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

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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.


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.

Make Your Dog A Genius

How To Make Your Dog A Genius

The Steps to Make Your Dog A Genius

Make Your Dog A Genius

Teach him to identify toys by name. It’s easy, anyone can do it you saw in the video above.

Here’s Steps To Bring Out The Genius In Your Dog

1. Pick out a few doggie toys – for Keeper it’s Foxy(his stuffed fox, tennis ball (specifically an Orange tennis ball,  and his Kong toy.
2. Start with one toy first and have your dog sit in front of you and put the first toy off to one side of his head – but close enough for him to touch it. Praise/treat for the touch.
3. Add a name to the toy
4. Put the toy on the floor and repeat the exercise. Praise/treat for good job.
5. Cue your dog to touch the toy by name – praise/treat
6. Put the first toy away and begin the same training with the second toy
7. Once he can recognize both toys by name, put them on the floor 3-4’ apart
8. Ask him to touch or get one of the toys.

Yes, this is fun – But did you also know that engaging with your dog like this strengthens his relationship with you?  A stronger relationship with your dog means your dog will listen to you better.  That can involve teaching your dog better obedience commands, like sit, go to place, down and so much more,

If you will take the time to push your dog’s intelligence you might be very surprised just how smart your dog really is!

Just like you, if you don’t use your brain power to the fullest extent, as a result,  you miss out on a lot of what life has to offer.

Allow your dog to push his intelligence limits, then sit back and enjoy.

The main thing is have fun training your dog!

Multiple Dog Crazies

Multiple Dog Crazies – 3 Tips

Dealing with multiple dogs can be a daunting task.  When Leila and I got married we combined 7 dogs and 1 cat!  It could have been a disaster but we immediately set about putting rules and boundaries into place so my 4 dogs and her 3 dogs would do well together.  Her cat, well Petie cat just ruled the roost from day 1 !

Everything worked out well because of the rules and structure we put into place.  If you don’t have dog rules, stuff happens and things can get a little crazy.

3 things you can do to stop multiple dog crazies.

I’ve got my sanity list right here.

  • Multiple  Dog Crazy Tip # 1: Teach Sit
    Teach a solid sit to each dog individually. You can not do this as a “group” exercise.
    Require them to earn everything in your house by giving you at least a simple sit.  This has huge benefits and an easy command to teach
    By teaching them to sit individually, you begin to develop a working relationship with each dog individually. That creates listening from Each dog.
  • Multiple Dog Crazy Tip # 2: Patience
    Sometimes the dog gets it, sometimes they don’t.
    When doling out food treats, if you have three dogs, give one a treat, pet the other two, but don’t give them food treats necessarily.
    Teach them that they don’t always get what they want when they want it. That’s important!
    Control doorways. This is another thing that teaches patience.
    They need to be patient going out to the backyard to go potty. If you’ve got three dogs, once again, make them sit and send each one out separately and individually.
    A lot of dog fights start in tight spaces, so control the going out and your coming in. Your exits and your entrances to your home because that’s where a lot of fights start.
  • Multiple Dog Crazy Tip # 3 Deferment
    What do I mean by deferment? That means stay out of my personal space. If dogs don’t respect your personal space, you’re not the leader.
    They’re jumping all over you, getting into your space on your lap. Always invite them up. That’s important.
    Require them to sit. Did I mention that? And only one dog at a time. We don’t want them piling on.

A Multiple Dog Household Requires Extra Attention to Rules for Your Dogs

It’s all about teaching deferment. When you’re walking around the house, use lower body language, waist down, to gently nudge them and make them move out of your personal space.  One thing you can do is bump them with your knee.  Simple things like that.

If you’re in the kitchen cooking, and they’re in front of the fridge and you’ve got to get to it, don’t hop over or go around.
Simply nudge them with your toe and say, excuse me, and make them defer to you and move out of your space, so that you can go directly straight to the fridge,,

Lessons like this can help you organize your household. If you have multiple dogs, it may take some time doing it, but I can guarantee you the payoff will help you keep your sanity

That’s is for your Multiple Dog House Rules Playbook.

Now, what did you learn from this lesson and how can you put it to use in your household with your dogs?

dog behavior Houston

How to Teach A Great Stay


How to Teach a Great Stay with Your Dog


Teaching A Great Stay – It’s  an important command

You know, once your dog knows how to sit, there are three steps to teach your dog to stay in a sit. So, Keeper and I are going to show you those three steps. We’re going to use sit as the example. Take a look.

The Goal of Teaching Your Dog To Stay

Now, you always want to have a goal to work towards when you’re teaching your dog to stay in a stationary command like a sit. That’s really important. Don’t make it too long to begin with. Work in small increments, like 10, 15, 20 seconds, like that, and then build from there.

Teaching A Great Stay – Step One -Time

The very first step is to build time next to your dog. We’ll use five seconds or 10 seconds as our example.

Teaching a Great Stay – Step Two – Distance

Gradually add distance from your dog. Once your dog has a solid sit, and you’ve reached your goal, be it five or 10 seconds or even 20 seconds, then gradually begin to require that same time at a greater distance.

Teaching a Great Stay – Step Three – Distractions

Once you’ve achieved your distance, then the last thing, step number three, is to add distractions.

Those can be anything that are relevant to your environment. If you’re in the home, it’s got to be kids and stuff like that if you have kids.

If you don’t, it could be tennis balls, squeaky toys, anything that you can use to begin to distract your dog. Remember, when you’re working with distractions, always start with a lower distraction first and then build to a higher distraction later, once you’ve proofed your dog on the lower distractions.

dog training Houston, Jim Burwell

My Dog Jumps on Houseguests

Dog Jumps On House Guests


Your 4 Step Plan for a Dog That Jumps

Here’s how to work on a dog that  jumps on house guests.

Step 1

It all starts when the doorbell rings and your dog is on leash.

When you go to the door, have your jumping  dog on a leash and just crack the door two inches to greet your visitor.

Let them know what you’re going to do, “I’m going to sit my dog. When I give you the signal come on in.”

Step 2

Next, take your dog out of the way and grab the collar to stabilize the dog, put your foot on the leash, and then invite your visitor in, “Come on in.”

Once they’re in, you shut the door and your visitor heads to your family room to be seated.

Step 3

Then you bring your jumping dog in, on leash, careful not to let them jump on the visitor.

Once again, foot on the leash, settle your dog, anchor with your other leg anchoring the foot on the leash. Just say, “Settle,” one time and your dog will settle down.

Step 4

Now he doesn’t know what you’re doing right now, because you’ve not done this to him before, so he’s a little confused. But you only say, “Settle,” once, then wait for him to figure it out, and he will.

He’ll get tired of being standing there with this snug leash on his collar. Then he’ll eventually settle down, and there he goes.

The Finale!

And that’s how you stop your dog’s jumping on visitors, using the settle command.

dog training Houston

Dog Pulling on Leash 3 Tips


3 Tips to Stop Your Dog Pulling On Leash


Is your dog pulling on a leash? Well, here’s three tips that’ll help you solve that problem.

Stop Your Dog Pulling on leash Rule Number One:   Have the right equipment.

Use a six foot leash, standard leash, no Flexi’s or anything like that, and either a gentle leader or an Easy Walk harness. These work best to stop your dog pulling on leash.

Here you see Keeper wearing an Easy Walk harness. That’s the easiest for me to handle him.


Stop Pulling on Leash Rule Number Two:   Make left turns and circles.

Now I say left turns if your dog is on your left, this is my left, then you do left turns into your dog.

Left turns go back in the opposite direction and circles to the left, your herding your dog, keeping him on the inside like that as you make your turns and, or circles.

That’s critical. If you do the opposite direction, turn away from your dog, he is on the outside and has control.

When you turn into your dog, no matter whether it’s a right turn for you or a left turn for me, turn into your dog like that.

Now here’s the key with that, if you do it abruptly … The quicker you do it, the more he pays attention to you.

It’s almost like you forgot to signal your turn and already starts staying back a little bit so he can kind of watch you, so that’s important.

Okay, so left turns and circles. Okay, and I do the circles if I have a dog that’s really trying to pull out on a leash quite a bit,

then I’ll just do some two or three circles and then do a straight line for about four to five steps and then I’ll do a left turn again into my dog.


Dog Pulling On Leash Rule Number Three: Frequent sits on your walks.

What we’re talking about here folks is to be able to stop your straight-line walking, because it  creates the problems that you’re having. Instead, do your left turns in circles, now introduce your frequent sits on your straightaways.

You walk straight, four to six paces and you sit your dog. Walk another four to six paces, sit your dog.

Four to six paces, sit your dog. Four to six paces, make a left turn, come back, sit your dog, you see what I’m getting at?

Now your dog is paying attention. If he’s paying attention to you, he’s not pulling.

Okay so, it just makes sense to do those second and third tips separately and then combine them together so that you have a really enjoyable and meaningful walk with your dog where he’s paying attention to you on the walk.

Now, once you have your dogs attention with your left turns, circles, and sits, resume your normal dog walks and put your new strategies into place if your dog starts to pull again.

Just make it quick and abrupt to regain your dogs attention. I’m Jim Burwell. Keeper and I can still be found at