If you are looking for the greatest gold-mine of easy to use "change your dog's behavior" advice ever crammed into a newsletter series then read on!

Also, make sure that you check out our 100% authentic testimonials from people who have bought Secrets to Dog Training and find out the massive difference it has made to their owner-dog relationship!

Secrets to Dog Training Testimonials

Testimonial"Secrets to Dog Training helped us understand why our dog was behaving in certain ways. By using the training techniques outlined in this manual we now get a full nights sleep (no crying & barking in the wee small hours), and every morning we come downstairs to a clean floor with no "accidents" to mop up. Her behaviour on the lead is much better now too. Taking her for a walk is a more enjoyable experience for everyone involved. No more tug of war all the way to the park; No more straining at the lead; No more tripping over her as she spins like a top whilst barking at every passing car.

Secrets to Dog Training has been invaluable to us in getting Cassie to be the well behaved dog that she is now. The training methods are kind and make sense to even first time dog owners like us."

-- John & Jackie Robson (Redcar, UK)

Secrets to Dog Training: Consultation

Dear Secrets to Dog Training Team,

I am having problems walking my 3 year old Labrador retriever, Kelly. She is an intelligent, energetic, trained duck hunting dog with great instincts.

She sleeps in the house and loves to play with our two children. I typically walk her 5-7 days a week in a group of women & other dogs. She is well behaved (most of the time) and walks at heal. She is socialized and plays well with other dogs, once she had established that she's the top dog. She will occasionally bark at other dogs that would pass us by, so I started having her "sit" and "be a good dog" until the other dog passed.

The problem I have had is that she has broken away from the leash to chase other animals (cats, and one deer) in the neighborhood. She has done this three to four different times in three years; one time resulting in fracturing my finger.

I have stopped walking her after her breaking away and walked her home and put her outside in her kennel. It had been about 6 months since the last time she broke away from me, until last week. I had her "sit" while another dog passed and she decided she was going to break away to bark at this other dog who is an older, docile neighborhood dog. She is very strong and if she wants, can get away from me. I am afraid her instincts take over her intelligence! I do not want to stop walking her, but am afraid if she continues, she may re-fracture my finger. On walks I use a prong collar and large dog leash.

I bought your book and have used the techniques in the book for dogs that wish to be "Alpha Dogs" since this last time. I have made sure we feed her last, she doesn't sleep on beds (anymore) and I walk out doors before she does, etc. My friends have noticed a difference in the way she behaves when they come to the door. She is a lot better at not jumping up on them to say hello. When she went through her initial duck training, the trainer there said she was a great dog, but always had to hold something little back and wouldn't do every command every time.

What advice, if any, do you have for me before I start walking her again? I haven't walked her in over a week and she seems depressed and whines at the door to get out. HELP!



Secrets to Dog Training Reply:

Hi there Winnie,

Thank you for the email regarding your 3 year old Labrador that manages to break away from you when walking. Quite a few of our customers have trouble restraining large dogs such as your own, and when a large dog really wants something, they often do anything to get it. The training process for your particular dog will involve several steps and it will take time to get the necessary results such that your Lab no longer breaks free.

Firstly, good on you for reading and undertaking the techniques explained in our bonus book "Secrets to Becoming the Alpha Dog". You need to undertake these techniques continually now, as I’m sure you are. From what your friends have been saying, there is already a significant change in her behavior. This is excellent, and her behavior will only continue to get better as you continue to follow these techniques. Ultimately, you should have much better control over your dog. As well as using these techniques, I would also encourage you to go back to basics with your dog for a while and spend the next couple of months reinforcing some basic obedience training. Get her to Sit, Stay, Heel and Come in particular. By rewarding her whenever she follows your commands with vocal praise and perhaps a small food reward, she will quickly relearn that following your orders is not only the correct behavior, but that doing so is fun. Follow the instructions for this as per Secrets to Dog Training - although it sounds as though you have already done quite a bit of training with her, so know how to go about it.

For the next little while, avoidance is probably the best key to stop any further incidences happening until you have better control over your dog. By this I mean perhaps walking your dog early morning or early evening – just whenever less people and dogs are about walking on the streets. I know this is probably not realistic if you are walking her with a group of other women and dogs since they probably go at set times. But rather than have your dog break away again, it may be worth just walking alone for the next couple of months while your training continues. If you have someone in your household that is bigger and stronger than you, definitely get them involved. This way if an incident does occur, they will have the power to stop your dog from breaking free. However, with the training I am about to outline below, your dog will be trained not to pull on the leash. The basis of this training is around the Heel command, and it will be further reinforced by training your dog that chasing things is not acceptable.

I am not sure if your dog is constantly pulling on the leash, or whether she just wants to pull away to chase something all of a sudden. So, I will quickly cover a couple of methods you may want to try and try and curb this problem. Firstly leash pulling – your Lab probably isn’t pulling on the leash because of the prong collar you are using, but I won’t assume this. The leash pulling problem can be relatively easily fixed by teaching your dog the 3 stages of the Heel command as outlined in Secrets to Dog Training. I have copied in the text from Stage 1 of the process below, even this stage should give you good results regardless of whether you have a puppy or fully grown dog!

Stage 1

1. The first stage of teaching your dog to heel is to prevent her from pulling on the leash at all.

2. You will need to have the collar and leash on your dog.

3. Stand next to and to the right of your dog so that you are both facing in the same direction and the dog is sitting on your left.

4. Start walking forward slowly in a straight line, leading with your left leg. As soon as your dog takes off and starts pulling on the leash, stand still and pull the leash back towards you. Do not drag the dog back towards you. All you need to do is halt its progress.

5. Wait until the dog stops, praise it and then continue walking. No command needs to be given at this stage as you are just trying to teach your dog good manners so that it can more easily understand the Heel command when the time comes to teach it fully.

6. If you apply this method for ten minutes at a time and for three or four times per day then within four or five days you should be ready to move on to the next phase.

It is quite likely that you will get good results within a few minutes, at least enough that your dog will stop pulling you all over the place. It may take longer for some older dogs who have been given a free rein, so to speak, throughout their lives to change their leash-pulling behavior.

You may also have to modify the way that you are training your dog slightly. When your dog starts to pull, you need to:

1. Stop and give your dogs lead a few tugs, and growl the guttural growl, ("AAHH!" rather then "NO") then bring the dog back beside you.

2. Start walking away again and hold a treat by your side (so that your dog knows it is there).

3. Your dog should be following along side you, if it tries to jump for the treat ignore it (do not let your dog bite at your hand though).

4. When your dog tires of that, and simply walks along beside you say "HEEL!" then reward your dog for walking beside you.

5. Repeat this over and over, then you should start to see the results. If you praise your dog as it comes towards you then your dog is being rewarded only for backing up (the very last action it performed). You need to reward your dog for walking freely beside you as you move off from the stand still.

As you begin a walk, it is vital to keep the attention of the dog focused on you at all times. Remember, the dog should look to you for guidance, not take the lead herself. When walking, it is important to stop often. Every time you stop, your dog should stop. Getting into the habit of asking your dog to sit down every time you stop is a good way to keep your dog’s attention focused on you. Make sure your dog is looking at you, then move off again. If the dog begins to surge ahead, immediately stop and ask the dog to sit. Repeat this process until the dog is reliability staying at your side. Each time the dog does what you ask her to, be sure to reward her with a treat, a toy or just your praise.

Whenever you see a potential ‘chasing hazard’ nearing your dog – be sure to continue what you have been doing by getting her to sit. However, if a dog and owner are coming towards you on the same side of the road, it is probably best to cut to the other side of the road for the next little while. If this is not possible, simply get your dog to sit as you have been, and if she growls and you getting any clues that she is about to break free, quickly give her a guttural growl "AAAAAAA!" and perhaps distract her attention by squirting her with water (from a water pistol or something similar) or by shaking a can of pebbles. This may sound ridiculous, but you basically just need to get her attention away from the ‘stimulus’ in order for her to focus on YOU and your commands. As I say, continuing with the alpha dog training combined with basic Sit, Stay, Come and Heel commands at home will definitely help with this. In addition to reprimanding your dog whenever she growls or looks as though she is about to chase anything, you should also reward her when she doesn’t growl or act menacingly towards something that she would usually chase. Bring a food treat she really loves and give this to her along with plenty of praise when she does well.

As this will be the basis for getting your dog to stop chasing things and hence, breaking away from your leash grip, it is important that you first spend a couple of months continuing with the alpha dog training and basic obedience training. During this time, take her for walks at non-busy times and be sure to reprimand your dog as soon as you feel she is being distracted. The aim is to have her attention on you at all times – this will take some time to get to, but with a few months of training you should get there. Be sure to reward your dog constantly also for correct behaviors. If she manages to break free of you or you can’t hold her back – just let go of the leash quickly rather than trying to keep a hold of her, or you will re-fracture that finger! The trick then is to do as you have been, call her back quickly (she will respond better to the come command with practice at home over the next few months) and as soon as she gets to your feet, tell her to lie down. Then, as you have been, cut the walk short and perhaps even skip walks for the next 2 – 3 days. By cutting the walks short when she behaves very badly like this you are reinforcing to her that she is acting inappropriately. However, you hopefully won’t have to deal with her pulling again if you continue with basic training and undertake avoidance of potential chasing hazards for the next little while. A final hint, is that you could consider buying a Citronella collar that you use just during walks. This device simply goes around your dogs neck, and every time she barks it will let out a small amount of the substance Citronella – which is harmless and non toxic to humans and dogs. I am assuming your dog barks at the things she chases firstly, so this should help surprise her when this does happen. I don’t however recommend a shock collar, as in my opinion they are a bit too much and slightly over the top. Ask your local pet store for more information on this.

I hope the information I have given you above helps you out with your current situation. It will take time to get your dog behaving to an appropriate level, but stick with it and you will have success. Just be very careful on those walks and consider buying a leash with a large plastic handle at the owners end so that you can get a firm grip on it, but also so that it is easy to let go of.

Good luck and please let us know how you get on.

Kind regards,

Daniel Stevens and the Secrets to Dog Training Team

"Secrets to Dog Training - STOP Dog Behavior Problems!"

Hi, my name’s Daniel Stevens, I’m the creator of Secrets to Dog Training.

I've been a professional dog trainer for well over 20 years, and in that time I've helped thousands of dog owners just like you to get the friendly, well behaved, slipper fetching, best pal they always wanted.

But it didn't start out that way. I've always loved dogs, some things never change. But when I first started my professional dog training career I relied on the so-called 'best practices' when it came to dog behavior training. It was only when I heard people tell me over and over again that they just weren't seeing results that I started to question the old accepted wisdom. So I started a journey, a quest to search out the best, most effective, techniques, tips, and tricks that really work.

And that's how I came up with Secrets to Dog Training. Year after year I found new techniques that achieved the results I wanted. Eventually I had a whole book worth of great resources: Secrets to Dog training...

So, if you want to:

  • TRAIN your dog effectively
  • CARE for your dog the way they deserve
  • UNDERSTAND just why your dog behaves the way they do
  • NURTURE a life-long relationship with your dog that you'll cherish

Then Secrets to Dog Training is just what you've been looking for!