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Yelling and Screaming at Your Dog: Guilty?

Yelling and Screaming at Your Dog: Guilty?

If I were to point my finger at one bad habit, it would be yelling and screaming at your dog. Do you have this bad habit? Not sure? Take a look in the mirror and see if your face is turning red.
Yelling and Screaming at Your Dog: Guilty?I’m not pointing any fingers, but I see the bad habits of dog owners every day. Most of them don’t realize what they are doing and how it affects their dog.

It’s not too late to change. Your dog will approve and support you all the way! He’s just that kind of guy.

Many owners get so frustrated with their dog’s bad or nuisance behavior that they yell and scream when correcting their dog. Their emotional energy is off the chart.

A Dog’s Uncanny Ability

Dogs have an uncanny ability to read the energy of the weather. Dogs know when a storm is brewing before the bottom falls out of the sky in your neighborhood. Yes, your dog. Many of you have dogs that, in anticipation of the storm, start heading for the closet.

So if they can read the energy of the weather, how difficult do you think it is for them to also read your emotional energy?

No matter what words you are saying your energy speaks to your dog. He is watching, listening and interpreting every subtle change in your energy.  

Yelling and screaming creates an unstable environment in which your dog has to exist. This creates stress and anxiety in your dog. Tension builds in your dog, he gets frustrated and dog behavior problems surface.

Losing your cool causes you to lose your dog’s respect.

The solution is to work on projecting calm energy to your dog. Be the strong and respected pack leader your dog needs. Still feeling lost? Read on my friend.

Observe, Train and Change Your Dog

The marines have a strategy when they are faced with situations that are not going as planned, “Improvise, overcome and adapt.”

No, it’s not time to call in the marines! I have a similar strategy I’ve used successfully for years when situations with dogs are not going as planned.

Here’s My Success Strategy

Observe your dog’s unwanted behavior (make a list), train the behavior you prefer in that situation and that changes your dog.

Here’s a good example:  

  • If your dog is counter surfing in the kitchen, put it on your list of bad dog behaviors.
  • Next to the bad behavior, write down a preferred behavior. That could be laying on his place mat/dog bed while you cook in the kitchen or just staying completely out of the kitchen.
  • Teach your dog to do the preferred behavior.
  • Now you have to practice every day by pretending you’re cooking. Break out the sharp cheddar cheese and crackers to do a set up. Yum! Tempting already!

If it’s “stay out of the kitchen” you want, I sometimes put low-tack painter’s tape on the floor for a visual boundary and spray the tape with Listerine. Now your dog can not only see the boundary but smell it as well. Consistency and daily repetition is the key in training “Out!” of the kitchen. Train your dog until you get the compliance you need.

Now, scratch that one off and go to the next behavior!

It’s so much easier harnessing that good energy and using it to teach your dog the behaviors you prefer. You will spend less energy and be happier. That’s nice, isn’t it?

Thanks for letting me share my dog training knowledge with you.   Don’t be a stranger.  Feel free to comment below.  I’d love to hear what you think.   

Remember:  “Together, We Can Raise a Happy and Obedient Dog”

Jim Burwell, Houston dog trainer for 25+ years, serving over 10,000 clients, has a profound understanding of dog behavior and the many things, we as humans, do that influence that behavior – good or bad.  Jim has the ability to not only steer dogs and puppies down the right path but to also train the owners to understand their part in having a great dog.

Dog Owners Have No Time

Dog Owners Have No Time

You dog owners have no time on your hands and are probably looking sheepishly at your dog knowing you should train.  No, you need to train your dog not to jump, bark or not do whatever unacceptable thing he’s been doing since you got him.

Plus you made the choice to get your dog, you made a commitment to “do the right thing” and teach him acceptable dog behavior. You just haven’t gotten around to it yet.  Sound familiar?

Well, the time has come

Even though at the end of the day you think, like many dog owners, you really don’t have time to obedience train your dog, you actually do have the time.

The funny thing is, the time has been there all along. It’s that snake! You just need to get organized to maximize what little time you have to easily train your dog.

Dog Owners Have No Time

It’s mind-blowing easy and I’ll prove it

“Easy is” simply writing down all the opportunities you have to sit your dog. I’ll get you started on your list.

Sit for food
Sit to go outside in the back yard to potty
Sit to come back in the house
Sit for love and affection
Sit for toys
Sit to get up on the couch
Sit to get his leash on for a walk

Now you can take my free list (the easy way) or you can make up your own.

“Easy is:” remembering to ask your dog to sit in each of these situations. Okay, I may be stretching it a bit but I’m trying to give you the benefit of the doubt. I mean, we’re just getting started here!

“Easy is:” training while you sit in your recliner during a television commercial. Ask your dog to “Sit!” then “Take it!” as you play tug with your dog during commercial. Next, tell him to “Sit!” then “Drop it!” and hold on to the toy until the next commercial. Break a sweat yet?

Now don’t get up out of that chair because that would be hard. I want to prove to you that dog training is so easy it’s mind-blowing.

There’s one other aspect to your dog’s training that is “arm chair” easy as well. That’s what I call feed training. Simply take part of your dog’s evening meal ration, put it in a Zip-Lock bag and ask for sits and downs from your arm chair.

Additionally, as you see your dog doing something you like, reward him with a few kibble from the bag. The rest of it he’ll get in his bowl for his regular meal. You’ll actually have to get up to feed him his meal. Sorry about that.

Now, how easy was all of that? I told you it would be so easy it would blow your mind. You just have to write (the list) and remember (to sit your dog.) Be consistent as well. That is, do this every day and watch those bad dog behaviors disappear.  

Remember, you are the most important part of your dog’s training. Well, what are you waiting for, sit down and train!

I’m always curious about your input – it’s important to me.  Do you deal with this situation in your house?  

Comment below with your frustration with this.

Remember:  “Together, We Can Raise a Happy and Obedient Dog”

Jim Burwell, Houston dog trainer for 25+ years, serving over 10,000 clients, has a profound understanding of dog behavior and the many things, we as humans, do that influence that behavior – good or bad.  Jim has the ability to not only steer dogs and puppies down the right path but to also train the owners to understand their part in having a great dog.

Dogs Chasing Squirrels

Dogs Chasing Squirrels: A Walking Nightmare for Some

It seems the problem of dogs chasing squirrels is aggravating to more dog owners than you would expect.

Here are owner’s concerns:

  • squirrel chasing ruining a perfectly good walk
  • arms out of sockets 
  • banged up knees from falls

 

Then the Obvious Question, “How Do I Stop It?”

Dogs Chasing Squirrels

Stopping it takes training and practice. You should start sooner than later because it can be a serious problem especially if your dog has a particularly high prey drive.

It’s not uncommon to see this squirrel issue progress to other fast-moving things like animals (cats in particular) cars, bikes, kids on skateboards and joggers – just to name a few.

It can also become quite addictive as your dog’s body releases chemicals while in the chase mode, including adrenaline.

 

Prevention Gets Down to Training

 

I know what you’re thinking! Loose leash walking and dogs chasing squirrels just don’t go together. Or, could they?

What will it take to create pleasant walks on a loose leash once again, even around squirrels?

It all gets down to training your dog. But what exactly does this include?

It should include a “Leave it!” command which should mean “stop what you are doing and make eye contact with me.”

At this point I would say that “timing is everything.”

You must say “Leave it!” right when your dog first notices the squirrel and before he gives chase. This takes practice and keen observation of your dog’s body language.

Next should be a redirect to another command like “Sit!” as you praise and a treat. Immediately back up a few steps using a treat to lure your dog to you (on your leash) as you say, “Come!” Follow that with another sit. Repeat this exercise. Praise and treat each time for a job well done. Continue on with your walk.

It’s important to understand that the “Leave it!” command should be worked on with your dog in the house first to teach him what it means.

This should be followed by proofing your dog in the back yard around light distractions before you actually go on your walk. Finally work your dog at a distance around squirrels where you get compliance to “Leave it!” with your dog. Gradually close the distance.

Basic Foundation Work Is Critical

 

It goes without saying that basic foundation work should already be in place. If it’s not, then you must start with foundation work before you can successfully start your squirrel diversion training.

Let’s take a look at needed foundation work.

Your dog should already be doing sits and downs for everything in the home; food, access to furniture, toys and affection. This teaches him to listen to his pack leader, as you are in charge. This develops better listening skills in the real world on walks.

You should be doing ongoing scheduled obedience training 3 times daily for just 2 minutes. This would include rapid fire sits and downs.

You could also incorporate the come command between two family members so the sequence is “Come! Sit! Down! This could be done back and forth for 2 minutes.

This kind of training will begin to foster discipline for your squirrel diversion training on walks.

Remember, once your foundation work is done inside, move to the back yard for distraction work. Follow that with real world training on walks.

 

Managing Your Dog’s Energy

 

One way to manage your dog’s energy is to engage your dog in a game of fetch. This burns energy in a constructive activity that can be controlled. Make sure your dog sits before you throw the ball.

As your dog gets better, require a sit-stay, throw the ball then release your dog to fetch the ball. Teaching your dog to sit-stay and watch the ball in action, can give you better control on your walks when squirrels appear.

Practicing the come command between family members is another way to manage your dog’s energy. You just have to be consistent in doing it every day.

If before you walk your dog, you play fetch or burn energy with the come command, he’ll have less energy for the squirrels and you may find he listens better.

Bottom line is that it does take time to train your dog and manage his energy. And while you’re managing his energy, don’t let your dog run loose and practice bad habits you are trying to stop.

By using positive dog training methods you develop an impressive display of training and management skills that will help you in all aspects of your life with your dog.

Thanks for letting me share my dog training knowledge with you. Don’t be a stranger. Feel free to comment below. I’d love to hear about your squirrel chasing dog.

Remember: “Together, We Can Raise a Happy and Obedient Dog

Jim Burwell, Houston dog trainer for 25+ years, serving over 10,000 clients, has a profound understanding of dog behavior and the many things, we as humans, do that influence that behavior – good or bad. Jim has the ability to not only steer dogs and puppies down the right path but to also train the owners to understand their part in having a great dog.

A Well Mannered Dog: One Sure Fire Solution

A Well Mannered Dog: One Sure Fire Solution

Everyone wants a well mannered dog, but how many of you really want to put in the time to get the dog you want?

A Well Mannered Dog: One Sure Fire SolutionHere is one sure-fire solution

A little knowledge goes a long way. That includes what your dog knows. So it just stands to reason that if you know why your dog does what he does –it’s much easier to use his dog logic to your advantage. You can create that well-mannered dog you’ve always wanted. So listen up.

Control your personal space

Your dog uses your personal space as just one way to control who’s in charge. And it happens before you know it – almost over night!

Dogs instinctively take, not give up, things of value. In your dog’s world, personal space is a valuable resource that defines his space and yours.

In your dog’s mind, if you cannot control your personal space, then he leads – you follow. That mindset begins to dictate his thinking about listening which affects manners. See how the pattern develops?

An amazing difference

Teach your dog not to invade your personal space – unless invited. Then require a sit before inviting him into your personal space. Do this every day and you will see an amazing difference in your dog.

Here’s how to do it

Obviously if you trained your dog to sit instead of jump, you’ve solved your jumping problem. This does require a fair amount of time training – and around distractions like house guests. Where are you going to get visitors, every day for training?

What do you do during the jumpy, out of control period before your dog learns to sit? This is the frustrating part of the training I’m talking about.  It is the nuts and bolts of training and control. Quite honestly this is where most owners quit or are not consistent. This is how I want to help you.  This is where you need it the most.

Most jumpy, out-of-control dogs have never had boundaries set – you know, jumping on you when you get home or jumping on you when you sit on the sofa.

What are you waiting for? Begin now to set your boundaries. Do the following steps every day until you achieve success:

  1. Put a leash on your dog and as you sit down, put your foot on the leash with no slack and say, “Settle!”
  2. Then don’t look at, talk to or touch your dog. No eye contact.
  3. The more you do this exercise, the more frequently he will resolve to lay down by your feet on his own.
  4. Once he has learned to settle (lay by your feet) for 5-10 minutes, have him sit and invite him up onto the sofa.
  5. Now you are controlling your personal space and setting boundaries. This he understands.
  6. In the beginning balance time on the floor with time on the sofa with you.

The leash is the game changer

The leash is the game changer for beginning to have control to prevent jumping and getting into your personal space. Use it liberally. It will bring peace and calm to your household.

If your dog is on leash when you are home, simply step on the leash to prevent jumping (don’t look at, talk to or touch your dog) and when your dog settles into a sit, briefly pet and release him from his sit.

Repeat this exercise until you get longer and longer sits and eventually no jumping on approach.

Practice several times daily until you get the behavior you want.

If your dog is pretty much running the house then my Ground Rules for Great Dogs will help you get control back, easily and quickly.

I’m always curious about your input – it’s important to me.  Do you deal with this situation in your house?  Comment below with your frustration about this.

Remember:  “Together, We Can Raise a Happy and Obedient Dog”

Jim Burwell, Houston dog trainer for 25+ years, serving over 9000 clients, has a profound understanding of dog behavior and the many things, we as humans, do that influence that behavior – good or bad.  Jim has the ability to not only steer dogs and puppies down the right path but to also train the owners to understand their part in having a great dog.

Walking Your Dog

Walking Your Dog: Like Candy to a Kid

Walking your dog can be mutually beneficial for you and your dog and immensely improve his quality of life.

Everyone knows the benefits of exercise especially walking, is great. But do you really know why walking your dog at least twice daily is important? Walking Your Dog

Quality of life

I once read that a dog’s quality of life should encompass more than just providing his basic needs and absence of suffering. It should include the quality of his relationship with his environment and how he lives his life.

Your dog doesn’t have a choice in what he gets to do. He relies on you to take him for walks and provide him with opportunities to enjoy his life doing things he loves to do. His self-expression through his natural instincts.

Examples of this would include a hound dog’s natural instinct to track scent or a retriever honing his abilities to fetch and retrieve a ball, Frisbee or bird.

Dogs are working, thinking animals that need a job – a purpose other than sitting or sleeping all day long.

If you don’t have a hound or retriever, that’s not a problem. Obedience training works as a great way to say “good job” for your dog. Rapid fire sits and downs for two minutes is not only great exercise, it creates mental fatigue.

Remember, it’s not a substitute for outside walking. You still need to provide outside opportunities for your dog.

His world

So take him for a walk in his world. Provide your dog with boundless opportunities to do these things and more. Take that first step.

That first step means understanding more about his breed characteristics and instincts. In other words, know where he’s coming from and meet him there – in his world.

Your world

Also take your dog for a walk in your world – where he also lives. Include opportunities to have fun with you doing the things you do whenever possible. These would include (where appropriate) interacting socially around other people, children and dogs in all kinds of settings.

If you desensitize your dog to noise, traffic and public places like dog friendly restaurants, this will not only improve his quality of life, but also his chances of going more places with you.

Change is much more enjoyable

Walking your dog is better when you change the route and change the location. Reversing your regular route or even changing your route gives your dog a whole new perspective.

Remember, he’s not viewing the route as much with his eyes as he is with his nose.

Change locations by walking your dog at the beach or in a State Park near you. This is something that you might do on weekends as time permits. Not enough time to go to the beach or State Park? Most cities have hiking trails around the city. Weather permitting he would appreciate getting out with you in your world.

We know regular walking can lengthen and improve the quality of life for your dog. Having a walking buddy gives you a great reason to get out yourself and stay fit.

Who knows, if more dog owners took the time to walk their dog, they might not only loose weight but have Jay Leno changing his monologue about lazy, overweight Americans!

We’re always learning and there’s a bunch of you out there we are grateful to be able to serve and learn from.  I’m really interested in your thoughts and opinions on this.

Comment below, I’m here to help.

Remember:  “Together, We Can Raise a Happy and Obedient Dog”

If you have problems with your dog misbehaving and being a bit of a brat, check out my Ground Rules for Great Dogs.  

Jim Burwell, Houston dog trainer for 25+ years, serving over 9000 clients, has a profound understanding of dog behavior and the many things, we as humans, do that influence that behavior – good or bad.  Jim has the ability to not only steer dogs and puppies down the right path but to also train the owners to understand their part in having a great dog.

Dogs Could Talk

If Dogs Could Talk, What Would Your Dog Say

“If dogs could talk, what would yours say?”  I ask dog owners this as I love to see how the answers differ.

Most owners say:  Dogs need love and affection. And most do say love and affection first. Others may follow up with some things they would think I want to hear like obedience training or food and water and to know they are in a safe place.Dogs Could Talk

Well, truth be told, if dogs could talk, they would say they need all of those things.  Many of these things he needs in moderation and others –  he needs a lot.  You may be surprised at the order of which comes first.

Let’s explore what your dog would need – if dogs could talk

If your dog could talk, these are some great dog skills he would want you to have so that you could best interact with him in the early stages of his life with you.

He would tell you that he needs to have the highest level of comfort and trust in you, but at the same time respect you as a leader.

Now he may not say he wants you to obedience train him – after all that’s work! He’ll indirectly say that by jumping and acting out in other ways you may not like.  He’s looking for ways to get things he wants – like your attention. He might also be asking, “How do I get anything to eat around here?” Your answer of course is obedience training. And the “Sit!” is born.
 
When you begin fulfilling his needs, he will be able to build on this relationship of mutual respect and continue this into the years ahead as an adult dog.

Here are three very important areas of your dog relationship on which you should work:

  • Bonding with your dog to build trust
  • Rules, expectations and respect of your personal space
  • Manners in your home – teach the behavior you want

Let’s take a look at each one of these “relationship areas” and see exactly what it takes to build on your successes with your new dog.

Bonding with your dog to build trust

Love your new dog.  This is an important part of his new dog care. Spend his first critical days with you giving your dog lots of love and affection. This is especially good to do after exercising him with a brisk walk.
 
He learns on a physical level so how you use your body language, eye contact and tone of voice is going to be critically important.

Show him your affection with your touch (body language.) he loves physical contact so you can begin with a favorite of new dogs – belly rubs! Using your hands to gently pet and give soothing belly rubs is a good way to express how you feel towards him. Cuddle and hug him and avoid any interactions that could cause him to be aggressive or bite. Always balance this with a sit and down command and give it in moderation.

Speaking in a calm soothing voice lets him know you appreciate what he has done because of the warm sincere praise (tone of voice.) This voice inflection will create calm in him. Your calm tone of voice helps you bond with your dog.  Anger, yelling and screaming causes him to become stressed and anxious, creating an unstable environment.

Make sure you give – and get attention (eye contact) as you communicate physically and verbally to your dog.  Attention (eye contact) should be his way of getting interaction with you – not jumping or biting. All of this will begin to create “calm expectations” with your dog as you build a lasting trust in the relationship with your dog.

If there is more than one family member, spread the dog love around. Everyone should work on bonding with him by building a strong working relationship with obedience commands.

While love and affection is very important, your new dog will need more than that. He’s going to need a “roadmap” to help him navigate the treacherous roads of chewing, jumping and biting as he learns to live in a human world. This roadmap will help him to avoid the pitfalls and the potholes of life.  You want his – and your experience to be a great one.

Rules, expectations and respect of your personal space

What he needs the second he walks into your home is the roadmap I spoke of before and it should take the shape of rules, boundaries and expectations. Your dog training should include:

  • Rules for him to follow: He should sit for everything. Being consistent with this every day in every way is essential.
  • Respect of your personal space: Don’t invade it or jump on you unless invited and, he should always sit first.
  • Having expectations of what to do and when to do it: This will allow him to live a stress-free life because of the structure you provide.

Manners in your home – teach the behavior you want

He will explore with his ears, nose and especially his mouth.  The rule is if he can get it into his mouth, he will eat it. It’s that simple. Usually the younger the dog, the more the rule applies. You may get lucky or get an older dog.

Taking advantage of crates, gates and exercise pens is a logical and sensible way to protect your stuff and safely control your dog when you can’t supervise him. When he is out of the crate, simply put him on a leash to control where you want him to be.

CAUTION: Do not tether your dog near by with the leash while you are busy working. He could chew through the leash and pee/poop when you are not looking.  Worse yet, get his leash caught on something and choke.

Having your dog on a leash helps him to make the right decisions and also allows you to:

  • Minimize jumping
  • Limit where he goes, what he gets into and,
  • Keep him from chasing and biting the kids.  

The bottom line is that routine and consistent control of your dog can keep him safe and it will also lower his and your stress. Now that’s a win-win situation.

Some closing thoughts for you

It’s a lot more efficient spending your time and energy training preferred behaviors rather than wasting time correcting what you don’t like.

And finally, in addition to working for things he wants, engage him in short 2 minute obedience training sessions of rapid fire sits and downs every day to give him a sense of working for you and creating mental fatigue.

If dogs could talk I’m sure your dog would say, “Give me what I need to succeed!”

We’re always learning and there’s a bunch of you out there we are grateful to be able to serve and learn from.  I’m really interested in your thoughts and opinions on this. Comment below, I’m here to help.

Remember:  “Together, We Can Raise a Happy and Obedient Dog”

Jim Burwell, Houston dog trainer for 25+ years, serving over 9000 clients, has a profound understanding of dog behavior and the many things, we as humans, do that influence that behavior – good or bad.  Jim has the ability to not only steer dogs and puppies down the right path but to also train the owners to understand their part in having a great dog.

Calming Your Dog

Calming Your Dog

Calming your dog can refer to numerous situations: thunderstorms, fireworks, or just any time he shows extreme anxiety about something.

But today I want to talk about calming your excitable and out of control dog with better human-dog interaction because how You behave can have a profound effect on how Your dog behaves.Calming Your Dog

You interact with your dogs in 3 ways:

You look at your dog,
Talk to your dog and
Touch your dog.

How you use your body language, eye contact and tone of voice can make the   difference in a dog that is out of control – or a pleasure to live with.

Before I talk about specific human-dog interaction I wanted to make sure you knew that your dog is an “expert” at interpreting every subtle nuance and change in your body language and facial expressions – including eye contact as well as your tone of voice.

They have to be not only good at it, but expert at it, because their very survival depends on it – or at least their survival used to depend on it. Nonetheless your dog still has the instincts that drive how he responds to your interactions with him.

Body language speaks volumes to dogs. In fact, it often speaks louder than your spoken word. Your dog will get confused if your body language contradicts what you are saying.

When this happens, your dog will most likely default to interpreting what your body language says. Remember, your emotions drive your tone of voice and your actions. Your dog interprets your emotions and responds to your actions.

Now let’s talk about how you can use body language, eye contact and tone of voice to teach quiet while also calming your dog.

Create quiet calm if you want a calm dog

Dogs simply don’t do well with yelling, screaming, anger or excitement. It tends to create an unstable environment in which they try to exist. Cultivate a calm voice – both in volume and pitch.

Develop calm departures and calm arrivals – in fact, ignoring your dog for 5 minutes when you leave and return will help to level out your dog’s emotional highs at those times. That means do not look at, talk to or touch your dog for 5 minutes. After 5 minutes, calmly call your dog to you, ask for a sit and briefly pet your dog.

In the words of William Campbell, “In the non-verbal world of dogs, silence means quiet, inaction begets stillness and movement stimulates action.” We should all learn from this.

How you move is critical

Dogs will mimic human behavior. Moving slowly — arm movement & walking — around your excitable dog will give you an opportunity to teach slower dog movement.

By moving more slowly you will give your dog an opportunity to obey a sit or down command rather than letting his instincts take over. Ah, progress!

Use common sense

 These few dos and don’ts bear repeating because of their importance and it just makes good common sense – especially if you have kids.
 
Don’t encourage predatory behavior. That simply means do not chase your dog and don’t run away or play keep-away from your dog. Instead, play fetch and tug-of-war – with rules.

Now you are burning predatory energy constructively as you stay in control of the article. Appropriate adult supervision is required with kids.

Don’t back your dog into a corner to take something back he has taken. This could trigger his defense drive causing him to possibly bite you or another family member.

If you have taught him to retrieve, call him to you, gently remove the object and praise your dog.

Don’t fight or wrestle with your dog. Excitable dogs need to s-l-o-w down instead of being amped up to a point where their instincts take over.

Train your dog

Train your dog to give you good dog behavior. Dogs can easily be taught to give you attention (eye contact) for engagement rather than the jumping you don’t like.

Also train your dog a dismissal cue which means “Go chill!” or “Relax.” Or, just leave you alone.

Train your dog not to get into your personal space or jump on you until he gives you a sit and is invited into your personal space.

It’s a wrap

Remember how dogs learn. Dogs learn by instinct, trial and error and training. They are very sensitive to your body language, eye contact and tone of voice. Use all three wisely as you are calming your dog!

If you need help with step by step how to achieve a calm dog, be sure to check out my Ground Rules for Great Dogs.  That’s your roadmap.

Thanks for letting me share my dog training knowledge with you.   Don’t be a stranger.  Feel free to comment below.  I’d love to hear what you think.   

Remember:  “Together, We Can Raise a Happy and Obedient Dog”

Jim Burwell, Houston dog trainer for 25+ years, serving over 9000 clients, has a profound understanding of dog behavior and the many things, we as humans, do that influence that behavior – good or bad.  Jim has the ability to not only steer dogs and puppies down the right path but to also train the owners to understand their part in having a great dog.

Great Dog Behavior Fast - 5 Embarrassingly Easy Steps

Great Dog Behavior Fast – 5 Embarrassingly Easy Steps

Great dog behavior fast? I’ve got to be kidding, right? And it’s embarrassingly easy.

There’s no arguing that getting great dog behavior is a lot easier if you start on day one and train correctly from the beginning. But the reality is, most dog owners don’t train correctly and consistently from day one to get the dog behavior they want.

Here are my time tested, successful methods and techniques. If you work them, your dog will become the great dog you’ve always wanted him to be and you’ll have that great dog behavior you’re looking for. Great Dog Behavior Fast - 5 Embarrassingly Easy Steps

Looking at the thousands of lessons I’ve had with clients over the years, I have consistently seen the same mistakes over and over again and I just can’t help but think,  

“If they had these 5 embarrassingly easy steps to begin with – and used them consistently from the start, they could have saved themselves a lot of headache and heartache.”

While these techniques may seem simple on the surface, if used consistently, they will provide you with remarkable fast results.  

I really want to inspire and encourage you to have the best dog possible, so here goes.

Simple But Plain Truth

Your dog’s behavior issues are directly related to your relationship with your dog and how you structure his life. If you’ve gone “off track” with your dog training, get back on track with these 5 easy steps.

Step #1: Manage your dog

Dogs attached to a leash that is also attached to you while they are in the house, are more compliant and responsible than if left off leash to make their own decisions – which usually aren’t what we want them to do.

Yes, that’s right! Leash training your dog is not only for outside walks and training but is very effective when used consistently inside the home as well. Be careful though, never leave your dog unattended when your leash is on your dog. When you cannot supervise your dog (eyes-on, hands-on), crate your dog – until he understands the rules of the house.

Here are just some of the great ways in which you will benefit immediately:

  • Leash on your dog prevents jumping on you and on houseguests.
  • Leash on your dog prevents playing keep-away from you with your stuff.
  • Leash on your dog while in training, keeps your dog off the furniture until invited up.
  • Leash on your dog significantly aids in house training your new dog during his free time out of the crate.

By simply having him on leash, you are better able to catch mistakes before they happen. Embarrassingly easy I know. But it works.

Step #2: Minimize Stress and Anxiety

New dogs coming into your home need structure, boundaries and expectations just like kids. If you’ve not provided your dog with structure, there’s no time like the present to get started.

Good parents don’t let their kids run the household – neither should you with your dog. Good parents are leaders to their children as you should be with your dog. They set rules and teach their children how to be well behaved. For example:

  • They need to ask for things with, “May I please have…..”
  • They need to earn their allowance by working or doing specific tasks and, bad behavior does not get rewarded.

Now, I know you must be thinking, “That’s great Jim but kids speak English. How do I do this with a dog?” Well, here’s how.

Provide your dog with similar structure but in a way he understands. Here are the things that are important in your dog’s life: Food, space, his toys and love and affection.

All of these things he would have to earn by doing a sit. That’s right. It’s now a rule. Sit for everything. Do this every day in every way with your dog and you’ll discover that it was so embarrassingly easy you can’t figure out why you didn’t do it before now!

A home where there is no structure – where chaos reigns, will result in a dog with behavior issues. But when your dog has a plan and routine provided by you, this eliminates the stress and anxiety that tends to develop into behavior problems.

Step #3: Exercise your dog

Constructively manage your dog’s energy with exercise. You should exercise your dog with two good brisk, 30 – 45 minute walks a day. Taking your dog for a brisk walk twice daily is a good stress buffer. When you can’t walk, fetch and tug burn energy too!

Step #4: Train your dog

Training is critical for you and your dog. Not only does he require physical exercise, he needs mental exercise as well. Mental fatigue is a good way to constructively manage your dog’s energy – especially when combined with your structured walks as described above.  Once he learns his commands, practice using them where he needs to be on his best manners. The more you work with your dog on the basics, the better he will listen and obey.

Doing 3, two minute dog obedience training sessions daily (just 6 minutes a day-but spaced at least an hour apart, will give your dog a sense of working for you, the leader, rather than feeling responsible for it himself. And from your dog’s point of view, working for you is a whole lot less stressful than you working for him – trust me on that one!

Step #5: Teach your dog the behavior you prefer

Create dog training exercises that help your dog to learn.

Finally, do training set ups (training exercises) – when it is convenient for you.

Simply make a list of all the bad behaviors your dog does, what causes them (triggers) and what you would prefer your dog to do instead.

Work on them one at a time until you have the behavior you want.

Well, are you embarrassed how easy this is? Don’t be. You can have your dog in – or back in shape fast, so grab your leash and start today!

If you need help with specific steps on how to do this, go grab my Ground Rules for Great Dogs. There’s your step by step plan delivered right to you.

Thanks for letting me share my dog training knowledge with you.   Don’t be a stranger.  Feel free to comment below.  I’d love to hear what you think.   

Remember:  “Together, We Can Raise a Happy and Obedient Dog”

Jim Burwell, Houston dog trainer for 25+ years, serving over 9000 clients, has a profound understanding of dog behavior and the many things, we as humans, do that influence that behavior – good or bad.  Jim has the ability to not only steer dogs and puppies down the right path but to also train the owners to understand their part in having a great dog.

Well Trained Puppy in 15 Minutes a Day

Well Trained Puppy in 15 Minutes a Day

Would you jump at the chance to have a well trained puppy in 15 minutes a day?

Do you realize that if you did the training work with your puppy, you’d most likely avoid dog behavior problems associated with a dog that grew up with no structure.

Doing at least 15 minutes a day of puppy training will keep you from wondering, “What could I have done differently with my dog when he was a puppy that could have made him a better dog?”

Well Trained Puppy in 15 Minutes a Day

Just simply take 15 minutes a day

Having a well trained puppy in 15 minutes a day isn’t difficult at all. Most seasoned dog trainers would agree that the earlier you begin your training with a puppy, the stronger the training foundation is that will provide you with that better mannered dog in their adult years.     

This now brings us to the question, “How soon can I start training with my new puppy to avoid potential dog problems?”

Puppies can be trained at any age – even 8 weeks. That’s when we started training Sammy, our black lab mix.

Good manners are his default behaviors.

Using reward-based training methods is a great way to start

It’s best to use a reward-based training method and, if you can condition your puppy to a clicker that’s even better. There are a number of benefits to “clicker training” for your puppy.

  • The clicker provides a consistent sound to your puppy no matter who uses it. Remember, consistency and repetition is needed in good puppy training.
  • Unlike your voice, the clicker is a sharp, crisp non emotional sound that provides your puppy with a special and unique way to identify behaviors he performs (like sits and downs) that produces a food treat. For example, when your puppy sits, click then treat.

Follow these basic rules to keep the fun in training your puppy:

  • Be consistent in your obedience training.  Obedience train on simple commands like:  come, sit and down three times daily for no longer than 2 minutes and do it the same way every single time.  
  • It doesn’t really take much time out of your schedule.  Setting aside 2 minutes three times daily is a great start.  Puppies have a short attention span and will tire and get bored quickly. That’s why we keep it short.
  • Never, ever punish your puppy in any way, shape or form.  If your puppy does not obey a command simply say wrong in a neutral tone of voice and start again. It’s really that simple.
  • Keep your expectations in line with reality. Do not expect a young, 8 week old puppy to be able to hold a sit or a down for more than a few seconds.  
  • Be consistent with your command each time.  Pick one word and stick to it.  Speaking in sentences or multiple words will not be as easy for your new puppy to learn. One behavior – one command word.
  • Begin to train around relevant distractions. For example, if you always have a house full of kids, begin training your puppy around kids once he’s learned to obey his commands only with you.
  • For those of you that do not want to use a clicker, simply use your voice by saying, “Yes!” or “Good!” followed by a food treat when your puppy performs a command.

There is a lot to learn in training a puppy

If done correctly, it can be a process filled with fun – and obedience. This begins to set that strong foundation you will need to rely on when your new puppy becomes an adult dog.

The one message to take away is “consistently” set aside time every single day as described above to work your puppy.

These are just some of the basics that will help you get started on the right foot with your puppy.  Puppies are very smart and learn quickly, especially when they are taught from an early age.

Thanks for letting me share my dog training knowledge with you.   Don’t be a stranger.  Feel free to comment below.  I’d love to hear what you think.   

Remember:  “Together, We Can Raise a Happy and Obedient Dog”

If you’re stuck with puppy problems like jumping, biting, nipping, house soiling then head on over to Nose to Tail Puppy Training for easy solutions to getting a well trained puppy.

Jim Burwell, Houston dog trainer for 25+ years, serving over 9000 clients, has a profound understanding of dog behavior and the many things, we as humans, do that influence that behavior – good or bad.  Jim has the ability to not only steer dogs and puppies down the right path but to also train the owners to understand their part in having a great dog.

Control Your Dog Behavior

Control Your Dog Behavior

Trying to control your dog behavior can drive many owners to the end of their rope!

On the one hand we really like these descriptive qualities in our dogs: playfulness, high energy, high spirits and full of life.

However, when your dog doesn’t slow down and you can’t find the “off-button,” it becomes a lot less enjoyable as you try to control your dog’s behavior.

Learn to be proactive instead of reactive

Control Your Dog Behavior
I think it is natural as dog owners to get in, and stay in, the mode of addressing dog behavior problems as they come up. We stay in a reactive mode instead of becoming proactive.

It takes much more energy, emotions and time constantly correcting your dog’s bad behavior (being reactive) than to simply train the behavior you prefer (being proactive.)

Not to worry

Let’s not get bent out of shape just yet. It is possible to harness these wonderful abilities with sensible management of your wild dog and rid yourself of dog behavior problems.

He’s telling you that he has needs that have to be met. So let’s figure out a way to meet these needs in an orderly way with predictable pack activities.

Here’s the key.

Dogs thrive on predictable routines and schedules. In fact, making sure that your dog can predict when certain pack activities happen lowers his stress and anxiety. What are pack activities?

These are activities you do at the same time or with your dog like:

  • eating
  • sleeping
  • walking
  • training
  • playing and yes even
  • resting

Knowing when he is going to eat twice daily – just like going to bed at the same time daily — takes a whole lot of stress off your dog.

That’s why feeding twice daily is better than feeding once daily. It keeps him from getting hunger tension. Hunger tension is caused by his internal fuel gauge running on empty half the day and can complicate other dog behavior problems.

Good rhythmic exercise on daily walks will allow you to constructively manage his energy. It will also fulfill his needs as a dog: getting out and exploring with his nose. Add to this the predictability of when it happens and he’s even less stressed.

Obedience training is the foundation, and cure, for most dog behavior problems. If your dog has a well-disciplined sit, you’ve solved your jumping problem.

I’ve always recommended 3, two minute training sessions of sit and down a day to create mental fatigue and give your dog a sense of working for you – a job to do.

If you expand on that, assuming you’ve taken my advice literally, you can begin to train 2 minute sits three times a day. If your dog gets up put him back in the sit.

This may be something that you will have to build on in 30 second increments of time until you can get a 2 minute sit but the results will be nothing short of incredible.

Don’t forget to eventually add distractions around which your dog will be expected to obey.

Dogs come in kits

Someone once wrote that “dogs come down from heaven in kits”.

This “kit” comes just as you’ve placed your order:

  1. male or female
  2. pure bred or mixed breed
  3. young or old

But if you don’t look closely you might miss the fine print that says “some assembly required.”

When you open your doggie kit you’ll quickly find that you may be required to assemble, or shape, your dog’s behavior so that it works well in your home with you.

Often the dogs capable of the best work are the ones that are capable of becoming a wild out of control dog. But the beauty here is that this same dog, the one that was once an out of control dog, could be your shining star.

If you work it right and harness that energy, it could lead to a greater life together.

My Ground Rules for Great Dogs is your solution to going from a bratty dog to a behaved dog.  Grab them now.

Remember:  “Together, We Can Raise a Happy and Obedient Dog”

Jim Burwell, Houston dog trainer for 25+ years, serving over 9000 clients, has a profound understanding of dog behavior and the many things, we as humans, do that influence that behavior – good or bad.  Jim has the ability to not only steer dogs and puppies down the right path but to also train the owners to understand their part in having a great dog.