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!
"These sweet, innocent looking little darlings are named Max and Chance and they are the light of my life. Both are shelter dogs and as best as my vet can tell, pitt bull/boxer mixes. I first acquired Max when a friend of mine left for boot camp and needed someone to care for him. Since he is in the Army National Guard, and can have to leave on a moments notice, he gave me Max when he realized how much I had fallen in love with him. However, Max is seventy-five pounds of pure energy and exuberance! He was a real challenge on a leash, even for my friend and he's a very strong man. After following your advice in Secrets to Dog Training, I am pleased to tell you that we go for long walks/jogs in the park and Max is wonderful. He stops when I command him to and resumes when told. He slows down when I do and picks up the pace when I begin to run. He could easily send me to the chiropractor if he had a mind too, but he has become a joy to walk and he helps keep me motivated on the days I don't really feel like
walking. I consider him my exercise machine with fur.
Now... for the real challenge. In February of this year, my friend and I decided that Max needed a playmate. There are so many great dogs in shelters that need a good home that I feel compelled to look there first. We found Chance at a Humane Society here in NY. He was so sweet. We took Max to visit him at the shelter and they got along wonderfully, so a week later we brought Chance home.
He was fabulous when we were home with him, very loving and well behaved, but what the shelter neglected to tell us, (until we called back a month later about his neuter certificate) was that he had been returned three times because he suffered from separation anxiety and was very destructive when left alone. We tried caging him but he is so strong that he bent the door on the cage. We had the door reinforced and his buddy, "Max Houdini," found a way to get him out! They would pull a blanket or article of clothing through the cage until they couldn't stuff it anymore and Max would pull from the outside until they bent the cage walls! They are very smart dogs! We tried padlocking the cage, etc., but finally gave up the idea as it distressed Chance to be left in it for four hours at a time. Instead, we concentrated on "dog proofing the house." We put the garbage up so that he couldn't tear it up, cleaned the carpet with Ammonia where he had gone inside to remove his scent and deter further bad behavior. We made sure he went out twice before we left home and always leave the radio on for him. We spent time picking out toys that we knew would keep them entertained, and we gave them plenty of attention when we were home.
Chance would follow us around the house every where we moved for hours after we returned and when either of us put on our coats, he would get extremely nervous. I began wearing my coat inside the house for a while even when I wasn't going out and I left a blanket off our bed for them when we were away. It has been a long haul and a lot of cleaning, but I am pleased to say that he is much better. He still has an occasional setback, but for the most part, patience has paid off and he and Max behave well when we leave the house.
I believe it was the combination of the training techniques is Secrets to Dog Training and good old fashioned patience that paid off. Chance is now pretty secure that he has a good home and that he is not going to be returned to the shelter or abandoned and I think that helps. For those of you looking for a new dog, puppies are wonderful, but a shelter dog truly need you. Go ahead, visit one today. I dare you not to fall head over heels in love!"
-- Jahn Hargrave (New York, USA)
We basically have an extreme Alpha dog on our hands!!! We have read and re-read and practiced the advice given in the Alpha dog book, but our Dog has only slightly improved. She thinks she's the boss over everyone except my husband. She barks and barks and tries to demand things from us.
We are a family of 5. My husband, Me, 16 year old son, 10 year old daughter & 6 year old son. Our dog is a 2 year old Yellow Lab. She can be extremely loving at times and extremely bossy at other times.
When we first read the book we found out many things we were doing wrong and our dog ( Sandy) has improved a bit. She listens and obeys half the time the other half she purposely ignores you. Yes we have tried the techniques in the book but she barks thru the whole dinner demanding she eat too! We do not give in(we just ignore it, not easy).
If we have a ball/toy around she will listen attentively and be extremely obedient. If you don’t play fetch w/her she starts barking and barking. She is not spayed (we were planning on having a litter but have since changed out minds) but will be in March.
She has also shown a bit of aggression towards other children (not adults) that have to come play with our children. I have to keep her separated when our children have play dates because I do not want her to scare or bite someone's child (she hasn’t yet). I would like to solve that issue too, but I am afraid to introduce her to other children as I am not certain of the consequences.
She is an awesome dog and great companion for us and our children. We would love to have her better behaved and a lot less of an Alpha dog if possible. I have been told over & over again that all Labradors act like puppies until they're 5 years old. I certainly hope that isn’t true.
I appreciate any advice and if you need further information about this please let me know.
PS I wish we had this book when we decided to become dog owners.
Thanks for your email regarding your dominant Lab Sandy. She certainly sounds like a very demanding and dominant dog, and it is particularly concerning that she is also trying to dominate and is aggressive towards visiting children.
It's great that you have started to use the Alpha Techniques, and that you have seen a slight improvement in her behavior. Please ensure that you and your family are being consistent and firm with the techniques. You may find that you need to use the Alpha Rules for the remainder of Sandy's life, so hopefully they will become second nature to you and you will use them automatically.
On the occasions when she is demanding to be fed, and continues to bark while you and your family are eating, you should give her a Time Out, so that she realizes that her bad behavior results in an end to attention and company. It's great that you have been ignoring her - I am sure it's not been easy!
I would recommend that you try the Dominance Treatment Program as outlined in Secrets to Dog Training, under the section titled "Aggression: Treatment for Dominance". The entire household should ignore your dog for at least 24 hours, we do recommend 48 hours but this can be a bit harsh on some dogs. It is your call as to how you think your dog is responding to the treatment as to how long you ignore it for.
People often struggle with this idea but in the end it is "tough love" and very effective in giving your dog a reality check as to its position within the family/pack hierarchy.
One of the most important methods recommended in this chapter is asking Sandy to follow a few commands before petting her etc. If she ever demands attention, instead of just giving her what she wants, by asking her to follow some commands, you are actually making her work for the attention, further reinforcing your dominance.
Make sure that your children have nothing to do with the reprimanding of your dog. This is often how children get attacked by the family dog. They will mimic their parents and say "naughty" and copy what they have seen you do. The dog will then discipline the child as it believes it is the child's superior.
It sounds as though Sandy needs to be socialized more with non-family children.
The first thing I recommend is that you purchase Sandy a muzzle. Have her get used to wearing it before introducing her to strange children. Many dogs initially hate the feeling of the muzzle, but if you try to form a positive association with it by taking her for a walk, or doing something that she enjoys, hopefully she will become accustomed to it quickly.
Once she is wearing the muzzle without any fuss, you should invite some of your children's friends over. Ask Sandy to sit and stay, and talk to her in a happy voice. Ask the children to gently pet her on the chest and under the chin - preferably not on the head, and this can seem like a threatening gesture to some dogs.
Praise Sandy for good behavior, and if she remains calm, then you should take her for a walk, or play a fun game with her as a reward.
If she growls or becomes aggressive, then you should reprimand her by squirting her with water, or shaking a can of pebbles and growling a guttural growl (AAHH).
Make the initial introductions quite short, then as she relaxes, you can allow the children to pet her for longer, and Sandy may even like to interact with them. Keep encouraging good behavior.
I hope this helps Genevieve. Good luck, and please let me know how you progress.
Daniel Stevens and the Secrets to Dog Training Team
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:
Then Secrets to Dog Training is just what you've been looking for!