I have been looking at your site, and rereading it for a couple of weeks now. First I want to tell you what a blessing it has already been. Because I was able to have free access to some of your training advise and seen a difference just from that, I would like to go forward and start ordering some of your videos. (will probably do this one at a time for now.)
A little about our family:
We are a family of three(husband, myself, and four year old daughter), with three dogs. We seldom have company, or take the dogs away from home.
*Curtis- a 10 yr old Shepard/heeler mix. Trained in basic obedience(unfortunately in the school of hard knocks. I was very naive then.). No problems with him, he is a wonderful dog, but perhaps a bit timid/reserved with people except our immediate family. He is top dog amongst the others.
*Mocha- One of two pit bull puppies I raised from about 10 days old. She is now just over 9 months old, and has been with us the entire time. As of the last 6 months she has been an indoor/outdoor dog. She is what I would consider to be a well adjusted dog(in fact probably the best one I have ever had.) I have not started formal obedience with her as I wanted a better method for her than my Shepard had. She does, sit, down and walk nicely on command. She knows the word "no", and can be trusted completely in the house. Training for her would just further an already wonderful relationship. She is confident, calm, but also playful. I would like to train her as a protection dog if possible as my husband is often away from home.
**Bambi- This is the second pit bull, (sister to Mocha). She went to her owner at about 6 weeks of age and was returned to us about 3 months ago. This pup almost died when I got her, the vets gave up on her.. and honestly.. since she's been back, there have been times I wanted to too. Training for this dog is going to be a must! She is now being trained house manners and slowly introduced into the family(much, but not exactly as you instruct on your web site. We are reforming our training to parallel yours.). She is very dog dominant with Mocha, but not drawing blood(in fact they play daily and do fine much of the time).. she bullies Mocha, but submits or avoids the Shepard. In the house and around people she is VERY submissive. We just recently got past the submissive urination(but still happens on occasion). She is an obsessive licker, will not play, and mainly squirms and runs around. After reading your article, I started bringing her in on a leash and making her do a "down" till she calms down. This is with much struggle...with just her and I in the house it is a much quicker and simpler process, with other people or dogs it's a nightmare.(even if they are not interacting with her) I am thinking this may be a confidence thing? She either follows me around or goes and lays in the crate. She is very jealous of anyone or any dog having anything to do with me(places herself between myself and others). She won't have much to do with other people in the family, but friendly when one of them engages her.
My question is this, which video would you suggest I purchase first? Basic obedience? or dominant dog? Or raising a working puppy?
My husband says he would like to see considerable improvement in Bambi soon or consider finding her a new home ( he believes she is unbalanced). Neither of us knows anyone personally that would take the time to work with her and keep her as an only dog. We also worry that she would eventually end up being fought because of her breed and aggressiveness with Mocha.
I want to thank you in advance, for your time, and what you are doing on your web site. to help others.
You need my DVD on establishing pack structure and my Basic Dog Obedience DVD. If you do this work correctly you very well may never need my Dominant Dog DVD.
I'm desperately need your advice. We just adopted a 6 year old lab/rotti mix. after being with us for 3 days, he bit my 7 year old daughter. The circumstances are a bit foggy. She had a dog rhine in her bedroom, which she plays with with her stuffed animals. He went in and stole it from the room and took it down stairs. when my daughter tried to retrieve her bone, she was bitten. We are unsure of the circumstances, if he was playing trying to grab the bone back from her, or if this was a viscous attempt to regain what he believed was his. I have heard him growl a few times since he's been here, one time because I wanted him to spit something out that he picked up outside, and another when I tried to get him off the couch. Besides for those incidents, he seems to be a pretty good dog, but i realize the biting was a very serious issue ( it required 8 stitches) could this dog just be confused and unsure of his surroundings, or is there no excuse for this type of behavior, accidental or not? Please help me figure out what is best for my family and this dog. His previous owners were shocked to here of his behavior. Before coming to us he'd been with the same family for 6 years and they have an 18 month old baby, that I watched walk around him and no one seemed to be concerned at all.
You are making serious mistake with how you are introducing this dog into your home. You either need to make some changes or return the dog before there are more serious bites - nd there will be without change.
You need to become a student of pack structure. I have written a free ebook on this which is a small part of a training dvd that we just released last week. The ebook can be found on our web site at http://leerburg.com/dogtrainingebooks.htm The DVD (which you really need) is Establishing Pack Structure with the Family Pet.
There is also a free ebook on preventing dog bites in children.
Bottom line is people need to first run a dog through a pack structure program followed by an obedience program - our dvd on Basic Dog Obedience deals with this.
While it may sound like I am truing to hawk DVDs in fact I cannot put 8 hours of information (which is on these two DVDs) into an email. Something like your facing is very serious. It requires more than an email to correct.
My family has recently added two yellow labs, ages 3 and 4, to our household. We have one black lab who is 9 yrs old (I mean human years). Early in his life, he grew up with a yellow lab who was one year older than him, and he knew that she was the leader. When our yellow lab died 2 years ago, we noticed that he was much happier as the only dog in the family. It was obvious that his quality of life had improved, since he was getting all the attention. When we were told that adding a younger dog would make our older dog feel young and energetic again, we decide to rescue two dogs. Should we have only gotten one? And is it a problem that the two new dogs have known each other for a little while before being introduced to our tenured dog? We love our old dog to death and we do not want him to feel betrayed. Please help us solve this dilemma.
This is the perfect example of someone who needs to establish pack structure. I wrote a free eBook on HOW TO INTRODUCE A NEW DOG INTO A HOME WITH OTHER DOGS, you will also benefit from that information
I haven't contacted you for a couple of years. I see the site and kennel have really developed. My question, I have a two year old female doberman, very civil, extreme prey, good with the kids, protective of the yard. We just acquired a 5 month old german shepard, both dogs are german breed and imported. The shepard when in the yard, sometimes snaps and growls at the pincher whenever we are giving attention to the GS and the pincher walks over. As stated in one of your post, I don't allow that. But that post mentioned older dogs, is it the same with the puppy vs. the two year old dog? I also understand that sometimes the older dog will not be the dominate one, I also read a post where it stated to sometimes let these little incidents happen, just not to the extreme of one getting hurt, this is part of the pack order. I trust "your" advice, please advice.
People who add additional dogs to their home need to have a clear understanding of pack structure Allowing dogs to settle the issue themselves is a huge mistake - often a dangerous mistake. The sad thing is it often means an unhappy life for the older dog that has been in your home for years.
Dear Mr. Frawley,
I ran across your website will looking up a behavioral issue with my puppy. I was hoping you could give me some advice for training videos after I explain the problem I am having.
I adopted a female GSD mix (Cleo) from the local shelter less than 2 weeks ago. They estimated her at 3 months of age. She was spayed before I picked her up. Cleo is a major alligator and loves my pants best when I am in them. She is almost house-broken (1 accident in 5 days). She has done very well with my 2 yo nephew. When I brought her home, she growled when I tried to take a toy from her. I broke her of that really easily and now that is not a problem. However, she has started growling when we try to move her out of our way. When she did it today, I grabbed her by the scruff of the neck, stared at her, and said NO. I then put her in the backyard for 5 min. She is not happy out there by herself. When she came in, I did not acknowledge her and went about my business. She sat at my feet quietly until I had to leave. I have had dogs (mainly dachshunds) all my life and have seen pack behavior. But they always responded quickly to our verbal corrections. I do have two older dogs in the house. They are very settled and only get annoyed when she gets too playful. I am unsure of where I should begin in her training. Judging from your eBook, she has a lot of prey drive and Cleo is showing her ability to learn quickly. Should I get '8 weeks to 8 months' or move on to 'Basic Obedience'? Also, I realize that she is trying to establish the pack order. Should I consider the video for dominant dogs or will your basic training help establish our relationship? I know that you are a busy man and I would really appreciate your advice. She has a lot of potential and I really want her to be a good dog.
Thank your very much for your time,
You must become a student of pack structure. This is the foundation for working with every dog. This week I finished a DVD titled ESTABLISHING PACK STRUCTURE WITH THE FAMILY PET. Please read the description for this DVD – it will help get you started.
No dog is house trained in 2 weeks or even 2 months. We NEVER allow a dog to be off leash in the house for many many many months- not until its calm in the crate and clam and submissive on leash in the homes.
So here are the DVDs I recommend:
Establishing Pack Structure with the Family Pet
Basic Dog Obedience
The eBook I wrote on COMMON SENSE SOLUTIONS TO HOUSE TRAINING PROBEMS My web site has a large number of FREE eBooks that I have written. Go to the main directory for eBooks.
When you get a grip on these things you should finish it with Remote Collar Training for the Pet Owner.
It sounds like a nice dog – this biting your pants is prey drive. This is an excellent sign in a dog we use prey drive in training. Your job is to learn to harness and control it.
Read my eBooks (many are free) and listen to my podcasts – especially my philosophy on dog training – you may see something of yourself there.
I know this probably does not rank up there with the important stuff, but our PWD Pete has counter cruised and stolen whatever food he can reach since he was big enough to do it. He's a sneaky little bastard so its hard to catch him. We've tried laying booby traps but he doesn't always fall for it and the lesson doesn't last.
A related problem is trying to get a food item away from Pete once he steals it. This brings out the aggression/possession in him and he often won't give it up or growls or gobbles it faster. We have aggression/dominance problems with Pete anyway. I have your DVD's on basic obedience, aggressive dogs and electronic collars. We've been pretty successful with most other forms of aggression but this one is hard to cure.
What do you think of the Innotek Instant pet barrier to nick him when he gets close to the counter? Do you sell this? Anything else you can recommend?
I always appreciate your frank and highly practical advice! You totally changed the way we look at our dogs.
Thanks and best regards,
I think that if this dog lived in my house, he certainly wouldn't have the privilege of being loose at all. He would be in a crate or tethered to me at all times.
Pack structure and how to live with a dog in your home are the first issues to deal with whenever you add a new dog to your family or have problems with an existing dog. We are taking orders for a new DVD that extensively covers the way Ed and I live with dogs in our home. It is called Establishing Pack Structure with the Family Pet.
Once you have reestablished the pack order, I would only let him have access to counters when I was ready to correct him with the electric collar. Set yourself up for success, have the dominant dog collar on him and have the ecollar on him.
If you want to solve problems like these you need to be prepared and have your tools in place before you need them. If I had a dog like this, every day when we got up he would put his various training collars on without fail. It should be automatic, like putting on your wristwatch.
Breaking a behavior like this is much harder than manipulating the environment because this dog has gotten reinforced in the past for doing it.
I haven't ever used the Innotek product you mention, but it could be helpful. The bottom line in this problem is that your dog needs more respect for your authority.
If you are consistent and change some details about how you live with this dog I think you should be able to improve this situation.
I’m Chrystal and I am so sorry to bother you but I have a huge question to ask you.
I have two English Bulldogs, one female and one male. The female is always fighting and trying to dominate the male. She has never shown any aggression of any kind towards us as a family, but as I said, she is always looking to fight the male. Both the dogs are very protective of the house and the family, and not willing to meet any new people. One of my aunts that came to visit us from New Zealand one night, put her foot out of the door of the car and was trying to take the key out of the ignition and my female dog bit her right on the foot. I never expected her to bight anyone and especially when my aunt has seen her before. Was it the smell of a new car? I don’t even attempt to let my dogs meet any new dogs because I know that there will be a fight and my dog, in particular will chomp the other dog. I walk them about 3 or 4 times a week and I do my best to train them. I desperately want to be a dog trainer when I leave school so I read almost every little bit of info on dogs and dog training. Where am I actually going wrong with these Bulldogs?
You need to become a student of pack structure. Your dogs should not be allowed to have access to guests visiting your home, or to be allowed to fight with each other. As pack leader, you are the one who controls their lives, not the other way around.
Please read this article about becoming an effective pack leader.
The first sentence in this article says it all: "You can feed water and love your dog and he will like you but he very well may not respect you." 99% of all behavioral problems are a result of dogs not respecting their owners. This happens as a result of poor handling and/or poor training.
Pack structure and how to live with a dog in your home are the first issues to deal with whenever you add a new dog to your family or have problems with an existing dog. We are taking orders for a new DVD that extensively covers the way Ed and I live with dogs in our home.
Please click in this link for a description of what is covered in this DVD.
Once your dogs are responding well to the pack structure training, then it’s time to obedience train them.
We also have a lot of information on dogs that are aggressive and dominant; you can use the search function to find the answers to the rest of your questions.