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Sunday, November 24, 2013

Hints on How to Correct Your Dog

I have heard all sorts of ideas and suggestions on how to correct my dog and get him to listen.  Frankly, they are all over the spectrum and doing all of them would just be nuts.  Is there anything that I can do to at least start the process?



The big hurdle that any dog owner has when their dog is misbehaving is to get their attention.  Once you have your dog’s attention, you have the ability to move forward with their training.  There are multiple methods and schools of thought regarding how to properly train your dog.  We are canine behavioral trainers.  This means that we focus on how the dog naturally responds to stimuli from the canine perspective.  There are also trainers who use positive only reward systems and trainers who use more physical methods such as e-collars in their training programs.  With this in mind, let me give you some simple hints that will help in correcting (teaching) your dog.

I think that all dog trainers using any method will agree that dogs can’t communicate like humans.  They can’t talk like Scooby-Doo, Huckleberry Hound or Augie Doggie.  Our dogs use their body language when they need to communicate.  If you have several dogs, just watch how they interact.  You might see one jumping on the other, one getting down low or lying on his back, or your dog might have his tail up like he is standing at attention.  All these actions help one dog to tell the other what they are thinking. 

Let me make it real simple and give you two hints regarding what you can do to let your dog know that you need him to listen.  I want to emphasize that this is not the only thing you must do.  What you are doing is to is to send a message to your dog that he needs to focus on you and the training you are about to employ.
  • Be calm and still when you are about to correct your dog.  From your dog’s perspective, their leader is not a crazy person.  We get mad when our dog has eaten the remote or pulled the freshly marinated steak off the kitchen counter.  We then run and scream because that is how we (humans) react when something goes wrong.  Remember, we are dealing with a dog so we must portray the message that he will understand.  Running and screaming does not do that.  Being calm and still is what your dog needs to see.
  • Stand up and face your dog when you are about to correct.  From your dog’s perspective, height shows leadership.  This is what they are doing when they have their tail and ears up.  The same thing occurs when they are jumping.  They are saying “Look at me.  I’m in charge around here”.  We can easily portray leadership to our dog by simply standing up.

As some people would say “easy-peasy”.  No matter if you use our canine behavior training method, the positive only training method, or a more physical method, letting your dog easily know that you are the one that demands his respect is always important.  Incorporate these two actions the next time you are working with your dog and you will see a great improvement.  If you have any questions or need additional information, please contact us at The Best Dog Trainers in SouthFlorida.

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