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"We got our dog Bazil a two year old English terrior from the pound about four months ago. Needless to say we had alot of behavior changes to make. When we got him, he came right in the house and started marking HIS terrioritory all over, and even went in his sleeping area. That was very discouraging! He ran all over the house, jumped on everyone, would run and run and run if he did get off his lease or out of the yard, absolutly would not come if we called him, would jump on the furniture if no-one was looking and try his best to get what ever he could off the kitchen counter.

So desperate as we were we bought the book "Sit Stay Fetch". The books I got the most out of was Alpha dog, that we did everything it said and continue to do some of and House Training. We have not worked on consistently alot of the things in all of the books because our priority was to house train him and to let him know whose house he was living in. He has a hard time telling us when he needs to go outside because he got in the habbit of one of us always taking him out in the month and a half that he spent tethered to someone to house train him, but he has had few accidents which is in my opinion a great improvement to the first week here and given that he was a totally neglected dog to begin with. He no longer tries to jump on furniture, but does love the garbage and make attempts to get what he can off the counter. He still has a hard time coming when called but we're sure with time, new name change and more training on our part he will eventually get that down. We're so greatful for the insight in the books and probably would not have our wonderfully fun dog Bazil had we not got the book, because never having had a dog before, we were ready to give up the first couple days. The Book saved us and Bazil too. Thank You."

-- The Christensen Family. (Utah, USA)

Secrets to Dog Training: Consultation

Dear Daniel,

I have a 5.5 month old Labradoodle name Sally. She won’t keep her nose off the ground. She’s attracted to all kinds of objects on the ground and pulls hard on her leash. She sniffs on all kinds of surfaces. She’s fairly good walking with me on her leash if she's not Sniffing or attracted by something.

Hope you can help me with Sally.

Thank You,


Secrets to Dog Training Reply:

Hi there Mark,

Thank you for your email regarding your Labradoodle, Sally.

Dogs sniff for all sorts of reasons on course. Sometimes the dog is genuinely looking for food (or whatever else is of interest). De-scenting equipment can help here, though often what is on the ground can't be changed and handlers need to train their dogs to ignore it and get on with the task at hand. Also, sniffing on course can be active disobedience -- a dominance challenge as to who is the team leader, you or your dog. Sniffing also can be a stress-reliever or time-filler for a dog under stress (you aren't giving commands fast enough, conflict between verbal and body language commands, etc.)

Sniffing can be a potentially difficult problem, but the training and walking activity has to simply be better and more interesting that whatever is on the ground

Something that can help you out tremendously is lots and lots of attention work like what is used in obedience training. Once you teach the dog that she needs to keep her attention on you instead of the ground, she should be able to transfer that over to when you are walking.

Work on your attention training by starting her in the heel position, use your attention word "READY?" and hold eye contact for about 5 seconds. When she does this successfully, she gets an immediate release, lots of praise, and a really good treat (such as RollOver). Continue to build this until you can maintain eye contact for 30 seconds before the release and reward. Then, and only then, can you start moving. The critical part is to increase the amount of time holding the dog's attention in small increments so as to always be successful.

Here's a "leadership exercise" that you can try in order to teach your dog to happily ignore distractions:

Have the handler and dog walk anywhere. The instant the dog pulls and/or smells, the handler instantly turns and sprints in the other direction, without saying anything and giving a sharp jerk. As soon as the dog turns and is moving towards the handler the handler praises profusely and rubs and pats the dog. This is very brisk, happy and fun, and dogs usually respond favorably. The hard part is getting the handler to say nothing, quickly move in the opposite direction and praise happily, since this whole problem has probably been a source of much frustration.

Once the dog can walk around a regular yard some hot dogs are dropped around and the handler just moseys around. The handler does NOT use a heel command or any other command as she moseys. If the dog pulls or sniffs, repeat the procedure. If the dog gets a piece of hot dog, shame on the handler!!!! Once this is established then do it on the walk.

This exercise accomplishes two things--it gives the owner back some of the leadership in the relationship and the dog learns that the instant she puts her head down the owner is going to move away silently. It really teaches the dog to watch and happily follow the owner.

Targeting may improve contacts without encouraging sniffing because of a specific exercise done early in target training. Initially, it is done away from equipment and you need friends. You set out several targets and run the dog from one to the other. You need another person at each target. If you say look, take it, the friend at that target makes sure there is food there so that when the dog looks there is food there to get. If you don't say take it, the friend is the evil one who tells the dog that it is wrong to search a target for food when not authorized by the command take it -- and the friend obviously makes sure there is no food there that the dog can get. (This makes you look so much more attractive as an option when you call here, the dog comes and you have the food that time. You maintain a positive relationship with your dog). The friend also tells the dog it is wrong to keep shopping, looking for more food, when you say here.

Also, one thing that should be obvious but is often forgotten - your dog may genuinely be hungry. Breakfast may be early in order to get there on time and the dog has had a chance to digest the meal before running. The dog is then going to be hungry earlier in the evening. Consider whether you need to give a small lunch at a trial to help the genuinely hungry dog pay more attention to you in late afternoon/early evening runs.

If you do not know much about targeting: Don't let the dog get the food if she has not done whatever you are targeting correctly. This often requires the help of others and is one reason why the target sometimes is further away from the obstacle -- if the dog has done it incorrectly, you don't take her to where the food is. She gets the food only when she has done it correctly. Using targets can progress to where the target is outside the ring entirely--and you take the dog to it after a successful run.

Try teaching the non-agility bit elsewhere, i.e. teach a 'leave' command which basically means "I (the owner) have something much more interesting here if you pay me attention and not what is on the ground" using really good tidbits, and in the agility setting, work on distracting or physically stopping the dog sniffing (by cuddling for example-a nice way, not a nasty one) to stop the habit until the agility motivation starts to really bite. Make the agility more interesting - toys, food, standing on your head, running about, anything! Keep sessions short and praiseworthy. Simply stop and distract her if she starts sniffing.

Place many plates of food around and, with the dog on lead (not near any agility equipment), wander around. Do some heeling, drop on recall near a plate, have people offer food as you walk by, etc. If the dog so much as looks at the food give a brisk leash correction and move quickly in the opposite direction.

To ensure that you have control over your dog she needs to realize that you are the boss and that she is the bottom of the pack. To do this you need to ensure you are following the correct techniques to becoming alpha to her.

You should also reprimand your dog for unacceptable behavior. You can do this by either squirting her with cold water, or shaking a can of pebbles, and growling a guttural growl (AAAAHH!!). Remember to praise and reinforce any good behavior.

I hope that these suggestions help you. Best of luck with your training and please let us know of any success.

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!

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