The most common issue I see with dogs that show up for help here is that they’ve been allowed to practice negative behaviors (many of them seemingly small and not-earth shattering initially) repeatedly, to the point where the behavior AND the state of mind has generalized.
What do I mean by this? The behavior itself might have started as barking at the mailman, but now it’s generalized to barking at guests and anyone who comes in the house. Or barking at dogs on walks has now become barking and lunging at people. But here’s the big thing: what’s really worrisome is the state of mind that has generalized. The state of mind of the dog has become one that is constantly worried, constantly on edge, constantly stressed, and constantly anxious. And if you follow me here regularly, you know that that … Read More »
No raised, angry, nervous, voices. Keep all commands neutral and matter of fact. (Obviously you can use more excitement on recalls for motivation, but be very careful about your intensity when saying no/correcting/dog isn’t responding properly.) Intenisty in your voice an demeanor will create corresponding intensity and stress in your dog – which will only cause performance to worsen.
Don’t work your dog or try to problem solve when in a hurry. Don’t allow being in a rush to compromise your personal state, frustration levels, or calmness. Most of us have major shifts in calmness and frustration tolerance as soon as we are rushed. Be aware of it and set it up so you and your dog can succeed. If you interact with your dog when rushed,frustrated, or annoyed, you will have major fallout in behavior. (For both of you!! ;))
Set up … Read More »
Blaming a dog for misbehaving that hasn’t been given rules, structure, and leadership, is like blaming a chocolate cake for not tasting like vanilla. It’s not the cake’s fault, it just tastes like whatever ingredients you baked in.
If you’re going to spoil, not share rules, allow jumping, pulling on leash, pet constantly, allow constant access to your personal space, allow darting through thresholds, give treats constantly, allow barking at the windows, talking constantly in a baby voice, treating your dog like an infant or child replacement, allowing constant excitement, and not correcting your dog when he does something inappropriate, you can’t be upset that your dog is a brat or a maniac or dangerous. You baked that cake. You put all those ingredients in. You can’t be upset when your results are the sum of your actions or inactions.
The dog … Read More »