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Testimonial"Hello, We had adopted a 2 and a half year old collie from a breeder in Canada. We were told she was a show dog and was very obedient, but found that she was a little lax in some commands. You helped us in teaching her many commands and be more comfortable with her. Thank you!"

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Hi Daniel,

I have a Border Terrier/Jack Russell cross, who is a neutered male named Manny.  He has developed constant whining even when we are in the room and has been exercised. He is now aggressive towards other dogs, especially puppies and towards my toddler son. He has stopped listening to commands like recall and wait especially from my partner and with a second child on the way she is keen to re home him.

Please help.


Secrets to Dog Training Reply:

Hi there Phil,

Thank you for your email regarding your young Border Terrier, Jack Russell cross, Manny and his current behavioral problems. It sounds as though Manny is a right hand-full at the moment! I am sure though that with a little of the right training and reprimanding, you will be able to turn him round rather than have to re-home him. In order to start having more control of Manny (particularly from your wife's point of view), you need to show him that you are the boss and that what you and your family says goes! For this reason, I would encourage you all to read or re-read the bonus book "Secrets to becoming the Alpha Dog". This book will give you a good understanding of the hierarchical nature and behavior of your dog. Follow the tips in this book as much as possible and you should get good results within a couple of weeks.

Please ensure you and your family undertake the following techniques to reinforce your status as alpha dog over Manny:

If you come across your dog while he is sleeping or lying on the floor then you can reinforce your position as alpha dog by making him move so that you can pass by.

Generally I do not recommend people give their dogs bones as this encourages the aggression, because in the wild the alpha dog would be the only one to have the privilege of chewing the bones.

Make sure that you always go through doorways first. A good method to reinforce your position as alpha dog is to walk your dog around the house on the leash, making your dog wait while you walk through doorways first.

At mealtimes make sure that your dog or dogs eat after all of the humans have.

Do not feed your dog tidbits or let it pester you at the table. Save the morsels and tidbits for training sessions instead.

Do not greet your dog straightaway when you arrive home. Make it wait until you are ready and then call it to you.

When your dog wants to go outside for a walk, make it sit and wait until you are ready to go. Note that this technique doesn't apply when house breaking.

When you give a command make sure that you are in a position to enforce the action that you require from your dog, especially in the initial stages of Alpha Dog training. Also, use the Alarm-No-Command technique as described in the Alpha Dog bonus book to reprimand your dog if it does not obey your command.


It is vitally important that your dog has good all-round obedience skills. Regular training sessions are key to improving your dog's obedience responses and keeping it used to answering your commands. Concentrate on the sit and stay, down and stay, heel and wait commands.

Do not inadvertently reinforce poor behavior from your dog. You must be consistent in your attitude to your dog. For example, if your dog is allowed to jump on you when you are playing with it but is not allowed to jump up at any other time then how is it meant to know the difference?

By undertaking these techniques, you will find that Manny slowly becomes a lot more responsive to your commands. This will take some time, but with everyone undertaking these techniques and reprimanding him appropriately as necessary, he will slowly change.

You should reprimand your dog for unacceptable behavior, no matter what that behavior is. If you do not reprimand your dog’s poor behavior then it will feel that it has the right to behave that way and it will take much longer to correct the behavior.

When you do need to reprimand him, be sure to use a guttural growl of "AAAAH!" rather than "NO!" combined with either a squirt of water from a water pistol, a clap of the hands or by shaking a tin can filled with pebbles in his direction.

You should also ideally undertake twice daily behavioral training lessons focusing on the sit, down, stay, come and heel commands using plenty of vocal praise and food rewards to encourage him. This will also help encourage him to respond to your commands quickly. Whenever Manny shows any signs of aggression (ranging from showing his teeth, putting his ears back or up, growling/barking or raising his haunches), be sure to calmly but confidently reprimand him as above. You need to be confident in this which is particularly important when your wife does this reprimanding. If Manny doesn't believe he means her reprimand, he will continue to walk all over her! You can help your wife for backing her up when you are around.

Your dog's whining could be for a number of reasons. I guess it is important to try and distinguish this whining as just a personality trait of Manny's or whether he is a little attention seeker. In the case of an attention seeking dog, the obvious treatment is to ignore any attention seeking behavior – although this quickly becomes very difficult when your dog is noisily whining away! You should also not cave in and give the dog what he wants though. If he is demanding to be given a pat or food, do not cave in and give it to her. Give him these things when he is good and quiet and praise him when you do give him these things so that he can associate being given what HE wants with him being QUIET! This obviously will take a while to get through to him so you will need to persist with him for some time in order to have some effect. Whenever the whining is persistent you should probably continue with time out which are where you confine your dog to a small room such as a laundry room or bathroom for around half an hour, ignoring any whining and only letting him out once he is quiet after this time. Remember that if this behavior is not attention seeking related, you are best of reprimanding him where appropriate as above using a guttural growl of "AAAAH!" rather than "NO!" as well as the other tips for reprimanding given above. In situations where your dog is quiet in situations where he usually would not have been, be sure to give him plenty of praise, attention and perhaps a few small food treats so that he realizes that it is THIS behavior that is appropriate.

Best of luck with Manny and please let us know how you get on with his training. I am sure that with time and a little of this training he will slowly turn around. Good things do take time, so please be patient with him. It is also important that you back your wife up when she reprimands him and to reinforce your toddler as alpha over Manny also by undertaking the above techniques on your toddler's behalf! Please let us know how you get on with his training.

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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