Dog Training Starts with The Family (And Not the Dog)
We were recently at a Home Dog Training session with new clients in Southwest Ranches and their Catahoula named Lurch. We were called in to help because our client told us that their dog was just really crazy and never listened to a single thing they said. They had taken him to one of those special dog “boot camps” and he was there for three weeks. The boot camp trainers had told them that Lurch was a great dog, listened to them, and would respond to their commands and properly socialize with the other dogs they had. My client told us that their dog came back and was a really great dog for about two or three days. Then, he went right back to not paying attention to them and being crazy. He doesn’t listen, nips at people, and never leaves the kids alone. We were called in as Lurch’s last hope.
As dog trainers, Robin and I hear this over and over again. The dog is crazy and the client is at their wit’s end as to what to do. We always tell them that the answer is really quite simple. The answer is really right in “front of our nose”. The issue is that most clients are looking in the wrong place to find the problem. When dog owners are experiencing problems with their dogs, it is normally not the fault of the dog. The problem normally lies with the client and their family. Dogs are normally mirrors of their owners. They must be provided with the correct image of how to behave. During the session, I reviewed several things with my client that needed to be understood and acted upon:
I told my client that he needed to assess the temperament of his family. Are things always nuts and are family members & friends always running all over the place? This creates a large amount of stimulized adrenaline within their dog that leads to dominance interactions such as jumping, running, and barking. If he is experiencing situations such as this, he needs to put his dog in a quiet location when things are a little “too over the top”. I suggested having the dog in the back yard with some of his favorite toys as a perfect way to redirect his energy and focus away from the currently crazy family members and their friends.
It is important that the kids aren’t going out of their way go bug the dog. His kids might think it is fun and he may not think much of it. The problem is that they are teaching their dog to be crazy and letting him know he can be crazy all the time. They should limit play time to specific times of the day and play in the back yard. This will have Lurch understand where and when “crazy time” happens. Keeping it calm and collected inside will diminish any adrenalized buildup with their dog and make the inside “the quiet library”.
He should always tell his dog what he wants the dog to do. He should never let Lurch tell him what to do. If the dog nudges his nose in his hand, don’t pet him. If the dog walks over with his favorite leash, don’t go for a walk. If he grabs a shoe in his mouth, don’t chase him. I explained that the more my client’s dog tells him what he wants to do, the less focus his dog will give him. His dog will naturally assume that as soon as he asks, the rest of the world will obey. When they don’t give him what he wants, he will ramp it up to barking, jumping, and often nipping. These are the things my client did not want and things he was unknowingly encouraging.
I explained to my client that the best information I could give him to solve his issue with Lurch was for him and his family “not to go nuts”. This helps create respectful focus and is the starting point of successful training and a great experience with their dog. Robin and I are always here to respond any Dog Training questions you may have. You simply need to call us at (954) 424-0170. We have developed a large collection of dog training articles that are posted on our Dog Training Blog at Best Dog Trainers Southwest Ranches South Florida. You can also get in touch with us through Dog Training Help Center Southwest Ranches South Florida.
If your dog likes to get out and explore the neighborhood against your wishes, we can correct that. We combine our proven dog training programs with our invisible dog fence products from Dog Guard Out of Sight Fencing® to make sure your dog believes “there is no place like home”. We offer a free, in-home analysis and guaranteed price quote. Please go to Dog Guard Out of Sight Dog Fence Southwest Ranches South Florida or simply phone us at 954-472-4724.