I sometimes think many dog owners take the easy way out and just say, “It’s impossible to train my dog!” Some will say, “It’s just my dog’s personality. It’s just the way he is, even though it’s impossible to train my dog.”
If even after you have tried your best at dog obedience training, maybe it’s time to take a different perspective.
What do I mean by that?
Complex dog behavior problems aside
Complex dog behavior questions are usually not simple to answer in a short, over the counter conversation.
I get questions on complex dog behavior problems all the time in emails and on Facebook.
I would love to answer the questions, but feel I would be doing the owner a disservice with the limited information they gave and no opportunity to properly evaluate their dog.
Aside from complex dog behavior problems that do plague puppy and dog owners every day, there are many other problems that, with the right approach, could be fixed more easily than you might think.
What are these problems?
I’m talking about:
- house training,
- walking on a loose leash and
Just to name a few.
If you, as a puppy or dog owner, are currently experiencing one or more of these behaviors, thinking clearly with a dose of a little common sense, can provide solutions more easily than you think.
Here are some common sense solutions I’ve used to fix them almost instantly.
House training puppies
If you are having trouble house training your puppy, here are two very common problems with potentially easy solutions:
Problem: Peeing in the house
Problem: Pooping in the house
Solution 1: Have your puppy checked for a bladder infection. That has stumped many a new puppy owner and they are amazed that they never considered that as a possible solution.
Solution 2: If your puppy is pooping all over the house, it could be that you are over feeding. I find this with puppies that are over fed and may also be continuously fed (bowl down all day). Owners wonder why there is so much poop.
One visual sign of over feeding is soft stools.
I recommend you back off the amount you feed your puppy by 10% a day until his stool firms up. With a frequent feed schedule and more close supervision, your house training issue should clear up.
Walking on a loose leash
Problem: Do you have a pulling problem with your dog?
Do you not look forward to your morning or evening walks? Has this got you thinking, “It’s impossible to train my dog?” You are not in the boat alone, that’s for sure.
Pulling on leash is all too common with dog owners. Many dread the walk simply because it’s just not fun getting pulled down the street.
With as many articles as I’ve written and private lessons I’ve done on loose-leash walking, it still remains a mystery to many as to how loose-leash walking is accomplished. Most of the time, the mystery can be solved with one of the following:
Solution: Easy Walk harness
Solution: Gentle Leader or Head Halti
Solution: Martingale collar (with some dogs)
Once I get them walking their dog with proper equipment, it’s a real game changer.
Owners and their dogs are finally like “one-with-the world” enjoying time together because it’s comfortable, easy and most of all fun!
Jumping on house guests
Problem: I can’t tell you how many homes I’ve gone into a dog owner’s home to work on their jumpy, adolescent dog problem only to be met at the door by that jumpy dog!
And you’re right, I get jumped on by their dog as they say, “I just wanted you to see what it is like.”
Solution: What’s my 95% guaranteed solution? I now go in the house with a Kong toy (stuffed with fresh Lamb loaf), give it to the jumpy dog and proceed into the family room or kitchen table to talk about the complete solution.
Did you think the Kong was the solution? Its part of it but another important part, the other 5%, is to put your dog on a leash. Leashing your dog to prevent jumping and being prepared with a pre-stuffed Kong in the freezer will keep you in control and in charge when it comes time to getting the behavior you prefer at the front door.
Here are some final thoughts as you approach your current or next dog problem:
1. Think through your dog problem and look for a quick and simple, common sense solution. It could be staring you in the face!
2. Make sure that your expectations are in line with what you can realistically teach your dog within the context and timeframe you currently have chosen.
3. Approach your dog training with a positive mental attitude and a willingness to do things differently and consistently.
Remember, training is not a time-intense process. If you do it consistently a little each day, good results are possible. Have fun with your dog!
Thanks for letting me share my dog training knowledge with you. Don’t be a stranger. I’d love to hear what you think – tell me in the comments below.
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.
His Ground Rules for Great Dogs is your must have, easy step-by-step process to helping your dog. Be the dog owner your dog needs to be a great dog. Ground Rules gets you there. Grab them now.