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Success Story From Peru

Peru Dog Training 

Picture From www.AventuraCanina.com/

I love the success stories that come in.  I especially enjoyed this recent one as it came in from a different corner of the world, Peru.  Most of the dog training DVDs we sell go out to the United States, Canada, UK, and Australia.  It was a pleasure, recently, to see our DVDs head down to South America.

Allow me to share a bit of the story of Alvaro.

Just a couple weeks ago I got an email from him saying-

“Señor Brown,
Se que hablas un poco de español, asi que espero no tengas ningún problema con este mail.

La Oli, mi enamorada y yo queríamos agradecerte por la ayuda que nos brindaste con tus videos. Adquirimos Curing Dog Aggression y hemos estado trabajando por 2 meses con Oli y hemos hecho grandes progresos. Todavía falta pulir algunas cosas, pero la mejora es increíble… nunca pense que podría llevarla a la playa rodeada de gente y que se quedara tranquila en su sitio (foto adjunta).

Creo que el mayor problema de la perra es que todo le da miedo y antes de racionalizar lo que esta pasando se lanza… sobre todo con gente y perros. Su dosis de adrenalina es mas importante que cualquier cosa. Con tu método de obediencia hemos logrado que procese su miedo de una forma mas pasiva y ha empezado a darse cuenta que sus miedos son infundados. Es una batalla constante (la adrenalina es una gran adversaria) pero con cada error que Oli comete es una oportunidad para corregirla y mejorar.

En tus videos no hablas mucho sobre perros adrenalizados, pero escuche el programa de radio que hiciste con otro entrenador y fue de mucha ayuda. Si tuvieras mas tips sobre el tema sería grandioso.

Muchas gracias y saludos,
Alvaro”


Translated this means:

Mr. Brown,

I know you speak some Spanish so I hope you won’t have a problem with this email.

Oli, my beloved dog, and I want to thank you for your help you gave us with your videos.  We bought Curing Dog Aggression we’ve been working with Oli for 2 months and we’ve had huge progress.  We still need to polish some things but the improvement is incredible.  I never thought I could take her to the beach and have her surrounded by people and that she’s stay calmly in her spot (photo attached).

I think the biggest problem is that everything makes her afraid and before rationalizing what’s going on she lunges…mostly with people and dogs.  Her adrenaline dosis is more important than anything else.  With your method of obedience we’ve achieved that she processes her fear in a passive form and she’s begun to realize that her fears are unfounded.  It is a constant battle (the adrenaline is a big adversary) but every error that Oli commits is an opportunity to correct and improve.

En your videos you don’t speak much about adrenalized dogs but I listened to your podcast that you did with the other trainer and it was very helpful.  If you had more tips that would be wonderful.

Thank you very much,

Alvaro


Previously aggressive towards dogs, now playing with them.

My response was to make a quick video over at my Spanish language dog training site.  The gist of my advice was that he needed to focus on control exercises.  Training exercises like training a dog to walk on a loose leash and training a dog to come when called serve a huge function in getting a dog to pay attention to you rather than the pay attention to the dogs and people who the dog is normally aggressive towards.

I was thrilled that just a short time later Alvaro sent me some pictures of a recent outing that he went on with about 40 other dogs and their owners.

Where just a few months prior his dog was acting aggressively to people and dogs now he was able to go on a big excursion with plenty of distractions.

He sent me some pictures through Facebook with the following note:

Ty Brown, 2 meses después de empezar el programa logramos una calatita con increíble confianza en si misma, enfocada en “trabajar” y feliz de estar rodeada de gente y perros!! Un exito!!

Which means;

Ty Brown, 2 months after starting the program we achieved a little pup with incredible confidence in herself, focused on ‘working’ and happy to be surrounded by people and dogs!!  Success!!


The cynic in you is probably saying; you’re only sharing this in order to toot your own horn, sell more of your DVDs, etc.

To that I would say…

YOU’RE RIGHT!

Okay, only partially right.  Yes, I absolutely share these stories so that other people see them and want to buy my products.  I’ve got a family to feed and am not ashamed of being a businessman.

But in all seriousness I love seeing success stories like this.  I know there are many people, perhaps you reading this, who have that aggressive dog or destructive dog or problematic dog and think there may be no hope.  You may be wondering if there is anything you can do.

To those people I want to tell them, yes, you can see huge progress in your dog if you just take the time to learn HOW to train your dog and then you stick with the program.

Along that note, I decided yesterday to start a page where I’ll be sharing more and more of these success stories.  Check it out here.  I’d love to include you on there.  Please let us know how we can be a part of your dog’s success story.

By the way, Alvaro, what kind of dog is that?  I’ve never seen such a large, hairless dog!

Dog Training Case Study

Dog Training Case Study- Aggressive Behavior

The other day I sat down with Glenn Sherrill of TrainPlayLive to talk with some of his dog training clients about some fairly extreme cases of aggressive behavior.  You can see the first dog training discussion we had at my previous post.In this second conversation from the same day we sit down with the owner of a rescue dog.  The dog is either a Pit Bull mix or an American Staffordshire terrier mix. Unfortunately, the dog is displaying some very odd cases of dog aggression including biting people seemingly without warning. Listen to the entire call here:

Dog Training Case Study- The Call

Press Play to listen below:

Dog Training Case Study- Conclusion

To be honest, this was a difficult dog training call for me.  All behavior follows patterns and rules and precedents.  Even when dogs are displaying horribly anti-social behavior and aggressiveness those behaviors STILL follow rules.  There are rules that govern fear and aggression, etc.  Granted, these are dogs who are acting inappropriately but they are doing so in a way that follows patterns. In this case I found it hard to identify causation for the bites.  My gut and my experience tells me the problem could be originating from two different areas:

  1. Medical issues- I have run across very odd aggression that seems to not follow rules a few times in my dog training career.  On a few of these occasions it has been determined that there was a medical/hormonal/disease that was the underlying cause.  Not being a veterinarian I wouldn’t know exactly what to check for but I’d definitely look for tumors, hormonal imbalances, amongst other problems.  It’s definitely possible that this is an issue that will need much more than training in order to overcome.
  2. There is an underlying need for more structure, rules, leadership, etc.

Throughout my career I believe I’ve become very good at pinpointing the issues behind inappropriate behavior in dogs.  Every now and then a case comes my way, though, that reminds me to be humble.  For as much as anyone can understand a subject there are plenty of times when you realize how little you know.  This case was one of those and will be an interesting listen as you discover the precise thought process that we dog trainers go through when diagnosing cases of extreme aggression or other such problems.

Enjoy and happy training!

Dog Training Brainstorm Session- Aggressive Rottweiler

Dog Training Brainstorm- How To Solve Aggression Issues

As dog trainers we often like to get together to talk and remind each other how smart we are.  I had the privilege recently to get together with Glenn Sherrill of Train Play Live  and some of his clients to talk about dog training issues.

Glen has been running a successful dog training company in North Carolina but we often find it helpful to talk about dog training issues just to see if there are other perspectives that may be helpful.

In this first call we are talking with the owners of a Rottweiler.  The dog is quite dominant and displays that personality through growling and other dominance related behaviors.  The dog has also upset the balance with the other dogs in the family and it has led to fights and other problems.

Listen below to this short call and see if there are training key points that you can take from the call that can help you with your own dog.

Dog Training- Listen To The Call

Press play below to listen in:

Dog Training- Keys To Solving The Problem

When dealing with any aggression issue there are key points that must be considered that apply here:

  • We must correct the aggression but we want to do it in a way that doesn’t escalate the aggression.  Correcting the dog while getting him to move, instead of challenging the owner, can be helpful.  The movement will change his frame of mind and allow him to accept and learn from the correction.
  • Obedience is key.  I preach this to all of my clients regardless of the dog training problem they are experiencing.  If you have great obedience training that means that you have a dog who is calmer, more respectful, and sees you in a leadership role.
  • Remember with dog aggression that you can’t just treat the symptoms.  I often compare aggression to a disease where you have a root cause that allows symptoms to manifest themselves.  The symptoms are the growling, the fighting, and the other dominant behavior.  The root cause, though, is a lack of a proper relationship, a lack of structure, a lack of understanding of what should be the rules.  From those ‘lacks’ we see aggression develop.
  • Give this dog ‘checks and balances’.  That means that he should be ‘working’ throughout the day.  He should be waiting at doors, staying off furniture, sitting before eating, heeling properly on leash, coming when called every time, etc.  These are frequent and constant reminders of the expectations he has.

How To Train A Dog To Focus

How To Train A Dog To Focus

The following is a question from one of the members of our website:

My dog is very good at obeying a command when he is looking at me and I tell him what to do along with giving him a gesture with my hand.  He gets distracted easily.

What would you suggest that I do when I have my dog is on leash and I want him to “look” at me so that I can give him a command using my hand and voice at the same time?

Thanks for your time.  Awesome videos, your techniques actually work!!!

Diane

How To Train A Dog To Focus

View On YouTube- How To Train A Dog To Focus

How To Train A Dog To Focus

Generally speaking, when I’m asked how to train a dog to focus and how to train a dog with hand signals I give an answer that most people weren’t expecting.  That reason is, I almost never train a dog to focus on command.  The reason why is two-fold:

  1. It’s limiting.  People who want to learn how to train a dog to focus often don’t realize that it’s essentially training the dog to not pay attention until someone is begging for their attention.
  2. It’s cumbersome.  I like to have my command be a call to attention AND a call to action.

In that sense I am training a dog to focus but I’m not doing it in the sense that most people are asking about.  Here is how to train a dog to focus:

  • Give one ‘free’ command.  Just say the command in a calm even tone.  It doesn’t matter if the dog is paying attention or not, simply give the command.
  • If the dog obeys the command, great!  Praise the dog.
  • If the dog disobeys the command, don’t get upset.  Simply repeat the command with a correction.  This step of the formula is how to train a dog to focus.  Simply put, it doesn’t matter if the dog was paying you any heed to begin with.  When you start correcting for non-compliance the dog quickly learns to pay attention AND obey the given command.
  • Praise the dog once the correction achieved compliance.
  • Insist on permanence; i.e. if you’ve said sit, keep sitting.  If you’ve said heel, keep heeling, etc.

The occasions where I DO teach a dog to focus are generally based around fixing an aggression issue where the dog needs pay attention to the owner vs. the aggressive trigger.

My advice to my clients is to NOT train their dogs to focus on command but to rather have a higher level of obedience requiring the dog to be at the ready for commands throughout the day.

Dog Training- Success Vs. Failure

Dog Training

Dog Training

Dog Training- What A Week!

I was struggling to find the right way to begin this blog post.  I didn’t want to come across as braggadocios but I did want to give some background into why I’m writing this post.

You see, this was a good week for my ‘dog training‘ ego.  I happened to run into someone who had purchased my dog training videos several years back.  He told me what a difference those videos had made and then he showed me his dog.  His dog was impeccably trained!  I was so impressed!  His dog was highly obedient, both on and off leash, even with distraction of other people and dogs around.

I also received several emails this week from people thanking me for the results they had been getting from the training DVDs they had purchased.  One was telling me about how well his puppy was going and another was telling me how their dog’s aggression had been improving.

We frequently get emails and calls from our clients and are thrilled when we get them but this was the first time that I had actually run across someone who I had never met but had received some great training from my videos.

Needless to say, the combo of meeting this dog owner and receiving some of these thank you emails:

  1. Boosted my ego.  I won’t lie.  I loved hearing and seeing these things.
  2. Made me think and wonder.  What is the difference between someone who is thanking me for my dog training DVDs and the person who is returning them to get a refund.

Dog Training- What Makes The Difference?

Perhaps I shouldn’t admit it.  Many business owners will never admit to having customers that aren’t happy with their company.  I won’t lie, though.  While we do our best to provide the best dog training information possible we may not be the right company for every dog owner out there.

Our training DVDs carry with them a complete money back guarantee.  If people aren’t happy they can get a return on their money if they return us the DVD programs within 45 days.  We believe in our training so much that I think we’re the only dog training company to do that.

So far we’ve been rewarded.  I think the most return requests we’ve ever had in a month has been two.

In any case, on some of these occasions people want to return the DVDs because they got rid of their dog, didn’t have time to train the dog, etc.  On other occasions, though, we’ll get an email request to return the DVDs and people will complain ‘the training didn’t work for me’, ‘it didn’t work on my dog’, ‘your techniques don’t work’ or some other sort of complaint along those lines.

No matter the reason, we refund them their money but I often wonder what the difference is between the guy who is showing me stellar off leash obedience and the guy who says my methods are lousy?

Dog Training- Action vs. Inaction

With that in mind I went about interviewing and questioning these wonderful folks who took the time to get in touch with us this past week.  I compared their answers with the answers of those who ask for refunds.  I looked for similarities but above all I looked for differences.  I wanted to determine why some have dog training success and others, with the exact same methods, have failure.  And I think I found out the difference.

There was no ‘big reveal’.  I didn’t have an ‘a-ha moment’.  There was no voice from the heavens or light bulb going off.  What they told me was so simple it almost seems ridiculous to mention it….

The difference is that these folks….took action.

That’s it.  They found dog training information they believed in and they got to work.

You see, in many cases when someone writes me to tell me ‘hey man, your methods such and they don’t work with my dog’ I want to help them achieve their goals.  I’ll often tell them, ‘I’m sorry you haven’t found success.  What trouble were you having with my methods and perhaps I can help.’

When I ask this I nearly always get one of two responses:

  1. No response at all.  I’m not surprised.  Some folks just aren’t happy with anything.
  2. A response that signifies that they aren’t familiar with my methods at all.  Perhaps they never even cracked the plastic on the DVDs or even attempted to apply the dog training techniques with their dog.  Perhaps they were too lazy to get to work with their dog.  Regardless, in almost none of these cases can they converse back and forth intelligently about the methods that I purport will work with their dog and WHY my methods aren’t working for them.

Dog Training- My Methods

I believe in my methods.  I know they work and I’ve seen them work time and time again over the course of years and years.

Having said that, I’ve found that even if you aren’t using my methods (don’t worry, my feelings won’t get hurt) but you ARE actually training your dog actively you WILL get results.

I’ve found that someone with sub-par dog training methods and a great work ethic will get a heck of a lot more out of their training experience than someone with the best methods in the world that can’t bother to learn and/or apply those methods.

The bottom line is that I encourage everyone to use my dog training style.  I believe in it and know it helps people and dogs.  Even if you aren’t going to follow my style, though, at least get to work.  Don’t buy that dog training book, DVD, course, group class, private trainer, or other delivery method and then get frustrated when you don’t see results due to your own inactivity.

That Darn Leash

“Okay, the first thing you need to do is keep your dog on a leash…”

“With your dog on a leash you can keep the dog supervised…”

“With your dog leashed at all times you can better teach obedience and other wanted behaviors…”

“Keep your dog on a leash and you can use the leash to correct behavior problems when they occur…”

These types of statements are things that I find myself saying on almost a daily basis when I’m working with my clients.

My clients come to me with house training problems, aggression issues, behavior problems, destruction, manners, and more and the first thing that I teach them is to keep the dog on a leash.

I found myself saying it so much that I wanted to examine why.

The simple reason is that most people give their dogs too much freedom too quickly.

The dog isn’t house trained yet they allow the dog to roam the house not supervised.  The dog doesn’t know what not to chew on yet the dog is allowed to go chew on whatever he wants.  The dog doesn’t know the proper way to greet guests at the door yet is allowed the freedom to go jumping on new guests.

Everyone WANTS a dog that listens when off the leash, does what he or she is told, and can be trusted to follow voice commands.  The problem is that most people attempt to start there.  They start with a dog that is off leash yet has never even learned to be good on the leash.  Life doesn’t work that way.

You don’t set the goal to be a doctor and tomorrow start dispensing medicine.  You work your way to that point.  You don’t desire to be a mechanic and tear apart your neighbor’s engine this weekend having never done anything mechanical.  You don’t expect to hit a home run out of the park the first time you swing a bat.

And you don’t expect a dog to be obedient with great manners if you haven’t started in the right spot.

That spot for most folks is to keep a dog on the leash, yes, even in the house, for the first month, two, three or more depending on how fast you reach your goals.  As your dog improves with obedience and manners you slowly move away from leash work and you end up at your target goal.

Don’t skip the hard stuff, though.  You need it to get to the payoff.

I Nit-Pick With The Heel Command

When I work with my clients in one on one sessions I often warn them that I’m going to nit-pick them.  I tell them that there are going to be occasions where small little details, that seem insignificant, are going to bring big results.

I often share one of my favorite quotes-

“Little Hinges Swing Big Doors”

What this quote means is that small means are often the answer for completing a big task.

When it comes to a dog heeling properly I’m a nit-picker.

This goes double for dogs with aggression issues or dogs with destruction issues.

When I say that a dog should heel properly I mean that on their walk their shoulder should not be in front of your leg.  They should maintain that position for the majority of the walk unless you are giving a break for going potty or other play time things.

Let me tell you a quick story about a client I had a few years back.

Their dog had aggression issues that included lunging at other dogs, people, cars, etc.  The dog also had a big time issue pulling on the leash.

I took the dog into my ‘boot camp’ (where I keep the dog in my home for a few weeks to get them trained) and got the dog over the issue.  He returned home knowing how to heel properly on leash.

I got a call just a short week or two later from this client telling me that the dog was back at it again, chasing cars, lunging at dogs, etc.

I went to the home to see what was going on.  I noticed that the client was now allowing the dog to walk ahead.  The client was just so thrilled that the dog was no longer pulling that a compromise had been struck where the dog could walk ahead of the owner.

I immediately said that this was a bad idea and we went to work getting the dog to walk by the owner’s side.  What happened?  Immediately when the dog was by the owner’s side there was no more lunging at anything.  The second we allowed the dog to get even a foot ahead he would lunge again at oncoming distractions.

In this case, 12 inches made all the difference in the world; little hinges swing big doors.

Why was this the case, though?  Why did 12 inches mean the difference between a lunging aggressive dog and a dog that walked calmly by the owner’s side?

Simple, you give the dog that 12 inches and now he’s a leader.  You keep him by your side and now he’s a follower.  In this dog’s mind a leader’s job was to lunge, bark, and act aggressively.  A follower’s job was to defer to the owner’s judgement.

I learned a lot from that dog and I’ve applied it since.  I often work with owners whose dogs are dealing with aggression.  Some of these owners report that their dogs walk quite well on leash.  They aren’t right by the owners side paying attention but at least they aren’t pulling up ahead.  Pretty good, right?

In these cases I always tell them the story of the lunging dog and what a difference 12 inches makes.

The same is true for dogs with destruction.  I had a client some years back who had a very destructive, chewing dog.  The dog was being walked daily but he was walking ahead of the owners.  The first thing I had them do was walk the dog properly by their side.

I also gave them several other things to do to fix the chewing and destruction problems.  (I outline all of those in my Manners and Destruction DVD set)

When I came back a few weeks later they reported that they had done none of my list except for having the dog walk properly every day on leash.

Even though they didn’t do any of the homework other than walking, the dog was now no longer destructive.

How could that be, though?

Simple.  The dog was previously getting physical exercise through his daily walks.  He was getting little mental exercise, though.  By having him walk just a couple feet back, next to the owners side, the dog was required to focus heavily during that 45 minutes of walking.  That intense focus wore the dog out and was enough of a change that he stopped his destructive ways.

Do I nit-pick?  Absolutely.  I do it, though, because I know that often changing a dog’s behavior is a series of small changes rather than big, monumental leaps.

Using The E-Collar To Have A Recall With Aggressive Dogs

If you have a dog with aggression issues then it is imperative that the dog comes every single time when called.  Without fail.  Guess what, folks?  That level of obedience is NEVER achieved through treat training.  In this video you are going to see the first steps of using an electric dog training collar to train an aggressive dog to come when called.  When it’s done correctly, the e-collar is a very humane and fair tool that can help you get to a level of training that you never dreamed possible.

 

 

Leash Walking For An Aggressive Dog

As you’ve seen in previous videos one of the keys to fixing aggressive dogs is to have great obedience training.  One of the key aspects of that training is to have a dog that walks perfectly on leash.  If your dog has great leash manners he can’t lunge at his aggressive triggers.  Excellent leash walking also serves to help establish the right relationship between you and your dog.  Watch in and see how we can improve leash walking in minutes.

 

 

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