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Friday, February 21, 2014

When Training, Always Keep it Slow

We South Floridians always like things fast. We always want to drive in the fast lane on the highway.  We love our fast food quick pickup lines. We read the Cliff Notes and not the Book.... This might be great for these things, but “doing it fast” is not how it works when building a relationship with our dog.



One of the biggest reasons that we have problems training our dog is that we are impatient and want the training to be fast. Our dog learns through the simple processes of consistency and repetition.  The last time I looked, neither of these had anything to do with “fast”. 

The best way to train our dog is to take "baby steps".  If our dog is having a hard time sitting, let's first make sure that he can stand next to us and look at us.  If he can't do that, there is now way that he won't be able to sit.  If our dog is misbehaving while in a room full of people, let's first make sure that he can behave in a quiet room just with us.

The secret to this process is to break down our training exercise into many "little steps".  Each step is obtainable and is required before we move on to the next "little step".  We will now be able to be successful because we have forced ourselves to take "baby steps" that we can easily manage and evaluate.

This will allow us to be consistent, repetitive; and succeed. Our dog will feel better because he will have the ability to obey us and we will gain much needed confidence. The relationship between us and your dog will be a happy, loving, and learning experience.

If you have any questions on dog training or any other canine behavior issue, please contact us at The Best Dog Trainers in South Florida


Friday, February 14, 2014

Why do Dogs Sometimes Get Crazy at People in the Car

My dog is the greatest dog in the world until he goes for a car ride.  He just starts barking like crazy!  He barks at everyone as I drive down the street.  He doesn’t do this with people in the house, what’s happening?



I have seen this with so many clients of ours.  Let’s just say here is a picture of your dog in the back seat.  You are doing the right thing by constraining him so that he doesn’t fly out of control if you have to slam on the breaks.  So far you are doing great.  But still, he is constantly barking and is driving you crazy.  That is bad.  What is the problem and how can you fix it?

...The answer is simpler than you think and the explanation is just as simple.

Dogs are always very aware of dominance; who is the boss, who is the leader.  Who is the dominant one?  Who is in charge?  Look at this picture of your dog.  He is in his car seat that is elevated above the normal seating area which puts him in a raised position.  In the canine world, height is dominance.  Guess what?  You are sitting lower in your driver's seat while your dog is sitting high and mighty in his "dominance seat".  On top of that, you have given him an excellent view of everyone around the car.  He is dominant and he sees all these "other animals" (people) moving around the car.  Some of these "other animals" might even be walking towards the car which gives them an aggressive posture.

Don’t forget that you put your dog in the dominant role and he sees possible aggression towards his pack.  Barking, jumping, growling are all natural actions he could take to try and protect the rest of the "pack".  You put him out in front.  You told him that he was the one who had to protect you and the rest of the people in the car.  You did this by giving him height and dominance.  You elected him the "boss of you".

Now, what do you do?  The answer is simple.  Lower his height.  Find a doggie carrier that you can put on the seat or floor of your car.  Find a car seat that sits on the seat of your car.    All you are doing is lowering the height of your dog and lowering his requirement to be the "boss".  Also, make sure that you don't put him in the front passenger seat, unless you can turn off the air bag release.

This is a quick fix that seems to work over and over again.  Take away your dog's requirement for dominance in the car and your rides will be a whole lot nicer!  Please contact us immediately if you have any questions.  Please feel free to contact us regarding dog training questions at The Best Dog Trainers in South Florida.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Why it is Important to be Calm and Still

When Fluffy is barking, running, and jumping all around me, how can I stay calm and still?



Our first training visit with our clients and their families will normally last three hours or more.  We cover a lot of information and demonstrate a great deal of techniques to get the dog to be a great dog.  I have often thought that if I only had a moment to give a dog owner some useful and productive training advice, what would it be.

I keep coming back to the very simple idea of “Calm & Still".

Eighty percent of the communication between you and your dog is body language.  In my opinion, the most important part of body language is the ability to show a sense of confidence.  Everything is OK, I am in control, I will take care of you...  This is done by remaining calm and still while engaging the situation at hand.

Humans are emotional animals and we get so mad at our dog when he is going nuts.  We raise the level of adrenalin through our screaming and running when we are trying to calm our dog down.  It just doesn't work, and why should it?  Craziness creates more craziness.

By staying calm and still when you are addressing your dog, he will naturally feel your confidence and will have a far better sense that you are the safe keeper, provider, and leader.  Staying calm also allows you to more effectively evaluate the situation and determine the best course of action to get your dog back to being a "good dog".

If you have any additional questions or would like more information on this dog training subject, please contact us at The Best Dog Trainers in South Florida.