT – Initially perform this exercise in a quiet location with minimal or no distractions. Put a six-foot leash on Bella. Stand directly in front of her and say “SIT” once. If she doesn’t sit, give her your correction sound and a slight tug on the leash. Say “SIT” again.

If she doesn’t sit immediately, move to her side and pull the leash up and behind her head. At the same time use your other hand to guide her rear end backwards until you see her hindquarters moving towards the ground. Continue to slightly pull the leash so that her head is moving backwards and her hindquarters are still descending. Once she is sitting, praise her action with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”.

Move Bella a few feet and repeat the exercise for several minutes. As you continue your sessions and she is constantly sitting on the first command, slowly add distractions.

10. STAY – Bella must be able to sit with a single command and no assistance before you can work on this exercise. If she still has a problem sitting, work on SIT.

This exercise has several levels. Work on each level until Bella can always perform the actions before you move on to the next. Don’t rush to the next level when she appears to be succeeding in the current level. Have one or two days of “constant success” before you move on.

Place Bella in a SIT before you start this command:

Level One: Stand directly in front of Bella, hold your hand up as if you were a traffic policeman, and say “STAY”. If she begins to move, give her your correction sound to have her stop. Wait until she is sitting quietly for about five to ten seconds. Praise her action with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY” for obeying your command. Continue to practice while extending the time you are standing in front of her and she is remaining in place. When you have accomplished this and Bella can remain in place for about fifteen to twenty seconds, you can move on to Level Two.

Level Two: Stand directly in front of Bella, hold your hand up as if you were a traffic policeman, and say “STAY”. Slowly back up (always holding the leash and facing her) until you have reached the end of the leash. Make sure you do not tug the leash. If she begins to move, give her your correction sound to have her stop. Wait until she is sitting quietly for about five seconds. Step back until you are next to her. Praise her action with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY” for obeying your command. Once you have accomplished this, you can move on to Level Three.

Level Three: Stand directly in front of Bella, hold your hand up as if you were a traffic policeman, and say “STAY”. Slowly back up (always holding the leash and facing her) until you have reached the end of the leash. Make sure you do not tug the leash. Walk in a partial semi-circle to your left until you are all the way to Bella’s side. Slowly move to the right, pass in front of her, and stop when you have reached her other side. Next, move back until you are in front of her again. If she begins to move, give her your correction sound to have her stop. Make sure you keep your “policeman’s hand” up the entire time. Finally, step back until you are next to her. Praise her action with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY” for obeying your command. Now that you have accomplished this, you can move on to Level Four.

Level Four: Stand directly in front of Bella, hold your hand up as if you were a traffic policeman, and say “STAY”. Slowly back up (always holding the leash and facing her) until you have reached the end of the leash. Make sure you do not tug the leash. Walk completely around her. If she begins to move, give her your correction sound to have her stop. Make sure you keep your “policeman’s hand” up the entire time. Now, step back until you are next to her. Praise her action with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY” for obeying your command. Practice this exercise for several days with continual success. Once you have accomplished this, you can move on to Level Five.

Level Five: At this point you can walk completely around Bella with your hand up and she is remaining in her STAY. It is time to add a “real world” situation to the exercise. You will not be holding the leash. Place Bella in a SIT and then a STAY. Walk around the room/area while facing her and keeping your hand up in your “traffic policeman’s pose”. Continue this while you slowly add actions such as picking up objects and opening and closing doors and drawers. Always remain in her sight.

If Bella moves from her spot, correct her, step back to a prior level, and continue from there. The more you can move around the room/area while she remains stationary in a STAY, the more you can add additional actions that you would normally perform when you want her in a STAY in a “real world situation”.

NOTE: Bella is remaining in her STAY because you have conditioned her to remain still while focusing on your outstretched hand. If you leave the room and/or leave her sight, your outstretched hand (the trigger to have her STAY) will be gone and she will probably get up and break her stay.

11. MANNERS AT THE FRONT DOOR – This exercise is based on the rule that Bella can be anywhere in the house except near you when you are opening the front door. As a rule of thumb, I define “near you” as within six to eight feet of the front door. This is the “Bella can’t be here zone”. Everything else (away from the door and outside the six-to-eight-foot boundary of the door) is the “Bella can be here zone”.

You and Bella can be anywhere in the house at the start of this exercise. Try to do “regular things” while not directly engaging her or causing her to become adrenalized. Make sure you know the location of your squirt bottle (either out of sight by the front door or in your pocket.)

Have someone knock on the door. Calmly walk to the front door. If Bella runs ahead of you, don’t worry about that yet. When you are at the front door, turn around and visibly locate her.

If she is within the “Bella can’t be here zone” (close to you and the front door), stand tall and face her, make your correction sound, and (if needed) give her several squirts to have her back out of the “Bella can’t be here zone”, away from the door, and into the “Bella can be here zone”. It may take multiple squirts to have her back away. (Remember to repeat your correction sound every time you give her a squirt.)

Continue facing her while opening the door to allow the outside visitor to enter. Close the door. Praise Bella’s action with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY” for obeying your rule of staying away from the front door when you are opening it. Repeat this exercise daily with family members, neighbors, and strangers (UPS, Domino’s, etc.)

NOTE: If you are having difficulty directing Bella away from the front door area and into the “Bella can be here zone”, use the leash to guide her away. Calmly step on the leash, place it in your hand, and give the leash several slight tugs to have her cross the boundary out of the “Bella can’t be here zone” and into the “Bella can be here zone”. Once that is done, drop the leash and slowly back up to the door. Continue to face her and brandish the squirt bottle in her direction. Correct with the squirt bottle, if needed, and continue the exercise by opening the door for the outside visitor.

12. MANAGE ATTENTION SEEKING BEHAVIOR – Always make sure that it is your idea. If Bella comes up to you and nudges your hand for a pet, ignore her until she turns away. If you want to pet her, call her over to you. This assures she is responding to you.

If Bella brings you a toy, ignore her until she turns away and you can then call her back. Remember, the leader always says, “I want you to…”. Make sure you are the leader.

13. USE OF THE LEASH – The leash is a passive training tool that is very effective in redirecting Bella’s focus to you. We suggest that you place the leash on her at different times during the day when you are home. Be sure that you have the leash on at times when you expect higher adrenaline levels from Bella.

As she begins to perform an action that you don’t want, step on the leash. If she is moving, let her go to the end of the leash, tug herself slightly, and then look back at you. Your still and calm demeanor will display leadership and Bella will understand that you took control, and you are the boss.

If you need to remove Bella from the area, calmly pick up the end of the leash, quietly make your correction sound, and walk her away. Once you observe that she is no longer adrenalized, stop, and have her sit. Praise her with a quiet but high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”. Drop the leash and calmly walk away.

NOTE (SLIGHT ALTERNATIVE): If Bella is a little too pensive to sit, replace the SIT command by allowing her to calmly remain next to you while providing you with calm and respectful focus. After one or two seconds, praise her with a quiet but high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”. Drop the leash and calmly walk away.

IN CONCLUSION: Rules are critical. When you establish your rules, you must always correct Bella when she breaks a rule. Don’t get mad or go nuts when she misbehaves. As the teacher, you must portray a calm and non-adrenalized figure to gain Bella’s respect and attention.

Our fundamental form of communication is speaking. Conversely, Bella’s fundamental form of communication is body language. Begin your communication with Bella through proper body language. That is what she is expecting and will understand.

Practice every day. Both you and Bella benefit when you implement and actively engage in a daily training regimen with her. You become a better teacher the more you have the opportunity to direct and educate. Bella becomes a better student the more she has the opportunity to focus and learn.

Persistence, patience, and perseverance are necessary for your success. Concentrate on the positive results you are achieving and not the length of time they may take to complete.

Call us as soon as you have any questions. Finally, take a deep breath and just have fun.


Client: Lisa McAnally
Visit Date: 03/07/2024
Visit Number: 01
Trainer: Robin
Paid Today: 0
Still Owe: 0
Comments:

Initial Issues:
Potty. Chewing. Biting. Front Door. Come. Sit.

Training Notes:
Scarlett is a sweet dog and we enjoyed working with her. She was a wonderful house guest and got along with all of our dogs. She was a great student and learned her lessons quickly.

Everything starts with rules. A “rule” identifies what you want her to do and what you don’t want her to do. “Come” is a rule that tells Scarlett to go to your side. “Don’t jump” is a rule that tells her to remain on the ground. You can easily determine your rules for Scarlett by asking yourself “Is she bugging me?”. If she is, Scarlett is breaking your rule.

Your rules must be simple and consistent. For example, if you don’t want her to jump, she can’t jump for any reason at any time. Everything must be on your terms. She cannot tell you what to do (i.e. please pet me) because she is not the boss.

We suggest that you consider having between five and ten rules. If you have too many rules, it will become difficult to effectively administer them.

Correct her as soon as she breaks one of your rules. This must be done in a manner that does not scare or frighten her and still gets her respectful focus directed towards you. Once you have guided her to the correct thing (no longer breaking your rules), acknowledge her appropriate action.

As with all dogs, Scarlett primarily communicates through body language. Stand tall and calm when correcting her. Remember, all Scarlett’s communication begins with body language.

To augment your body language communication, you may need to introduce a verbal interaction. Use a unique sound (if needed) to get her attention. We were using the “GRRRRRRRy” sound during our board and train program. Any sound that gets her to calmly look at you is fine. The key is that the sound should be distinctive and only used when she has broken your rules and you need her focus.

There may be times where you need to “ramp it up” and include a passive/physical form of communication in addition to your body language and verbal interaction. If necessary, introduce a passive/physical action such as the squirt bottle or shake bottle to get her focus. Sometimes, a loud clap of your hands may be all you need.

As a final note on this subject, consider using the leash as a corrective and directive tool. This is a distractive method used to gain her focus and guide her towards the right actions. Have the leash on her at different times during the day. Always have it on her when you think she may be approaching times of heightened activity, excitement, and bad behavior.

Step on the leash if she starts to adrenalize and focus away from you. If needed, walk her to a calm area until she is deadrenalized and focused on you.

When performing the exercises, remember that repetition, consistency, observation, and simplicity are key. ACTION is essential to the process. If you catch yourself thinking “Oh, what a bad dog. I wish she would stop doing that!”, you have missed the point. If Scarlett does something wrong, you must actively correct now.

Scarlett is a dog and not a person. Do not assume that she is experiencing “human emotions”. Perform your actions because you want to keep her safe and secure.

When you give her a command, only say it once. As we discussed today, Scarlett is a dog and understands sounds and not words. “Come Come Come” is a different sound than “Come”. Make your sounds consistent so that Scarlett understands what you want her to do.

It is fine if you want to include hand gestures with any of the obedience commands. Simply include the hand gesture as you are verbalizing your obedience command to Scarlett.

Some general exercises we worked on during our board and train program were:

1. COME: INSIDE WITH LEASH – You must initially perform this exercise in the house when it is quiet (no distractions). Put a six-foot leash on Scarlett. Slowly step away from her (facing her) until you have reached the end of the leash. Drop to your knees or crouch down low and say “COME” once. If she doesn’t start to move towards you, give the leash a slight tug. You may need to give several tugs.

If she is unresponsive to the tug, make your correction sound, wait for one or two seconds, say “COME” again, and give the leash another tug with slightly more force. Repeat this, if needed, until Scarlett is moving towards you.

Once she reaches you, praise her action with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”. Stand up and repeat this process for several minutes.

When she can always come to you from six feet, extend the length by using a longer leash or attaching several together. Practice from ten feet, fifteen feet, and twenty feet. When she can come to you from the longest distance, repeat the exercise at that length, but no longer hold the leash. Let it lie on the ground between you and Scarlett. The “handle end” of the leash should still be near you and easily accessible if Scarlett is not responding to your command.

Continue practicing confirming that she constantly comes to you without the need to grab and tug on the leash. Once this is achieved, unhook the leash and practice the COME exercise without the leash.

After she has successfully completed the COME exercise when she is inside, repeat the process outside. Practice from ten, fifteen, twenty, and thirty feet. Only allow Scarlett off leash (final step) if you are in a fenced-in area.

When you are outside and you want Scarlett to come to you, this is mostly because you want her to get in the house. When outside, we suggest that you set up many of your exercises where you are near the door and Scarlett is in the yard.

ONE MORE THING: There are times where you may be “too far away”. For example, she may have been coming to you from ten feet yesterday, but won’t respond at all from that distance today. Instead of “reinforcing failure” at ten feet, shorten the distance between you and Scarlett until she starts to come to you. Continue your exercise at that length and expand the distance as she consistently obeys your command.

NOTE: Never give Scarlett the COME command without the leash being attached to her if you have any hesitation that she will not come to you. If you want to attempt to have her come to you without the leash, get down low, call her name, become visibly animated, and clap your hands or pat your knees. Just don’t say “COME”.

If she comes to you, that is great. If Scarlett does not come to you, that is no big deal. You offered her an invitation and you allowed her to respond “yes” or “no”.

If you had said “COME” to Scarlett; that is a command and she must comply. If she does not, the only tool you have to gain her compliance and maintain your leadership role is the leash.

2. SIT – Initially perform this exercise in a quiet location with minimal or no distractions. Put a six-foot leash on Scarlett. Stand directly in front of her and say “SIT” once. If she doesn’t sit, give her your correction sound and a slight tug on the leash. Say “SIT” again.

If she doesn’t sit immediately, move to her side and pull the leash up and behind her head. At the same time use your other hand to guide her rear end backwards until you see her hindquarters moving towards the ground. Continue to slightly pull the leash so that her head is moving backwards and her hindquarters are still descending. Once she is sitting, praise her action with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”.

Move Scarlett a few feet and repeat the exercise for several minutes. As you continue your sessions and she is constantly sitting on the first command, slowly add distractions.

3. STAY – Scarlett must be able to sit with a single command and no assistance before you can work on this exercise. If she still has a problem sitting, work on SIT.

This exercise has several levels. Work on each level until Scarlett can always perform the actions before you move on to the next. Don’t rush to the next level when she appears to be succeeding in the current level. Have one or two days of “constant success” before you move on.

Place Scarlett in a SIT before you start this command:

Level One: Stand directly in front of Scarlett, hold your hand up as if you were a traffic policeman, and say “STAY”. If she begins to move, give her your correction sound to have her stop. Wait until she is sitting quietly for about five to ten seconds. Praise her action with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY” for obeying your command. Continue to practice while extending the time you are standing in front of her and she is remaining in place. When you have accomplished this and Scarlett can remain in place for about fifteen to twenty seconds, you can move on to Level Two.

Level Two: Stand directly in front of Scarlett, hold your hand up as if you were a traffic policeman, and say “STAY”. Slowly back up (always holding the leash and facing her) until you have reached the end of the leash. Make sure you do not tug the leash. If she begins to move, give her your correction sound to have her stop. Wait until she is sitting quietly for about five seconds. Step back until you are next to her. Praise her action with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY” for obeying your command. Once you have accomplished this, you can move on to Level Three.

Level Three: Stand directly in front of Scarlett, hold your hand up as if you were a traffic policeman, and say “STAY”. Slowly back up (always holding the leash and facing her) until you have reached the end of the leash. Make sure you do not tug the leash. Walk in a partial semi-circle to your left until you are all the way to Scarlett’s side. Slowly move to the right, pass in front of her, and stop when you have reached her other side. Next, move back until you are in front of her again. If she begins to move, give her your correction sound to have her stop. Make sure you keep your “policeman’s hand” up the entire time. Finally, step back until you are next to her. Praise her action with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY” for obeying your command. Now that you have accomplished this, you can move on to Level Four.

Level Four: Stand directly in front of Scarlett, hold your hand up as if you were a traffic policeman, and say “STAY”. Slowly back up (always holding the leash and facing her) until you have reached the end of the leash. Make sure you do not tug the leash. Walk completely around her. If she begins to move, give her your correction sound to have her stop. Make sure you keep your “policeman’s hand” up the entire time. Now, step back until you are next to her. Praise her action with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY” for obeying your command. Practice this exercise for several days with continual success. Once you have accomplished this, you can move on to Level Five.

Level Five: At this point you can walk completely around Scarlett with your hand up and she is remaining in her STAY. It is time to add a “real world” situation to the exercise. You will not be holding the leash. Place Scarlett in a SIT and then a STAY. Walk around the room/area while facing her and keeping your hand up in your “traffic policeman’s pose”. Continue this while you slowly add actions such as picking up objects and opening and closing doors and drawers. Always remain in her sight.

If Scarlett moves from her spot, correct her, step back to a prior level, and continue from there. The more you can move around the room/area while she remains stationary in a STAY, the more you can add additional actions that you would normally perform when you want her in a STAY in a “real world situation”.

NOTE: Scarlett is remaining in her STAY because you have conditioned her to remain still while focusing on your outstretched hand. If you leave the room and/or leave her sight, your outstretched hand (the trigger to have her STAY) will be gone and she will probably get up and break her stay.

4. WALKING INSIDE – Make sure that Scarlett is wearing her collar and Easy Walk Harness (Size Small). Attach her leash to both the collar and harness. Start this process in your house when it is calm and devoid of distractions. Just like any other time, when you are walking with Scarlett, she must be obeying your rules.

I suggest that your “walking rules” for Scarlett are to be near you, do not pull on the leash, listen to your commands when given, and have a good time. These are only my suggestions. You must create your own rules so that you and Scarlett have an excellent walking experience.

Start your walk by issuing a command such as “Let’s go”, “Giddie-up”, “Walkies”, etc. You can also pat your leg at the same time for guidance. If she is not obeying your rules (i.e. pulling, tugging, not moving, or not listening), tug the leash slightly while you repeatedly tap your leg.

If Scarlett isn’t responsive to a single tug, give the leash several small tugs in quick succession while you are patting your leg. Walk for about ten to twenty feet and then turn and walk back. Once you have returned, stop and have her sit. Praise her with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”.

Repeat this several times a day. Extend the walk into multiple rooms and eventually outside.

ONE MORE THING: Dogs often chew their harnesses when they are bored. Please remember to remove Scarlett’s harness when you are not walking with her.

5. MANNERS AT THE FRONT DOOR – This exercise is based on the rule that Scarlett can be anywhere in the house except near you when you are opening the front door. As a rule of thumb, I define “near you” as within six to eight feet of the front door. This is the “Scarlett can’t be here zone”. Everything else (away from the door and outside the six-to-eight-foot boundary of the door) is the “Scarlett can be here zone”.

You and Scarlett can be anywhere in the house at the start of this exercise. Try to do “regular things” while not directly engaging her or causing her to become adrenalized. Make sure you know the location of your squirt bottle (either out of sight by the front door or in your pocket.)

Have someone knock on the door. Calmly walk to the front door. If Scarlett runs ahead of you, don’t worry about that yet. When you are at the front door, turn around and visibly locate her.

If she is within the “Scarlett can’t be here zone” (close to you and the front door), stand tall and face her, make your correction sound, and (if needed) give her several squirts to have her back out of the “Scarlett can’t be here zone”, away from the door, and into the “Scarlett can be here zone”. It may take multiple squirts to have her back away. (Remember to repeat your correction sound every time you give her a squirt.)

Once she is away from the front door, slowly reach for the door handle while always facing her. Gradually open the door for the outside visitor. If Scarlett makes any attempt to continue her approach, correct her as described above.

Continue facing her while opening the door to allow the outside visitor to enter. Close the door. Praise Scarlett’s action with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY” for obeying your rule of staying away from the front door when you are opening it. Repeat this exercise daily with family members, neighbors, and strangers (UPS, Domino’s, etc.)

6. MANAGE ATTENTION SEEKING BEHAVIOR – Always make sure that it is your idea. If Scarlett comes up to you and nudges your hand for a pet, ignore her until she turns away. If you want to pet her, call her over to you. This assures she is responding to you.

If Scarlett brings you a toy, ignore her until she turns away and you can then call her back. Remember, the leader always says, “I want you to…”. Make sure you are the leader.

7. USE OF THE LEASH – The leash is a passive training tool that is very effective in redirecting Scarlett’s focus to you. We suggest that you place the leash on her at different times during the day when you are home. Be sure that you have the leash on at times when you expect higher adrenaline levels from Scarlett.

As she begins to perform an action that you don’t want, step on the leash. If she is moving, let her go to the end of the leash, tug herself slightly, and then look back at you. Your still and calm demeanor will display leadership and Scarlett will understand that you took control, and you are the boss.

If you need to remove Scarlett from the area, calmly pick up the end of the leash, quietly make your correction sound, and walk her away. Once you observe that she is no longer adrenalized, stop, and have her sit. Praise her with a quiet but high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”. Drop the leash and calmly walk away.

NOTE (SLIGHT ALTERNATIVE): If Scarlett is a little to pensive to sit, replace the SIT command by allowing her to calmly remain next to you while providing you with calm and respectful focus. After one or two seconds, praise her with a quiet but high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”. Drop the leash and calmly walk away.

8. POTTY OUTSIDE – We went over a great deal of information on this. You can review what we discussed today and find additional material by returning to the “Training Support Center Menu” and clicking on the “Potty & Wee-Wee Pad Training” button. From there, click on the “Potty Training” button. You will now be at our Potty Training Module that goes into great detail regarding “the art of getting your puppy to potty outside”.

Some of the major points to remember with Potty Training are:

a) Food Management: We often overfeed our puppies because we are Americans and love our Big Macs. Measure her daily food allowance at the start of the day and only give her that amount for the entire day. (As always, if there is a situation where your veterinarian suggests differently, do that.)

Based on her potty schedule and “accidents”, you can adjust her feeding times. If she is making accidents in the middle of the night or first thing in the morning as she wakes up, give Scarlett her dinner earlier and cut off her water earlier. You can also adjust the amount of food given in each meal. For example, if Scarlett is making more poopie accidents at night, you can decrease her feeding amount in the evening and increase her feeding amount in the morning.

Put her food and water down and pick it up after 20 to 30 minutes. Remember that it is a meal and not a buffet. Although we are picking up her food between meals, we recommend giving her a little bit of water between meals. We will review that next.

b) Water: We all need water for hydration and puppies need extra water because their bodies are in a state of rapid growth and development. We want to give Scarlett enough water to hydrate for her growth, but not so much water that she is bloated, and the water just passes through her (like flood waters overflowing the top of a dam.)

After each meal, leave the water bowl down with a little bit of water. Check the bowl every 1 or 2 hours. If the bowl is empty, pour a little bit of water into the bowl. If she starts to make wee-wee accidents in the house, you may be giving her too much water between meals. If this is happening and the water bowl is empty, wait for 30 to 60 minutes before you add water to the bowl (just a little bit of water) again. If her wee-wee accidents are in the evening or first thing in the morning, start picking up her water bowl earlier in the evening, not putting it down again after her dinner, and/or decreasing the amount of water you are providing her at dinner. Continue until the wee-wee accidents decrease and are eliminated.

c) Watch: You NEED TO WATCH SCARLETT. This doesn’t mean “I think she just went over there”. It is constant “eyes on Scarlett”. When you are always watching her, you will know that she made a mistake and observe any unusual characteristics she may have shown just before the potty accident. This allows you to properly document the accident with the time, location, and possible reason for the accident. This is key in creating a better schedule for tomorrow.

d) Schedule: During her time with us, we took the natural times that puppies normally need to potty along with Scarlett’s specific actions that would impact her bladder activity to create an evolving potty plan. We worked and improved on that plan until we could predict when she needed to potty.

Potty training is like the game of Marco Polo. Every time you call “Marco” and hear “Polo”, you get a little closer to your goal. Work your plan every day. At the end of the day, review what really happened, analyze your observations, and build your “Tomorrow’s Plan” based on the new information you gained today.

There is an old saying that sums this up. “Every day, in every way, I am getting better and better”. That is what Potty Training is all about. It is about you becoming more and more familiar with Scarlett and her bladder requirements.

CONCLUSION: Rules are critical. When you establish your rules, you must always correct Scarlett when she breaks a rule. Don’t get mad or go nuts when she misbehaves. As the teacher, you must portray a calm and non-adrenalized figure to gain Scarlett’s respect and attention.

Our fundamental form of communication is speaking. Conversely, Scarlett’s fundamental form of communication is body language. Begin your communication with Scarlett through proper body language. That is what she is expecting and will understand.

Practice every day. Both you and Scarlett benefit when you implement and actively engage in a daily training regimen with her. You become a better teacher the more you have the opportunity to direct and educate. Scarlett becomes a better student the more she has the opportunity to focus and learn.

Persistence, patience, and perseverance are necessary for your success. Concentrate on the positive results you are achieving and not the length of time they may take to complete.

Call us as soon as you have any questions. Finally, take a deep breath and just have fun.


Client: Elizabeth Hufstetler
Visit Date: 03/21/2024
Visit Number: 01
Trainer: Bruce
Paid Today: 0
Still Owe: 0
Comments:

Initial Issues:
Socialization, Manners. Respect.

Training Notes:
Ubbe is a sweet dog and I enjoyed working with him. He was very energetic and misfocused when I first arrived. After a little direction and proper communication, he quickly understood what he needed to do. He rapidly showed us that he could calmly give us focus and obey our rules and directions. He has an excellent temperament and will be a wonderful member of your family,

Everything starts with rules. A “rule” identifies what you want him to do and what you don’t want him to do. “Come” is a rule that tells Ubbe to go to your side. “Don’t jump” is a rule that tells him to remain on the ground. You can easily determine your rules for Ubbe by asking yourself “Is he bugging me?”. If he is, Ubbe is breaking your rule.

Your rules must be simple and consistent. For example, if you don’t want him to jump, he can’t jump for any reason at any time. Everything must be on your terms. He cannot tell you what to do (i.e. please pet me) because he is not the boss.

We suggest that you consider having between five and ten rules. If you have too many rules, it will become difficult to effectively administer them.

Correct him as soon as he breaks one of your rules. This must be done in a manner that does not scare or frighten him and still gets his respectful focus directed towards you. Once you have guided him to the correct thing (no longer breaking your rules), acknowledge his appropriate action.

As with all dogs, Ubbe primarily communicates through body language. Stand tall and calm when correcting him. Remember, all Ubbe’s communication begins with body language.

To augment your body language communication, you may need to introduce a verbal interaction. Use a unique sound (if needed) to get his attention. I was using the “GRRRRRRRy” sound today. Any sound that gets him to calmly look at you is fine. The key is that the sound should be distinctive and only used when he has broken your rules and you need his focus.

There may be times where you need to “ramp it up” and include a passive/physical form of communication in addition to your body language and verbal interaction. If necessary, introduce a passive/physical action such as the squirt bottle or shake bottle to get his focus. Sometimes, a loud clap of your hands may be all you need.

As a final note on this subject, consider using the leash as a corrective and directive tool. This is a distractive method used to gain his focus and guide him towards the right actions. Have the leash on him at different times during the day. Always have it on him when you think he may be approaching times of heightened activity, excitement, and bad behavior.

Step on the leash if he starts to adrenalize and focus away from you. If needed, walk him to a calm area until he is deadrenalized and focused on you.

When performing the exercises, remember that repetition, consistency, observation, and simplicity are key. ACTION is essential to the process. If you catch yourself thinking “Oh, what a bad dog. I wish he would stop doing that!”, you have missed the point. If Ubbe does something wrong, you must actively correct now.

Ubbe is a dog and not a person. Do not assume that he is experiencing “human emotions”. Perform your actions because you want to keep him safe and secure.

When you give him a command, only say it once. As we discussed today, Ubbe is a dog and understands sounds and not words. “Come Come Come” is a different sound than “Come”. Make your sounds consistent so that Ubbe understands what you want him to do.

It is fine if you want to include hand gestures with any of the obedience commands. Simply include the hand gesture as you are verbalizing your obedience command to Ubbe.

Although we don’t normally use treats in our exercises, they are sometimes helpful in the initial stages of obedience lessons (i.e. Come, Sit, Stay). Use them sparingly and try to ween Ubbe off of them as quickly as possible. Show him the treat as you begin the command and only give it to him after he has successfully completed the command and you have provided him with your verbal confirmation.

Some general exercises we worked on today were:

1. COME: INSIDE WITH LEASH – You must initially perform this exercise in the house when it is quiet (no distractions). Put a six-foot leash on Ubbe. Slowly step away from him (facing him) until you have reached the end of the leash. Drop to your knees or crouch down low and say “COME” once. If he doesn’t start to move towards you, give the leash a slight tug. You may need to give several tugs.

If he is unresponsive to the tug, make your correction sound, wait for one or two seconds, say “COME” again, and give the leash another tug with slightly more force. Repeat this, if needed, until Ubbe is moving towards you.

Once he reaches you, praise his action with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”. Stand up and repeat this process for several minutes.

When he can always come to you from six feet, extend the length by using a longer leash or attaching several together. Practice from ten feet, fifteen feet, and twenty feet. When he can come to you from the longest distance, repeat the exercise at that length, but no longer hold the leash. Let it lie on the ground between you and Ubbe. The “handle end” of the leash should still be near you and easily accessible if Ubbe is not responding to your command.

Continue practicing confirming that he constantly comes to you without the need to grab and tug on the leash. Once this is achieved, unhook the leash and practice the COME exercise without the leash.

After he has successfully completed the COME exercise when he is inside, repeat the process outside. Practice from ten, fifteen, twenty, and thirty feet. Only allow Ubbe off leash (final step) if you are in a fenced-in area.

A HELPFUL TIP: If Ubbe is slow in learning the COME command, you may need to enhance his ability to focus on you when the command is given. As you are down low and about to verbalize “COME”, pat your knees, snap your fingers, or call his name (“Ubbe”). This may help draw his attention to you as you command him to COME.

ONE MORE THING: There are times where you may be “too far away”. For example, he may have been coming to you from ten feet yesterday, but won’t respond at all from that distance today. Instead of “reinforcing failure” at ten feet, shorten the distance between you and Ubbe until he starts to come to you. Continue your exercise at that length and expand the distance as he consistently obeys your command.

NOTE: Never give Ubbe the COME command without the leash being attached to him if you have any hesitation that he will not come to you. If you want to attempt to have him come to you without the leash, get down low, call his name, become visibly animated, and clap your hands or pat your knees. Just don’t say “COME”.

If he comes to you, that is great. If Ubbe does not come to you, that is no big deal. You offered him an invitation and you allowed him to respond “yes” or “no”.

If you had said “COME” to Ubbe; that is a command and he must comply. If he does not, the only tool you have to gain his compliance and maintain your leadership role is the leash.

2. SIT – Initially perform this exercise in a quiet location with minimal or no distractions. Put a six-foot leash on Ubbe. Stand directly in front of him and say “SIT” once. If he doesn’t sit, give him your correction sound and a slight tug on the leash. Say “SIT” again.

If he doesn’t sit immediately, move to his side and pull the leash up and behind his head. At the same time use your other hand to guide his rear end backwards until you see his hindquarters moving towards the ground. Continue to slightly pull the leash so that his head is moving backwards and his hindquarters are still descending. Once he is sitting, praise his action with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”.

Move Ubbe a few feet and repeat the exercise for several minutes. As you continue your sessions and he is constantly sitting on the first command, slowly add distractions.

3. FOLLOW THRU DOOR – You always want to go through a doorway before Ubbe. The reason for this is twofold. First, you are the leader, and you want to show Ubbe that you are always leading. Second, you want to keep Ubbe safe. The only way you can do this is to “check out” whatever is on the other side of the door before you allow him to proceed.

Have Ubbe on a leash. Walk him up to the doorway and have him sit. Hold your hand out like a traffic policeman while you slowly step backwards through the doorway. Always face him.

When both of your feet are across the threshold, pat your leg to allow Ubbe to proceed. Once he has crossed the threshold, have him sit again. Praise his action with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY” for obeying your command.

NOTE: If Ubbe is a little too pensive to sit while he is on either side of the doorway, have him quietly stand and stay still. “Although it may not be pretty”, as long as he is remaining stable as you place your feet on the other side of the door, he has obeyed your rule.

4. WALKING OUTSIDE – Before you begin your walk, remember that you are Ubbe’s protector, boss, and best friend. It is your responsibility to always keep him safe. As you are on your walk, visually scan the immediate area to determine if there are any issues that might place Ubbe in danger or cause him to feel scared. If you find such a situation, create a plan ahead of time to mitigate or eliminate the danger before it takes place. This will prepare you to easily solve any problem you and Ubbe may encounter on your walk.

Just like any other time, when you are walking with Ubbe, he must be obeying your rules. I suggest that your “walking rules” for Ubbe are to be near you, do not pull on the leash, listen to your commands when given, and have a good time. These are only my suggestions. You must create your own rules so that you and Ubbe have an excellent walking experience.

(If you are inside and need to get outside to start your walk, be sure to perform the FOLLOW THROUGH DOOR exercise first. If you are going to finish the walk by bringing Ubbe back inside the house, repeat the FOLLOW THRU DOOR exercise to bring him back inside.)

Start your walk outside with Ubbe calmly next to you wearing his collar and Easy Walk Harness (size Medium). Have his leash attached to both the collar and harness. Give your WALK command, tug the leash slightly, and begin your walk.

As long as Ubbe is maintaining your rules as mentioned above, all is fine. If he starts to break your rules (pull, not listen, etc.), give the leash a slight tug back towards you as you are walking. Make your correction sound as you tug the leash. Have him look at you and give you focus. Acknowledge his correct behavior with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”.

If he is unresponsive to your slight tug while walking, stop walking, make your correction sound, and give the leash a slightly more forceful tug back towards you. Have him look at you and give you focus. Acknowledge his correct behavior with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”. Continue your walk.

If he really starts to pull or focus on something too much, you may need to “ramp up” your correction. In this case, you can turn around 180 degrees and walk in the opposite direction for about ten to thirty feet. Make sure he is properly walking with you. When he is calm and focused on you, reverse your direction by 180 degrees and continue your walk in the original direction. Acknowledge his correct behavior with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”.

If his proper focus continues to be a problem during the walk, you can include a technique referred to as “The Wedding March”. This is a process where you are constantly pausing during your walk. Take a step and then stop. If Ubbe stops too, that is great. If he doesn’t stop, make your correction sound and give the leash a quick tug back towards you. After he has stopped and gives you focus, take another one or two steps and stop again. If he stops, that is great. If not, correct again. Repeat this start/stop/start process until Ubbe is giving you sufficient focus to stop when you stop without the need for a leash tug.

It is frequently difficult to determine “who is walking who”. Are you walking at the pace that Ubbe has set or is he walking at your pace? It must be your pace because you are the boss. Set the tempo by creating “a cadence in your head”. Think to yourself, “1… 2… 3… 4…; 1… 2… 3… 4…”, as you walk and mark your steps to your count. This will compel you to set a speed and maintain it. It will also allow you to determine if Ubbe is walking at your speed. If he is not, correct him using one of the methods previously discussed in this exercise.

If you are walking on the side of the road and Ubbe seems to be too interested with items in the gutter, on someone’s lawn, or “just stuff on the side of the road”, you will need to easily redirect his attention back to you. If there are “way too many goodies” directly around him as you and he are walking, the simple tugs for redirection as discussed above may prove ineffective. The best way to solve the issue is to move Ubbe away from the distractive objects.

Give Ubbe several tugs on the leash as you move to the middle of the road. (Only walk in the middle of the road if you have established that it is safe to do so.) Since the middle of the road rarely contains these “distractive objects”, it is far easier to maintain his proper focus and obedience to your rules. Over time, as he establishes a routine of continually providing you with respectful focus, you can adjust your walk back to the side of the road.

Do not allow Ubbe to tell you when he wants to stop. You need to let him know when he can stop and sniff around. Try and make your “stops” at places you know he likes.

Another issue with WALKING takes place when an inappropriate distraction such as a dog, jogger, neighbor, bicyclist, car, etc. approaches. Ubbe will often start to adrenalize, lock focus on the approaching distraction, jump, bark, and pull. You need to redirect Ubbe’s focus back towards you. We suggest that you do the following:

a) Remove Ubbe from the immediate line of approach by directing him at a 90 degree angle up a driveway, onto a front lawn, etc.

b) Calmly give the leash several tugs as you walk him about ten to fifteen feet up the driveway, onto the front lawn, etc.

c) Have Ubbe focus on you as you remain calm. If he is still concentrating on the approaching distraction, move him farther up the driveway or onto the lawn. Display confidence the entire time while you are gently tugging the leash to maintain Ubbe’s attention on you. Quietly talk to him using a reassuring tone. If needed, step on the leash so that he does not have the ability to jump or move around.

d) If, after doing all this, he is still focusing on the approaching distraction, move Ubbe behind an object that will block his view of the approaching object. This could be a car in the driveway, a fence, or a bush. Continue to have Ubbe focus on you while you display a calm and “in charge” demeanor. If needed, step on the leash to keep him stable and focused on you.

e) Once the distraction has passed, reward Ubbe’s actions of focusing on you with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”. Continue your walk.

NOTE: Whenever we are directing you to give Ubbe a tug on the leash, it may require more than one tug. If you have given him a single tug without success, repeat by giving him several tugs in quick succession. Make your correction sound each time you give him a tug.

ONE MORE THING: Dogs often chew their harnesses when they are bored. Please remember to remove Ubbe’s harness when you are not walking with him

5. BARKING – Barking is always annoying and can be caused by many things. This exercise is designed to redirect Ubbe’s attention away from the distraction causing the barking and to place the focus on you.

Have his leash on in the house when you know there might be things that normally cause him to bark. As soon as he starts to bark, step on the leash, and place the handle in your hand. Make your correction sound as you briskly walk him in a direction away from the distraction to a point where he is giving you focus and has lost interest in whatever was causing him to bark. Have him sit for you. As soon as he does, praise him with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”.

(If he is a little too pensive to sit, have him calmly remain next to you while providing you with calm and respectful focus for one or two seconds. At that point, praise him with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”.)

Drop the leash and calmly walk back to whatever you were doing before Ubbe started to bark.

If Ubbe’s focus can be easily directed back to you, simply standing tall, giving your correction sound, and using your physical correction (squirt bottle or shake bottle) may suffice in getting him to stop barking. Once he has stopped barking, praise him with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”.

6. JUMPING – Dogs normally jump because they are showing assertion or are excited. An important facet of this exercise is your ability to remain calm. Your calm demeanor will demonstrate your strong leadership and neutralize Ubbe’s heightened adrenaline level.

Always have Ubbe’s leash on when you are concerned that he might be jumping. If you are sitting on a chair or sofa and he approaches to jump, stand up, give him your correction sound, and use your physical correction (squirt bottle or shake bottle). As soon as he stops and gives you focus, praise him with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”.

If you are standing and Ubbe begins to jump on you or your guest, use your squirt bottle with your correction sound to stop him. You can also step on the leash so he doesn’t have the ability to jump. As soon as he calms down, praise him with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”.

If things are a little “too crazy”, you may need to ramp it up. Momentarily remove Ubbe from the immediate area. Please refer to the USE OF THE LEASH discussion below.

7. MANNERS AT THE FRONT DOOR – This exercise is based on the rule that Ubbe can be anywhere in the house except near you when you are opening the front door. As a rule of thumb, I define “near you” as within six to eight feet of the front door. This is the “Ubbe can’t be here zone”. Everything else (away from the door and outside the six-to-eight-foot boundary of the door) is the “Ubbe can be here zone”.

You and Ubbe can be anywhere in the house at the start of this exercise. Try to do “regular things” while not directly engaging him or causing him to become adrenalized. Make sure you know the location of your squirt bottle (either out of sight by the front door or in your pocket.)

Have someone knock on the door. Calmly walk to the front door. If Ubbe runs ahead of you, don’t worry about that yet. When you are at the front door, turn around and visibly locate him.

If he is within the “Ubbe can’t be here zone” (close to you and the front door), stand tall and face him, make your correction sound, and (if needed) give him several squirts to have him back out of the “Ubbe can’t be here zone”, away from the door, and into the “Ubbe can be here zone”. It may take multiple squirts to have him back away. (Remember to repeat your correction sound every time you give him a squirt.)

If the use of the squirt bottle is not effective in directing Ubbe away from the door area, include the shake bottle in your correction process. Make your correction sound and use the squirt bottle as before, but now simultaneously introduce the shaking chain sound of the shake bottle into the correction process. As before, repeat these actions multiple times, if needed.

Once he is away from the front door, slowly reach for the door handle while always facing him. Gradually open the door for the outside visitor. If Ubbe makes any attempt to continue his approach, correct him as described above.

Continue facing him while opening the door to allow the outside visitor to enter. Close the door. Praise Ubbe’s action with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY” for obeying your rule of staying away from the front door when you are opening it. Repeat this exercise daily with family members, neighbors, and strangers (UPS, Domino’s, etc.)

NOTE: If you are having difficulty directing Ubbe away from the front door area and into the “Ubbe can be here zone”, use the leash to guide him away. Calmly step on the leash, place it in your hand, and give the leash several slight tugs to have him cross the boundary out of the “Ubbe can’t be here zone” and into the “Ubbe can be here zone”. Once that is done, drop the leash and slowly back up to the door. Continue to face him and brandish the squirt bottle in his direction. Correct with the squirt bottle, if needed, and continue the exercise by opening the door for the outside visitor.

8. MANAGE ATTENTION SEEKING BEHAVIOR – Always make sure that it is your idea. If Ubbe comes up to you and nudges your hand for a pet, ignore him until he turns away. If you want to pet him, call him over to you. This assures he is responding to you.

If Ubbe brings you a toy, ignore him until he turns away and you can then call him back. Remember, the leader always says, “I want you to…”. Make sure you are the leader.

9. USE OF THE LEASH – The leash is a passive training tool that is very effective in redirecting Ubbe’s focus to you. We suggest that you place the leash on him at different times during the day when you are home. Be sure that you have the leash on at times when you expect higher adrenaline levels from Ubbe.

As he begins to perform an action that you don’t want, step on the leash. If he is moving, let him go to the end of the leash, tug himself slightly, and then look back at you. Your still and calm demeanor will display leadership and Ubbe will understand that you took control, and you are the boss.

If you need to remove Ubbe from the area, calmly pick up the end of the leash, quietly make your correction sound, and walk him away. Once you observe that he is no longer adrenalized, stop, and have him sit. Praise him with a quiet but high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”. Drop the leash and calmly walk away.

NOTE (SLIGHT ALTERNATIVE): If Ubbe is a little too pensive to sit, replace the SIT command by allowing him to calmly remain next to you while providing you with calm and respectful focus. After one or two seconds, praise him with a quiet but high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”. Drop the leash and calmly walk away.

10. COUNTER SURFING – Counter surfing occurs when Ubbe takes something off the kitchen counter. You don’t want him to do this.

The most important thing you need to understand about counter surfing is that you can only correct him if you are in the immediate vicinity while he is going for the goodies. The reason for this relates to the concept of “ownership”.

In a dog’s world, “ownership” is based on vicinity. You must be near “your stuff” for it to be yours. If you walk away from it, you are giving up ownership and sending a signal that others can take it. To put this in clear terms, if you have a ham sandwich on the kitchen counter, are standing right next to it, and Ubbe jumps to get it; you can correct. If you walk out of the room, you have signaled to Ubbe that he can have it. You may eventually walk back into the room and the ham sandwich is still on the counter. It is still there because Ubbe simply did not want it.

Here is what you do:

We suggest that you begin with two people. One of you will be the “food preparer” and one of you will be the “corrector”. Your goal is to keep him out of the immediate vicinity of the food. It is a boundary control exercise. The rule is that Ubbe can’t be in the kitchen when food is out and/or being prepared.

The food preparer is in the kitchen taking food out, putting it on the counter, and engaging in the general actions that are required in preparing a snack or meal. The corrector will be at the edge of the kitchen area directly between the food preparer and Ubbe. The corrector will have a squirt bottle and Ubbe will be wearing a leash. Ubbe must be outside the kitchen at the start of the exercise.

The food preparer goes about their activity as the corrector is at the edge of the kitchen observing Ubbe. If he starts to approach the boundary of the kitchen, the corrector will calmly face him, make their correction sound, and give him one or more squirts of water. (Remember that the corrector must repeat their correction sound every time they give Ubbe a squirt.) Once he moves back out of the kitchen, the corrector will give him a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY” to let him know that he is doing the right thing by staying out of the kitchen while there is food present.

If Ubbe is being obstinate and will not leave the kitchen, the corrector will step on the leash, pick it up, and calmly direct him out of the kitchen. The corrector should then have him sit, drop the leash, and slowly back into the kitchen while constantly facing him. At that point, the corrector should give Ubbe a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY” for being out of the kitchen when there is food present.

Continue this exercise for five to ten minutes to assure that Ubbe understands that the rule is to stay out of the kitchen when you are there with food.

When Ubbe is obeying your rule with two people, you can “ramp up the exercise” by only using one person. In this advanced scenario, the food preparer will wear both hats of food preparer and corrector. This requires multitasking on your part; but helps to emulate a more “real world scenario”.

IN CONCLUSION: Rules are critical. When you establish your rules, you must always correct Ubbe when he breaks a rule. Don’t get mad or go nuts when he misbehaves. As the teacher, you must portray a calm and non-adrenalized figure to gain Ubbe’s respect and attention.

Our fundamental form of communication is speaking. Conversely, Ubbe’s fundamental form of communication is body language. Begin your communication with Ubbe through proper body language. That is what he is expecting and will understand.

Practice every day. Both you and Ubbe benefit when you implement and actively engage in a daily training regimen with him. You become a better teacher the more you have the opportunity to direct and educate. Ubbe becomes a better student the more he has the opportunity to focus and learn.

Persistence, patience, and perseverance are necessary for your success. Concentrate on the positive results you are achieving and not the length of time they may take to complete.

Call us as soon as you have any questions. Finally, take a deep breath and just have fun.


Client: Andrew Aggrey
Visit Date: 03/21/2024
Visit Number: 01
Trainer: Robin
Paid Today: 0
Still Owe: 0
Comments:

Initial Issues:
Nuts. Doesn’t Listen. Jumps. Pulls on Leash. Does What She Wants. Obsessive with Food. Car Sick. Steals Food.

Training Notes:
Nyra is a sweet dog and we enjoyed working with her. When we picked her up and she first arrived with us, she was highly active and could easily be described as “nuts”. It took several days of calm and consistent correction and direction to teach her to provide us with respectful focus when commanded. Although “not perfect”, her focus and learning skills are very good for a young Goldendoodle. She is becoming calmer, better focused, and more respectful every day. Consistency, repetition, and composure are the tools you must employ to have her grow into an excellent companion.

Everything starts with rules. A “rule” identifies what you want her to do and what you don’t want her to do. “Come” is a rule that tells Nyra to go to your side. “Don’t jump” is a rule that tells her to remain on the ground. You can easily determine your rules for Nyra by asking yourself “Is she bugging me?”. If she is, Nyra is breaking your rule.

Your rules must be simple and consistent. For example, if you don’t want her to jump, she can’t jump for any reason at any time. Everything must be on your terms. She cannot tell you what to do (i.e. please pet me) because she is not the boss.

We suggest that you consider having between five and ten rules. If you have too many rules, it will become difficult to effectively administer them.

Correct her as soon as she breaks one of your rules. This must be done in a manner that does not scare or frighten her and still gets her respectful focus directed towards you. Once you have guided her to the correct thing (no longer breaking your rules), acknowledge her appropriate action.

As with all dogs, Nyra primarily communicates through body language. Stand tall and calm when correcting her. Remember, all Nyra’s communication begins with body language.

To augment your body language communication, you may need to introduce a verbal interaction. Use a unique sound (if needed) to get her attention. We were using the “GRRRRRRRy” sound during our board and train program. Any sound that gets her to calmly look at you is fine. The key is that the sound should be distinctive and only used when she has broken your rules and you need her focus.

There may be times where you need to “ramp it up” and include a passive/physical form of communication in addition to your body language and verbal interaction. If necessary, introduce a passive/physical action such as the squirt bottle or shake bottle to get her focus. Only have the squirt bottle or shake bottle visible to Nyra when you are in the process of correcting her. When she only sees these objects while she is in the process of being corrected, it enhances her understanding of “I am being corrected and must provide respectful focus”.

Sometimes, a loud clap of your hands may be all you need.

As a final note on this subject, consider using the leash as a corrective and directive tool. This is a distractive method used to gain her focus and guide her towards the right actions. Have the leash on her at different times during the day. Always have it on her when you think she may be approaching times of heightened activity, excitement, and bad behavior.

Step on the leash if she starts to adrenalize and focus away from you. If needed, walk her to a calm area until she is deadrenalized and focused on you.

When performing the exercises, remember that repetition, consistency, observation, and simplicity are key. ACTION is essential to the process. If you catch yourself thinking “Oh, what a bad dog. I wish she would stop doing that!”, you have missed the point. If Nyra does something wrong, you must actively correct now.

Nyra is a dog and not a person. Do not assume that she is experiencing “human emotions”. Perform your actions because you want to keep her safe and secure.

When you give her a command, only say it once. As we discussed today, Nyra is a dog and understands sounds and not words. “Come Come Come” is a different sound than “Come”. Make your sounds consistent so that Nyra understands what you want her to do.

It is fine if you want to include hand gestures with any of the obedience commands. Simply include the hand gesture as you are verbalizing your obedience command to Nyra.

Some general exercises we worked on during our board and train program were:

1. JUMPING – Dogs normally jump because they are showing assertion or are excited. An important facet of this exercise is your ability to remain calm. Your calm demeanor will demonstrate your strong leadership and neutralize Nyra’s heightened adrenaline level.

Always have Nyra’s leash on when you are concerned that she might be jumping. If you are sitting on a chair or sofa and she approaches to jump, stand up, give her your correction sound, and use your physical correction (squirt bottle or shake bottle). As soon as she stops and gives you focus, praise her with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”.

If you are standing and Nyra begins to jump on you or your guest, use your squirt bottle with your correction sound to stop her. You can also step on the leash so she doesn’t have the ability to jump. As soon as she calms down, praise her with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”.

If things are a little “too crazy”, you may need to ramp it up. Momentarily remove Nyra from the immediate area. Please refer to the USE OF THE LEASH discussion below.

2. BARKING – Barking is always annoying and can be caused by many things. This exercise is designed to redirect Nyra’s attention away from the distraction causing the barking and to place the focus on you.

Have her leash on in the house when you know there might be things that normally cause her to bark. As soon as she starts to bark, step on the leash, and place the handle in your hand. Make your correction sound as you briskly walk her in a direction away from the distraction to a point where she is giving you focus and has lost interest in whatever was causing her to bark. Have her sit for you. As soon as she does, praise her with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”.

(If she is a little too pensive to sit, have her calmly remain next to you while providing you with calm and respectful focus for one or two seconds. At that point, praise her with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”.)

Drop the leash and calmly walk back to whatever you were doing before Nyra started to bark.

If Nyra’s focus can be easily directed back to you, simply standing tall, giving your correction sound, and using your physical correction (squirt bottle or shake bottle) may suffice in getting her to stop barking. Once she has stopped barking, praise her with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”.

3. MANNERS AT THE FRONT DOOR – This exercise is based on the rule that Nyra can be anywhere in the house except near you when you are opening the front door. As a rule of thumb, I define “near you” as within six to eight feet of the front door. This is the “Nyra can’t be here zone”. Everything else (away from the door and outside the six-to-eight-foot boundary of the door) is the “Nyra can be here zone”.

You and Nyra can be anywhere in the house at the start of this exercise. Try to do “regular things” while not directly engaging her or causing her to become adrenalized. Make sure you know the location of your squirt bottle (either out of sight by the front door or in your pocket.)

Have someone knock on the door. Calmly walk to the front door. If Nyra runs ahead of you, don’t worry about that yet. When you are at the front door, turn around and visibly locate her.

If she is within the “Nyra can’t be here zone” (close to you and the front door), stand tall and face her, make your correction sound, and (if needed) give her several squirts to have her back out of the “Nyra can’t be here zone”, away from the door, and into the “Nyra can be here zone”. It may take multiple squirts to have her back away. (Remember to repeat your correction sound every time you give her a squirt.)

If the use of the squirt bottle is not effective in directing Nyra away from the door area, include the shake bottle in your correction process. Make your correction sound and use the squirt bottle as before, but now simultaneously introduce the shaking chain sound of the shake bottle into the correction process. As before, repeat these actions multiple times, if needed.

Once she is away from the front door, slowly reach for the door handle while always facing her. Gradually open the door for the outside visitor. If Nyra makes any attempt to continue her approach, correct her as described above.

Continue facing her while opening the door to allow the outside visitor to enter. Close the door. Praise Nyra’s action with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY” for obeying your rule of staying away from the front door when you are opening it. Repeat this exercise daily with family members, neighbors, and strangers (UPS, Domino’s, etc.)

NOTE: If you are having difficulty directing Nyra away from the front door area and into the “Nyra can be here zone”, use the leash to guide her away. Calmly step on the leash, place it in your hand, and give the leash several slight tugs to have her cross the boundary out of the “Nyra can’t be here zone” and into the “Nyra can be here zone”. Once that is done, drop the leash and slowly back up to the door. Continue to face her and brandish the squirt bottle in her direction. Correct with the squirt bottle, if needed, and continue the exercise by opening the door for the outside visitor.

4. WALKING OUTSIDE – Before you begin your walk, remember that you are Nyra’s protector, boss, and best friend. It is your responsibility to always keep her safe. As you are on your walk, visually scan the immediate area to determine if there are any issues that might place Nyra in danger or cause her to feel scared. If you find such a situation, create a plan ahead of time to mitigate or eliminate the danger before it takes place. This will prepare you to easily solve any problem you and Nyra may encounter on your walk.

Just like any other time, when you are walking with Nyra, she must be obeying your rules. I suggest that your “walking rules” for Nyra are to be near you, do not pull on the leash, listen to your commands when given, and have a good time. These are only my suggestions. You must create your own rules so that you and Nyra have an excellent walking experience.

Start your walk outside with Nyra calmly next to you wearing her collar and Easy Walk Harness (size Large). Have her standard, six-foot leash attached to both the collar and harness. Give your WALK command, tug the leash slightly, and begin your walk.

As long as Nyra is maintaining your rules as mentioned above, all is fine. If she starts to break your rules (pull, not listen, etc.), give the leash a slight tug back towards you as you are walking. Make your correction sound as you tug the leash. Have her look at you and give you focus. Acknowledge her correct behavior with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”.

If she is unresponsive to your slight tug while walking, stop walking, make your correction sound, and give the leash a slightly more forceful tug back towards you. Have her look at you and give you focus. Acknowledge her correct behavior with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”. Continue your walk.

If she really starts to pull or focus on something too much, you may need to “ramp up” your correction. In this case, you can turn around 180 degrees and walk in the opposite direction for about ten to thirty feet. Make sure she is properly walking with you. When she is calm and focused on you, reverse your direction by 180 degrees and continue your walk in the original direction. Acknowledge her correct behavior with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”.

If her proper focus continues to be a problem during the walk, you can include a technique referred to as “The Wedding March”. This is a process where you are constantly pausing during your walk. Take a step and then stop. If Nyra stops too, that is great. If she doesn’t stop, make your correction sound and give the leash a quick tug back towards you. After she has stopped and gives you focus, take another one or two steps and stop again. If she stops, that is great. If not, correct again. Repeat this start/stop/start process until Nyra is giving you sufficient focus to stop when you stop without the need for a leash tug.

It is frequently difficult to determine “who is walking who”. Are you walking at the pace that Nyra has set or is she walking at your pace? It must be your pace because you are the boss. Set the tempo by creating “a cadence in your head”. Think to yourself, “1… 2… 3… 4…; 1… 2… 3… 4…”, as you walk and mark your steps to your count. This will compel you to set a speed and maintain it. It will also allow you to determine if Nyra is walking at your speed. If she is not, correct her using one of the methods previously discussed in this exercise.

If you are walking on the side of the road and Nyra seems to be too interested with items in the gutter, on someone’s lawn, or “just stuff on the side of the road”, you will need to easily redirect her attention back to you. If there are “way too many goodies” directly around her as you and she are walking, the simple tugs for redirection as discussed above may prove ineffective. The best way to solve the issue is to move Nyra away from the distractive objects.

Give Nyra several tugs on the leash as you move to the middle of the road. (Only walk in the middle of the road if you have established that it is safe to do so.) Since the middle of the road rarely contains these “distractive objects”, it is far easier to maintain her proper focus and obedience to your rules. Over time, as she establishes a routine of continually providing you with respectful focus, you can adjust your walk back to the side of the road.

Dogs sometimes like to grab the leash in their mouth as they walk. If Nyra grabs the leash in her mouth as you are walking, make your correction sound and squirt her with your squirt bottle. It may take multiple squirts to have her drop the leash from her mouth. (Remember to repeat your correction sound every time you give her a squirt.) Praise her with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY” after she drops the leash. Continue your walk.

Do not allow Nyra to tell you when she wants to stop. You need to let her know when she can stop and sniff around. Try and make your “stops” at places you know she likes.

Another issue with WALKING takes place when an inappropriate distraction such as a dog, jogger, neighbor, bicyclist, car, etc. approaches. Nyra will often start to adrenalize, lock focus on the approaching distraction, jump, bark, and pull. You need to redirect Nyra’s focus back towards you. We suggest that you do the following:

a) Remove Nyra from the immediate line of approach by directing her at a 90 degree angle up a driveway, onto a front lawn, etc.

b) Calmly give the leash several tugs as you walk her about ten to fifteen feet up the driveway, onto the front lawn, etc. (I was working on her with this when neighbors would pass by with their dogs. I only had to walk about five feet up the driveway with Nyra.)

c) Have Nyra focus on you as you remain calm. If she is still concentrating on the approaching distraction, move her farther up the driveway or onto the lawn. Display confidence the entire time while you are gently tugging the leash to maintain Nyra’s attention on you. Quietly talk to her using a reassuring tone. If needed, step on the leash so that she does not have the ability to jump or move around.

d) If, after doing all this, she is still focusing on the approaching distraction, move Nyra behind an object that will block her view of the approaching object. This could be a car in the driveway, a fence, or a bush. Continue to have Nyra focus on you while you display a calm and “in charge” demeanor. If needed, step on the leash to keep her stable and focused on you.

e) Once the distraction has passed, reward Nyra’s actions of focusing on you with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”. Continue your walk.

NOTE: Whenever we are directing you to give Nyra a tug on the leash, it may require more than one tug. If you have given her a single tug without success, repeat by giving her several tugs in quick succession. Make your correction sound each time you give her a tug.

ONE MORE THING: Dogs often chew their harnesses when they are bored. Please remember to remove Nyra’s harness when you are not walking with her.

5. TAKING FOOD – COUNTER SURFING – Counter surfing occurs when Nyra takes something off the counter. (I refer to a “counter”, but this can be any raised surface where you place “items of interest” that Nyra isn’t allowed to take”.) You don’t want her to do this.

The most important thing you need to understand about counter surfing is that you can only correct her if you are in the immediate vicinity while she is going for the goodies. The reason for this relates to the concept of “ownership”.

In a dog’s world, “ownership” is based on vicinity. You must be near “your stuff” for it to be yours. If you walk away from it, you are giving up ownership and sending a signal that others can take it. To put this in clear terms, if you have a ham sandwich on the kitchen counter, are standing right next to it, and Nyra jumps to get it; you can correct. If you walk out of the room, you have signaled to Nyra that she can have it. You may eventually walk back into the room and the ham sandwich is still on the counter. It is still there because Nyra simply did not want it.

Here is what you do:

We suggest that you begin with two people. One of you will be the “food owner” and one of you will be the “corrector”. Your goal is to keep her out of the immediate vicinity of the food. It is a boundary control exercise. The rule is that Nyra can’t be in a position where she can easily take the food while you are showing ownership.

The exercise starts with the food owner sitting near the food. Nyra is wandering around the room and the corrector is in the vicinity of the food between the food and Nyra. If Nyra remains away from the food and is showing no interest in the food, that is great.

If Nyra approaches and comes close to the food (I suggest this is a distance of about five feet), the corrector will face Nyra, make their correction sound, and give her one or more squirts of water to have her leave the area. Both the corrector and food owner should praise her correct action by verbalizing a high pitched “Good Puppy”.

Please be aware that it may take more than one squirt to have her leave the area. Also remember to make your correction sound every time you give her a squirt.

Continue this process until Nyra no longer shows any interest in the food next to the food owner.

After several days of practicing this exercise with two people, remove the second person so that the person sitting next to the food (the food owner) now will take on the additional role of the corrector. The process remains the same, except if Nyra starts to approach the food, the food owner/corrector will calmly stand up, make their correction sound, and provide one or more squirts of water until she leaves the area. Praise her correct action by verbalizing a high pitched “Good Puppy”.

Please be aware that it may take more than one squirt to have her leave the area. Also remember to make your correction sound every time you give her a squirt.

TRAINER’S NOTE: In our experience when performing this exercise with Nyra, she would eventually come over and lie at our feet while we were sitting on the sofa with some food. If you are comfortable with this and Nyra does not “try to take advantage of the situation”, this should be fine.

6. USE OF THE LEASH – The leash is a passive training tool that is very effective in redirecting Nyra’s focus to you. We suggest that you place the leash on her at different times during the day when you are home. Be sure that you have the leash on at times when you expect higher adrenaline levels from Nyra.

As she begins to perform an action that you don’t want, step on the leash. If she is moving, let her go to the end of the leash, tug herself slightly, and then look back at you. Your still and calm demeanor will display leadership and Nyra will understand that you took control, and you are the boss.

If you need to remove Nyra from the area, calmly pick up the end of the leash, quietly make your correction sound, and walk her away. Once you observe that she is no longer adrenalized, stop, and have her sit. Praise her with a quiet but high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”. Drop the leash and calmly walk away.

NOTE (SLIGHT ALTERNATIVE): If Nyra is a little too pensive to sit, replace the SIT command by allowing her to calmly remain next to you while providing you with calm and respectful focus. After one or two seconds, praise her with a quiet but high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”. Drop the leash and calmly walk away.

SLIGHT ENHANCEMENT: When you have left the room and you have eventually praised Nyra for remaining calm with you, you can extend the exercise. Calmly walk back into the room while holding the leash. If Nyra starts to act up again, repeat the above process.

As Nyra continues to remain calm, slowly find a chair and sit down. As you do this, place your foot on the leash so that the only thing Nyra can now do as you are sitting and talking with your friends is to remain at your feet.

7. COME: INSIDE WITH LEASH AND THEN OUTSIDE – You must initially perform this exercise in the house when it is quiet (no distractions). Put a six-foot leash on Nyra. Slowly step away from her (facing her) until you have reached the end of the leash. Drop to your knees or crouch down low and say “COME” once. If she doesn’t start to move towards you, give the leash a slight tug. You may need to give several tugs.

If she is unresponsive to the tug, make your correction sound, wait for one or two seconds, say “COME” again, and give the leash another tug with slightly more force. Repeat this, if needed, until Nyra is moving towards you.

Once she reaches you, praise her action with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”. Stand up and repeat this process for several minutes.

When she can always come to you from six feet, extend the length by using a longer leash or attaching several together. Practice from ten feet, fifteen feet, and twenty feet. When she can come to you from the longest distance, repeat the exercise at that length, but no longer hold the leash. Let it lie on the ground between you and Nyra. The “handle end” of the leash should still be near you and easily accessible if Nyra is not responding to your command.

Continue practicing confirming that she constantly comes to you without the need to grab and tug on the leash. Once this is achieved, unhook the leash and practice the COME exercise without the leash.

After she has successfully completed the COME exercise when she is inside, repeat the process outside. Practice from ten, fifteen, twenty, and thirty feet. Only allow Nyra off leash (final step) if you are in a fenced-in area. (You could eventually practice this in the neighborhood dog park when there are no other dogs or people in the park or the visible surroundings.)

A HELPFUL TIP: If Nyra is slow in learning the COME command, you may need to enhance her ability to focus on you when the command is given. As you are down low and about to verbalize “COME”, pat your knees, snap your fingers, or call her name (“Nyra”). This may help draw her attention to you as you command her to COME.

ONE MORE THING: There are times where you may be “too far away”. For example, she may have been coming to you from ten feet yesterday, but won’t respond at all from that distance today. Instead of “reinforcing failure” at ten feet, shorten the distance between you and Nyra until she starts to come to you. Continue your exercise at that length and expand the distance as she consistently obeys your command.

NOTE: Never give Nyra the COME command without the leash being attached to her if you have any hesitation that she will not come to you. If you want to attempt to have her come to you without the leash, get down low, call her name, become visibly animated, and clap your hands or pat your knees. Just don’t say “COME”.

If she comes to you, that is great. If Nyra does not come to you, that is no big deal. You offered her an invitation and you allowed her to respond “yes” or “no”.

If you had said “COME” to Nyra; that is a command and she must comply. If she does not, the only tool you have to gain her compliance and maintain your leadership role is the leash.

8. SIT – Initially perform this exercise in a quiet location with minimal or no distractions. Put a six-foot leash on Nyra. Stand directly in front of her and say “SIT” once. If she doesn’t sit, give her your correction sound and a slight tug on the leash. Say “SIT” again.

If she doesn’t sit immediately, move to her side and pull the leash up and behind her head. At the same time use your other hand to guide her rear end backwards until you see her hindquarters moving towards the ground. Continue to slightly pull the leash so that her head is moving backwards and her hindquarters are still descending. Once she is sitting, praise her action with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”.

Move Nyra a few feet and repeat the exercise for several minutes. As you continue your sessions and she is constantly sitting on the first command, slowly add distractions.

9. STAY – Nyra must be able to sit with a single command and no assistance before you can work on this exercise. If she still has a problem sitting, work on SIT.

This exercise has several levels. Work on each level until Nyra can always perform the actions before you move on to the next. Don’t rush to the next level when she appears to be succeeding in the current level. Have one or two days of “constant success” before you move on. (We were able to successfully work through Level Two while she was with us.)

Place Nyra in a SIT before you start this command:

Level One: Stand directly in front of Nyra, hold your hand up as if you were a traffic policeman, and say “STAY”. If she begins to move, give her your correction sound to have her stop. Wait until she is sitting quietly for about five to ten seconds. Praise her action with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY” for obeying your command. Continue to practice while extending the time you are standing in front of her and she is remaining in place. When you have accomplished this and Nyra can remain in place for about fifteen to twenty seconds, you can move on to Level Two.

Level Two: Stand directly in front of Nyra, hold your hand up as if you were a traffic policeman, and say “STAY”. Slowly back up (always holding the leash and facing her) until you have reached the end of the leash. Make sure you do not tug the leash. If she begins to move, give her your correction sound to have her stop. Wait until she is sitting quietly for about five seconds. Step back until you are next to her. Praise her action with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY” for obeying your command. Once you have accomplished this, you can move on to Level Three.

Level Three: Stand directly in front of Nyra, hold your hand up as if you were a traffic policeman, and say “STAY”. Slowly back up (always holding the leash and facing her) until you have reached the end of the leash. Make sure you do not tug the leash. Walk in a partial semi-circle to your left until you are all the way to Nyra’s side. Slowly move to the right, pass in front of her, and stop when you have reached her other side. Next, move back until you are in front of her again. If she begins to move, give her your correction sound to have her stop. Make sure you keep your “policeman’s hand” up the entire time. Finally, step back until you are next to her. Praise her action with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY” for obeying your command. Now that you have accomplished this, you can move on to Level Four.

Level Four: Stand directly in front of Nyra, hold your hand up as if you were a traffic policeman, and say “STAY”. Slowly back up (always holding the leash and facing her) until you have reached the end of the leash. Make sure you do not tug the leash. Walk completely around her. If she begins to move, give her your correction sound to have her stop. Make sure you keep your “policeman’s hand” up the entire time. Now, step back until you are next to her. Praise her action with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY” for obeying your command. Practice this exercise for several days with continual success. Once you have accomplished this, you can move on to Level Five.

Level Five: At this point you can walk completely around Nyra with your hand up and she is remaining in her STAY. It is time to add a “real world” situation to the exercise. You will not be holding the leash. Place Nyra in a SIT and then a STAY. Walk around the room/area while facing her and keeping your hand up in your “traffic policeman’s pose”. Continue this while you slowly add actions such as picking up objects and opening and closing doors and drawers. Always remain in her sight.

If Nyra moves from her spot, correct her, step back to a prior level, and continue from there. The more you can move around the room/area while she remains stationary in a STAY, the more you can add additional actions that you would normally perform when you want her in a STAY in a “real world situation”.

NOTE: Nyra is remaining in her STAY because you have conditioned her to remain still while focusing on your outstretched hand. If you leave the room and/or leave her sight, your outstretched hand (the trigger to have her STAY) will be gone and she will probably get up and break her stay.

IN CONCLUSION: Rules are critical. When you establish your rules, you must always correct Nyra when she breaks a rule. Don’t get mad or go nuts when she misbehaves. As the teacher, you must portray a calm and non-adrenalized figure to gain Nyra’s respect and attention.

Our fundamental form of communication is speaking. Conversely, Nyra’s fundamental form of communication is body language. Begin your communication with Nyra through proper body language. That is what she is expecting and will understand.

Practice every day. Both you and Nyra benefit when you implement and actively engage in a daily training regimen with her. You become a better teacher the more you have the opportunity to direct and educate. Nyra becomes a better student the more she has the opportunity to focus and learn.

Persistence, patience, and perseverance are necessary for your success. Concentrate on the positive results you are achieving and not the length of time they may take to complete.

Call us as soon as you have any questions. Finally, take a deep breath and just have fun.


Client: Elissa Belcher
Visit Date: 03/30/2024
Visit Number: 01
Trainer: Bruce
Paid Today: 0
Still Owe: 0
Comments:

Initial Issues:
Walking. Not Listening. Going after other dogs. Pulls on Leash.

Training Notes:
Eli and Blue are sweet dogs and I enjoyed working with them. Although they were slightly rambunctious when I arrived, they quickly understood that they needed to listen to our commands and obey our directions. Blue quickly understood that he needed to obey and provide you with respectful focus. Eli took a little more time to advance and be a “good little student”. They are both great dogs and it is now up to you to provide them with clear rules and a consistent environment.

Everything starts with rules. A “rule” identifies what you want them to do and what you don’t want them to do. “Come” is a rule that tells Eli and Blue to go to your side. “Don’t jump” is a rule that tells them to remain on the ground. You can easily determine your rules for Eli and Blue by asking yourself “Are they bugging me?”. If they are, they are breaking your rule.

Your rules must be simple and consistent. For example, if you don’t want them to jump, they can’t jump for any reason at any time. Everything must be on your terms. They cannot tell you what to do (i.e. please pet me) because they “are not the boss of you”.

We suggest that you consider having between five and ten rules. If you have too many rules, it will become difficult to effectively administer them.

Correct them as soon as they break one of your rules. This must be done in a manner that does not scare or frighten them and still gets their respectful focus directed towards you. Once you have guided them to the correct thing (no longer breaking your rules), acknowledge their appropriate action.

As with all dogs, they primarily communicate through body language. Stand tall and calm when correcting them. Remember, all their communication starts with body language.

To augment your body language communication, you may need to introduce a verbal interaction. Use a unique sound (if needed) to get their attention. I was using the “GRRRRRRRy” sound today. Any sound that gets them to calmly look at you is fine. The key is that the sound should be distinctive and only used when they have broken your rules and you need their focus.

There may be times where you need to “ramp it up” and include a passive/physical form of communication in addition to your body language and verbal interaction. If necessary, introduce a passive/physical action such as the squirt bottle or shake bottle to get their focus. Only have the squirt bottle or shake bottle visible to them when you are in the process of correcting them. When they only see these objects while they are in the process of being corrected, it enhances their understanding of “We are being corrected and must provide respectful focus”.

Sometimes, a loud clap of your hands may be all you need.

As a final note on this subject, consider using the leash as a corrective and directive tool. This is a distractive method used to gain their focus and guide them towards the right actions. Have their leashes on them at different times during the day. Always have their leashes on them when you think they may be approaching times of heightened activity, excitement, and bad behavior.

Step on the leash if they start to adrenalize and focus away from you. If needed, walk them to a calm area until they are deadrenalized and focused on you.

When performing the exercises, remember that repetition, consistency, observation, and simplicity are key. ACTION is essential to the process. If you catch yourself thinking “Oh, what bad dogs. I wish they would stop doing that!”, you have missed the point. If Eli or Blue do something wrong, you must actively correct now.

They are dogs and not people. Do not assume that they are experiencing “human emotions”. Perform your actions because you are keeping them safe and secure.

When you give them a command, only say it once. As we discussed today, they are dogs and understand sounds and not words. “Come Come Come” is a different sound than “Come”. Make your sounds consistent so that they understand what you want them to do.

All the exercises I will discuss are pertinent to both Eli and Blue. As I review them, I will often use Eli as “my example dog” in explaining the exercise. Be assured, the same information is completely relevant for Blue.

Some general exercises we worked on today were:

1. WALKING OUTSIDE – I strongly suggest that you start by walking both Eli and Blue separately. Once you observe that they are constantly walking politely with you while separated, start walking both together in a “group walk”. This will allow you to determine if any inappropriate behavior is caused by distractions they encounter by themselves or if one is “feeding off the other” while walking.

My discussion below assumes you are on a walk with Eli.

Before you begin your walk, remember that you are Eli’s protector, boss, and best friend. It is your responsibility to always keep him safe. As you are on your walk, visually scan the immediate area to determine if there are any issues that might place Eli in danger or cause him to feel scared. If you find such a situation, create a plan ahead of time to mitigate or eliminate the danger before it takes place. This will prepare you to easily solve any problem you and Eli may encounter on your walk.

Just like any other time, when you are walking with Eli, he must be obeying your rules. I suggest that your “walking rules” for Eli are to be near you, do not pull on the leash, listen to your commands when given, and have a good time. These are only my suggestions. You must create your own rules so that you and Eli have an excellent walking experience.

(If you are inside and need to get outside to start your walk, be sure to perform the FOLLOW THROUGH DOOR exercise first. If you are going to finish the walk by bringing Eli back inside the house, repeat the FOLLOW THRU DOOR exercise to bring him back inside. You can find the detailed instructions for this exercise listed below.)

Start your walk outside with Eli calmly next to you wearing his collar and Easy Walk Harness (size Medium). Have his leash attached to both the collar and harness. (We observed that Blue’s current harness should be fine for walking. If you want to use an Easy Walk Harness for Blue, he requires a size Large.) Give your WALK command, tug the leash slightly, and begin your walk.

As long as Eli is maintaining your rules as mentioned above, all is fine. If he starts to break your rules (pull, not listen, etc.), give the leash a slight tug back towards you as you are walking. Make your correction sound as you tug the leash. Have him look at you and give you focus. Acknowledge his correct behavior with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”.

If he is unresponsive to your slight tug while walking, stop walking, make your correction sound, and give the leash a slightly more forceful tug back towards you. Have him look at you and give you focus. Acknowledge his correct behavior with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”. Continue your walk.

If he really starts to pull or focus on something too much, you may need to “ramp up” your correction. In this case, you can turn around 180 degrees and walk in the opposite direction for about ten to thirty feet. Make sure he is properly walking with you. When he is calm and focused on you, reverse your direction by 180 degrees and continue your walk in the original direction. Acknowledge his correct behavior with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”.

It is frequently difficult to determine “who is walking who”. Are you walking at the pace that Eli has set or is he walking at your pace? It must be your pace because you are the boss. Set the tempo by creating “a cadence in your head”. Think to yourself, “1… 2… 3… 4…; 1… 2… 3… 4…”, as you walk and mark your steps to your count. This will compel you to set a speed and maintain it. It will also allow you to determine if Eli is walking at your speed. If he is not, correct him using one of the methods previously discussed in this exercise.

Do not allow Eli to tell you when he wants to stop. You need to let him know when he can stop and sniff around. Try and make your “stops” at places you know he likes.

Another issue with WALKING takes place when an inappropriate distraction such as a dog, jogger, neighbor, bicyclist, car, etc. approaches. Eli will often start to adrenalize, lock focus on the approaching distraction, jump, bark, and pull. You need to redirect Eli’s focus back towards you. We suggest that you do the following:

a) Remove Eli from the immediate line of approach by directing him at a 90 degree angle up a driveway, onto a front lawn, etc.

b) Calmly give the leash several tugs as you walk him about ten to fifteen feet up the driveway, onto the front lawn, etc.

c) Have Eli focus on you as you remain calm. If he is still concentrating on the approaching distraction, move him farther up the driveway or onto the lawn. Display confidence the entire time while you are gently tugging the leash to maintain Eli’s attention on you. Quietly talk to him using a reassuring tone. If needed, step on the leash so that he does not have the ability to jump or move around.

d) If, after doing all this, he is still focusing on the approaching distraction, move Eli behind an object that will block his view of the approaching object. This could be a car in the driveway, a fence, or a bush. Continue to have Eli focus on you while you display a calm and “in charge” demeanor. If needed, step on the leash to keep him stable and focused on you.

e) Once the distraction has passed, reward Eli’s actions of focusing on you with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”. Continue your walk.

NOTE: Whenever we are directing you to give Eli a tug on the leash, it may require more than one tug. If you have given him a single tug without success, repeat by giving him several tugs in quick succession. Make your correction sound each time you give him a tug.

ONE MORE THING: Dogs often chew their harnesses when they are bored. Please remember to remove Eli’s harness when you are not walking with him

2. FOLLOW THRU DOOR – You always want to go through a doorway before Eli. The reason for this is twofold. First, you are the leader, and you want to show Eli that you are always leading. Second, you want to keep Eli safe. The only way you can do this is to “check out” whatever is on the other side of the door before you allow him to proceed.

Have Eli on a leash. Walk him up to the doorway and have him sit. Hold your hand out like a traffic policeman while you slowly step backwards through the doorway. Always face him.

When both of your feet are across the threshold, pat your leg to allow Eli to proceed. Once he has crossed the threshold, have him sit again. Praise his action with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY” for obeying your command.

NOTE: If Eli is a little too pensive to sit while he is on either side of the doorway, have him quietly stand and stay still. “Although it may not be pretty”, as long as he is remaining stable as you place your feet on the other side of the door, he has obeyed your rule.

ONE MORE THING: If you are about to take both Eli and Blue out for a group walk, take them out the door one at a time. Perform this command with one while the other is back in the family room. When one dog is outside, then bring the other dog up to the door and perform the exercise. Then, start your group walk.

3. MANNERS AT THE FRONT DOOR – We worked with Eli and Blue at the same time with this exercise today, so it should be fine to continue to have them concurrently participate in this exercise.

This exercise is based on the rule that Eli and Blue can be anywhere in the house except near you when you are opening the front door. As a rule of thumb, I define “near you” as within six to eight feet of the front door. This is the “Eli and Blue can’t be here zone”. Everywhere else (away from the front door and outside the six-to-eight-foot boundary of the door) is the “Eli and Blue can be here zone”.

You, Eli, and Blue can be anywhere in the house at the start of this exercise. Try to do “regular things” while not directly engaging them or causing them to become adrenalized. Make sure you know the location of your squirt bottle (either out of sight by the front door or in your pocket.)

Have someone knock on the door. Calmly walk to the front door. If they run ahead of you, don’t worry about that yet. When you are at the front door, turn around and visibly locate Eli and Blue.

If either are within the “Eli and Blue can’t be here zone” (close to you and the front door), stand tall and face them, make your correction sound, and (if needed) give them several squirts to have them back out of the “Eli and Blue can’t be here zone”, away from the door, and into the “Eli and Blue can be here zone”. It may take multiple squirts to have them back away. (Remember to repeat your correction sound every time you give them a squirt.)

Once the offender or offenders are away from the front door, slowly reach for the door handle while always facing them. Gradually open the door for the outside visitor. If they make any attempt to continue their approach, correct them as described above.

Continue facing them while opening the door to allow the outside visitor to enter. Close the door. Praise their action with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY” for obeying your rule of staying away from the front door when you are opening it. Repeat this exercise daily with family members, neighbors, and strangers (UPS, Domino’s, etc.)

NOTE: If you are having difficulty directing either dog away from the front door area and into the “Eli and Blue can be here zone”, use the leash to guide the offender away. Calmly step on the leash, place it in your hand, and give the leash several slight tugs to have the offender cross the boundary out of the “Eli and Blue can’t be here zone” and into the “Eli and Blue can be here zone”. Once that is done, drop the leash and slowly back up to the door. Continue to face the offender and brandish the squirt bottle in their direction. Correct with the squirt bottle, if needed, and continue the exercise by opening the door for the outside visitor.

4. GOING OUT AND IN THE DOOR – You want to be able to come in and out the door without Eli or Blue rushing you, jumping on you, running out the door, or causing other mischief. Let’s first look at leaving and then coming back inside.

Your rule for Eli and Blue when you leave through the door is for them to stay out of the “Eli and Blue can’t be here zone”. This is a zone approximately six to eight feet extending from the door into the house. Calmly walk up to the door as you are preparing to leave. Turn around to determine if they are within the “Eli and Blue can’t be here zone”. If either is in the zone, face the offender, stand tall, make your correction sound, and give him one or more squirts of water until he backs up and out of the immediate area. (Remember to repeat your correction sound every time you give him a squirt.)

If you are having difficulty directing either dog away from the front door area and into the “Eli and Blue can be here zone”, use the leash to guide the offender away. Calmly step on the leash, place it in your hand, and give the leash several slight tugs to have the offender cross the boundary out of the “Eli and Blue can’t be here zone” and into the “Eli and Blue can be here zone”. Once that is done, drop the leash and slowly back up to the door.

When both Eli and Boone are out of the immediate area, slowly open the door while you continue to face them. If either of them start to approach again and enter the “Eli and Blue can’t be here zone”, correct the offender as described above until he has retreated. Continue through the door and close the door. Give both dogs a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY” just before the door finally closes shut. You can now leave and do whatever you need to do away from the house.

When you return home, make sure you have your squirt bottle with you as you reach the door. Your rule is you want Eli and Blue to be away from the door when you enter and not to bug you until you are ready to greet them.

Loudly make your correction sound while you are outside the door. Next, slowly crack the door open just wide enough for you to extend the squirt bottle into the door opening.

If Eli or Blue are within the “Eli and Blue can’t be here zone”, correct the offender as described above. Continue your correction until the offender has retreated outside the “Eli and Blue can’t be here zone”. Now, slowly open the door, correcting if necessary until you can step through the opening and close the door.

There is one more thing to do before the COMING BACK INSIDE exercise is finished. You must decide when you want to greet the boys. In order to do this, perform any overt, physical action that you clearly initiate. Put your keys or phone on the table, open the refrigerator for a bottle of water, turn on the TV, etc.

Ignore them until you complete this task. If either dog tries to get your attention while you are performing “your task”, correct the offender. Once you are done with your task, let both of them know they have been good boys by providing them with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”. Now, you can greet them.

5. MANAGE ATTENTION SEEKING BEHAVIOR – Always make sure that it is your idea. If Eli or Blue come up to you and nudges your hand for a pet, ignore him until he turns away. If you want to pet him, call him over to you. This assures he is responding to you.

If Eli or Blue brings you a toy, ignore him until he turns away and you can then call him back. Remember, the leader always says, “I want you to…”. Make sure you are the leader.

6. USE OF THE LEASH – The leash is a passive training tool that is very effective in redirecting Eli’s or Blue’s focus to you. We suggest that you place the leash on one or both of them at different times during the day when you are home. Be sure that you have the leash on at times when you expect higher adrenaline levels from them.

As one begins to perform an action that you don’t want, step on the leash. If he is moving, let him go to the end of the leash, tug himself slightly, and then look back at you. Your still and calm demeanor will display leadership and he will understand that you took control, and you are the boss.

If you need to remove your misbehaving doggie (either Eli or Blue) from the area, calmly pick up the end of the leash, quietly make your correction sound, and walk him away. Once you observe that he is no longer adrenalized, stop, and have him sit. Praise him with a quiet but high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”. Drop the leash and calmly walk away.

NOTE (SLIGHT ALTERNATIVE): If he is a little too pensive to sit, replace the SIT command by allowing him to calmly remain next to you while providing you with calm and respectful focus. After one or two seconds, praise him with a quiet but high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”. Drop the leash and calmly walk away.

7. COME: – You must initially perform this exercise in the house when it is quiet (no distractions). Put a six-foot leash on Eli. Slowly step away from him (facing him) until you have reached the end of the leash. Drop to your knees or crouch down low and say “COME” once. If he doesn’t start to move towards you, give the leash a slight tug. You may need to give several tugs.

If he is unresponsive to the tug, make your correction sound, wait for one or two seconds, say “COME” again, and give the leash another tug with slightly more force. Repeat this, if needed, until Eli is moving towards you.

Once he reaches you, praise his action with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”. Stand up and repeat this process for several minutes.

When he can always come to you from six feet, extend the length by using a longer leash or attaching several together. Practice from ten feet, fifteen feet, and twenty feet. When he can come to you from the longest distance, repeat the exercise at that length, but no longer hold the leash. Let it lie on the ground between you and Eli. The “handle end” of the leash should still be near you and easily accessible if Eli is not responding to your command.

Continue practicing confirming that he constantly comes to you without the need to grab and tug on the leash. Once this is achieved, unhook the leash and practice the COME exercise without the leash.

After he has successfully completed the COME exercise when he is inside, repeat the process outside. Practice from ten, fifteen, twenty, and thirty feet. Only allow Eli off leash (final step) if you are in a fenced-in area.

A HELPFUL TIP: If Eli is slow in learning the COME command, you may need to enhance his ability to focus on you when the command is given. As you are down low and about to verbalize “COME”, pat your knees, snap your fingers, or call his name (“Eli”). This may help draw his attention to you as you command him to COME.

ONE MORE THING: There are times where you may be “too far away”. For example, he may have been coming to you from ten feet yesterday, but won’t respond at all from that distance today. Instead of “reinforcing failure” at ten feet, shorten the distance between you and Eli until he starts to come to you. Continue your exercise at that length and expand the distance as he consistently obeys your command.

NOTE: Never give Eli the COME command without the leash being attached to him if you have any hesitation that he will not come to you. If you want to attempt to have him come to you without the leash, get down low, call his name, become visibly animated, and clap your hands or pat your knees. Just don’t say “COME”.

If he comes to you, that is great. If Eli does not come to you, that is no big deal. You offered him an invitation and you allowed him to respond “yes” or “no”.

If you had said “COME” to Eli; that is a command and he must comply. If he does not, the only tool you have to gain his compliance and maintain your leadership role is the leash.

8. SIT – Initially perform this exercise in a quiet location with minimal or no distractions. Put a six-foot leash on Eli. Stand directly in front of him and say “SIT” once. If he doesn’t sit, give him your correction sound and a slight tug on the leash. Say “SIT” again.

If he doesn’t sit immediately, move to his side and pull the leash up and behind his head. At the same time use your other hand to guide his rear end backwards until you see his hindquarters moving towards the ground. Continue to slightly pull the leash so that his head is moving backwards and his hindquarters are still descending. Once he is sitting, praise his action with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”.

Move Eli a few feet and repeat the exercise for several minutes. As you continue your sessions and he is constantly sitting on the first command, slowly add distractions.

9. WAIT – (This command is also referred to as “STAY”.) Eli must be able to sit with a single command and no assistance before you can work on this exercise. If he still has a problem sitting, work on SIT.

This exercise has several levels. Work on each level until Eli can always perform the actions before you move on to the next. Don’t rush to the next level when he appears to be succeeding in the current level. Have one or two days of “constant success” before you move on.

Place Eli in a SIT before you start this command:

Level One: Stand directly in front of Eli, hold your hand up as if you were a traffic policeman, and say “WAIT”. If he begins to move, give him your correction sound to have him stop. Wait until he is sitting quietly for about five to ten seconds. Praise his action with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY” for obeying your command. Continue to practice while extending the time you are standing in front of him and he is remaining in place. When you have accomplished this and Eli can remain in place for about fifteen to twenty seconds, you can move on to Level Two.

Level Two: Stand directly in front of Eli, hold your hand up as if you were a traffic policeman, and say “WAIT”. Slowly back up (always holding the leash and facing him) until you have reached the end of the leash. Make sure you do not tug the leash. If he begins to move, give him your correction sound to have him stop. Wait until he is sitting quietly for about five seconds. Step back until you are next to him. Praise his action with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY” for obeying your command. Once you have accomplished this, you can move on to Level Three.

Level Three: Stand directly in front of Eli, hold your hand up as if you were a traffic policeman, and say “WAIT”. Slowly back up (always holding the leash and facing him) until you have reached the end of the leash. Make sure you do not tug the leash. Walk in a partial semi-circle to your left until you are all the way to Eli’s side. Slowly move to the right, pass in front of him, and stop when you have reached his other side. Next, move back until you are in front of him again. If he begins to move, give him your correction sound to have him stop. Make sure you keep your “policeman’s hand” up the entire time. Finally, step back until you are next to him. Praise his action with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY” for obeying your command. Now that you have accomplished this, you can move on to Level Four.

Level Four: Stand directly in front of Eli, hold your hand up as if you were a traffic policeman, and say “WAIT”. Slowly back up (always holding the leash and facing him) until you have reached the end of the leash. Make sure you do not tug the leash. Walk completely around him. If he begins to move, give him your correction sound to have him stop. Make sure you keep your “policeman’s hand” up the entire time. Now, step back until you are next to him. Praise his action with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY” for obeying your command. Practice this exercise for several days with continual success. Once you have accomplished this, you can move on to Level Five.

Level Five: At this point you can walk completely around Eli with your hand up and he is remaining in his WAIT. It is time to add a “real world” situation to the exercise. You will not be holding the leash. Place Eli in a SIT and then a WAIT. Walk around the room/area while facing him and keeping your hand up in your “traffic policeman’s pose”. Continue this while you slowly add actions such as picking up objects and opening and closing doors and drawers. Always remain in his sight.

If Eli moves from his spot, correct him, step back to a prior level, and continue from there. The more you can move around the room/area while he remains stationary in a WAIT, the more you can add additional actions that you would normally perform when you want him in a WAIT in a “real world situation”.

NOTE: Eli is remaining in his WAIT because you have conditioned him to remain still while focusing on your outstretched hand. If you leave the room and/or leave his sight, your outstretched hand (the trigger to have him WAIT) will be gone and he will probably get up and break his stay.

10. BARKING – Barking is always annoying and can be caused by many things. This exercise is designed to redirect Eli’s attention away from the distraction causing the barking and to place the focus on you.

Have his leash on in the house when you know there might be things that normally cause him to bark. As soon as he starts to bark, step on the leash, and place the handle in your hand. Make your correction sound as you briskly walk him in a direction away from the distraction to a point where he is giving you focus and has lost interest in whatever was causing him to bark. Have him sit for you. As soon as he does, praise him with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”.

(If he is a little too pensive to sit, have him calmly remain next to you while providing you with calm and respectful focus for one or two seconds. At that point, praise him with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”.)

Drop the leash and calmly walk back to whatever you were doing before Eli started to bark.

If Eli’s focus can be easily directed back to you, simply standing tall, giving your correction sound, and using your physical correction (squirt bottle or shake bottle) may suffice in getting him to stop barking. Once he has stopped barking, praise him with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”.

11. JUMPING – Dogs normally jump because they are showing assertion or are excited. An important facet of this exercise is your ability to remain calm. Your calm demeanor will demonstrate your strong leadership and neutralize Eli’s heightened adrenaline level.

Always have Eli’s leash on when you are concerned that he might be jumping. If you are sitting on a chair or sofa and he approaches to jump, stand up, give him your correction sound, and use your physical correction (squirt bottle or shake bottle). As soon as he stops and gives you focus, praise him with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”.

If you are standing and Eli begins to jump on you or your guest, use your squirt bottle with your correction sound to stop him. You can also step on the leash so he doesn’t have the ability to jump. As soon as he calms down, praise him with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”.

If things are a little “too crazy”, you may need to ramp it up. Momentarily remove Eli from the immediate area. Please refer to the USE OF THE LEASH discussion above.

IN CONCLUSION: Rules are critical. When you establish your rules, you must always correct them when they break a rule. Don’t get mad or go nuts when they misbehave. As the teacher, you must portray a calm and non-adrenalized figure to gain Eli’s and Blue’s respect and attention.

Our fundamental form of communication is speaking. Conversely, Eli’s and Blue’s fundamental form of communication is body language. Begin your communication with them through proper body language. That is what they are expecting and will understand.

Practice every day. Both you, Eli, and Blue benefit when you implement and actively engage in a daily training regimen with them. You become a better teacher the more you have the opportunity to direct and educate. They become better students the more they have the opportunity to focus and learn.

Persistence, patience, and perseverance are necessary for your success. Concentrate on the positive results you are achieving and not the length of time they may take to complete.

Call us as soon as you have any questions. Finally, take a deep breath and just have fun.


Client: Joy Hamilton
Visit Date: 04/06/2024
Visit Number: 01
Trainer: Bruce
Paid Today: 0
Still Owe: 0
Comments:

Initial Issues:
Not Listening. Uses Shock Collar. Gets out of Fence. Usually a good boy.

Training Notes:
Cassidy and Saint are sweet dogs and I enjoyed working with them. They were a little crazy and demanding at first, but they quickly calmed down and began to give us polite focus and follow our direction. They are great dogs and showed that they have excellent potential.

Everything starts with rules. A “rule” identifies what you want them to do and what you don’t want them to do. “Come” is a rule that tells Cassidy and Saint to go to your side. “Don’t jump” is a rule that tells them to remain on the ground. You can easily determine your rules for Cassidy and Saint by asking yourself “Are they bugging me?”. If they are, they are breaking your rule.

Your rules must be simple and consistent. For example, if you don’t want them to jump, they can’t jump for any reason at any time. Everything must be on your terms. They cannot tell you what to do (i.e. please pet me) because they “are not the boss of you”.

We suggest that you consider having between five and ten rules. If you have too many rules, it will become difficult to effectively administer them.

Correct them as soon as they break one of your rules. This must be done in a manner that does not scare or frighten them and still gets their respectful focus directed towards you. Once you have guided them to the correct thing (no longer breaking your rules), acknowledge their appropriate action.

As with all dogs, they primarily communicate through body language. Stand tall and calm when correcting them. Remember, all their communication starts with body language.

To augment your body language communication, you may need to introduce a verbal interaction. Use a unique sound (if needed) to get their attention. I was using the “GRRRRRRRy” sound today. Any sound that gets them to calmly look at you is fine. The key is that the sound should be distinctive and only used when they have broken your rules and you need their focus.

There may be times where you need to “ramp it up” and include a passive/physical form of communication in addition to your body language and verbal interaction. If necessary, introduce a passive/physical action such as the squirt bottle or shake bottle to get their focus. Only have the squirt bottle or shake bottle visible to them when you are in the process of correcting them. When they only see these objects while they are in the process of being corrected, it enhances their understanding of “We are being corrected and must provide respectful focus”.

Sometimes, a loud clap of your hands may be all you need.

As a final note on this subject, consider using the leash as a corrective and directive tool. This is a distractive method used to gain their focus and guide them towards the right actions. Have their leashes on them at different times during the day. Always have their leashes on them when you think they may be approaching times of heightened activity, excitement, and bad behavior.

Step on the leash if they start to adrenalize and focus away from you. If needed, walk them to a calm area until they are deadrenalized and focused on you.

When performing the exercises, remember that repetition, consistency, observation, and simplicity are key. ACTION is essential to the process. If you catch yourself thinking “Oh, what bad dogs. I wish they would stop doing that!”, you have missed the point. If Cassidy or Saint do something wrong, you must actively correct now.

They are dogs and not people. Do not assume that they are experiencing “human emotions”. Perform your actions because you are keeping them safe and secure.

When you give them a command, only say it once. As we discussed today, they are dogs and understand sounds and not words. “Come Come Come” is a different sound than “Come”. Make your sounds consistent so that they understand what you want them to do.

All the exercises I will discuss are pertinent to both Cassidy and Saint. As I review them, I may often use Cassidy as “my example dog” in explaining the exercise. Be assured, the same information is completely relevant, as needed, for Saint.

I suggest that you work on the exercises with them one at a time. It also may be a good idea to have the other out of the room so that one dog does not distract the other.

If appropriate, and only when both Cassidy and Saint are effectively performing the exercise on an individual basis, should you have both concurrently participating in the exercise. The rules that you employ when working with them individually still pertain when working with them concurrently.

Some general exercises we worked on today were:

1. FOLLOW THRU DOOR (I.E. TAKING THEM OUTSIDE FIRST THING IN THE AM) – Although I mentioned that you should initially work on each exercise with one dog at a time, we successfully performed this exercise with both dogs at the same time. Let’s jump right in to doing this exercise with both dogs.

You always want to go through a doorway before Cassidy and Saint. The reason for this is twofold. First, you are the leader, and you want to show them that you are always leading. Second, you want to keep Cassidy and Saint safe. The only way you can do this is to “check out” whatever is on the other side of the door before you allow them to proceed.

Your rule for this exercise is that Cassidy and Saint must stay away from the door while you initially exit and can’t proceed until invited. I suggest that you keep them at least six feet away from the door while you initially exit. We will call this the “Cassidy and Saint can be here zone”. Conversely, the area within six feet from the door is the “Cassidy and Saint can’t be here zone”.

If you are going outside and need leashes on the boys, have the leashes on them before you go to the door. Calmly walk up to the door and turn around to see where the boys are currently located. If they are away from the door in the “Cassidy and Saint can be here zone”, you can proceed.

If either dog is close to the door in the “Cassidy and Saint can’t be here zone”, stand calm and tall, face the offender, make your correction sound, and give the offender one or more squirts of water. It may take more than one squirt and remember to always make your correction sound every time you give the offender a squirt. Once both dogs are in the “Cassidy and Saint can be here zone”, you can proceed.

Hold your hand out like a traffic policeman while continually facing them and slowly open the door just wide enough for you to step through. If either dog approaches the door and enters the “Cassidy and Saint can’t be here zone”, correct as described above.

When both of your feet are across the threshold, open the door wide enough for both dogs to proceed. Pat your leg to allow them to pass you and go outside. Praise their obedient and respectful action with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY” for obeying your command.

2. GOING OUT AND IN THE DOOR – We performed this today with both dogs, so let’s continue this exercise by simultaneously engaging both Cassidy and Saint in the exercise. You should be able to come in and out the door without Cassidy and Saint rushing you, jumping on you, running out the door, or causing other mischief. Let’s first look at leaving and then coming back inside.

Your rule for the boys when you leave through the door is for them to stay out of the “Cassidy and Saint can’t be here zone”. This is a zone approximately six to eight feet extending from the door into the house. Calmly walk up to the door as you are preparing to leave. Turn around to determine if either dog is within the “Cassidy and Saint can’t be here zone”. If either is in the zone, face him, stand tall, make your correction sound, and give him one or more squirts of water until he backs up and out of the immediate area. (Remember to repeat your correction sound every time you give him a squirt.)

When both dogs are out of the immediate area, slowly open the door while still facing both of them. If either dog starts to approach again and enter the “Cassidy and Saint can’t be here zone”, correct the offender as described above until he has retreated. Continue through the door (while facing them) and close the door. Give them a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY” just before the door finally closes shut. You can now leave and do whatever you need to do away from the house.

When you return home, make sure you have your squirt bottle with you as you reach the door. Your rule is that Cassidy and Saint must be away from the door when you enter and not bug you until you are ready to greet them.

Loudly make your correction sound while you are outside the door. Next, slowly crack the door open just wide enough for you to extend the squirt bottle into the door opening.

If either dog is within the “Cassidy and Saint can’t be here zone”, correct the offender as described above. Continue your correction until he has retreated outside the “Cassidy and Saint can’t be here zone”. Now, slowly open the door, correcting if necessary until you can step through the opening and close the door.

There is one more thing to do before the COMING BACK INSIDE exercise is finished. You must decide when you want to greet Cassidy and Saint. In order to do this, perform any overt, physical action that you clearly initiate. Put your keys or phone on the table, open the refrigerator for a bottle of water, turn on the TV, etc.

Ignore both dogs until you complete this task. If either dog tries to get your attention while you are performing “your task”, correct him. Once you are done with your task, let the boys know that they were being good doggies by providing them with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”. Now, you can greet them.

3. COME: OUTSIDE WITH LEAD – This is an exercise where I suggest you initially practice with one dog at a time. After each dog can successfully complete the exercise, bring them together and continue to practice. You want to make sure that each dog can individually come to you when called. If, when they are together and there is an issue with both coming to you, you know that the problem probably lies with them “playing off each other”.

We will perform this exercise at the side of the house by the pool. Let’s start with Cassidy.

Put a thirty-foot training lead on Cassidy. (I suggest thirty feet, but any long length is fine. We use a thirty-foot training lead from Leash Boss. Their web site is http://LeashBoss.com.) Slowly step away from him (facing him) until you have reached about ten feet. Drop to your knees or crouch down low and say “COME” once. If he doesn’t start to move towards you, give the lead a slight tug. You may need to give several tugs.

If he is unresponsive to the tug, make your correction sound, wait for one or two seconds, say “COME” again, and give the lead another tug with slightly more force. Repeat this, if needed, until Cassidy is moving towards you.

When he reaches you, praise his action with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”. Stand up and repeat this process for several minutes. Slowly add distraction to the process to provide a more “real world” environment.

Once he can always come to you from the initial distance, extend the length by using more of the training lead. Practice from fifteen feet, twenty feet, and thirty feet. When he can come to you from the longest distance, repeat the exercise at that length, but no longer hold the lead. Let it lie on the ground between you and Cassidy. The “handle end” of the lead should still be near you and easily accessible if Cassidy is not responding to your command.

Keep practicing until he repeatedly comes to you without the need to grab and tug on the lead. Unhook the lead and practice the COME exercise without the lead.

TIME TO RAMP IT UP: Our instructions above state that you are constantly holding the lead when you give the COME command. Your next step is to allow the lead to stretch out behind Cassidy as he moves around the area. You are not holding the lead, but allowing it to freely flow behind Cassidy. Always remain close to the lead. When you are ready to execute the COME command, step on the lead at the appropriate length, pick it up in your hands, and deliver the COME command. All the other instructions remain the same.

NOTE: Never give Cassidy the COME command without the lead being attached to him if you have any hesitation that he will not come to you. If you want to attempt to have him come to you without the lead, get down low, call his name, become visibly animated, and clap your hands or pat your knees. Just don’t say “COME”.

If he comes to you, that is great. If Cassidy does not come to you, that is no big deal. You offered him an invitation and you allowed him to respond “yes” or “no”.

If you had said “COME” to Cassidy; that is a command and he must comply. If he does not, the only tool you have to gain his compliance and maintain your leadership role is the lead.

4. COME: OUTSIDE WITH LEAD BY FENCE WITH SHOCK COLLAR – As with the prior “COME” exercise, I suggest that you practice with one dog at a time until both can individually return to you after an inappropriate distraction (deer, squirrel, “invisible nothing”, etc.) without trying to escape under the fence. When both dogs are successful in returning to you on an individual basis, you can introduce both into this exercise.

I suggest that you work on the prior COME exercise for a few days before you start to place this exercise into their training regime. This will allow you to get used to the process of using the training lead, making your corrections, and providing proper direction back to you.

The rule that you wish to maintain with this exercise is to have them give you immediate and respectful focus the moment you command them, stop looking at the deer, etc., do not try to dig under the fence, and return to your immediate vicinity. This is basically the “COME” command you have been working on in the pool area. You are now including additional constraints into the process and introducing the possible use of the shock collar.

We will start with Cassidy. He should be wearing his regular collar with the 30-foot training lead attached to the collar. He should also be wearing his shock collar fitted very snugly around his neck so that both probes are in contact with his skin. The plastic coverings on the probes should be removed and the controller should be set to a level 5 shock. (Saint should be set to a level 3 shock.)

Allow Cassidy to freely wander around the edge of the fence with the training lead flowing behind him. From time to time, step on the training lead and call him back to you. If he comes to you, that is great. If he doesn’t come back to you, make your correction sound, pick up the training lead, and give it one or more tugs until he returns to your vicinity. When he is by your side, acknowledge his obedient behavior by providing him with a high pitched “GOOD BOY”. Drop the lead (if you are holding it in your hand) and continue to allow him to free roam and “check out his surroundings”.

If Cassidy becomes overly excited about something he sees on the other side of the fence (deer, squirrel, etc), you will probably need to initially ramp up your correction. The moment you observe that Cassidy is becoming excited, you will need to correct. If you can immediately step on the training lead, do that. Then, make your correction sound while you give him a zap from the collar. This will probably have him break focus on the inappropriate distraction.

You now have a “window of opportunity” to pick up the training lead and call him back to you. Give him your “COME” command and give the training lead one or more tugs to have him return to you. (As time goes by, you will probably tug the training lead less and less.) Once he reaches your immediate vicinity, acknowledge his correct actions by giving him a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”.

If Cassidy saw the inappropriate distraction (deer, squirrel, etc.) and you are not near the training lead, immediately correct him from where you stand. Stand tall, make your correction sound, and give him a zap. This should break his attention on the distraction and give you time to approach the end of the training lead. At that point, pick up the training lead and give him the “COME” command. If he doesn’t immediately come to you, give the training lead one or more tugs in quick succession to direct him to your side. Once he is by you, reward his appropriate action by giving him a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”.

TRAINING NOTES REGARDING THE SHOCK COLLAR: I fitted Cassidy’s and Saint’s collars so that the probes pushed against their skin. This means that they were snug, but not causing distress or choking. Check the collars on a regular basis to make sure that they are fitting snugly.

Cassidy’s zap setting is initially set to 5 and Saint’s zap setting is initially set to 3. I have started with these settings because they were the levels that, when pressed, had each dog respond with visible acknowledgement of a shock but no indication of pain or fear. You may need to increase the settings, based on the level of distraction posed by the deer and other animals. If either dog starts to yip, cower, or jump when you press the zap button, you have probably set it too high.

Only have the collars on them when they are outside. Take them off immediately when you bring them back into the house. This will help them associate the “feel of the collar” to being outside and needing to focus and obey you. Since the collars are on snugly (like skinny jeans), leaving them on too long may cause irritation around their necks.

There are many variables that come into play when using the shock collars. If you have any questions regarding their use or how Cassidy or Saint are responding, please contact us immediately,

5. BARKING – Barking is always annoying and can be caused by many things. As soon as Cassidy or Saint start to bark, you should implement this exercise. This exercise is designed to redirect their attention away from the distraction causing the barking and to place the focus on you.

Have their leashes on in the house when you know there might be things that normally cause them to bark. As soon as one of them starts to bark, step on the leash, and place the handle in your hand. Make your correction sound as you briskly walk him in a direction away from the distraction to a point where he is giving you focus and has lost interest in whatever was causing him to bark. Have him sit for you. As soon as he does, praise him with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”.

(If he is a little too pensive to sit, have him calmly remain next to you while providing you with calm and respectful focus for one or two seconds. At that point, praise him with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”.)

Drop the leash and calmly walk back to whatever you were doing before the offender started to bark.

If Cassidy’s or Saint’s focus can be easily directed back to you, simply standing tall, giving your correction sound, and using your physical correction (squirt bottle or shake bottle) may suffice in getting him to stop barking. Once he has stopped barking, praise him with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”.

6. JUMPING – Dogs normally jump because they are showing assertion or are excited. An important facet of this exercise is your ability to remain calm. Your calm demeanor will demonstrate your strong leadership and neutralize Cassidy’s or Saint’s heightened adrenaline level.

Always have their leashes on when you are concerned that one of them might be jumping. If you are sitting on a chair or sofa and Cassidy or Saint approach you with the intent to jump, stand up, give him your correction sound, and use your physical correction (squirt bottle or shake bottle). As soon as he stops and gives you focus, praise him with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”.

If you are standing and Cassidy or Saint begins to jump on you or your guest, use your squirt bottle with your correction sound to stop him. You can also step on the leash so he doesn’t have the ability to jump. As soon as he calms down, praise him with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”.

If things are a little “too crazy”, you may need to ramp it up. Momentarily remove “the jumper” from the immediate area. Please refer to the USE OF THE LEASH discussion below.

7. MANAGE ATTENTION SEEKING BEHAVIOR – Always make sure that it is your idea. If either Cassidy or Saint comes up to you and nudges your hand for a pet, ignore him until he turns away. If you want to pet him, call him over to you. This assures he is responding to you.

If either Cassidy or Saint brings you a toy, ignore him until he turns away and you can then call him back. Remember, the leader always says, “I want you to…”. Make sure you are the leader.

8. USE OF THE LEASH – The leash is a passive training tool that is very effective in redirecting Cassidy’s and Saint’s focus to you. We suggest that you place leashes on them at different times during the day when you are home. Be sure that you have the leashes on at times when you expect higher adrenaline levels from them.

If either Cassidy or Saint begins to perform an action that you don’t want, step on the leash. If he is moving, let him go to the end of the leash, tug himself slightly, and then look back at you. Your still and calm demeanor will display leadership and he will understand that you took control, and you are the boss.

If you need to remove him from the area, calmly pick up the end of the leash, quietly make your correction sound, and walk him away. Once you observe that he is no longer adrenalized, stop, and have him sit. Praise him with a quiet but high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”. Drop the leash and calmly walk away.

NOTE (SLIGHT ALTERNATIVE): If he is a little too pensive to sit, replace the SIT command by allowing him to calmly remain next to you while providing you with calm and respectful focus. After one or two seconds, praise him with a quiet but high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”. Drop the leash and calmly walk away.

IN CONCLUSION: Rules are critical. When you establish your rules, you must always correct Cassidy or Saint when they break a rule. Don’t get mad or go nuts when they misbehave. As the teacher, you must portray a calm and non-adrenalized figure to gain their respect and attention.

Our fundamental form of communication is speaking. Conversely, Cassidy’s and Saint’s fundamental form of communication is body language. Begin your communication with them through proper body language. That is what they are expecting and will understand.

Practice every day. Both you, Cassidy, and Saint benefit when you implement and actively engage in a daily training regimen with them. You become a better teacher the more you have the opportunity to direct and educate. They become better students the more they have the opportunity to focus and learn.

Persistence, patience, and perseverance are necessary for your success. Concentrate on the positive results you are achieving and not the length of time they may take to complete.

Call us as soon as you have any questions. Finally, take a deep breath and just have fun.


Client: Jason & Tessa Brooks
Visit Date: 04/14/2024
Visit Number: 01
Trainer: Bruce
Paid Today: 0
Still Owe: 0
Comments:

Initial Issues:
Rescue. Full of energy. Obedience & behavior. Jumping. Chewing on wall when they aren’t there. Jumps on counter tops.

Training Notes:
Perry is a sweet dog and I enjoyed working with him. He quickly responded to our direction and demonstrated that he has the ability to provide you with the respectful focus you need to be his compassionate leaders.

Everything starts with rules. A “rule” identifies what you want him to do and what you don’t want him to do. “Come” is a rule that tells Perry to go to your side. “Don’t jump” is a rule that tells him to remain on the ground. You can easily determine your rules for Perry by asking yourself “Is he bugging me?”. If he is, Perry is breaking your rule.

Your rules must be simple and consistent. For example, if you don’t want him to jump, he can’t jump for any reason at any time. Everything must be on your terms. He cannot tell you what to do (i.e. please pet me) because he is not the boss.

We suggest that you consider having between five and ten rules. If you have too many rules, it will become difficult to effectively administer them.

Correct him as soon as he breaks one of your rules. This must be done in a manner that does not scare or frighten him and still gets his respectful focus directed towards you. Once you have guided him to the correct thing (no longer breaking your rules), acknowledge his appropriate action.

As with all dogs, Perry primarily communicates through body language. Stand tall and calm when correcting him. Remember, all Perry’s communication begins with body language.

To augment your body language communication, you may need to introduce a verbal interaction. Use a unique sound (if needed) to get his attention. I was using the “GRRRRRRRy” sound today. Any sound that gets him to calmly look at you is fine. The key is that the sound should be distinctive and only used when he has broken your rules and you need his focus.

There may be times where you need to “ramp it up” and include a passive/physical form of communication in addition to your body language and verbal interaction. If necessary, introduce a passive/physical action such as the squirt bottle or shake bottle to get his focus. Only have the squirt bottle or shake bottle visible to Perry when you are in the process of correcting him. When he only sees these objects while he is in the process of being corrected, it enhances his understanding of “I am being corrected and must provide respectful focus”.

Sometimes, a loud clap of your hands may be all you need.

As a final note on this subject, consider using the leash as a corrective and directive tool. This is a distractive method used to gain his focus and guide him towards the right actions. Have the leash on him at different times during the day. Always have it on him when you think he may be approaching times of heightened activity, excitement, and bad behavior.

Step on the leash if he starts to adrenalize and focus away from you. If needed, walk him to a calm area until he is deadrenalized and focused on you.

When performing the exercises, remember that repetition, consistency, observation, and simplicity are key. ACTION is essential to the process. If you catch yourself thinking “Oh, what a bad dog. I wish he would stop doing that!”, you have missed the point. If Perry does something wrong, you must actively correct now.

Perry is a dog and not a person. Do not assume that he is experiencing “human emotions”. Perform your actions because you want to keep him safe and secure.

When you give him a command, only say it once. As we discussed today, Perry is a dog and understands sounds and not words. “Come Come Come” is a different sound than “Come”. Make your sounds consistent so that Perry understands what you want him to do.

It is fine if you want to include hand gestures with any of the obedience commands. Simply include the hand gesture as you are verbalizing your obedience command to Perry.

Some general exercises we worked on today were:

1. COMING IN THE GARAGE DOOR – You want to be able to come in and out the garage door without Perry jumping on you or causing other mischief. In order to accomplish this, you need to constantly “remind Perry” that you are the boss, you are the one in charge, and you are the one creating the rules.

Your rule for Perry is that he must not jump on you or break any rule as you come through the garage door and enter the house. Our exercise today defined “entering the house” as going to the kitchen and remaining there for a moment or two without any inappropriate actions (normally jumping) from Perry.

You will start the exercise in the garage. You will have your squirt bottle with you in case you need to correct Perry. (Although we used the squirt bottle today, the shake bottle may also be effective to deter Perry from inappropriate actions.)

Calmly and slowly open the garage door. Crack the door open just wide enough for you to extend the squirt bottle into the door opening. If Perry is near the door, make your correction sound and give him one or more squirts of water to move him away from the door. Remember to make your correction sound every time you give him a squirt of water.

When Perry is away from the garage door, step through and close the door. Proceed to the kitchen. If Perry tries to gain your attention, ignore him. If he starts to break a rule (i.e. jump), correct him by standing tall, facing him, making your correction sound, and (if necessary) using the squirt bottle to give him one or more squirts of water until he stops breaking your rule (i.e. jumping on you). Remember to make your correction sound every time you give him a squirt of water.

Enter the kitchen and perform any overt action to indicate that you are “doing something you want to do”. This action could be putting down a package, opening and closing the refrigerator door, opening a drawer, etc. If Perry tries to gain your attention by breaking your rule (i.e. jumping), face him, stand tall, make your correction sound and squirt him with the squirt bottle. You may need to squirt him more than once. Remember to make your correction sound every time you squirt. Once he is no longer breaking your rule and you have completed your overt action, reward Perry with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY” for obeying your rule. Now, you can greet him.

2. COUNTER SURFING – Counter surfing occurs when Perry takes something off the kitchen counter. You don’t want him to do this.

The most important thing you need to understand about counter surfing is that you can only correct him if you are in the immediate vicinity while he is going for the goodies. The reason for this relates to the concept of “ownership”.

In a dog’s world, “ownership” is based on vicinity. You must be near “your stuff” for it to be yours. If you walk away from it, you are giving up ownership and sending a signal that others can take it. To put this in clear terms, if you have a ham sandwich on the kitchen counter, are standing right next to it, and Perry jumps to get it; you can correct. If you walk out of the room, you have signaled to Perry that he can have it. You may eventually walk back into the room and the ham sandwich is still on the counter. It is still there because Perry simply did not want it.

Here is what you do:

We suggest that you begin with two people. One of you will be the “food preparer” and one of you will be the “corrector”. Your goal is to keep him out of the immediate vicinity of the food. It is a boundary control exercise. The rule is that Perry can’t be in the kitchen when food is out and/or being prepared.

The food preparer is in the kitchen taking food out, putting it on the counter, and engaging in the general actions that are required in preparing a snack or meal. The corrector will be at the edge of the kitchen area directly between the food preparer and Perry. The corrector will have a squirt bottle and Perry will be wearing a leash. Perry must be outside the kitchen at the start of the exercise.

The food preparer goes about their activity as the corrector is at the edge of the kitchen observing Perry. If he starts to approach the boundary of the kitchen, the corrector will calmly face him, make their correction sound, and give him one or more squirts of water. (Remember that the corrector must repeat their correction sound every time they give Perry a squirt.) Once he moves back out of the kitchen, the corrector will give him a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY” to let him know that he is doing the right thing by staying out of the kitchen while there is food present.

If Perry is being obstinate and will not leave the kitchen, the corrector will step on the leash, pick it up, and calmly direct him out of the kitchen. The corrector should then have him sit, drop the leash, and slowly back into the kitchen while constantly facing him. At that point, the corrector should give Perry a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY” for being out of the kitchen when there is food present.

Continue this exercise for five to ten minutes to assure that Perry understands that the rule is to stay out of the kitchen when you are there with food.

When Perry is obeying your rule with two people, you can “ramp up the exercise” by only using one person. In this advanced scenario, the food preparer will wear both hats of food preparer and corrector. This requires multitasking on your part; but helps to emulate a more “real world scenario”.

NOTE: It is often beneficial to provide a distraction for Perry while you are in the kitchen performing your actions. We often suggest that you give him a Kong Food Toy to chew and lick while you are in the kitchen. Cover the food hole of the toy with peanut butter and then place the Kong Toy in the freezer. Give it to him a few minutes before you start the exercise.

3. JUMPING – Dogs normally jump because they are showing assertion or are excited. An important facet of this exercise is your ability to remain calm. Your calm demeanor will demonstrate your strong leadership and neutralize Perry’s heightened adrenaline level.

Always have Perry’s leash on when you are concerned that he might be jumping. If you are sitting on a chair or sofa and he approaches to jump, stand up, give him your correction sound, and use your physical correction (squirt bottle or shake bottle). As soon as he stops and gives you focus, praise him with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”.

If you are standing and Perry begins to jump on you or your guest, use your squirt bottle with your correction sound to stop him. You can also step on the leash so he doesn’t have the ability to jump. As soon as he calms down, praise him with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”.

If things are a little “too crazy”, you may need to ramp it up. Momentarily remove Perry from the immediate area. Please refer to the USE OF THE LEASH discussion below.

4. BARKING – Barking is always annoying and can be caused by many things. This exercise is designed to redirect Perry’s attention away from the distraction causing the barking and to place the focus on you.

Have his leash on in the house when you know there might be things that normally cause him to bark. As soon as he starts to bark, step on the leash, and place the handle in your hand. Make your correction sound as you briskly walk him in a direction away from the distraction to a point where he is giving you focus and has lost interest in whatever was causing him to bark. Have him sit for you. As soon as he does, praise him with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”.

(If he is a little too pensive to sit, have him calmly remain next to you while providing you with calm and respectful focus for one or two seconds. At that point, praise him with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”.)

Drop the leash and calmly walk back to whatever you were doing before Perry started to bark.

If Perry’s focus can be easily directed back to you, simply standing tall, giving your correction sound, and using your physical correction (squirt bottle or shake bottle) may suffice in getting him to stop barking. Once he has stopped barking, praise him with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”.

5. CHEWING – Let’s talk about the method of stopping Perry from chewing when you can “catch him in the act” and another method when you can’t “catch Perry in the act” of chewing.

If you “catch him in the act”, you must correct him in the moment. Calmly approach him, stand tall and stoic in front of him, make your correction sound, and use the squirt bottle to get his attention focused on you. It may take two or three corrections (Stand/GRRRR/Squirt’s), but Perry should stop chewing, drop the item, and move away. (Be sure to repeat your correction sound every time you give him a squirt.) Once he is moving away, calmly pick up the item and praise his correct choice with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”.

After you correct him, you need to give him “an acceptable thing to chew”. One example of “an acceptable thing to chew” is the Kong Toy. Take the Kong Toy, put some peanut butter in the food hole, and freeze it. Give this to Perry to direct his chewing to something you find acceptable.

Another example of “an acceptable thing to chew” is the Deer Antler. These are very safe and (obviously) all natural. Spray some low sodium chicken broth on the antler to make it a little “tastier” and give it to him.

As soon as you take away the “thing you don’t want him to chew”, give him one of these. You can also leave them out for him to naturally locate and chew.

Remember, you can only perform the above procedure if you see Perry in the act of chewing.

If you can’t “catch him in the act”, you will need to find a way to passively discourage Perry from chewing. To do this, you need to make the thing you don’t want him to chew to taste yucky. We suggest that you use Bitter Apple.

You need to let Perry understand that anything that tastes like Bitter Apple is yucky. You do this by spraying a very small amount of it into his mouth. You are not trying to have him drink it; you want the mist of the spray to reach the taste buds in the back of his mouth. This will trigger a “bad taste memory”. He will then associate other things with this same smell as tasting bad.

Spray Bitter Apple on things you don’t want Perry to chew. The Bitter Apple will eventually evaporate on the object, so you must re-spray from time to time. Once you have sprayed the “don’t chew this” object, place a Kong Toy or Deer Antler in the immediate vicinity.

As he equates that one thing is bad (the thing you don’t want him to chew), he will find something good (the thing you want him to chew). After a few encounters, Perry will ignore the thing you don’t want him to chew (it tastes yucky) for the thing you want him to chew (it tastes good).

If the Bitter Apple becomes ineffective, you can ramp up to Tabasco Sauce, Jalapeno Sauce, or Habanero Sauce (in that order). Place the sauce on the item you don’t want Perry to chew. Since you can’t spray the sauce as you would the Bitter Apple, put a little on your finger and rub it on the top of his tongue.

NOTE: Sometimes dogs “just want to chew stuff” when you are not there. If you are not having success with the above procedures, place Perry in his crate when you are not in the vicinity and you don’t want him to chew stuff. His physical inability to get at the stuff he may want to chew will eventually diminish this inappropriate nervous habit.

6. COME: INSIDE WITH LEASH – You must initially perform this exercise in the house when it is quiet (no distractions). Put a six-foot leash on Perry. Slowly step away from him (facing him) until you have reached the end of the leash. Drop to your knees or crouch down low and say “COME” once. If he doesn’t start to move towards you, give the leash a slight tug. You may need to give several tugs.

If he is unresponsive to the tug, make your correction sound, wait for one or two seconds, say “COME” again, and give the leash another tug with slightly more force. Repeat this, if needed, until Perry is moving towards you.

Once he reaches you, praise his action with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”. Stand up and repeat this process for several minutes.

When he can always come to you from six feet, extend the length by using a longer leash or attaching several together. Practice from ten feet, fifteen feet, and twenty feet. When he can come to you from the longest distance, repeat the exercise at that length, but no longer hold the leash. Let it lie on the ground between you and Perry. The “handle end” of the leash should still be near you and easily accessible if Perry is not responding to your command.

Continue practicing confirming that he constantly comes to you without the need to grab and tug on the leash. Once this is achieved, unhook the leash and practice the COME exercise without the leash.

After he has successfully completed the COME exercise when he is inside, repeat the process outside. (We will discuss this process in detail next.)

A HELPFUL TIP: If Perry is slow in learning the COME command, you may need to enhance his ability to focus on you when the command is given. As you are down low and about to verbalize “COME”, pat your knees, snap your fingers, or call his name (“Perry”). This may help draw his attention to you as you command him to COME.

ONE MORE THING: There are times where you may be “too far away”. For example, he may have been coming to you from ten feet yesterday, but won’t respond at all from that distance today. Instead of “reinforcing failure” at ten feet, shorten the distance between you and Perry until he starts to come to you. Continue your exercise at that length and expand the distance as he consistently obeys your command.

NOTE: Never give Perry the COME command without the leash being attached to him if you have any hesitation that he will not come to you. If you want to attempt to have him come to you without the leash, get down low, call his name, become visibly animated, and clap your hands or pat your knees. Just don’t say “COME”.

If he comes to you, that is great. If Perry does not come to you, that is no big deal. You offered him an invitation and you allowed him to respond “yes” or “no”.

If you had said “COME” to Perry; that is a command and he must comply. If he does not, the only tool you have to gain his compliance and maintain your leadership role is the leash.

7. COME: OUTSIDE WITH LEAD – Put a thirty-foot training lead on Perry. (I suggest thirty feet, but any long length is fine. We use a thirty-foot training lead from Leash Boss. Their web site is http://LeashBoss.com.) Slowly step away from him (facing him) until you have reached about ten feet. Drop to your knees or crouch down low and say “COME” once. If he doesn’t start to move towards you, give the lead a slight tug. You may need to give several tugs.

If he is unresponsive to the tug, make your correction sound, wait for one or two seconds, say “COME” again, and give the lead another tug with slightly more force. Repeat this, if needed, until Perry is moving towards you.

When he reaches you, praise his action with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”. Stand up and repeat this process for several minutes. Slowly add distraction to the process to provide a more “real world” environment.

Once he can always come to you from the initial distance, extend the length by using more of the training lead. Practice from fifteen feet, twenty feet, twenty-five feet, and thirty feet. When he can come to you from the longest distance, repeat the exercise at that length, but no longer hold the lead. Let it lie on the ground between you and Perry. The “handle end” of the lead should still be near you and easily accessible if Perry is not responding to your command. (I do not suggest that you practice this step if your back yard fence is not built, and the street is busy.)

Keep practicing until he repeatedly comes to you without the need to grab and tug on the lead. If your back yard fence is complete, you can attempt one more step. Unhook the lead and practice the COME exercise without the lead.

When you are outside and you want Perry to come to you, this is mostly because you want him to get in the house. When outside, we suggest that you set up many of your exercises where you are near the door and Perry is in the yard.

A HELPFUL TIP: If Perry is far away from you and not focused on you when you are about to give the “COME” command, you may need to get his attention. Try calling his name or clapping your hands to get him to look at you. If he is “overly-distracted”, give the lead a slight tug to have him look back at you. Although not required, these actions often help with the successful execution of the command.

ONE MORE THING: There are times where you may be “too far away”. For example, he may have been coming to you from twenty feet yesterday, but won’t respond at all from that distance today. Instead of “reinforcing failure” at twenty feet, shorten the distance between you and Perry until he starts to come to you. Continue your exercise at that length and expand the distance as he consistently obeys your command.

A SLIGHT ALTERNATIVE: (Only do this after your back yard fence is complete.) Our instructions above state that you are constantly holding the lead when you give the COME command. An alternative to this method is to allow the lead to stretch out behind Perry as he moves around the yard. You are not holding the lead, but allowing it to freely flow behind Perry. Always remain close to the lead. When you are ready to execute the COME command, step on the lead at the appropriate length, pick it up in your hands, and deliver the COME command. All the other instructions remain the same.

NOTE: Never give Perry the COME command without the lead being attached to him if you have any hesitation that he will not come to you. If you want to attempt to have him come to you without the lead, get down low, call his name, become visibly animated, and clap your hands or pat your knees. Just don’t say “COME”.

If he comes to you, that is great. If Perry does not come to you, that is no big deal. You offered him an invitation and you allowed him to respond “yes” or “no”.

If you had said “COME” to Perry; that is a command and he must comply. If he does not, the only tool you have to gain his compliance and maintain your leadership role is the lead.

8. SIT – Initially perform this exercise in a quiet location with minimal or no distractions. Put a six-foot leash on Perry. Stand directly in front of him and say “SIT” once. If he doesn’t sit, give him your correction sound and a slight tug on the leash. Say “SIT” again.

If he doesn’t sit immediately, move to his side and pull the leash up and behind his head. At the same time use your other hand to guide his rear end backwards until you see his hindquarters moving towards the ground. Continue to slightly pull the leash so that his head is moving backwards and his hindquarters are still descending. Once he is sitting, praise his action with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”.

Move Perry a few feet and repeat the exercise for several minutes. As you continue your sessions and he is constantly sitting on the first command, slowly add distractions.

9. STAY – Perry must be able to sit with a single command and no assistance before you can work on this exercise. Since Perry demonstrated that he still “has some work to do” in order to sit every time without any assistance, I am providing you these instructions for informational purposes only. When you think he is ready to start with the STAY exercise, these are the steps you will need to take to “expand his SIT to a STAY.

This exercise has several levels. Work on each level until Perry can always perform the actions before you move on to the next. Don’t rush to the next level when he appears to be succeeding in the current level. Have one or two days of “constant success” before you move on.

Place Perry in a SIT before you start this command:

Level One: Stand directly in front of Perry, hold your hand up as if you were a traffic policeman, and say “STAY”. If he begins to move, give him your correction sound to have him stop. Wait until he is sitting quietly for about five to ten seconds. Praise his action with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY” for obeying your command. Continue to practice while extending the time you are standing in front of him and he is remaining in place. When you have accomplished this and Perry can remain in place for about fifteen to twenty seconds, you can move on to Level Two.

Level Two: Stand directly in front of Perry, hold your hand up as if you were a traffic policeman, and say “STAY”. Slowly back up (always holding the leash and facing him) until you have reached the end of the leash. Make sure you do not tug the leash. If he begins to move, give him your correction sound to have him stop. Wait until he is sitting quietly for about five seconds. Step back until you are next to him. Praise his action with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY” for obeying your command. Once you have accomplished this, you can move on to Level Three.

Level Three: Stand directly in front of Perry, hold your hand up as if you were a traffic policeman, and say “STAY”. Slowly back up (always holding the leash and facing him) until you have reached the end of the leash. Make sure you do not tug the leash. Walk in a partial semi-circle to your left until you are all the way to Perry’s side. Slowly move to the right, pass in front of him, and stop when you have reached his other side. Next, move back until you are in front of him again. If he begins to move, give him your correction sound to have him stop. Make sure you keep your “policeman’s hand” up the entire time. Finally, step back until you are next to him. Praise his action with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY” for obeying your command. Now that you have accomplished this, you can move on to Level Four.

Level Four: Stand directly in front of Perry, hold your hand up as if you were a traffic policeman, and say “STAY”. Slowly back up (always holding the leash and facing him) until you have reached the end of the leash. Make sure you do not tug the leash. Walk completely around him. If he begins to move, give him your correction sound to have him stop. Make sure you keep your “policeman’s hand” up the entire time. Now, step back until you are next to him. Praise his action with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY” for obeying your command. Practice this exercise for several days with continual success. Once you have accomplished this, you can move on to Level Five.

Level Five: At this point you can walk completely around Perry with your hand up and he is remaining in his STAY. It is time to add a “real world” situation to the exercise. You will not be holding the leash. Place Perry in a SIT and then a STAY. Walk around the room/area while facing him and keeping your hand up in your “traffic policeman’s pose”. Continue this while you slowly add actions such as picking up objects and opening and closing doors and drawers. Always remain in his sight.

If Perry moves from his spot, correct him, step back to a prior level, and continue from there. The more you can move around the room/area while he remains stationary in a STAY, the more you can add additional actions that you would normally perform when you want him in a STAY in a “real world situation”.

NOTE: Perry is remaining in his STAY because you have conditioned him to remain still while focusing on your outstretched hand. If you leave the room and/or leave his sight, your outstretched hand (the trigger to have him STAY) will be gone and he will probably get up and break his stay.

10. FOLLOW THRU DOOR – You always want to go through a doorway before Perry. The reason for this is twofold. First, you are the leader, and you want to show Perry that you are always leading. Second, you want to keep Perry safe. The only way you can do this is to “check out” whatever is on the other side of the door before you allow him to proceed.

Have Perry on a leash or lead. Walk him up to the doorway and have him sit. Hold your hand out like a traffic policeman while you slowly step backwards through the doorway. Always face him.

When both of your feet are across the threshold, pat your leg to allow Perry to proceed. Once he has crossed the threshold, have him sit again. Praise his action with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY” for obeying your command.

NOTE: If Perry is a little too pensive to sit while he is on either side of the doorway, have him quietly stand and stay still. “Although it may not be pretty”, as long as he is remaining stable as you place your feet on the other side of the door, he has obeyed your rule.

11. MANAGE ATTENTION SEEKING BEHAVIOR – Always make sure that it is your idea. If Perry comes up to you and nudges your hand for a pet, ignore him until he turns away. If you want to pet him, call him over to you. This assures he is responding to you.

If Perry brings you a toy, ignore him until he turns away and you can then call him back. Remember, the leader always says, “I want you to…”. Make sure you are the leader.

12. USE OF THE LEASH – The leash is a passive training tool that is very effective in redirecting Perry’s focus to you. We suggest that you place the leash on him at different times during the day when you are home. Be sure that you have the leash on at times when you expect higher adrenaline levels from Perry.

As he begins to perform an action that you don’t want, step on the leash. If he is moving, let him go to the end of the leash, tug himself slightly, and then look back at you. Your still and calm demeanor will display leadership and Perry will understand that you took control, and you are the boss.

If you need to remove Perry from the area, calmly pick up the end of the leash, quietly make your correction sound, and walk him away. Once you observe that he is no longer adrenalized, stop, and have him sit. Praise him with a quiet but high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”. Drop the leash and calmly walk away.

NOTE (SLIGHT ALTERNATIVE): If Perry is a little too pensive to sit, replace the SIT command by allowing him to calmly remain next to you while providing you with calm and respectful focus. After one or two seconds, praise him with a quiet but high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”. Drop the leash and calmly walk away.

IN CONCLUSION: Rules are critical. When you establish your rules, you must always correct Perry when he breaks a rule. Don’t get mad or go nuts when he misbehaves. As the teacher, you must portray a calm and non-adrenalized figure to gain Perry’s respect and attention.

Our fundamental form of communication is speaking. Conversely, Perry’s fundamental form of communication is body language. Begin your communication with Perry through proper body language. That is what he is expecting and will understand.

Practice every day. Both you and Perry benefit when you implement and actively engage in a daily training regimen with him. You become a better teacher the more you have the opportunity to direct and educate. Perry becomes a better student the more he has the opportunity to focus and learn.

Persistence, patience, and perseverance are necessary for your success. Concentrate on the positive results you are achieving and not the length of time they may take to complete.

Call us as soon as you have any questions. Finally, take a deep breath and just have fun.


Client: Kevin Hobgood
Visit Date: 04/18/2024
Visit Number: 01
Trainer: Robin
Paid Today: 0
Still Owe: 0
Comments:

Initial Issues:
Potty. General Behavior, Obedience, and Puppy Issues

Training Notes:
Teddy is a sweet dog and we enjoyed working with him. He has an excellent personality and a never-ending amount of joyful energy. He has shown us that he can focus, behave, and obey as well as love and play. These are all excellent qualities.

Everything starts with rules. A “rule” identifies what you want him to do and what you don’t want him to do. “Come” is a rule that tells Teddy to go to your side. “Don’t jump” is a rule that tells him to remain on the ground. You can easily determine your rules for Teddy by asking yourself “Is he bugging me?”. If he is, Teddy is breaking your rule.

Your rules must be simple and consistent. For example, if you don’t want him to jump, he can’t jump for any reason at any time. Everything must be on your terms. He cannot tell you what to do (i.e. please pet me) because he is not the boss.

We suggest that you consider having between five and ten rules. If you have too many rules, it will become difficult to effectively administer them.

Correct him as soon as he breaks one of your rules. This must be done in a manner that does not scare or frighten him and still gets his respectful focus directed towards you. Once you have guided him to the correct thing (no longer breaking your rules), acknowledge his appropriate action.

As with all dogs, Teddy primarily communicates through body language. Stand tall and calm when correcting him. Remember, all Teddy’s communication begins with body language.

To augment your body language communication, you may need to introduce a verbal interaction. Use a unique sound (if needed) to get his attention. We were using the “GRRRRRRRy” sound during our board and train program. Any sound that gets him to calmly look at you is fine. The key is that the sound should be distinctive and only used when he has broken your rules and you need his focus.

There may be times where you need to “ramp it up” and include a passive/physical form of communication in addition to your body language and verbal interaction. If necessary, introduce a passive/physical action such as the squirt bottle or shake bottle to get his focus. Only have the squirt bottle or shake bottle visible to Teddy when you are in the process of correcting him. When he only sees these objects while he is in the process of being corrected, it enhances his understanding of “I am being corrected and must provide respectful focus”.

Sometimes, a loud clap of your hands may be all you need.

As a final note on this subject, consider using the leash as a corrective and directive tool. This is a distractive method used to gain his focus and guide him towards the right actions. Have the leash on him at different times during the day. Always have it on him when you think he may be approaching times of heightened activity, excitement, and bad behavior.

Step on the leash if he starts to adrenalize and focus away from you. If needed, walk him to a calm area until he is deadrenalized and focused on you.

When performing the exercises, remember that repetition, consistency, observation, and simplicity are key. ACTION is essential to the process. If you catch yourself thinking “Oh, what a bad dog. I wish he would stop doing that!”, you have missed the point. If Teddy does something wrong, you must actively correct now.

Teddy is a dog and not a person. Do not assume that he is experiencing “human emotions”. Perform your actions because you want to keep him safe and secure.

When you give him a command, only say it once. As we discussed today, Teddy is a dog and understands sounds and not words. “Come Come Come” is a different sound than “Come”. Make your sounds consistent so that Teddy understands what you want him to do.

It is fine if you want to include hand gestures with any of the obedience commands. Simply include the hand gesture as you are verbalizing your obedience command to Teddy.

Some general exercises we worked on during our board and train program were:

1. COME: INSIDE WITH LEASH – You must initially perform this exercise in the house when it is quiet (no distractions). Put a six-foot leash on Teddy. Slowly step away from him (facing him) until you have reached the end of the leash. Drop to your knees or crouch down low and say “COME” once. If he doesn’t start to move towards you, give the leash a slight tug. You may need to give several tugs.

If he is unresponsive to the tug, make your correction sound, wait for one or two seconds, say “COME” again, and give the leash another tug with slightly more force. Repeat this, if needed, until Teddy is moving towards you.

Once he reaches you, praise his action with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”. Stand up and repeat this process for several minutes.

When he can always come to you from six feet, extend the length by using a longer leash or attaching several together. Practice from ten feet, fifteen feet, and twenty feet. When he can come to you from the longest distance, repeat the exercise at that length, but no longer hold the leash. Let it lie on the ground between you and Teddy. The “handle end” of the leash should still be near you and easily accessible if Teddy is not responding to your command.

Continue practicing confirming that he constantly comes to you without the need to grab and tug on the leash. Once this is achieved, unhook the leash and practice the COME exercise without the leash.

After he has successfully completed the COME exercise when he is inside, repeat the process outside. Please refer to the following exercise.

A HELPFUL TIP: If Teddy is slow in learning the COME command, you may need to enhance his ability to focus on you when the command is given. As you are down low and about to verbalize “COME”, pat your knees, snap your fingers, or call his name (“Teddy”). This may help draw his attention to you as you command him to COME.

ONE MORE THING: There are times where you may be “too far away”. For example, he may have been coming to you from ten feet yesterday, but won’t respond at all from that distance today. Instead of “reinforcing failure” at ten feet, shorten the distance between you and Teddy until he starts to come to you. Continue your exercise at that length and expand the distance as he consistently obeys your command.

NOTE: Never give Teddy the COME command without the leash being attached to him if you have any hesitation that he will not come to you. If you want to attempt to have him come to you without the leash, get down low, call his name, become visibly animated, and clap your hands or pat your knees. Just don’t say “COME”.

If he comes to you, that is great. If Teddy does not come to you, that is no big deal. You offered him an invitation and you allowed him to respond “yes” or “no”.

If you had said “COME” to Teddy; that is a command and he must comply. If he does not, the only tool you have to gain his compliance and maintain your leadership role is the leash.

2. COME: OUTSIDE WITH LEAD – Put a twenty-foot training lead on Teddy. (We were using a twenty-foot training lead with Teddy, but any long length is fine.) Slowly step away from him (facing him) until you have reached about ten feet. Drop to your knees or crouch down low and say “COME” once. If he doesn’t start to move towards you, give the lead a slight tug. You may need to give several tugs.

If he is unresponsive to the tug, make your correction sound, wait for one or two seconds, say “COME” again, and give the lead another tug with slightly more force. Repeat this, if needed, until Teddy is moving towards you.

When he reaches you, praise his action with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”. Stand up and repeat this process for several minutes. Slowly add distraction to the process to provide a more “real world” environment.

Once he can always come to you from the initial distance, extend the length by using more of the training lead. Practice from fifteen feet and then twenty feet. (If you have a larger area, you can use a longer lead to perform your controlled practice from longer distances.) When he can come to you from the longest distance, repeat the exercise at that length, but no longer hold the lead. Let it lie on the ground between you and Teddy. The “handle end” of the lead should still be near you and easily accessible if Teddy is not responding to your command.

Keep practicing until he repeatedly comes to you without the need to grab and tug on the lead. If you are in an enclosed area, you can attempt one more step. Unhook the lead and practice the COME exercise without the lead. If you are in an area that is not enclosed (surrounded with a fence, etc.), we do not recommend that you allow Teddy to be off the lead.

A HELPFUL TIP: If Teddy is far away from you and not focused on you when you are about to give the “COME” command, you may need to get his attention. Try calling his name or clapping your hands to get him to look at you. If he is “overly-distracted”, give the lead a slight tug to have him look back at you. Although not required, these actions often help with the successful execution of the command.

ONE MORE THING: There are times where you may be “too far away”. For example, he may have been coming to you from twenty feet yesterday, but won’t respond at all from that distance today. Instead of “reinforcing failure” at twenty feet, shorten the distance between you and Teddy until he starts to come to you. Continue your exercise at that length and expand the distance as he consistently obeys your command.

A SLIGHT ALTERNATIVE: Our instructions above state that you are constantly holding the lead when you give the COME command. An alternative to this method is to allow the lead to stretch out behind Teddy as he moves around the yard. You are not holding the lead, but allowing it to freely flow behind Teddy. Always remain close to the lead. When you are ready to execute the COME command, step on the lead at the appropriate length, pick it up in your hands, and deliver the COME command. All the other instructions remain the same.

NOTE: Never give Teddy the COME command without the lead being attached to him if you have any hesitation that he will not come to you. If you want to attempt to have him come to you without the lead, get down low, call his name, become visibly animated, and clap your hands or pat your knees. Just don’t say “COME”.

If he comes to you, that is great. If Teddy does not come to you, that is no big deal. You offered him an invitation and you allowed him to respond “yes” or “no”.

If you had said “COME” to Teddy; that is a command and he must comply. If he does not, the only tool you have to gain his compliance and maintain your leadership role is the lead.

3. SIT – Initially perform this exercise in a quiet location with minimal or no distractions. Put a six-foot leash on Teddy. Stand directly in front of him and say “SIT” once. If he doesn’t sit, give him your correction sound and a slight tug on the leash. Say “SIT” again.

If he doesn’t sit immediately, move to his side and pull the leash up and behind his head. At the same time use your other hand to guide his rear end backwards until you see his hindquarters moving towards the ground. Continue to slightly pull the leash so that his head is moving backwards and his hindquarters are still descending. Once he is sitting, praise his action with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”.

Move Teddy a few feet and repeat the exercise for several minutes. As you continue your sessions and he is constantly sitting on the first command, slowly add distractions.

4. WALKING OUTSIDE – Before you begin your walk, remember that you are Teddy’s protector, boss, and best friend. It is your responsibility to always keep him safe. As you are on your walk, visually scan the immediate area to determine if there are any issues that might place Teddy in danger or cause him to feel scared. If you find such a situation, create a plan ahead of time to mitigate or eliminate the danger before it takes place. This will prepare you to easily solve any problem you and Teddy may encounter on your walk.

Just like any other time, when you are walking with Teddy, he must be obeying your rules. I suggest that your “walking rules” for Teddy are to be near you, do not pull on the leash, listen to your commands when given, and have a good time. These are only my suggestions. You must create your own rules so that you and Teddy have an excellent walking experience.

Start your walk outside with Teddy calmly next to you wearing his collar and Easy Walk Harness (size Small). Have his leash attached to both the collar and harness. Give your WALK command, tug the leash slightly, and begin your walk. (Although Teddy has shown that he has the ability to walk with only a collar, the Easy Walk Harness will protect his trachea.)

As long as Teddy is maintaining your rules as mentioned above, all is fine. If he starts to break your rules (pull, not listen, etc.), give the leash a slight tug back towards you as you are walking. Make your correction sound as you tug the leash. Have him look at you and give you focus. Acknowledge his correct behavior with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”.

If he is unresponsive to your slight tug while walking, stop walking, make your correction sound, and give the leash a slightly more forceful tug back towards you. Have him look at you and give you focus. Acknowledge his correct behavior with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”. Continue your walk.

If he really starts to pull or focus on something too much, you may need to “ramp up” your correction. In this case, you can turn around 180 degrees and walk in the opposite direction for about ten to thirty feet. Make sure he is properly walking with you. When he is calm and focused on you, reverse your direction by 180 degrees and continue your walk in the original direction. Acknowledge his correct behavior with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”.

It is frequently difficult to determine “who is walking who”. Are you walking at the pace that Teddy has set or is he walking at your pace? It must be your pace because you are the boss. Set the tempo by creating “a cadence in your head”. Think to yourself, “1… 2… 3… 4…; 1… 2… 3… 4…”, as you walk and mark your steps to your count. This will compel you to set a speed and maintain it. It will also allow you to determine if Teddy is walking at your speed. If he is not, correct him using one of the methods previously discussed in this exercise.

Another issue with WALKING takes place when an inappropriate distraction such as a dog, jogger, neighbor, bicyclist, car, etc. approaches. Teddy will often start to adrenalize, lock focus on the approaching distraction, jump, bark, and pull. You need to redirect Teddy’s focus back towards you. We suggest that you do the following:

a) Remove Teddy from the immediate line of approach by directing him at a 90 degree angle up a driveway, onto a front lawn, etc.

b) Calmly give the leash several tugs as you walk him about ten to fifteen feet up the driveway, onto the front lawn, etc.

c) Have Teddy focus on you as you remain calm. If he is still concentrating on the approaching distraction, move him farther up the driveway or onto the lawn. Display confidence the entire time while you are gently tugging the leash to maintain Teddy’s attention on you. Quietly talk to him using a reassuring tone. If needed, step on the leash so that he does not have the ability to jump or move around.

d) If, after doing all this, he is still focusing on the approaching distraction, move Teddy behind an object that will block his view of the approaching object. This could be a car in the driveway, a fence, or a bush. Continue to have Teddy focus on you while you display a calm and “in charge” demeanor. If needed, step on the leash to keep him stable and focused on you.

e) Once the distraction has passed, reward Teddy’s actions of focusing on you with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”. Continue your walk.

NOTE: Whenever we are directing you to give Teddy a tug on the leash, it may require more than one tug. If you have given him a single tug without success, repeat by giving him several tugs in quick succession. Make your correction sound each time you give him a tug.

ONE MORE THING: Dogs often chew their harnesses when they are bored. Please remember to remove Teddy’s harness when you are not walking with him

5. BARKING – Barking is always annoying and can be caused by many things. This exercise is designed to redirect Teddy’s attention away from the distraction causing the barking and to place the focus on you.

Have his leash on in the house when you know there might be things that normally cause him to bark. As soon as he starts to bark, step on the leash, and place the handle in your hand. Make your correction sound as you briskly walk him in a direction away from the distraction to a point where he is giving you focus and has lost interest in whatever was causing him to bark. Have him sit for you. As soon as he does, praise him with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”.

(If he is a little too pensive to sit, have him calmly remain next to you while providing you with calm and respectful focus for one or two seconds. At that point, praise him with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”.)

Drop the leash and calmly walk back to whatever you were doing before Teddy started to bark.

If Teddy’s focus can be easily directed back to you, simply standing tall, giving your correction sound, and using your physical correction (squirt bottle or shake bottle) may suffice in getting him to stop barking. Once he has stopped barking, praise him with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”.

6. JUMPING – Dogs normally jump because they are showing assertion or are excited. An important facet of this exercise is your ability to remain calm. Your calm demeanor will demonstrate your strong leadership and neutralize Teddy’s heightened adrenaline level.

Always have Teddy’s leash on when you are concerned that he might be jumping. If you are sitting on a chair or sofa and he approaches to jump, stand up, give him your correction sound, and use your physical correction (squirt bottle or shake bottle). As soon as he stops and gives you focus, praise him with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”.

If you are standing and Teddy begins to jump on you or your guest, use your squirt bottle with your correction sound to stop him. You can also step on the leash so he doesn’t have the ability to jump. As soon as he calms down, praise him with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”.

If things are a little “too crazy”, you may need to ramp it up. Momentarily remove Teddy from the immediate area. Please refer to the USE OF THE LEASH discussion below.

7. CHEWING – Let’s talk about the method of stopping Teddy from chewing when you can “catch him in the act” and another method when you can’t “catch Teddy in the act” of chewing.

If you “catch him in the act”, you must correct him in the moment. Calmly approach him, stand tall and stoic in front of him, make your correction sound, and use the squirt bottle to get his attention focused on you. It may take two or three corrections (Stand/GRRRR/Squirt’s), but Teddy should stop chewing, drop the item, and move away. (Be sure to repeat your correction sound every time you give him a squirt.) Once he is moving away, calmly pick up the item and praise his correct choice with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”.

After you correct him, you need to give him “an acceptable thing to chew”. One example of “an acceptable thing to chew” is the Kong Toy. Take the Kong Toy, put some peanut butter in the food hole, and freeze it. Give this to Teddy to direct his chewing to something you find acceptable.

Another example of “an acceptable thing to chew” is the Deer Antler. These are very safe and (obviously) all natural. Spray some low sodium chicken broth on the antler to make it a little “tastier” and give it to him.

As soon as you take away the “thing you don’t want him to chew”, give him one of these. You can also leave them out for him to naturally locate and chew.

Remember, you can only perform the above procedure if you see Teddy in the act of chewing.

If you can’t “catch him in the act”, you will need to find a way to passively discourage Teddy from chewing. To do this, you need to make the thing you don’t want him to chew to taste yucky. We suggest that you use Bitter Apple.

You need to let Teddy understand that anything that tastes like Bitter Apple is yucky. You do this by spraying a very small amount of it into his mouth. You are not trying to have him drink it; you want the mist of the spray to reach the taste buds in the back of his mouth. This will trigger a “bad taste memory”. He will then associate other things with this same smell as tasting bad.

Spray Bitter Apple on things you don’t want Teddy to chew. The Bitter Apple will eventually evaporate on the object, so you must re-spray from time to time. Once you have sprayed the “don’t chew this” object, place a Kong Toy or Deer Antler in the immediate vicinity.

As he equates that one thing is bad (the thing you don’t want him to chew), he will find something good (the thing you want him to chew). After a few encounters, Teddy will ignore the thing you don’t want him to chew (it tastes yucky) for the thing you want him to chew (it tastes good).

If the Bitter Apple becomes ineffective, you can ramp up to Tabasco Sauce, Jalapeno Sauce, or Habanero Sauce (in that order). Place the sauce on the item you don’t want Teddy to chew. Since you can’t spray the sauce as you would the Bitter Apple, put a little on your finger and rub it on the top of his tongue.

8. MANNERS AT THE FRONT DOOR – This exercise is based on the rule that Teddy can be anywhere in the house except near you when you are opening the front door. As a rule of thumb, I define “near you” as within six to eight feet of the front door. This is the “Teddy can’t be here zone”. Everything else (away from the door and outside the six-to-eight-foot boundary of the door) is the “Teddy can be here zone”.

You and Teddy can be anywhere in the house at the start of this exercise. Try to do “regular things” while not directly engaging him or causing him to become adrenalized. Make sure you know the location of your squirt bottle (either out of sight by the front door or in your pocket.)

Have someone knock on the door. Calmly walk to the front door. If Teddy runs ahead of you, don’t worry about that yet. When you are at the front door, turn around and visibly locate him.

If he is within the “Teddy can’t be here zone” (close to you and the front door), stand tall and face him, make your correction sound, and (if needed) give him several squirts to have him back out of the “Teddy can’t be here zone”, away from the door, and into the “Teddy can be here zone”. It may take multiple squirts to have him back away. (Remember to repeat your correction sound every time you give him a squirt.)

If the use of the squirt bottle is not effective in directing Teddy away from the door area, include the shake bottle in your correction process. Make your correction sound and use the squirt bottle as before, but now simultaneously introduce the shaking chain sound of the shake bottle into the correction process. As before, repeat these actions multiple times, if needed.

Once he is away from the front door, slowly reach for the door handle while always facing him. Gradually open the door for the outside visitor. If Teddy makes any attempt to continue his approach, correct him as described above.

Continue facing him while opening the door to allow the outside visitor to enter. Close the door. Praise Teddy’s action with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY” for obeying your rule of staying away from the front door when you are opening it. Repeat this exercise daily with family members, neighbors, and strangers (UPS, Domino’s, etc.)

NOTE: If you are having difficulty directing Teddy away from the front door area and into the “Teddy can be here zone”, use the leash to guide him away. Calmly step on the leash, place it in your hand, and give the leash several slight tugs to have him cross the boundary out of the “Teddy can’t be here zone” and into the “Teddy can be here zone”. Once that is done, drop the leash and slowly back up to the door. Continue to face him and brandish the squirt bottle in his direction. Correct with the squirt bottle, if needed, and continue the exercise by opening the door for the outside visitor.

9. MANAGE ATTENTION SEEKING BEHAVIOR – Always make sure that it is your idea. If Teddy comes up to you and nudges your hand for a pet, ignore him until he turns away. If you want to pet him, call him over to you. This assures he is responding to you.

If Teddy brings you a toy, ignore him until he turns away and you can then call him back. Remember, the leader always says, “I want you to…”. Make sure you are the leader.

10. USE OF THE LEASH – The leash is a passive training tool that is very effective in redirecting Teddy’s focus to you. We suggest that you place the leash on him at different times during the day when you are home. Be sure that you have the leash on at times when you expect higher adrenaline levels from Teddy.

As he begins to perform an action that you don’t want, step on the leash. If he is moving, let him go to the end of the leash, tug himself slightly, and then look back at you. Your still and calm demeanor will display leadership and Teddy will understand that you took control, and you are the boss.

If you need to remove Teddy from the area, calmly pick up the end of the leash, quietly make your correction sound, and walk him away. Once you observe that he is no longer adrenalized, stop, and have him sit. Praise him with a quiet but high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”. Drop the leash and calmly walk away.

NOTE (SLIGHT ALTERNATIVE): If Teddy is a little too pensive to sit, replace the SIT command by allowing him to calmly remain next to you while providing you with calm and respectful focus. After one or two seconds, praise him with a quiet but high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”. Drop the leash and calmly walk away.

11. POTTY OUTSIDE – We went over a great deal of information on this. You can review what we discussed today and find additional material by returning to the “Training Support Center Menu” and clicking on the “Potty & Wee-Wee Pad Training” button. From there, click on the “Potty Training” button. You will now be at our Potty Training Module that goes into great detail regarding “the art of getting your puppy to potty outside”.

Some of the major points to remember with Potty Training are:

a) Food Management: We often overfeed our puppies because we are Americans and love our Big Macs. Measure his daily food allowance at the start of the day and only give him that amount for the entire day. (As always, if there is a situation where your veterinarian suggests differently, do that.)

Based on his potty schedule and “accidents”, you can adjust his feeding times. If he is making accidents in the middle of the night or first thing in the morning as he wakes up, give Teddy his dinner earlier and cut off his water earlier. You can also adjust the amount of food given in each meal. For example, if Teddy is making more poopie accidents at night, you can decrease his feeding amount in the evening and increase his feeding amount in the morning.

Put his food and water down and pick it up after 20 to 30 minutes. Remember that it is a meal and not a buffet. Although we are picking up his food between meals, we recommend giving him a little bit of water between meals. We will review that next.

b) Water: We all need water for hydration and puppies need extra water because their bodies are in a state of rapid growth and development. We want to give Teddy enough water to hydrate for his growth, but not so much water that he is bloated, and the water just passes through him (like flood waters overflowing the top of a dam.)

After each meal, leave the water bowl down with a little bit of water. Check the bowl every 1 or 2 hours. If the bowl is empty, pour a little bit of water into the bowl. If he starts to make wee-wee accidents in the house, you may be giving him too much water between meals. If this is happening and the water bowl is empty, wait for 30 to 60 minutes before you add water to the bowl (just a little bit of water) again. If his wee-wee accidents are in the evening or first thing in the morning, start picking up his water bowl earlier in the evening, not putting it down again after his dinner, and/or decreasing the amount of water you are providing him at dinner. Continue until the wee-wee accidents decrease and are eliminated.

c) Watch: You NEED TO WATCH TEDDY. This doesn’t mean “I think he just went over there”. It is constant “eyes on Teddy”. When you are always watching him, you will know that he made a mistake and observe any unusual characteristics he may have shown just before the potty accident. This allows you to properly document the accident with the time, location, and possible reason for the accident. This is key in creating a better schedule for tomorrow.

d) Schedule: During his time with us, we took the natural times that puppies normally need to potty along with Teddy’s specific actions that would impact his bladder activity to create an evolving potty plan. We worked and improved on that plan until we could predict when he needed to potty.

Potty training is like the game of Marco Polo. Every time you call “Marco” and hear “Polo”, you get a little closer to your goal. Work your plan every day. At the end of the day, review what really happened, analyze your observations, and build your “Tomorrow’s Plan” based on the new information you gained today.

There is an old saying that sums this up. “Every day, in every way, I am getting better and better”. That is what Potty Training is all about. It is about you becoming more and more familiar with Teddy and his bladder requirements.

IN CONCLUSION: Rules are critical. When you establish your rules, you must always correct Teddy when he breaks a rule. Don’t get mad or go nuts when he misbehaves. As the teacher, you must portray a calm and non-adrenalized figure to gain Teddy’s respect and attention.

Our fundamental form of communication is speaking. Conversely, Teddy’s fundamental form of communication is body language. Begin your communication with Teddy through proper body language. That is what he is expecting and will understand.

Practice every day. Both you and Teddy benefit when you implement and actively engage in a daily training regimen with him. You become a better teacher the more you have the opportunity to direct and educate. Teddy becomes a better student the more he has the opportunity to focus and learn.

Persistence, patience, and perseverance are necessary for your success. Concentrate on the positive results you are achieving and not the length of time they may take to complete.

Call us as soon as you have any questions. Finally, take a deep breath and just have fun.


Client: Kristi Bryant
Visit Date: 04/21/2024
Visit Number: 01
Trainer: Robin
Paid Today: 0
Still Owe: 0
Comments:

Initial Issues:
Potty. General Behavior. Crate Socialization.

Training Notes:
Mollie is a sweet dog and we enjoyed working with her. She is very well socialized and played well with our dogs. She also showed that, for her age, she was able to obey commands, behave, and provide us with proper focus so that she could accept direction and commands.

Everything starts with rules. A “rule” identifies what you want her to do and what you don’t want her to do. “Come” is a rule that tells Mollie to go to your side. “Don’t jump” is a rule that tells her to remain on the ground. You can easily determine your rules for Mollie by asking yourself “Is she bugging me?”. If she is, Mollie is breaking your rule.

Your rules must be simple and consistent. For example, if you don’t want her to jump, she can’t jump for any reason at any time. Everything must be on your terms. She cannot tell you what to do (i.e. please pet me) because she is not the boss.

We suggest that you consider having between five and ten rules. If you have too many rules, it will become difficult to effectively administer them.

Correct her as soon as she breaks one of your rules. This must be done in a manner that does not scare or frighten her and still gets her respectful focus directed towards you. Once you have guided her to the correct thing (no longer breaking your rules), acknowledge her appropriate action.

As with all dogs, Mollie primarily communicates through body language. Stand tall and calm when correcting her. Remember, all Mollie’s communication begins with body language.

To augment your body language communication, you may need to introduce a verbal interaction. Use a unique sound (if needed) to get her attention. We were using the “GRRRRRRRy” sound during our board and train program. Any sound that gets her to calmly look at you is fine. The key is that the sound should be distinctive and only used when she has broken your rules and you need her focus.

There may be times where you need to “ramp it up” and include a passive/physical form of communication in addition to your body language and verbal interaction. If necessary, introduce a passive/physical action such as the squirt bottle or shake bottle to get her focus. Only have the squirt bottle or shake bottle visible to Mollie when you are in the process of correcting her. When she only sees these objects while she is in the process of being corrected, it enhances her understanding of “I am being corrected and must provide respectful focus”.

Sometimes, a loud clap of your hands may be all you need.

As a final note on this subject, consider using the leash as a corrective and directive tool. This is a distractive method used to gain her focus and guide her towards the right actions. Have the leash on her at different times during the day. Always have it on her when you think she may be approaching times of heightened activity, excitement, and bad behavior.

Step on the leash if she starts to adrenalize and focus away from you. If needed, walk her to a calm area until she is deadrenalized and focused on you.

When performing the exercises, remember that repetition, consistency, observation, and simplicity are key. ACTION is essential to the process. If you catch yourself thinking “Oh, what a bad dog. I wish she would stop doing that!”, you have missed the point. If Mollie does something wrong, you must actively correct now.

Mollie is a dog and not a person. Do not assume that she is experiencing “human emotions”. Perform your actions because you want to keep her safe and secure.

When you give her a command, only say it once. As we discussed today, Mollie is a dog and understands sounds and not words. “Come Come Come” is a different sound than “Come”. Make your sounds consistent so that Mollie understands what you want her to do.

It is fine if you want to include hand gestures with any of the obedience commands. Simply include the hand gesture as you are verbalizing your obedience command to Mollie.

Although we don’t normally use treats in our exercises, they are sometimes helpful in the initial stages of obedience lessons (i.e. Come, Sit, Stay). Use them sparingly and try to ween Mollie off of them as quickly as possible. Show her the treat as you begin the command and only give it to her after she has successfully completed the command and you have provided her with your verbal confirmation.

Some general exercises we worked on during our board and train program were:

1. CRATE – We kept Mollie in a rather small crate because of her potty training. For the most part, she would stay calm, lay down, or sleep. From time to time, she would want to try to take control and start to bark.

If we were in the immediate vicinity of the crate, we would let her know that her action was unacceptable and breaking our rule. We would immediately, yet calmly, stand up and make our correction sound. If she continued to bark, we would repeat our correction and include the squirt bottle in the process. This involved our standing up, making our correction sound, and giving her a squirt of water at the same instant that we made our correction sound. There were a few times where we would need to repeat this process.

As soon as Mollie stopped barking, we would reward her return to appropriate behavior by giving her a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”.

If we were out of the immediate vicinity and we heard her beginning to bark, we would make our correction sound as forcefully and loudly as possible for her to hear. It normally only took one correction sound to have her stop barking and become quiet once again.

2. COME: INSIDE WITH LEASH – You must initially perform this exercise in the house when it is quiet (no distractions). Put a six-foot leash on Mollie. Slowly step away from her (facing her) until you have reached the end of the leash. Drop to your knees or crouch down low and say “COME” once. If she doesn’t start to move towards you, give the leash a slight tug. You may need to give several tugs.

If she is unresponsive to the tug, make your correction sound, wait for one or two seconds, say “COME” again, and give the leash another tug with slightly more force. Repeat this, if needed, until Mollie is moving towards you.

Once she reaches you, praise her action with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”. Stand up and repeat this process for several minutes.

When she can always come to you from six feet, extend the length by using a longer leash or attaching several together. Practice from ten feet, fifteen feet, and twenty feet. When she can come to you from the longest distance, repeat the exercise at that length, but no longer hold the leash. Let it lie on the ground between you and Mollie. The “handle end” of the leash should still be near you and easily accessible if Mollie is not responding to your command.

Continue practicing confirming that she constantly comes to you without the need to grab and tug on the leash. Once this is achieved, unhook the leash and practice the COME exercise without the leash.

After she has successfully completed the COME exercise when she is inside, repeat the process outside. Practice from ten, fifteen, twenty, and thirty feet. Only allow Mollie off leash (final step) if you are in a fenced-in area.

A HELPFUL TIP: If Mollie is slow in learning the COME command, you may need to enhance her ability to focus on you when the command is given. As you are down low and about to verbalize “COME”, pat your knees, snap your fingers, or call her name (“Mollie”). This may help draw her attention to you as you command her to COME.

ONE MORE THING: There are times where you may be “too far away”. For example, she may have been coming to you from ten feet yesterday, but won’t respond at all from that distance today. Instead of “reinforcing failure” at ten feet, shorten the distance between you and Mollie until she starts to come to you. Continue your exercise at that length and expand the distance as she consistently obeys your command.

NOTE: Never give Mollie the COME command without the leash being attached to her if you have any hesitation that she will not come to you. If you want to attempt to have her come to you without the leash, get down low, call her name, become visibly animated, and clap your hands or pat your knees. Just don’t say “COME”.

If she comes to you, that is great. If Mollie does not come to you, that is no big deal. You offered her an invitation and you allowed her to respond “yes” or “no”.

If you had said “COME” to Mollie; that is a command and she must comply. If she does not, the only tool you have to gain her compliance and maintain your leadership role is the leash.

3. COME: OUTSIDE WITH LEAD – Put a thirty-foot training lead on Mollie. (I suggest thirty feet, but any long length is fine. We use a thirty-foot training lead from Leash Boss. Their web site is http://LeashBoss.com.) Slowly step away from her (facing her) until you have reached about five feet. Drop to your knees or crouch down low and say “COME” once. If she doesn’t start to move towards you, give the lead a slight tug. You may need to give several tugs.

If she is unresponsive to the tug, make your correction sound, wait for one or two seconds, say “COME” again, and give the lead another tug with slightly more force. Repeat this, if needed, until Mollie is moving towards you.

When she reaches you, praise her action with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”. Stand up and repeat this process for several minutes. Slowly add distraction to the process to provide a more “real world” environment.

Once she can always come to you from the initial distance, extend the length by using more of the training lead. Practice from ten feet, fifteen feet, twenty feet, and thirty feet. When she can come to you from the longest distance, repeat the exercise at that length, but no longer hold the lead. Let it lie on the ground between you and Mollie. The “handle end” of the lead should still be near you and easily accessible if Mollie is not responding to your command.

Keep practicing until she repeatedly comes to you without the need to grab and tug on the lead. If you are in an enclosed area, you can attempt one more step. Unhook the lead and practice the COME exercise without the lead. If you are in an area that is not enclosed (surrounded with a fence, etc.), we do not recommend that you allow Mollie to be off the lead.

When you are outside and you want Mollie to come to you, this is mostly because you want her to get in the house. When outside, we suggest that you set up many of your exercises where you are near the door and Mollie is in the yard.

A HELPFUL TIP: If Mollie is far away from you and not focused on you when you are about to give the “COME” command, you may need to get her attention. Try calling her name or clapping your hands to get her to look at you. If she is “overly-distracted”, give the lead a slight tug to have her look back at you. Although not required, these actions often help with the successful execution of the command.

ONE MORE THING: There are times where you may be “too far away”. For example, she may have been coming to you from twenty feet yesterday, but won’t respond at all from that distance today. Instead of “reinforcing failure” at twenty feet, shorten the distance between you and Mollie until she starts to come to you. Continue your exercise at that length and expand the distance as she consistently obeys your command.

A SLIGHT ALTERNATIVE: Our instructions above state that you are constantly holding the lead when you give the COME command. An alternative to this method is to allow the lead to stretch out behind Mollie as she moves around the yard. You are not holding the lead, but allowing it to freely flow behind Mollie. Always remain close to the lead. When you are ready to execute the COME command, step on the lead at the appropriate length, pick it up in your hands, and deliver the COME command. All the other instructions remain the same.

NOTE: Never give Mollie the COME command without the lead being attached to her if you have any hesitation that she will not come to you. If you want to attempt to have her come to you without the lead, get down low, call her name, become visibly animated, and clap your hands or pat your knees. Just don’t say “COME”.

If she comes to you, that is great. If Mollie does not come to you, that is no big deal. You offered her an invitation and you allowed her to respond “yes” or “no”.

If you had said “COME” to Mollie; that is a command and she must comply. If she does not, the only tool you have to gain her compliance and maintain your leadership role is the lead.

4. SIT – Initially perform this exercise in a quiet location with minimal or no distractions. Put a six-foot leash on Mollie. Stand directly in front of her and say “SIT” once. If she doesn’t sit, give her your correction sound and a slight tug on the leash. Say “SIT” again.

If she doesn’t sit immediately, move to her side and pull the leash up and behind her head. At the same time use your other hand to guide her rear end backwards until you see her hindquarters moving towards the ground. Continue to slightly pull the leash so that her head is moving backwards and her hindquarters are still descending. Once she is sitting, praise her action with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”.

Move Mollie a few feet and repeat the exercise for several minutes. As you continue your sessions and she is constantly sitting on the first command, slowly add distractions.

5. WALKING OUTSIDE – Before you begin your walk, remember that you are Mollie’s protector, boss, and best friend. It is your responsibility to always keep her safe. As you are on your walk, visually scan the immediate area to determine if there are any issues that might place Mollie in danger or cause her to feel scared. If you find such a situation, create a plan ahead of time to mitigate or eliminate the danger before it takes place. This will prepare you to easily solve any problem you and Mollie may encounter on your walk.

Just like any other time, when you are walking with Mollie, she must be obeying your rules. I suggest that your “walking rules” for Mollie are to be near you, do not pull on the leash, listen to your commands when given, and have a good time. These are only my suggestions. You must create your own rules so that you and Mollie have an excellent walking experience.

Start your walk outside with Mollie calmly next to you wearing her collar and Easy Walk Harness (size Small). Give your WALK command, tug the leash slightly, and begin your walk.

As long as Mollie is maintaining your rules as mentioned above, all is fine. If she starts to break your rules (pull, not listen, etc.), give the leash a slight tug back towards you as you are walking. Make your correction sound as you tug the leash. Have her look at you and give you focus. Acknowledge her correct behavior with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”.

If she is unresponsive to your slight tug while walking, stop walking, make your correction sound, and give the leash a slightly more forceful tug back towards you. Have her look at you and give you focus. Acknowledge her correct behavior with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”. Continue your walk.

If she really starts to pull or focus on something too much, you may need to “ramp up” your correction. In this case, you can turn around 180 degrees and walk in the opposite direction for about ten to thirty feet. Make sure she is properly walking with you. When she is calm and focused on you, reverse your direction by 180 degrees and continue your walk in the original direction. Acknowledge her correct behavior with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”.

It is frequently difficult to determine “who is walking who”. Are you walking at the pace that Mollie has set or is she walking at your pace? It must be your pace because you are the boss. Set the tempo by creating “a cadence in your head”. Think to yourself, “1… 2… 3… 4…; 1… 2… 3… 4…”, as you walk and mark your steps to your count. This will compel you to set a speed and maintain it. It will also allow you to determine if Mollie is walking at your speed. If she is not, correct her using one of the methods previously discussed in this exercise.

Dogs sometimes like to grab the leash in their mouth as they walk. If Mollie grabs the leash in her mouth as you are walking, make your correction sound and squirt her with your squirt bottle. It may take multiple squirts to have her drop the leash from her mouth. (Remember to repeat your correction sound every time you give her a squirt.) Praise her with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY” after she drops the leash. Continue your walk.

Do not allow Mollie to tell you when she wants to stop. You need to let her know when she can stop and sniff around. Try and make your “stops” at places you know she likes.

Another issue with WALKING takes place when an inappropriate distraction such as a dog, jogger, neighbor, bicyclist, car, etc. approaches. Mollie will often start to adrenalize, lock focus on the approaching distraction, jump, bark, and pull. You need to redirect Mollie’s focus back towards you. We suggest that you do the following:

a) Remove Mollie from the immediate line of approach by directing her at a 90 degree angle up a driveway, onto a front lawn, etc.

b) Calmly give the leash several tugs as you walk her about ten to fifteen feet up the driveway, onto the front lawn, etc.

c) Have Mollie focus on you as you remain calm. If she is still concentrating on the approaching distraction, move her farther up the driveway or onto the lawn. Display confidence the entire time while you are gently tugging the leash to maintain Mollie’s attention on you. Quietly talk to her using a reassuring tone. If needed, step on the leash so that she does not have the ability to jump or move around.

d) If, after doing all this, she is still focusing on the approaching distraction, move Mollie behind an object that will block her view of the approaching object. This could be a car in the driveway, a fence, or a bush. Continue to have Mollie focus on you while you display a calm and “in charge” demeanor. If needed, step on the leash to keep her stable and focused on you.

e) Once the distraction has passed, reward Mollie’s actions of focusing on you with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”. Continue your walk.

f) If you do not have the ability to perform the above steps (step a thru e) with Mollie, calmly move her as far away from the approaching object as possible. Turn around and calmly, but briskly walk the way you came until you reach a point where you can leave the road. If that is not an option, move to the other side of the road as far away from the approaching object as possible. Actively engage her to gain her complete focus. Position yourself away from the object and then place Mollie so that when she focuses on you, her back is to the object. This will keep her focus on you and keep the object out of her sight. Step on the leash to minimize her movement. The one thing you don’t want to do is to freeze in place and let the object directly approach you and Mollie.

NOTE: Whenever we are directing you to give Mollie a tug on the leash, it may require more than one tug. If you have given her a single tug without success, repeat by giving her several tugs in quick succession. Make your correction sound each time you give her a tug.

ONE MORE THING: Dogs often chew their harnesses when they are bored. Please remember to remove Mollie’s harness when you are not walking with her.

6. BARKING – Barking is always annoying and can be caused by many things. This exercise is designed to redirect Mollie’s attention away from the distraction causing the barking and to place the focus on you.

Have her leash on in the house when you know there might be things that normally cause her to bark. As soon as she starts to bark, step on the leash, and place the handle in your hand. Make your correction sound as you briskly walk her in a direction away from the distraction to a point where she is giving you focus and has lost interest in whatever was causing her to bark. Have her sit for you. As soon as she does, praise her with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”.

(If she is a little too pensive to sit, have her calmly remain next to you while providing you with calm and respectful focus for one or two seconds. At that point, praise her with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”.)

Drop the leash and calmly walk back to whatever you were doing before Mollie started to bark.

If Mollie’s focus can be easily directed back to you, simply standing tall, giving your correction sound, and using your physical correction (squirt bottle or shake bottle) may suffice in getting her to stop barking. Once she has stopped barking, praise her with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”.

7. JUMPING – Dogs normally jump because they are showing assertion or are excited. An important facet of this exercise is your ability to remain calm. Your calm demeanor will demonstrate your strong leadership and neutralize Mollie’s heightened adrenaline level.

Always have Mollie’s leash on when you are concerned that she might be jumping. If you are sitting on a chair or sofa and she approaches to jump, stand up, give her your correction sound, and use your physical correction (squirt bottle or shake bottle). As soon as she stops and gives you focus, praise her with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”.

If you are standing and Mollie begins to jump on you or your guest, use your squirt bottle with your correction sound to stop her. You can also step on the leash so she doesn’t have the ability to jump. As soon as she calms down, praise her with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”.

If things are a little “too crazy”, you may need to ramp it up. Momentarily remove Mollie from the immediate area. Please refer to the USE OF THE LEASH discussion below.

8. NIPPING – Let’s review the active approach to stop Mollie from nipping and then a “set the scene” method of getting her from nipping.

In our first approach, as soon as you see Mollie start to become adrenalized, stay calm and still. If you are playing with her, stop. If possible, slowly move your hands away from her and calmly stand up. This will proactively send a signal to her that you will not engage her and do not condone her actions. If needed, make your correction sound and use the squirt bottle or shake bottle. Praise her with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY” when she stops trying to nip.

If she has already started to nip you, remain calm and still. Make your correction sound and stand up, if possible. The important thing is to stay calm. Praise her with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY” when she stops nipping.

When you don’t energetically engage her, Mollie will place additional focus on your calm demeanor. This will deescalate her adrenalated actions and allow things to cool down.

Our second approach involves “setting the scene” when you want to discourage Mollie’s nipping.

We suggest that you use Bitter Apple as your “yucky trigger”. Mollie must understand that anything that tastes like Bitter Apple is yucky. You do this by spraying a very small amount of it into her mouth. You are not trying to have her drink it; you want the mist of the spray to reach the taste buds in the back of her mouth. This will trigger a “bad taste memory”. She will then associate other things with this same smell as tasting bad.

Now, spray some Bitter Apple on your hands. Make your hands “available to Mollie” but don’t “stick them in her face”. If she starts to go for your hands, she should smell or taste how “yucky your hands have become” and will not want any part of them.

Make sure you have something else for her such as a chew toy or goodie to distract her away. As soon as she has been directed away from your hands (the target), praise her with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”.

If the Bitter Apple is not effective, you can ramp up to Tabasco Sauce, Jalapeno Sauce, or Habanero Sauce (in that order). Be sure to wash your hands thoroughly when you have finished your exercise using these liquids.

There is one more “NIPPING issue” that involves “WALKING”. As you pass by her, she will come at you and nip at your pants. You need to set a rule that she can’t nip your pants. Here is what you do:

Slowly approach Mollie with your squirt bottle in hand. As you get close to her, watch to see if there is any increase in her adrenaline level or excitement. If there is, stop, make your correction sound, and give her one or more squirts of water. (Remember to repeat your correction sound every time you give her a squirt.) When you observe that Mollie has become calm and disinterested in you, let her know that she is doing the right thing by praising her with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”.

Continue to walk past her. As you pass her, turn to face her as you walk. This means that you will be walking backwards once you pass Mollie. This will assure that she will always be observing your dominant side. This sends her the visual message that you are the boss. If you see her start to adrenalize, focus heavily on you, or move towards you, correct her again as described above.

After you have moved about eight feet past her (the distance may vary), slowly turn around and continue your walk normally (not walking backwards).

9. MANNERS AT THE FRONT DOOR – This exercise is based on the rule that Mollie can be anywhere in the house except near you when you are opening the front door. As a rule of thumb, I define “near you” as within six to eight feet of the front door. This is the “Mollie can’t be here zone”. Everything else (away from the door and outside the six-to-eight-foot boundary of the door) is the “Mollie can be here zone”.

You and Mollie can be anywhere in the house at the start of this exercise. Try to do “regular things” while not directly engaging her or causing her to become adrenalized. Make sure you know the location of your squirt bottle (either out of sight by the front door or in your pocket.)

Have someone knock on the door. Calmly walk to the front door. If Mollie runs ahead of you, don’t worry about that yet. When you are at the front door, turn around and visibly locate her.

If she is within the “Mollie can’t be here zone” (close to you and the front door), stand tall and face her, make your correction sound, and (if needed) give her several squirts to have her back out of the “Mollie can’t be here zone”, away from the door, and into the “Mollie can be here zone”. It may take multiple squirts to have her back away. (Remember to repeat your correction sound every time you give her a squirt.)

If the use of the squirt bottle is not effective in directing Mollie away from the door area, include the shake bottle in your correction process. Make your correction sound and use the squirt bottle as before, but now simultaneously introduce the shaking chain sound of the shake bottle into the correction process. As before, repeat these actions multiple times, if needed.

Once she is away from the front door, slowly reach for the door handle while always facing her. Gradually open the door for the outside visitor. If Mollie makes any attempt to continue her approach, correct her as described above.

Continue facing her while opening the door to allow the outside visitor to enter. Close the door. Praise Mollie’s action with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY” for obeying your rule of staying away from the front door when you are opening it. Repeat this exercise daily with family members, neighbors, and strangers (UPS, Domino’s, etc.)

NOTE: If you are having difficulty directing Mollie away from the front door area and into the “Mollie can be here zone”, use the leash to guide her away. Calmly step on the leash, place it in your hand, and give the leash several slight tugs to have her cross the boundary out of the “Mollie can’t be here zone” and into the “Mollie can be here zone”. Once that is done, drop the leash and slowly back up to the door. Continue to face her and brandish the squirt bottle in her direction. Correct with the squirt bottle, if needed, and continue the exercise by opening the door for the outside visitor.

10. MANAGE ATTENTION SEEKING BEHAVIOR – Always make sure that it is your idea. If Mollie comes up to you and nudges your hand for a pet, ignore her until she turns away. If you want to pet her, call her over to you. This assures she is responding to you.

If Mollie brings you a toy, ignore her until she turns away and you can then call her back. Remember, the leader always says, “I want you to…”. Make sure you are the leader.

11. USE OF THE LEASH – The leash is a passive training tool that is very effective in redirecting Mollie’s focus to you. We suggest that you place the leash on her at different times during the day when you are home. Be sure that you have the leash on at times when you expect higher adrenaline levels from Mollie.

As she begins to perform an action that you don’t want, step on the leash. If she is moving, let her go to the end of the leash, tug herself slightly, and then look back at you. Your still and calm demeanor will display leadership and Mollie will understand that you took control, and you are the boss.

If you need to remove Mollie from the area, calmly pick up the end of the leash, quietly make your correction sound, and walk her away. Once you observe that she is no longer adrenalized, stop, and have her sit. Praise her with a quiet but high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”. Drop the leash and calmly walk away.

NOTE (SLIGHT ALTERNATIVE): If Mollie is a little too pensive to sit, replace the SIT command by allowing her to calmly remain next to you while providing you with calm and respectful focus. After one or two seconds, praise her with a quiet but high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”. Drop the leash and calmly walk away.

12. POTTY OUTSIDE – We went over a great deal of information on this. You can review what we discussed today and find additional material by returning to the “Training Support Center Menu” and clicking on the “Potty & Wee-Wee Pad Training” button. From there, click on the “Potty Training” button. You will now be at our Potty Training Module that goes into great detail regarding “the art of getting your puppy to potty outside”.

Some of the major points to remember with Potty Training are:

a) Food Management: We often overfeed our puppies because we are Americans and love our Big Macs. Measure her daily food allowance at the start of the day and only give her that amount for the entire day. (As always, if there is a situation where your veterinarian suggests differently, do that.)

Based on her potty schedule and “accidents”, you can adjust her feeding times. If she is making accidents in the middle of the night or first thing in the morning as she wakes up, give Mollie her dinner earlier and cut off her water earlier. You can also adjust the amount of food given in each meal. For example, if Mollie is making more poopie accidents at night, you can decrease her feeding amount in the evening and increase her feeding amount in the morning.

Put her food and water down and pick it up after 20 to 30 minutes. Remember that it is a meal and not a buffet. Although we are picking up her food between meals, we recommend giving her a little bit of water between meals. We will review that next.

b) Water: We all need water for hydration and puppies need extra water because their bodies are in a state of rapid growth and development. We want to give Mollie enough water to hydrate for her growth, but not so much water that she is bloated, and the water just passes through her (like flood waters overflowing the top of a dam.)

After each meal, leave the water bowl down with a little bit of water. Check the bowl every 1 or 2 hours. If the bowl is empty, pour a little bit of water into the bowl. If she starts to make wee-wee accidents in the house, you may be giving her too much water between meals. If this is happening and the water bowl is empty, wait for 30 to 60 minutes before you add water to the bowl (just a little bit of water) again. If her wee-wee accidents are in the evening or first thing in the morning, start picking up her water bowl earlier in the evening, not putting it down again after her dinner, and/or decreasing the amount of water you are providing her at dinner. Continue until the wee-wee accidents decrease and are eliminated.

c) Watch: You NEED TO WATCH MOLLIE. This doesn’t mean “I think she just went over there”. It is constant “eyes on Mollie”. When you are always watching her, you will know that she made a mistake and observe any unusual characteristics she may have shown just before the potty accident. This allows you to properly document the accident with the time, location, and possible reason for the accident. This is key in creating a better schedule for tomorrow.

d) Schedule: During her time with us, we took the natural times that puppies normally need to potty along with Mollie’s specific actions that would impact her bladder activity to create an evolving potty plan. We worked and improved on that plan until we could predict when she needed to potty.

Potty training is like the game of Marco Polo. Every time you call “Marco” and hear “Polo”, you get a little closer to your goal. Work your plan every day. At the end of the day, review what really happened, analyze your observations, and build your “Tomorrow’s Plan” based on the new information you gained today.

There is an old saying that sums this up. “Every day, in every way, I am getting better and better”. That is what Potty Training is all about. It is about you becoming more and more familiar with Mollie and her bladder requirements.

IN CONCLUSION: Rules are critical. When you establish your rules, you must always correct Mollie when she breaks a rule. Don’t get mad or go nuts when she misbehaves. As the teacher, you must portray a calm and non-adrenalized figure to gain Mollie’s respect and attention.

Our fundamental form of communication is speaking. Conversely, Mollie’s fundamental form of communication is body language. Begin your communication with Mollie through proper body language. That is what she is expecting and will understand.

Practice every day. Both you and Mollie benefit when you implement and actively engage in a daily training regimen with her. You become a better teacher the more you have the opportunity to direct and educate. Mollie becomes a better student the more she has the opportunity to focus and learn.

Persistence, patience, and perseverance are necessary for your success. Concentrate on the positive results you are achieving and not the length of time they may take to complete.

Call us as soon as you have any questions. Finally, take a deep breath and just have fun.


Client: Linda and Gary Plate
Visit Date: 04/24/2024
Visit Number: 01
Trainer: Bruce
Paid Today: 0
Still Owe: 0
Comments:

Initial Issues:
Bryce: AKC Behavioral. Ranger: High prey drive, reactive to other dogs, afraid may get into fight with Bryce. C.J.: Just a sweetheart. He will have AKC CGC.

Training Notes:
Bryce, Ranger, and C.J. are sweet dogs and I enjoyed working with them. They all responded very well to our correction and direction. C.J. is a little more timid than the others, so he may not require as potent a correction as needed for Bryce or Ranger.

Everything starts with rules. A “rule” identifies what you want them to do and what you don’t want them to do. “Come” is a rule that tells Bryce, Ranger, and C.J. to go to your side. “Don’t jump” is a rule that tells them to remain on the ground. You can easily determine your rules for Bryce, Ranger, and C.J. by asking yourself “Are they bugging me?”. If they are, they are breaking your rule.

Your rules must be simple and consistent. For example, if you don’t want them to jump, they can’t jump for any reason at any time. Everything must be on your terms. They cannot tell you what to do (i.e. please pet me) because they “are not the boss of you”.

We suggest that you consider having between five and ten rules. If you have too many rules, it will become difficult to effectively administer them.

Correct them as soon as they break one of your rules. This must be done in a manner that does not scare or frighten them and still gets their respectful focus directed towards you. Once you have guided them to the correct thing (no longer breaking your rules), acknowledge their appropriate action.

As with all dogs, they primarily communicate through body language. Stand tall and calm when correcting them. Remember, all their communication starts with body language.

To augment your body language communication, you may need to introduce a verbal interaction. Use a unique sound (if needed) to get their attention. I was using the “GRRRRRRRy” sound today. Any sound that gets them to calmly look at you is fine. The key is that the sound should be distinctive and only used when they have broken your rules, and you need their focus.

There may be times where you need to “ramp it up” and include a passive/physical form of communication in addition to your body language and verbal interaction. If necessary, introduce a passive/physical action such as the squirt bottle or shake bottle to get their focus. Only have the squirt bottle or shake bottle visible to them when you are in the process of correcting them. When they only see these objects while they are in the process of being corrected, it enhances their understanding of “We are being corrected and must provide respectful focus”.

Sometimes, a loud clap of your hands may be all you need.

As a final note on this subject, consider using the leash as a corrective and directive tool. This is a distractive method used to gain their focus and guide them towards the right actions. Have their leashes on them at different times during the day. Always have their leashes on them when you think they may be approaching times of heightened activity, excitement, and bad behavior.

Step on the leash if they start to adrenalize and focus away from you. If needed, walk them to a calm area until they are deadrenalized and focused on you.

When performing the exercises, remember that repetition, consistency, observation, and simplicity are key. ACTION is essential to the process. If you catch yourself thinking “Oh, what bad dogs. I wish they would stop doing that!”, you have missed the point. If Bryce, Ranger, or C.J. do something wrong, you must actively correct now.

They are dogs and not people. Do not assume that they are experiencing “human emotions”. Perform your actions because you are keeping them safe and secure.

When you give them a command, only say it once. As we discussed today, they are dogs and understand sounds and not words. “Come Come Come” is a different sound than “Come”. Make your sounds consistent so that they understand what you want them to do.

It is fine if you want to include hand gestures with any of the obedience commands. Simply include the hand gesture as you are verbalizing your obedience command to them.

All the exercises I will discuss are pertinent to Bryce, Ranger, and C.J. As I review them, I will use Bryce as “my example dog” in explaining many of the exercises. Be assured, the same information is completely relevant, as needed, for Ranger or C.J.

I suggest that you initially engage one dog at a time as you start to practice the exercises. As one dog is performing well with a specific exercise, you can then include multiple dogs in the exercise.

As you work with multiple dogs, I recommend that you do not work with Ranger and Bryce at the same time on any exercise until they have become more amenable towards each other.

Some general exercises we worked on today were:

1. USE OF THE LEASH – The leash is a passive training tool that is very effective in redirecting Bryce’s focus to you. We suggest that you place the leash on him at different times during the day when you are home. Be sure that you have the leash on at times when you expect higher adrenaline levels from Bryce.

As he begins to perform an action that you don’t want, step on the leash. If he is moving, let him go to the end of the leash, tug himself slightly, and then look back at you. Your still and calm demeanor will display leadership and Bryce will understand that you took control, and you are the boss.

If you need to remove Bryce from the area, calmly pick up the end of the leash, quietly make your correction sound, and walk him away. Once you observe that he is no longer adrenalized, stop, and have him sit. Praise him with a quiet but high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”. Drop the leash and calmly walk away.

NOTE (SLIGHT ALTERNATIVE): If Bryce is a little too pensive to sit, replace the SIT command by allowing him to calmly remain next to you while providing you with calm and respectful focus. After one or two seconds, praise him with a quiet but high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”. Drop the leash and calmly walk away.

ONE MORE THING: The leash is also a very good tool to help acclimate Bryce with Ranger. Have both of them on their leashes while each of you pick one for “your leash buddy”. You can have both on the ground as you hold their leashes with a minimal amount of slack. If they approach each other, that is fine.

If either dog begins to display heightened excitement or animosity towards the other, that dog’s “leash buddy” will tug the leash to redirect their dog away. They should be standing tall, making their correction sound, and (if necessary) using their correction tool (squirt bottle or chain bottle). Once the offender provides their “leash buddy” with calm and respectful focus, you should give them a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY”.

While all of this is going on, the “leash buddy” of the other dog should use the leash to calmly guide their dog back to them. After both dogs are calm and focused on their respective “leash buddies”, you can allow them to slowly approach each other again.

Allow them to approach each other and reach “sniffing distance”. Never allow the leashes to become tangled. If either dog becomes nervous, adrenalated, or begins to lunge, correct as described above. Allow them to calmly sniff and “check out each other” for about ten to twenty seconds and then use the leashes to calmly direct them away from each other and back to you. Praise each dog with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY” once they have returned to your side.

2. MANAGE ATTENTION SEEKING BEHAVIOR – Always make sure that it is your idea. If any dog comes up to you and nudges your hand for a pet, ignore him until he turns away. If you want to pet him, call him over to you. This assures he is responding to you.

If any dog brings you a toy, ignore him until he turns away and you can then call him back. Remember, the leader always says, “I want you to…”. Make sure you are the leader.

3. MANNERS AT THE FRONT DOOR – We concurrently worked with Ranger and C.J. on this exercise today. It should also be fine to have C.J. and Bryce simultaneously work on this exercise. Do not work with Bryce and Ranger at the same time on this exercise until they have become more “polite in each other’s presence”.

This exercise is based on the rule that Ranger and C.J. can be anywhere in the house except near you when you are opening the front door. As a rule of thumb, I define “near you” as within six to eight feet of the front door. This is the “Ranger and C.J. can’t be here zone”. Everywhere else (away from the front door and outside the six-to-eight-foot boundary of the door) is the “Ranger and C.J. can be here zone”.

You, Ranger and C.J. can be anywhere in the house at the start of this exercise. Try to do “regular things” while not directly engaging them or causing them to become adrenalized. Make sure you know the location of your squirt bottle (either out of sight by the front door or in your pocket.)

Have someone knock on the door. Calmly walk to the front door. If they run ahead of you, don’t worry about that yet. When you are at the front door, turn around and visibly locate Ranger and C.J.

If either are within the “Ranger and C.J. can’t be here zone” (close to you and the front door), stand tall and face them, make your correction sound, and (if needed) give them several squirts to have them back out of the “Ranger and C.J. can’t be here zone”, away from the door, and into the “Ranger and C.J. can be here zone”. It may take multiple squirts to have them back away. (Remember to repeat your correction sound every time you give them a squirt.)

If the use of the squirt bottle is not effective in directing either dog away from the door area, include the shake bottle in your correction process. Make your correction sound and use the squirt bottle as before, but now simultaneously introduce the shaking chain sound of the shake bottle into the correction process. Repeat these actions multiple times, if needed.

Once the offender or offenders are away from the front door, slowly reach for the door handle while always facing them. Gradually open the door for the outside visitor. If they make any attempt to continue their approach, correct them as described above.

Continue facing them while opening the door to allow the outside visitor to enter. Close the door. Praise their action with a high pitched “GOOD PUPPY” for obeying your rule of staying away from the front door when you are opening it. Repeat this exercise daily with family members, neighbors, and strangers (UPS, Domino’s, etc.)

NOTE: If you are having difficulty directing either dog away from the front door area and into the “Ranger and C.J. can be here zone”, use the leash to guide the offender away. Calmly step on the leash, place it in your hand, and give the leash several slight tugs to have the offender cross the boundary out of the “Ranger and C.J. can’t be here zone” and into the “Ranger and C.J. can be here zone”. Once that is done, drop the leash and slowly back up to the door. Continue to face the offender and brandish the squirt bottle in their direction. Correct with the squirt bottle, if needed, and continue the exercise by opening the door for the outside visitor.

4. COUNTER SURFING – Counter surfing occurs when Bryce takes something off the kitchen counter. You don’t want him to do this.

The most important thing you need to understand about counter surfing is that you can only correct him if you are in the immediate vicinity while he is going for the goodies. The reason for this relates to the concept of “ownership”.

In a dog’s world, “ownership” is based on vicinity. You must be near “your stuff” for it to be yours. If you walk away from it, you are giving up ownership and sending a signal that others can take it. To put this in clear terms, if you have a ham sandwich on the kitchen counter, are standing right next to it, and Bryce jumps to get it; you can correct. If you walk out of the room, you have signaled to Bryce that he can have it. You may eventually walk back into the room and the ham sandwich is still on the counter. It is still there because Bryce simply did not want it.

Here is what you do:

We suggest that you begin with two people. One of you will be the “food preparer” and one of you will be the “corrector”. Your goal is to keep him out of the immediate vicinity of the food. It is a boundary control exercise. The rule is that Bryce can’t be in the kitchen when food is out and/or being prepared.

The food preparer is in the kitchen taking food out, putting it on the counter, and engaging in the general actions that are required in preparing a snack or meal. The corrector will be at the edge of the kitchen area directly between the food preparer and Bryce. The corrector