Dog Trainer Lesson: Out of Control Dog and the Power of Six

As a dog trainer, you’ve seen an out of control dog before.  You know, that bossy dog with no house manners.

I was on a coaching call with a new dog trainer who wanted assistance with putting a training program together for a client with a young, bossy out of control dog.

Here’s a list of some behavior complaints she got from her client:

  • Barking at the doorbell when it rings 
  • Jumping on guests when they arrive
  • Jumping on their guests when they’re on the couch and, 
  • Barking for attention

What her client needed was a dog training program to work her dog. This dog trainer needed a way to help her client organize and set goals for her dog’s training that she knew the owner would do.

The age-old question always comes up: “How much time is this going to take?”

This usually brings up a challenge for a dog trainer: Finding a way to motivate your client to want to do the work, wouldn’t you agree?

This trainer’s goal was to show her client how this will not take the time she thought it would take. And it will actually be fun! I thought I would share with you the tips I gave her.

Here’s what turned out to be part of her training program and ultimately her client’s roadmap to success with her dog.

The Power OF SIX

I told her to help her client discover the benefits of the Power of Six.  I told her if she taught her client the value of developing these training attitudes, they would provide a fresh start and more quickly achieve their training goals. Her client would soon see just how quickly they could have a happy, obedient dog.

Let’s take a look.


6 Weeks of Training


Six weeks of training sets your client up for a lifetime of enjoyment with their dog. Let them know that it only takes 6 weeks of training to get their dog to learn any command and commit it to permanent memory.

Now I know what you are thinking, anyone can teach a sit in just a few days to a week, right? But their sit command will begin to break down as they add distractions or change locations or both. It’s the proofing or distraction work and weaning off food treats that takes time.

This is the one area where most of your dog owners will get stuck.


Train 6 Minutes a Day

Have them obedience train their dog 6 minutes a day…but break it down into three, 2 minute “rapid fire” training sessions daily (weekends included) on the commands of come, sit and down.

Training this way will prove to them, that it doesn’t take a lot of time to train their dog – just daily consistency. Tip: Always remind them to train on leash, even in the house. If they are motivated, they can certainly do more than 3 sessions a day. This makes what they want (a well-trained dog) an achievable goal.
Ask them – who doesn’t have 6 minutes a day for their dog? Watch the bad dog behavior problems disappear!

Teach 6 Principles of Dog Control

Teach your clients to implement the following 6 principles of control:

  • You can teach them that a simple sit will fix many dog problems like jumping and running out the front door. 
  • Have them click and treat train their dog to give them an unquestionably great sit. 
  • Their dog has probably already learned to sit, but may only sitting on his terms, or for a treat. Help them understand a clicker produces a consistent, clear, non-emotional sound that resonates with dogs. And it can only mean one thing: “Yes! That’s what I want!” Properly conditioned, their dog will become more focused on them than ever with clicker training.
  • Help them teach politeness and calm. Calm is good, noisy is not, especially at mealtimes. If your client projects calm energy, their dog will learn to be calm. Make sure they require their dog to calmly sit before he gets fed. He should also sit calmly to get leashed up for a walk.
  • Have them ignore their dog for 6 minutes before they leave and 6 minutes upon arrival when they get home. Then have them calmly call him to them and get a sit. This will tend to level out the dog’s emotional highs that contrast too sharply with his alone time.
  • Get them to require their dog to respect their personal space. 

Explain this simply means that their dog should not just get up into their lap or on the couch (their personal space) without being invited. You should have them require a sit before he gets up. Explain that they are not denying their dog anything – just putting structure to what they are already doing.

Stress exercise for their dog’s mind and body. When their dog’s mind and body is tired, he’s less out of control. Make sure they take him on walks and do training every day to accomplish this. It’s a great way to relieve stress and anxiety.

Show them how to control their dog’s food. Explain that food has intrinsic value to their dog. Have them eat first, and then feed their dog. Make sure they require a calm sit first. Even with dogs that are finicky eaters, they will recognize the order in which they are fed.

6 Different Locations

Next step. Have them teach their dog sit, down and come at home in a distraction-free environment. Once he knows the commands, then they train their dog in 6 different locations for their distraction work.

Make sure that these locations are relevant to the owners and their lifestyle. If they frequent Starbuck’s, and need a good down/stay, make Starbuck’s one of the locations where they practice.

By the time they finish, they should be able to sit and down their dog as well as call him to them 6 times around distractions in each of these appropriate locations.

Of course they should require good manners from their dog everywhere, but these first 6 locations will get them started, right?

Emphasize the other benefits of doing this: A dog that listens.

Do this and you’ll have raving fans for clients!


Jim and Boo smallJim Burwell, Houston dog trainer for 25+ years, serving 10,00+ 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 and the experience of mentoring and teaching dog trainers how to excel t dog training, grow their dog training talents and their business.