dog training, Houston, dog behavior Houston, walking a scared dog

Confidence Building Tips for Your Fearful Dog

Fearful Dog – 3 Confidence-Building Tips


Worried Dogs Learn Best in a Safe Environment

There are many things out there that frighten a fearful or scared dog, because usually, these timid or frightened dogs just haven’t had the opportunity, at a safe distance first, to get used to these scary things.

Knowing that you have a fearful dog you must be motivated and committed to the task of confidence building.

It all starts at home and it will take some time.

Why home?  Because, there are no distractions in your home and your dog can focus on his lessons.

How to help your dog feel and be more confident

  1. Build confidence by playing games that keep your dog safe AND at the same time —
  2. Associate the scary things with these fun games inside and outside to change his thinking
  3. Teach him to follow your lead

First, help your dog feel safe and confident at home

A fundamental and strong confidence building block for your timid dog is to start requiring him to give you a sit for everything he may want or need. This is  Critical!

How to Teach Sit for Everything to Your Frightened Dog

You know what he wants, likes and needs.

Is it food, affection toys, walks? Make your list. Just put those high-value things on paper.

Begin to do this “sit for everything” consistently every day.

It will begin to make everything, food-affection-toys, predictable.

He’s thinking, “If I follow your lead and sit, I get food.”

Get the picture?

Your  Anxious Dog’s Confidence Gets Better

Here’s the good part. That same “follow your lead” mentality NOW begins to transfer to the games inside and outside, because  you’ve taught  him to play this  when he sees something scary.

He’ll soon think, “If I follow your lead in this fun game, you will keep me safe!”

If  Your Dog is Scared of People

If your dog is scared of all people or just some types of people visiting your home – always make sure your dog has a safe place to retreat to in order to feel safe. Never force your dog to interact with anyone.

Guest Have The Best Intentions

But – even with the best of intentions, guests may want to try and pet your dog saying, “It’s okay, all dogs like me!”  Help your dog’s stress in your home by instructing guests to ignore your dog.

Ignoring is –  No TLC (touch – look at – communicate). With many dogs, making direct eye contact and reaching over their head to pet them is considered a threat.

Both of you are learning.  For you, it’s as much about your new “do this-get that” relationship as it is getting your dog to be confident around the things that frighten him!

Fearful Dog and Games – They help build confidence

This is the FUN PART!  There are a few fun games you can teach your fearful dog that will build confidence and in the process, give him something else to focus on besides the scary thing – both inside your home or outside on a walk.

The goal should be  with practice, the sight of a scary thing triggers your timid dog to participate in a fun game.

Here are some games (exercises) to do with your dog at home first to teach him how to play each game.

Once your dog learns his new cool games, you get to play at home or outside!

 Game #1 – Use Settle for Your Panicky Dog


This game is called:    The Settle Command in the House

This is a great game for fearful dogs that tend to hide behind you to feel safe. Only, now it’s a fun game!

How To Train The Settle Command

Settle your dog down on a leash by your side when visiting with a guest at your home.

Why this is important: Using your leash in the house allows you to maintain control of your scared dog, reassure him everything is okay and gently guide him into the settle game at a comfortable distance from the visitor.

  • Using a 6’ leash, sit in a chair or on the couch and put your foot on the leash to settle your dog by your foot (on the outside of your foot.)
  • Next, pull the business end of the leash up between your legs until your dog feels just a little collar pressure. Say, “Settle!” to your dog (only once!)
  • With nowhere else to go, your dog will eventually resign himself to settling down by your side. And with repetition, he’ll settle down immediately.
  • Then, once he’s laying down, keep him settling for 2 minutes. Practice this 3 times daily for your 2 minute time at first, then build your settle command to 10 minutes.
  • With a visitor, you will give your dog a stuffed Kong toy with favorite stuffing

 Game # 2 Turn-and-Treat

This game helps you to increase the distance between your dog and the scary thing. As you’ll see, the more distance, the safer and less stressed your dog.

How to train the Turn-and-Treat Game To Calm Your Dog

With your dog on a leash and you have taken a few steps forward, simply and abruptly execute a sharp turn right in front of your dog briskly walking off in the opposite direction 6-8 paces – praise/treat your dog.

Attitude Is Everything for Your Anxious Dog

Try and make this a fun game for your dog. You want your dog anticipating that at any moment you could decide to play this game! When it comes time to put it into real practice around the scary thing, your dog simply thinks it is just another silly, fun game with you.

 Game # 3 is Targeting

This game is super easy and fun. In this game simply teach your dog to nose butt your left hand – then your right hand – then your left hand back and forth at an upbeat pace, until the scary thing passes.

How to train it:  

With your dog in a sit facing you, offer the palm of your hand for your dog to sniff saying, “Touch!” – as most all dogs will sniff out of curiosity.

Praise and treat with the opposite hand. Rinse and repeat. Once your dog gets it, switch to touching the other hand. Praise and treat every time.

Rinse and repeat until your dog gets it. Speed it up for rapid response. The faster your dog can do this “back-and-forth” game then the less focused he will be on the scary thing.

Scary Things Now Mean Fun Games

Now that you’ve practiced these games at home and you know your dog is performing them well, it’s time to put the games into practice in your home and on the road walking your dog.

Timing is important. The second your dog sees the scary thing, play one of your games.

I would play your Turn-and-Treat game because putting distance between your dog and the scary thing (considered a threat) is the first thing your dog would want to do. To where do you retreat?

There are a number of options:

  • Use turn and treat to go behind any close barrier like parked cars, landscape (big trees, rows of hedges, etc.) or fencing.
  • Also you can turn and treat to go up a driveway or across the street and up a driveway for distance
  • Think about using turn and treat to “just create distance” in the opposite direction of the scary thing.

Once you’re in your safe zone, it’s important to then play your targeting game of choice. Remember, in the absence of any barriers or close driveways, just cheerfully and briskly head in the opposite direction. It’s important to remain upbeat and cheerful as you turn and retreat.

When choosing which treats to use around scary things, it will be important not to use ordinary treats your dog gets all the time. I’d get a supply of grilled or deli chicken, freeze-dried liver or sliced up fat-free turkey hot dogs, etc. – something your dog doesn’t get except when being trained around these scary things!

Finally, Train at Your  Dog’s Own Pace

Don’t get in a rush to get outside. Get it right inside first! Your dog will appreciate it!

If you use these tips and games consistently, give your dog time to gain more confidence with each game, your fearful dog will be much less stressed and so will you.

puppy training tips

3 Critical Things in Puppy Training

3 Critical Things in Puppy Training


Getting a new puppy can be wonderful and exciting.  All that puppy breath and warm kisses are fun and exciting.

Enjoy the cuteness but don’t set yourself up for failure if you’re not prepared and well organized  to begin puppy training.

It can be overwhelming if you don’t prepare.

I’m going to, step-by-step, break down 3 critical areas of puppy training that are important to raising a confident, obedient and trouble-free puppy.

Housetraining Your Puppy is a Top Puppy Training Critical Step

Many new puppy owners just accept pee/poop accidents as part of the house training process.

I’m going to teach you a much easier way to housetrain your puppy, preventing  accidents in your home altogether.

A big critical step to a trouble-free puppy!

Here Are 4 Simple Steps to Housetrain Your Puppy

  • Establish an approved, designated area for outside elimination and take your dog there every time – on leash – Remain with your puppy so that you can praise and treat your puppy the second he pees/poops in the approved designated area.
  • Once you know that he has eliminated, play with your puppy outside for a while. It’s critical for your puppy to know that elimination outside means a fun, playtime with you. If you go in right after your puppy eliminates, then the message changes to “elimination means the fun is over!” This could cause your puppy to hold his business to begin extending time outside.
  • Next, keep your puppy on a leash inside your home to prevent accidents from happening – You must be able to supervise your puppy. This is not forever – just until he is fully house trained! Not having your puppy on a leash in the house allows him to sneak off to his “secret pee/poop place” and go potty.
  • And finally, when you cannot supervise your puppy, simply crate your puppy – but make sure he has a chance to potty outside before you crate him!

Teaching Your Puppy Basic Obedience is a Must

The Sit

The easiest way to get an obedient puppy is to first train him to give you a great “Sit!” on command.

It’s probably one of the easiest and most valuable commands you can teach your puppy because he soon learns that “Sitting” gets him everything.

Here’s what sitting gets him:

His food, going in and out doors and, all the other good things in life he wants and needs!  Knowing what to do and when to do it keeps him stress-free!

The the recall or Come Command

Getting a fast “come to you” eventually outside can be life-saving!  Always associate good things with the come command. Coming to you should never mean the end of having fun or a correction.

Here’s a fast and fun way to do this:

With another family member or friend you can call your puppy back and forth with a sit on arrival to promote no jumping when greeting people – sit to greet! And finally, back yard recalls between family members – especially kids (with parental supervision) – can call your puppy back and forth randomly between each other. This gives kids a safe and fun way to interact with their new puppy. Keeping the treat hand down low keeps the puppy from jumping. Don’t forget to eventually add that sit!

Teaching Your Puppy To Be Confident Alone In His Crate

Crate training your puppy not only helps you to house train your puppy but teaches him – if done properly – that you’re not available 24/7 – even if you are home. This can prevent isolation anxiety (IA) when you’re home and possibly separation anxiety (SA) when you’re gone from the house.

We tend to see the value of crating our puppy when we are gone from the house and when we are sleeping at night – that only seems natural. But what about during the evenings and daytime when you are home?

Has your puppy come to expect he is out of his crate when you’re home? Are your guilty feelings now making you feel like you’re being held hostage?

In the early formative months of a puppy’s life at home, it’s critical to make sure your puppy is okay being in his crate – when you are home. The first step in crate training your puppy is to get him to like his crate – not only for house training but for confidence-building as well. He needs to know that you are not available 24/7 and just as importantly, you always come back and let him out.

Teaching him to be comfortable in his crate (no whining or barking when you are home) frees up more stress-free time for you at home because you are confident that he is happy in his crate. Now you and/or family members can do chores or entertain without him under foot when you don’t have time to supervise his activities.

The more frequently you crate him when you’re home, the more confident he becomes in his crate! Remember, this is early-on training for a lifetime of confidence in your puppy.

Recap of the 3 Critical Things in Puppy Training You Need To Do

Three Great puppy house training principles:

  1. Reward for elimination outside in designated area –
  2. Puppy on leash allows you to catch mistakes before they happen inside –
  3. Crate when you can’t supervise

Two critical puppy commands:

  1. Sit for everything (for good manners)
  2. Come – a potentially life-saving command and safe way for kids to play with puppy

More crate time:

Doing this in  your home even when you’re there,  builds a confident puppy and staves off isolation anxiety and separation anxiety

If you do these things every day consistently it’s a great start to a confident, obedient and a trouble-free puppy!

Train Your Dog to Leave It

The Leave It Command


Today, I’m going to teach you how to teach the Leave It Commmand and why It’s important

Hey folks, I’m Jim Burwell. As you saw in this video, little Annie is walking through a virtual landmine field of acorns.  She’s like a kid in a candy store thinking, “Where do I start?”

Teaching the ‘ Leave It” command  can be a very useful tool.

Some dog owners use the words, “drop” or “no off”.  They all can be used.  It’s always best to pick ONE word or phrase that to your dog always means: Leave It

Now, of course the Leave It Command is not only for acorns.

You could also use it for:

  • Leaving the kid toys alone
  • Not grabbing your linen towels on your oven handle in the kitchen.
  • An important one is gutter trash.   Stuff you don’t want your dog to get into when a on a walk with you.

To fix this with dog training, as usual, always takes lots of practice.

Here Are The Steps To Teach “Leave It”

First on a leash in your home with few to no distractions to make sure you’re both successful.

As you can see in the video, little Annie is beginning her first week at training in her home.

We put the acorns on a towel and we’re doing all our training inside first on leash.

At the beginning of her second week of training she is now responding to the leave it command

She turns to her mom,  gets praised and treated, after that she gets redirected to a “legal” chew toy

Make  A List of the “Not To Touch” Objects

This should be a list of all the things your dog likes but you know are off limits and illegal and Use Leave It

Begin your work on leash, in your home, before moving forward to training outside.  This gives you even more practical use  of the leave it command.

Your one-by-one steps to the “Leave it!” command.

  1. Put the forbidden item on the floor and approach with your dog on leash but keep a distance away
  2. As soon as your dog turns away out of frustration, say “Good!” and have your dog come to you for the treat.
  3. Rinse and repeat.
  4. When you can anticipate your dog is going to turn away, add the “Leave it!” command just before your dog turns away.   He will begin to pair the command word with the action of turning away from the forbidden item.
  5. Once your dog is listening to “Leave it!”, immediately praise and treat and then redirect to a legal and motivational toy.

Alway look for the WHY behind your dog’s behavior

Now, leaving things alone he is not supposed to have,  is not the only dog behavior problem that’s plaguing dog owners.

There’s jumping, there’s chewing on stuff, there’s attention barking, just to name a few.

No matter what the dog behavior problem is that you’re facing, the key is to find out the root cause of the problem.  That’s pretty easy to do if you follow some practical steps.

In other words, what’s bugging or stressing your dog out?



The Fix for a Dog That Plays Keep Away

The Fix for a Dog That Plays Keep Away



Does Your Dog Play Keep Away?

This video is all about how to fix your dog who plays keep away and how I solved this problem when Keeper plays keep away with us.
Leila and I love to play fetch or kickball with Keeper. Kickball is her thing.  She’ll kick the tennis ball out into the back yard.
He’ll fetch it and return and bring it back and drop it, and she’ll rinse and repeat that whole activity with him. He loves it.

Keeper  Tries To Control the Ball and Play Keep Away

We love to do that just as much as any other dog owner does with their dog. But sometimes with a bossy dog, the desire to keep the ball, yes, even with Keeper, becomes too great a temptation.  The game of play keep away begins.

You don’t want trying to have him give up the ball to turn into a game of cat and mouse, which is exactly what your dog or Keeper would love to do. Keeper typically does it after about three or four throws.

Play KeepAway Options if Your Dog Won’t Release the Ball

  • Assuming your dog is not tired after three or four throws, you could bribe him with a treat right to end the play keep away ?
    Nope, that won’t work because the game itself should be the reward.
    If you start using food treats, he’ll drop the ball and come back to you and get the treat, and then you’ll
    have to go get the ball.
  • You could walk away and end the game which then makes the ritual of keeping just out of your reach – pointless.
    Nah. Keeper will hang onto it and come back over and drop it at my feet, and then as I go to grab the
    ball to put it up until I want to play again, he may try to grab it and play keep-away with me at that
  • What totally works for Keeper, my very observant dog, very bossy dog,  and his ploy to play keep away
    Leila and I keep a spare ball up there on the washing machine or the dryer in the utility room. When
    we ask Keeper to go find his ball so we can begin the game, he’ll hop up on there and show me where
    the ball is.
  • We’ll get the orange ball and then we’ll get a spare ball. We’ll put that in our pocket.
    Now, he KNOWS there’s a spare ball!
    Keeper knows that I have my own spare ball and I don’t need his, when I ask him to drop it,
    he went back to dropping the ball to resume the game.

Now, I ask you, how smart is that? So he’s bossy and smart!  He’s figured it out though.

Give this a try with whatever your dog plays keep away with and see how it works. You MIGHT have to use a little imagination depending on what your dog “decides to own” but just give it a little thought and “outsmart” your dog  As always, with a bossy dog,  the best thing to do is develop a relationship with your dog through training.  Read this and learn more good training

dog training Houston

Nobody Likes A Jumpy Dog

Let’s Give Your Jumpy Dog Something Else To Do

You Do Know Nobody Likes a Jumpy Dog

Maybe, if it’s your dog, you do like your dog to jump on you after work and you’ve had a rough day. You may like it but other people do not like a jumpy dog.

In this video, I’m going to tell you how can have your cake and eat it too.  Meaning: let your dog know that jumping up is at the option of the humans.

Here’s How To Allow Your Dog to Jump Up On Your Terms

First, you do need to achieve a really solid sit.  Practice that solid sit using food treats until you get your solid sit

Every single time your dog runs up to you to jump, before he jumps, get a sit.  Calmly praise for a great sit, and then walk away.

Don’t linger as that MAY amp him up more.

Practice Calm Greetings as an Alternative To Jumping

You also should be practicing calm greetings when you get home from work or having been away from the house.

Use my five-minute rule: Ignore your dog for five minutes once you get home.

Now, if you don’t like the five-minute rule do this:

Use another timeline. Use this timeline: how long it takes you to go to the bedroom, change clothes and come out and greet your dog.

BUT when you do greet your dog, greet him calmly.

Ask for that sit and then calmly praise.

Walk away. The point is: excited arrivals promote excitement and jumping with your dog, while your calm demeanor will get your calm sit more quickly with practice.

Remember this: If you want your dog to respect your guest’s personal space and not jump, you must first get your dog to respect your personal space and not jump.

The practice all begins at home, with you.

Deluxe practice by calling your dog over to you and before he jumps, get a calm sit and calmly praise your dog and then walk away and rinse and repeat that as many times as you can.

If you have a family member that you can have call your dog back and forth from one to the other, when he gets there, get a sit, calmly praise, and then the other person call him back.

The more repetitions you can get in to show your dog that not jumping, but, instead, sitting calmly gets him what he wants.

Also– be prepared and watch for your dog approaching you, just standing there with no jumping.

That’s also very acceptable, too. If he’s internalizing no jumping simply by standing, that’s a win/win.

Now begin to practice the “jump ups” on your terms

You want to pat your chest as kind of a hand signal, and you want to have a word, a command word, like huggies or just simply up. He knows that when you do huggies or up, that’s his cue to jump up on you and give you that warm hug.

Make sure you get a sit to earn the right to jump up.   Earn the Hug First.

Now, in the beginning, it’s probably better to get more sits than jump ups. You don’t want to make that a game for your dog. You want to do some serious training.

He comes to you, you get a sit, good, then up, and that’s it, and then you do three sits, and then you do one jump up, and then two sits and one jump up, and then three sits and another one jump up on cue.

That way, he never knows when you’re going to say, “Up,” or, “Huggies.” It’s at your discretion and your house guest’s discretion, as well.

A Few More No Jump Hints

Once you’ve been practicing with your dog and you’re getting him to understand the concept of “sit, don’t jump” when he approaches, begin to practice with as many family members and guests or friends as you can just to help him to generalize.

Practice in many different rooms of the house so that he generalizes location, as well, and for better control of rowdy, high energy dogs, practice your training with him on leash in the house for much better control until you reach your goal.

If you found this information and the video helpful, like it, share it, and follow me on Facebook. I’d appreciate that, and if you want more information on what we talked about today, just click on the link above, and it’ll take you to a blog I’ve written on the very subject. You guys take care.

Keeper and I can always be found  here on We’ll see you guys on the next video. Bye for now.

Dog Will Not Come When Called

My Dog Will Not Come When Called – Even With Practice



That’s exactly what the email said: Even with practice, their dog won’t come when called.

In this video I’m going to tell you why their dog won’t come when called and what the simple fix was.

It might help you out with your dog as well. Plus, I’m going to give you another tip on how to develop a really fast come when called command.

So as it turns out, their dog was fence fighting with the two dogs on the other side of the fence in the neighbor’s yard.

Their practice had been back and forth recalls.   Not on leash in the backyard.

Nothing was  done on a leash or long line OR around those other dogs as a distraction.

How to Reinforce the Command: Come When Called

That was the critical missing link.   If their dog was on  a long line and around those other dogs,  they could get good recalls off the back fence.

They needed to be able to reinforce the come command

As a side note, if your dog is prone to fence fighting and bark at dogs on the other side of the fence, don’t set your dog up to fail.

Don’t allow that behavior at all.

Don’t send your dog out unsupervised with the other dogs out there. When  you’re working your dog in the backyard on recalls, don’t work too close to the distraction (the dogs at the fence or other distraction).

Practice at a successful distance first and then as you have success, simply get closer and closer to the distraction and set your expectations a little higher.

Get a faster Come When Called

In the video you’ll see we taught Keeper to go to his place, outside, using  his placemat outside .

We’re using that to send him to outside so that I can call him back, with a recall like in the video and get a quick response.

Send him out, get a quick response on the recall as he’s going to the mat and we start off with short distances at first and then extend the length.

Starting Your Come When Called with Success

Now I know, what you’re thinking, “I got to teach my dog to go to his place before I can do this new tip that you showed me?” Nah, here’s a good workaround for you.

If you’ve got an extra person  you can work on recalls back and forth between you and that person with your dog.   Then when you call your dog to you, praise, treat, and then as your dog gets called back to this person and before your dog gets too far away from you, call your dog back to you.

The whole point is this person gets your dog to leave you so that you can do a fast recall.

Do a sudden, turnaround recall back to you, close at first and then extend the distance so that your dog is more reliable at a greater distance away from you on that turnaround.

Well, there you have it folks. Now, if you like this video and you think it could help you, like it, share it, pass it around, don’t keep it a secret. The other thing is if you need more instructions on just the basics of the come command or the recall, click on the link above. It’ll take you to a vlog, I think is what you call it, on my website. It’s a video on the basics of the recall and that’ll help you out with the basics before you get to more distraction training on your recall.


dog training

Fun Games for GREAT Dog Training



When you’re training your dog, do you ever feel like you’re stuck in a rut and think, “Training sits and downs using food treats is really boring?”
You can bet there’s a high likelihood that your dog is thinking the exact same thing. And he’s probably also thinking, “What’s the point?”

Fun Games For Great Dog Training!

In this video I talk about energizing your dog’s training, using Fun Games for Great Training
This makes training interesting for him. You must tap into his passion and make it fun, keep him focused on you. By that I mean honing in on what your dog really, really likes to do.
Think about what your dog’s passions really are!

Examples of Fun Games for Great Dog Training

IF he’s high energy, he would love agility. You could set up an inexpensive agility course in your home. (see video above)
Maybe you’ve noticed that your dog really loves to fetch. Get some sits and downs and really generate a lot more interest in doing those sits and downs and training with you because he gets to fetch. (see video above)

Maybe you noticed that your dog has a keen sense of smell. He loves to sniff and find things in the back yard, following these scents. Dog Training using scent search really fires up their brains.  Set up a scent trail and teach your dog to track and follow scent. Teach him to find toys in the house. Short runs at first, and them make them more complicated. (see video above)
Whether it’s in the house or whether you actually set it up in the back yard, your dog will have a blast trying to find where you hid his toy.

No Matter What Your Dog’s Passion – Use Fun Games for Training!

You’ll see that you’ll have his undivided attention on the obedience training that you want to make him a better mannered dog in the house —-if he knows that instead of getting a food treat, he’s going to do Fun Games with you!


Let’s face it. Food treats eventually get boring anyway. But finding and tapping into his passion will change his attitude about the value of obedience training.
Why? It gets him something that he really, really wants to do with you.
What might’ve been boring drudgery now is something that he really looks forward to every single day—working with you.
Now how cool is that, huh?


Let’s break down what you get by tapping into your dog’s passion and working obedience training as his gift to you for you sharing yourself in those games with him.

• It vastly improves your relationship with your dog.
• A fun way to train and exercise your dog. A tired dog’s a good dog.
• It improves his listening skills, because he’s gonna be a lot more focused on you.
• You also get a dog that is more willing to please you in all other aspects of your life, like manners in the home, manners outside in public, because you hold the key to his passion.
• So, find your dog’s passion. Let that be the reward for doing obedience training.
• Attitude is everything. It’s focused attention, it’s fun, it’s the relationship.
I hope you found this video interesting and that you can also find your dog’s passion to improve your obedience training with your dog, his attention, and focus on you.

And by the way, if you want to learn a little bit more about tracking and scent work, here’s a link to a video on my website that will give you more details on starting your tracking with your dog.

I’m Jim Burwell. Keeper and I can always be found at

teach dog impulse control

Your Dog’s Impulse Behavior Control

Teach Your Dog Impulse Control to Get Better Behavior

In this video, I’m going to connect the dots between your dog’s impulse control and achieving good dog manners.

Define Impulse Control

Impulse control is something that many, many puppies and dogs do not have. They can’t control the urge to do what they feel they want to do in any given moment.

You know, jumping on people, taking your stuff.

Mainly, it’s because You, the dog owner, up to this point, have not had a PLAN.

A PLAN on how to begin working and teaching your dog to control his or her impulse when he wants to do things you don’t like — but he thinks are fun! Keep reading.

Impulse Control Is As Easy As: One, Two, Three

If I gave you a plan today, like in this video and you spent 10 to 14 days with your puppy or dog, you would be absolutely amazed at the results!

You take a handful of food treats like this (see video). You can sit on the floor in front of your puppy or dog Or you can sit in a chair and lean forwards a little bit.

The MAIN thing is that you offer your puppy food treats like this.

  • Take a handful of food treats like this (see video).
  • Sit on the floor in front of your puppy or dog Or
  • Be  in a chair and lean forwards a little bit.

Now, he’s going to grab at your hand to get the treat. This is his impulse to grab, kicking in.

You simply close your hand up like that. You controlled the treat

Open it again, close it, open. Open, close, like that.

What begins to happen is your puppy begins to just stand there and wait, or he may sit, or he may lie down.

Impulse Control Begins to Kick In

He stops trying to grab because right now, he’s using his instincts.

He’s learning how to get the treats out of your hand!

Because, when you just keep doing this, shutting your hand when he tries to grab the treat,  eventually he will give you a much better behavior because guess what?

He’s controlling his impulses.

He may give you a sit, and then you say yes and give him a food treat out of your open hand.

He has just learned that  if he controls his impulses, food comes.

Get Impulse Control Over Other Dog Behaviors

Now, here’s where I’m going with this, and this is the important part.

He learns this foundation: It’s very simple to not do what his impulses say to go ahead and do which is grab the treats. Instead he gives you a sit to get what he wants.

Next You Can Apply the Impulse Control to Jumping Up

If he controls his impulse and sits, then he gets his attention from you.

That’s a good example of how you can take a simple exercise like this and apply it to other simple problems that you have with your dog in your home, like jumping up. You teach your dog a foundation of don’t grab at the treats, you simply wait.

The Beauty of Teaching Impulse Control Like This

You’re not saying anything.

That’s the beauty about it.

You just open up your hand, he goes to grab the treats, you shut your hand. You open it up, shut it. Like that. And eventually, he’s going to sit or lay down.

When he gives you a very good impulse control behavior, you just mark it and treat it.

Say yes and give him a cookie.

Do that repeatedly. What you are beginning to teach your puppy or your dog is — if he waits politely and controls his impulses, good things come to him.

Use Impulse Control To Work On These Things

Jumping up

Counter surfing and more–go through the list of stuff that you want to work on with your dog in your home.

Do this for the next 10 to 14 days in your home with your dog, and let me know.

If you found this video and blog helpful—Be Sure To: like it, comment, and share it. I would really appreciate that.

Here’s an easy PLACE  to begin teaching your dog impulse control.  This is my tried an true method to begin teaching dogs manners and good behavior

SIT – The Magical Dog Training Command

The SIT  – It’s Magical

In today’s video, I’m going to talk about how you can get the sit command to help you fix dog behavior problems much, much easier, get a well -mannered dog, and change your life with your dog forever, with just a little practice.

Now, first let me explain the Magic of The  SIT by setting it up this way for you.

Your dog, like most all other dogs, has a lot of time on their hands, well paws,  and they use instinct, trial and error, and training, to figure out what they want, in any given moment. Some of the things that they do, to get things that they want, are very subtle. And some are not so subtle.

Some of the subtle things that your dog might do are:

  • Your dog nudges, and you freely pet. That’s very subtle. It’s a kind of demanding thing. You hardly notice it at all, because you love your dog.
  • He  barks, you feed him.
  • Barks more, you let him outside to go potty in the backyard.
  • He drops a ball in your lap, and you throw it over, and over again, because that’s what he wants, right there in the moment.

The not so subtle things, would be things like:

  • jumping on a house guest,
  • counter surfing in the kitchen,
  • digging in the trash bin, stuff like that.

Those are your hot button behaviors, right? And it’s usually those hot button behaviors, that really don’t match up to what your expectations are, for your dog to do. So it’s just a matter of training.

So lets break it down,  see how working your dog on SIT can  change your life.

dog behavior Houston, Jim Burwell

  1. The very first thing, that I would do, is I would begin to take all those little subtle demands, that he was doing in the past, like I just talked about, and require him to sit for each one of them. No free stuff, okay, for your dog. No free stuff. He’s gotta give you something, like a sit. That’s how you work that sit, okay?
  2. And I would add to the list I would make him sit for his food. And if you’re already doing that, require your dog to sit, and down for his food, and maybe sit up again for his food. So, expand on it just a little bit, because remember, he’s been getting everything for free, all this time, and you’ve got some issues that you wanna fix with him. So begin to require him to give you something, for every single thing that he wants.
  3. If he wants up on the couch with you, make him sit before he gets up on the couch with you. You have to do this every single day, okay? And if he wants to go outside, to go potty, make him sit. Same thing coming back in, and going out the front door for a walk. Sitting at the door is just part of life now, okay? And Keeper loves to fetch, so that’s such a high ticket item for him, that I make him do a lot more extra things, than just to sit, to get to fetch the ball.
  4. I’ll send him out, make him do a sit, and a down, and bring him back to me, and then I’ll throw the ball. And he goes and fetches it, and has a great time, and even loves doing that work, because that kind of structure keeps his stress low, okay? Sitting for everything in my house, as a matter of fact, is a de stressor for your dog, because now he knows exactly what to do, when to do it, not like before.

Change Begins To Happen

Now as you begin to require your dog to sit for everything around the house, you begin to change his mindset about things that he’s got to do. He begins to think before he does, and look to you for decisions.

So when it comes to fixing things, those behavioral hot buttons of yours, like jumping on a house guest, teaching him better manners, at the front door, and when your guest is there, in the house with you, begins to become much, much easier. He begins to look to you for direction, just like he had on earning every single thing.

So now, instead of demanding things from you, he has to earn things from you By Giving You A Sit!

Do this for you, get that for him. It’s that simple. Life becomes well balanced, and you have a well trained dog. Now if you like this, use it in your home with your dog, like it, share it. I’d appreciate that, Keeper would too. And you know that Keeper and I can always be found at You guys take care, and we will see you on the next video. Bye for now.

Dog Behavior improves inside with a leash


Dog Behavior Inside Will Improve with a Leash




It never fails. Whenever I go into client’s home to work on their dog behavior, starting with lesson one, owners are surprised to hear me say, “Put a leash on your dog in the house.”
Now, on lesson two, they are even more surprised to find out that it works surprisingly well to squelch any kind of unwanted behavior.

Demanding Attention Dog Behavior Issue

This little guy is on stage, center of attention, and making demands. It was extremely difficult to carry on a conversation because of his loud barking and demands.
Take a look at the pup in the video who is barking for attention, and what his owner does with the leash to settle him down to stop that unwanted attention barking.

So, settle him down now.

Once settled down by his owner, he became quiet and relaxed and we could resume our talk.

Dog Behavior Problem – Lack of Exercise

What I did find out, in all fairness to the pup, was that because of our early scheduled lesson he had missed his morning walk. That’s right. No morning exercise.
So, now, the next time your dog misbehaves, you’ve got to ask yourself this question: “Have I satisfied all his needs?” So, what are those?

Dog Behavior – Tried and True Solutions

Exercise, like walks, jogs, running him on a bike, whatever his thing is that you like to do with him that he enjoys with you. Mental stimulation. That’s like obedience training. Thinking about doing “sit” and “down” and “sit” and “down”, “stand up”, “lay down”, “sit”, just like that. And also, doggie puzzles. All those things create mental fatigue.

Lastly, you want to make sure that he doesn’t need food, water, or a potty break, or all of the above.

That’s your tip.Hopefully you can put that to use with your dog in your house. I’m Jim Burwell. Keeper and I, as usual, can always be found at