The two most important things a new dog trainer can learn how to accomplish with their dogs are: 1) They need to learn how to get and maintain "ENGAGEMENT". 2) They need to teach "GENERALIZATION" as it relates to commands.
After 50 years of training dogs, over 30 as a professional dog trainer there are a few sayings that make a lot of sense to me: 1) "Dogs don't know how to be good unless we show them." 2) "You create your dogs value system." 3) "People don't give birth to a brat!" 4) "You can feed, water, and love your dog and he will like you, but he very well may not respect you." 5) "Dogs know what you know and they know what you don’t know."
A year or two ago I wrote an article titled "The Ground Work to Becoming a Pack Leader." This article has been well read but over time it has become obvious that I should have written two articles; one for adult dogs and one for puppies. This article will address the ground work that should be done with puppies
I am 65 years old. For the past 40 years dog training has been my passion. It's what I do, it's what I study and it's something I learn new things about every day. It's also something at which I have been lucky enough to make a living for my family.
Maybe it's my passion to find a better way that makes me want to share what I learn. Or maybe I am just trying to make up for all the bad training I did with my old dogs (who all deserved better than what I gave them) that makes me want to help people not make the mistakes I made along the way.
The purpose of a correction in dog training is not to punish a dog for inappropriate or bad behavior rather the purpose of a correction is to change a dog’s behavior. Understanding corrections is the core of understanding dog training.
I train dogs with prong collars. There are very few dogs that I would not train with a prong collar. I recommend them to new dog owners, new trainers and people who own dogs with behavioral problems. While some think a prong looks nasty the fact is they are far more humane than a normal choke collar.
My philosophy of how to train dogs has been a journey that began when I was a boy in the 1950's and continues to this day. I get as excited today as I did 45 or 50 years ago when when I learn something new about training my dogs.
For me this journey began as a hobby and has evolved into a life's passion and work. It will end on the day I die.
We get many emails on a weekly basis that deal with problems new puppy owners have as a result of poor socialization. Most of these people feel they have been doing the right thing with their puppies when in fact they have created the problems they face. The fact is socialization is one the most misunderstood areas in dog training.
When people bring a new puppy home they are often confronted by problems that were never expected. Biting and chewing problems are just a few surprises they face. Many new owners think they adopted the pup from hell so they sit down and write us.
This article will attempt to explain why puppies bite and what can be done about it.
In both my basic DVDs, Your Puppy 8 Weeks to 8 Months and Basic Dog Obedience. I advise people to not allow strangers to touch their dog. This has generated a lot of email questions so I decided to write this article to expand on the reasons and exceptions for this policy. To understand this you must first understand what I expect from a relationship with my dogs. I want a dog that sees me as the center of its universe. I want my dog to focus on me and I want it to ignore other humans (and animals).
I am constantly asked if I think it's a good idea to buy two puppies and raise them together, or people ask what I think about getting their older dog a puppy to keep the older dog company. My answer is simple - "NO!!! It's not a good idea!!!"
I have bred dogs since 1978, over 340 litters of German Shepherds. This translates into raising a lot of puppies and a fair bit of experience with puppy diarrhea. Over the years I have seen my share of sick dogs and puppies. One of the most common problems we see with puppies is diarrhea.
Bringing a new dog into a home is always an exciting time. It's like adding a new family member or guest to the household. While much has been written on bringing puppies into the home - very little has been written about bringing new adult dogs into the home. This article should help you make some decisions that will ease the transition.
I am often asked how to make a new puppy (or dog) get along with the family cat or cats. My answer is always "this is a simple thing to do as long as you are willing to educate yourself on canine pack behavior and make a few changes in the way you live with your cats." I remind people that cats can instigate problems with dogs. This is not always a one sided problem.
This article will detail three topics concerning dog parks: 1) The original purpose of dog parks. 2) The problems and dangers of taking your dog to a dog park. 3) How to prepare for a dog park. 4) How to handle and protect your dog while in the dog park.
I get a lot of emails about taping German Shepherds puppy ears. The majority of these emails come from people who are jumping the gun and worrying too much. By that I mean their pups are 3 or 4 months old and they are starting to panic because their puppies ears are not standing. I tell these people that they need patience, they need to wait until their pup has finished teething.
I have bred over 350 litters of GSDs in the 30 plus years of my breeding career. Over those years we have done our share of caring for newborns that need help. We have also come up with our own newborn puppy formula that I think is the best we have seen.
House training problems are one of the most common reasons that people give up their pets. This is really a sad statement to have to make because the solution to almost every house training problem is very simple common sense solution.
Today we are going to talk about how using food rewards can effect motivation while training your dog. Outside of normal feeding there are two applications for using food with dogs: 1) Reward or motivator during training or 2) Toys to pass time while the dog is alone
This article is being written for dog owners who believe that have a problem with aggression or poor behavior with their family dog.
We get a lot of emails from people who believe they have dominant dogs. The fact is very few dogs are truly dominant. We feel the vast majority of the people who email us don't have dominant dogs but rather they have dogs that have never learned rules. For lack of a better description I call them dogs that have never learned "pack structure rules".
The TV show 20-20 recently aired a segment on aggressive dogs biting people. I learned of this from an e-mail prior to the show. The individual (who did not sign their name) begged me to write a letter to 20-20 complaining about them daring to do a show criticizing dogs biting people. Needless to say I did not respond to the e-mail but I did watch the program. The fact is the show was rather well done and accurate. If I were to criticize anything, I would have liked to see it go into more detail on overly aggressive dogs and how to deal with them.
I have owned, trained and bred dogs for 45 years. I have trained protection dogs and police service dogs since 1974. If you have come to this page you have issues with aggressive dogs. In the mid 1990's I wrote this article on "How to Break Up A Dog Fight Without Getting Hurt" which you can read below. It has been reprinted (with my permission) in many different languages.
I get many emails from people who own dogs and are about to add a baby to their family. These people love their dogs but want to make sure that the dog learns to accept the presence of a new member to the family. They ask what issues need to be considered to keep their new baby safe.
Many dogs do learn to live with babies (some cannot). This article will give you a few ideas to think about with your dog and your new baby.
Schutzhund is a German word meaning "protection dog." It referes to a sport that focuses on developing and evaluating those traits in dogs that make them more useful and happier companions to their owners. Schutzhund work concentrates on three parts.
Panosteitis is the long form for what breeders call "Pano." Pano is a growth disease which is more common in large, big boned dogs. It can show up as young as 5 to 9 months and usually does not occur after a dog is 18 to 20 months. It is more of a growth disorder than a disease, but it is very painful to young dogs.
The purpose of this article is to teach the average dog owner how to determine if a hip x-ray is done properly on their dog’s hips. The article will demonstrate correct positioning and poor positioning. It will show 2 different sets of x-rays done on the same dog on the same day. One set has good positioning, the second set has poor positioning. You will see that with poor positioning, a dogs hips can look worse than they actually are. You will also see that no matter what you do with positioning you can never make a bad hip into a good hip.
The unfortunate thing about vaccinosis is that people don't get involved in learning about it until after there is a problem, and by then it's often too late.
Vaccinosis is the term used for "reactions our pets have to being vaccinated." It is far more common than we are lead to believe. In fact, most veterinarians refuse to talk about it because they are the ones who give the shots that cause Vaccinosis.
Disclaimer: I am not a vet or a health care professional. Feeding a raw species appropriate diet can be a controversial topic, and like any feeding regimen can have health risks associated with incorrect feeding and preparation. DO NOT FEED COOKED BONES, ever! Cooking bones changes the molecular structure, they become brittle and may splinter and injure or kill your dog!! NO COOKED BONES.
The recent death of a friend's 13 1/2-year-old German Shepherd, again reminded me of January the 5th, 1998 (the worst day of my life to date). I was forced to make the hardest decision I have ever been faced with, that was to put my best friend (Nickie) to sleep. This was something I had put off for months.