10 Biggest Dog Training Beliefs Exposed!
By Kevin “The Dog Prodigy”
Just by correcting your most common mistakes and exposing these lies, you’ll put yourself in the top 1% of effective dog owners in the world.
You may find this hard to believe, but the majority of dog trainers, dog schools, and many dog publications are being paid to mislead you.
Here’s just one of their lies: Imagine how much money the dog treat companies are making by pushing the use of food in your training. After all, you’ve been brainwashed to use treats to make your dog sit, stay, heel, come or lie down.
They also rely heavily on bribery for teaching tricks, agility, socialization, potty training, crate training, to get your dog to look at you, or even to let go of an object.
As you can see, this lie alone has gone far beyond a typical 6-8 week training class. And folks, that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
If you really want to cut down on your training time and see a significant difference in your dog’s command response, stop following or believing these lies.
Common Belief #1:
Your Dog Was Born to “Please” You No Matter What
TRUTH: It is actually the poor owners who are pleasing and spoiling their dogs. Think about this for a moment. If this myth were really true, you wouldn’t be reading this right now. Sorry, but we rarely run into pleasing dogs.
I’ll Debunk This Famous Myth…
Right Here – Right NOW!!!
Let’s say your dog starts barking, lunging, growling, mouthing or jumping up on you or your guests. Does she quit with a simple “NO,” or do you find yourself telling her to stop over and over again?
Hmm… she’s not pleasing you there, is she? Or how about when your dog is constantly charging at a cat, another dog, or maybe at the mailman? You yell out commands and even try to physically control him. Does he listen to you then? I’m guessing the answer is still NO.
Look, your dog isn’t dumb and clearly sees your frustration! It is obvious from your shouting, your demeanor, and your desperate attempts to get him under control.
He clearly senses that you are upset by his unruly behavior, yet he STILL flat out ignores you. Aha! Once again, you can’t call him a pleaser, can you?
If I asked some of your friends and relatives, I’m sure they would all would agree that your dog loves you dearly, but for crying out loud, let’s not confuse that with respect or compliance. (I could also fall in love with a hot stripper; but to actually respect her, is a different story.)
Besides, if all dogs are truly pleasers, then why do we have so many dog training books, dog trainers, dog behaviorists and dog classes everywhere?
Think again, if this myth were really true, don’t you think that everybody would end up with a perfect angel with no bad manners whatsoever?
No matter what the circumstances and regardless of how tempting the distraction, dogs would respond to their owners in a heartbeat and everybody would be singing kumbaya or hallelujah.
You’d see pet owners calling out each other, “Hey you guys, how’s Roscoe doing?” One would laugh and respond, “He’s such a pleaser, that one! And how’s little Daisy coming along?”
You’d hear, “Man, we never even trained that stinker and she listens to us everywhere and every time. It’s unbelievable. In fact, we just nicknamed her Lassie.”
Take it from someone who does this for a living: The majority of dogs don’t respond to make you proud or happy. (They do so because of a treat, a toy, praise, or to avoid some sort of consequence. Again, those are the facts!)
Common Belief #2:
Training Could Break Your Dog’s Spirit or Ruin His Personality
TRUTH: Abusing your leadership breaks the dog’s spirit, not balanced, smart training! When you catch yourself or a trainer yelling, hitting or hanging your poor dog off his feet in order to make him submit or obey, you are definitely being abusive.
I doubt that everybody in your household is on the same page when it comes to training or disciplining the dog. Even when you tried enforcing some rules and boundaries, you most likely found yourself in conflict with the one who babies the dog. “Leave him alone. I just want him to be happy,” is what the spoiler will tell you.
Those who received their masters in spoiling always defend and justify the dog’s unruliness. Ironically, when it comes right down to it, the same wonderful dog won’t even respect or obey THEM. So I wonder who’s happy now? Again, being harsh and abusive is what breaks a dog’s spirit—not enforcing simple rules and commands!
Certain training tools such as the choke collar, prong collar, remote training collar, a head halter or even a clicker can also be misused. I once noticed a dog that was afraid of the sound of a clicker. The owner kept clicking it and the poor dog kept jumping back and cowering. But here’s—
Why Clicker Training is the Dumbest Way to Train ANY Dog:
Doesn’t it make more sense to rely on our voice from the get-go to mark a command or a behavior instead of the sound of click-click? But that’s clicker training for you. So unless you are mute or have three hands:
One to hold the clicker, one to hold the treats, and another to hold the leash, there is no need for a clicking device. (There is an old Texan saying, “You can’t ride two horses with one ass.” In this case, you are dealing with THREE!)
Here’s another fact that most clicker trainers hide from you: In order to walk or train a dog, you HAVE TO rely either on a leash, a collar, or a harness. Again, those tools are mandatory! Can you make the same kind of argument about a cheesy little box that makes a clicking sound? No, you cannot!
It is nearly impossible to stop a determined dog from pulling toward people, other dogs, kids, or going after cats with a bunch of treats in one hand and a clicker in another. But with a proper collar and a leash, you’d increase your chances dramatically. I’ve seen people scream at their dogs and they were still ignored the minute their pooch spotted another dog.
How can a stupid clicker stand a chance there? Oh, wait. This method is also popular among dolphin and chicken trainers. And I know exactly why: Try putting a leash on a dolphin or a cock and see what happens.
I honestly thought that the reason clicker training is popular must be because of Karen Pryor. So I did some major research; and was very disappointed to find that it isn’t popular at all. Not even one bit.
It’s just a new way. Folks, I don’t know about you, but I’d rather go with an old method. After all, it is tried and true and has a solid track record. Not all new things are better or even smarter these days. Again, using a clicker is ideal for teaching your dog some cute tricks. That’s all.
For thousands of years humans have been able to teach dogs commands by voice! This is one of those facts that is not even worth looking up. Click, click. BOOOM. Now take that (!), clicker trainers.
Common Belief #3:
You Can’t Teach a Dog Much if He’s Too Young or Too Old
TRUTH: Forget training for a moment; no dog is ever too young or too old to learn right from wrong or what is acceptable and what isn’t. So it doesn’t really matter if your dog is a stubborn old grouch or a naughty puppy. By following a diverse approach, you’ll increase your chances of success whether you are dealing with an 8-week-old pup or an 18-year-old dog.
Again, ANY dog can learn to follow your rules and respond to commands, regardless of age, size, history or temperament. Yes, even your dog!
Besides, do you really want to put up with your dog’s bad habits for months or even years?So just because of his age, your dog is getting away with peeing or pooping everywhere, jumping up on your guests, lunging, snapping, barking nonstop, terrorizing your neighbors, and even going for serious bites. Sounds like insanity, doesn’t it?
Bad habits are inexcusable for a dog of ANY age! Based on my personal experience in working with not hundreds, but thousands of dogs, I’ve come to the conclusion that there is no unwanted behavior that cannot be reduced or even eliminated no matter how young or how old a dog may be.
Common Belief #4:
Train with Treats and Your Dog Will Listen
Perfectly Forever and Ever After
TRUTH: There are three main reasons that justify using treats with your dog:
1. To gain your dog’s trust and confidence—especially if he’s shy, timid or aggressive.
2. To teach your dog some cute tricks. Treats and tricks always go hand-in-hand.
3. To prepare your dog for some serious obedience competitions.
Do yourself a favor and read those three again. Now, be honest. Do you really care about any of them? Don’t feel bad; a large number of pet owners do NOT relate to any of those three reasons.
In fact, just about everyone that I’ve met or worked with so far wanted a well-behaved and a happy dog. People don’t want a soldier, a ninja, or some acrobatic dog that can jump through hoops with four Frisbees in its mouth.
And unless your pooch came from a shelter, where some of them have not been properly socialized or were abused, it is highly unlikely that you are dealing with a terrified dog in your household.
Your dog should sit, stay, or lie down because you tell him to. That is why it’s called “obedience,” which originated from the word, OBEY—not the word, “Bribe”! Even the majority of us we were raised with no bribery and still love and respect our parents.
!!! BUYER BEWARE !!!
Don’t Fall for Using Treats SCAM!
Would you still work for your company if they stopped paying you? I didn’t think so! Sadly, you’ve been misled that since your dog doesn’t accept money, you should pay him with yummy treats.
But, once you phase out those goodies, it is not any different than your boss cutting down on your paycheck or worse, NOT pay you at all. And if you own one of those dogs that is easily-distracted or simply refuses to obey; their recommendation is to NOT feed him that day or pack some tastier treats with you.
If this logic sounds ridiculous to you, it’s because it is.
Come on! How many more treats would it take for your dog to eventually listen to you, and not because he saw a doggy biscuit in your hand?
I am now convinced more than ever that relying strictly on food for every task is the biggest scam in today’s dog training. It’s not even fair to call it training. It is pure manipulation! Folks, they are trying to make sense out of nonsense.
Do Me a Favor. Answer This Question:
Would You Rather Use Praise, Leadership, Psychology and a “Diverse Method,” or Pull Out Hot Dogs, Meatballs, Beef Jerky and Dried Liver?
You Always Have a Choice!
It really doesn’t take much skill or talent to constantly bribe a dog with treats and call it obedience training. Again, this is just bribery in disguise! Don’t forget; the dog training industry has been lying to us for years, so they are not going to stop just now.
Haven’t you heard of or known someone who was able to train their dog without the use of treats? Think back. A family member, neighbor, relative, co-worker, or maybe that someone was YOU!
Whether you succeeded with the help of a trainer or all on your own, what matters is this: You were able to train that dog without carrying a pouch of dried liver with you everywhere! It was all done by plenty of praise and a solid technique! I’m also willing to bet that dog was one of the most well-behaved and trained dogs that you’ve ever owned. Here’s the best part—
Nobody Made You Beat or Bribe that Dog to See Results!
Folks, this is not rocket science. It’s simple, common sense dog training: You ultimately want your training to stick! But right now, the only sticky things are probably your fingers from all that cheese or cut up hot dogs that you lure your dog with. Even worse, many of you are still hoping that your dog will someday obey flawlessly, without looking for munchies in your hands or just because you snapped your fingers.
What blows my mind is some owners go as far as saying “please” to their dogs. Now, that’s a classic: “Sit, please.” Yeah. As if saying please even works with people. Be that polite with those who deserve and have truly earned your love and respect. Never ever say “please” to ANY dog! Okay? Please.
Your overall demeanor, or as Cesar would say, your ENERGY, turns into “wussy energy” as soon as please comes out of your mouth. (I’ve dedicated chapter four to the pros and cons of using treats in your training. There are hundreds of books out there that skillfully misled millions of dog owners like you around the globe. Just make sure that you read it barefoot. Because it will blow your socks off.)
And for those of you who still doubt or curse me while packing your yummy tidbits for your next bribery lesson, I say: Do your dog a favor and get him a treat thrower. Oops, actually, it is a treat “launcher”! It promises to shoot those treats at your dog up to twenty feet away. Amazing! Twenty freaking feet! Hey, you don’t want that smart dog of yours to figure out that they’re coming from YOU, now. (Forget global warming. It’s raining meatballs, everybody!)
Did I mention that this treat thrower doesn’t take batteries, is dishwasher safe, AND Pavlov-approved? I know, I know, some of you may think I’m making this up. Be my guest; Google Booda Thrower. Gosh. I never get it right. I meant: Treat Launcher. (Once you find it on Amazon, it says: Customers who bought this product also bought a stool with a hangman’s knot.)
Now if you still insist on giving treats to your dog, you’ll be far more effective when you do so at the very end of your training session and NOT before each command.
That is how you can be rational, practical and natural. Those three words are very powerful and definitely worth repeating: Rational, Practical and Natural—NOT Steak, Pepperoni and Sausage.
Common Belief #5:
To Socialize Your Pooch, You Must Take it to Dog Parks!
TRUTH: If you want your dog to bully or get bullied by other dogs, take it to dog parks. It’s that simple. Folks, this is where even the nicest dogs pick up many bad habits from other dogs that are hard to break even for the most experienced trainers.
I’m referring to what unruly dogs do: barking excessively, marking everywhere, humping every dog, lunging nonstop or playing too roughly. If you happen to have a male dog, he may soon learn to lift his leg up inside your home or others’ to mark his territory. Again, they learn these lovely things from every dog that they study in dog parks.
Also, going to dog parks is a lot like facing a “mystery opponent.” You just don’t know which dog is friendly, healthy, fully trained, vaccinated or even spayed/neutered. Heck, forget the dogs. You’ll have a blast figuring out the lovely owners who come with their weird reasoning skills and you swear that they belong in Common Sense Institute.
These folks always justify their dogs’ uncontrollable behavior. And it’s rarely their dog at fault, but always someone else’s.
Even if Your Dog is a Sweetheart, All it Takes is Just One
Unpredictable Dog to Pick on Yours and Attack it for No Reason.
I’ve seen some nasty dog attacks where the owner of the dog who started the fight snuck out of the dog park leaving a bloody and beaten dog behind. Sadly, the dog that was mauled could now lose total trust in his owner. He may also become fearful or aggressive towards certain breeds, or even worse, toward ALL dogs for the rest of his life. Some dogs join the action every time they see a fight or a little scuffle. And some take mental notes, and will act aggressive as soon as they spot other dogs on walks or at any pet clinic.
Here’s another way of looking at it: Haven’t you met someone who didn’t like you, or even picked on you for no reason? I’m sure you can think of that relative, neighbor, co-worker or some blogger. It’s not much different when it comes to the canine mindset in dog parks.
There will be dogs that will keep pushing your dog’s buttons, picking on him over and over again, until he can’t or won’t take it anymore. And that’s when you might see his “Cujo” side—a side of him that you’ve never seen or didn’t think he had in him. Now, can you honestly blame your dog for defending himself in this situation?
If you take a moment to look around, you’ll notice that half of the owners are wrapped up in their own world. Everyone’s chatting, texting, tweeting, reading, wearing a headphone, spacing out, or just playing dumb and blind when it comes to their dog causing chaos.
Look, you know your dog better than anyone. If you clearly see that he isn’t yet comfortable with other dogs or might even be terrified of them, bringing him to a dog park is only going to make things worse. Take dogs sniffing one another: In the dog world, when one sniffs the other’s rear, it is very similar to our handshake. But the truth is, some of these dogs aren’t ready for a handshake or maybe they just don’t want their happy place sniffed yet. Is that wrong? Haven’t you met someone who didn’t want to shake your hand and left you hanging?
It’s even worse for dogs that are scared, timid or don’t want to play too roughly. You always find these pooches glued to their owners. Some show their stress by shivering, cowering, barking and hiding under benches. If you could read those thoughts, they’ll be, “Mommy save me! All these dogs are trying to take a chunk out of me!” And the dogs that are doing the chasing are thinking, “What is wrong with this one? Why won’t he let us sniff him down there? Just stand still so we can all sniff your booty and it will be over soon. Woof!”
As you can see, taking your pooch to dog parks is a gamble where the odds stack up against you. There are always those owners that argue, “My dog looooooves the dog park.” Sorry, but that’s like saying, “My kids love to have pizza every day. We kill pizza for breakfast, lunch, dinner AND even snacks.” (We all know that’s not healthy and you need to invite me too. Oh, according to our school’s criteria, Pizza is now considered to be a vegetable. Hmm… who knew that I was actually born a vegan?)
Bottom line, by taking your four-legged friend to dog parks, you are taking a huge risk on your dog either getting attacked, learning bad habits, or being picked on by other dogs. And if you own a real dominant dog, it is just a matter of time when he WILL meet his match. Don’t forget; no matter how tough and undefeated your dog may be, there are always going to be those folks with much bigger, stronger, faster and younger dogs out there.
Common Belief #6
Any Group Class Can Solve
Your Dog’s Bad Habits or Behavioral Issues
TRUTH: If you carefully study your dog’s behavior pattern, you’ll notice that the root cause of his bad habits all originated from your living room, the backyard and your neighborhood.
If you don’t believe me, just think of your dog’s barking, jumping up, play-biting, leash pulling, over-protectiveness, or when he is fighting the neighbor’s dog behind the fence. How about stealing food off counters, bolting out or scratching doors? Don’t forget the challenge of potty training, terrorizing your cat, fighting with your other dog, or embarrassing you when you face just one dog on your walks, let alone a group of ten. Be fair with your expectations. How can these concerns be resolved in any group setting? Here’s—
!!! Another Big Flaw About Group Classes !!!
They are not part of our daily routine! After all, when was the last time you ran into a crowd of people standing in a circle desperately trying to make their dogs obey a bunch of commands? Never!
You most likely run into people walking or jogging with their dog, waiting at the vet’s with their dog, or when passing down the aisle of a pet store. Now, that is real-life! Let’s not leave out the dogs that antagonize yours by barking and charging nonstop as you walk near their fence.
To put it bluntly, you need to be ready for those owners with poor technique and poor judgment. You see, some of these lovely folks walk their dogs completely off-leash. Now there is a recipe for disaster. Hopefully you have a tight grip on your leash. (If not, the movie Dumb and Dumber comes to mind.)
It doesn’t really matter whether someone is walking, jogging, or being dragged by their dog—what matters is YOU must have control over your dog at all times. This applies even when you are caught off guard with a loose dog that comes out of nowhere. That’s right. Your pooch should obey you without losing its cool or lashing out at other dogs.
Unfortunately, park classes do NOT make you “street-smart.” After all, who doesn’t want to be prepared for the real world?
I’m guessing that most of you have already tried some type of group training. Hey, how can you turn down an eight week deal for eighty bucks? But, here’s something interesting that you’ll notice immediately with these sweet deals: Your dog could obey you marvelously there, but act like an idiot at home. Or, he may sporadically listen at home, but never really pay much attention around dogs.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Picture this: You have your dog’s graduation diploma hanging on the wall. You went out of your way to find a cute frame with little paws and bones around it. My gosh, it even has that button that you push and you hear, WOOF-WOOF! But right next to it, your guest is getting tackled and scratched up by your crazy dog.
That’s Boomer for ya. He sure aced that pet store class with flying colors and got his diploma all right. But you can’t get him to stop his jumping, barking, play-biting and crotch-sniffing for the life of you. (Hmm… let me guess: Positive training got you negative outcome!)
Trainers who teach these classes, even if they truly are on top of their game can’t do much with so many owners. How can they? Everybody comes with their own goals and agendas. That’s the undeniable fact.
And if you really think about it, even teaching your dog the “obedience commands” such as Sit, Stay, Down, Heel, and Come are best taught in your home or in private first. This is because you are eliminating all minor and major distractions that could stall your training progress.
Sadly, the majority of dog owners out there will never get their hands on such information and most “group trainers” never reveal this. Now, if you are smart or curious enough to figure this out on your own, great. If not, be my guest; keep standing and walking in circle for eight weeks straight while giving your dog treats for even looking at you.
Ask others who have tried such classes. Even better, see for yourself whether their dogs are considered “trained” to your standards. Trust me; you’ll be disappointed. And even THOSE owners will agree that it was a long process that got them poor results.
Another Factor that Trainers Hide from You…
Can Everyone in Your Family Attend These Classes?
Let’s face it; most people cannot get everyone in their household to commit for eight consecutive weeks. Plus, this is how you could end up with a dog that listens to one person, and totally ignores everyone else in your family. Sure, it might be your dog that also becomes everyone else’s headache.
Dog owners have no choice but to multitask in these situations. They desperately do their best to keep their eyes on the trainer while constantly pulling the leash and telling the dog to sit…sit…sit! All of this is happening while other dogs are charging, barking, whining, growling or manage to get loose from their owners. WOW. It sure sounds like a lot of fun… for the dogs!
If you carefully study all successful trainers, you’ll notice an interesting pattern. They all follow a curriculum that consists of: The learning stage, the correction, the distraction-proofing and finally, the maintenance. Ironically, many trainers and just about every dog training book that I’ve read, completely left out phase two. That’s right. They always assume the “correction” and the “maintenance” component don’t matter much.
Let me give you a different analogy: We all know that losing a few pounds isn’t easy—but keeping them off is even more challenging that requires strong discipline. Staying consistent in the fourth stage of your dog’s training is a lot like keeping those extra pounds off. It is in the maintenance that many of you get lazy and fall off the wagon. It’s unfortunate; since this is when you reach your ultimate goal. Stay on top of it; and you’ll enjoy owning an obedient and balanced dog for life.
Now, if you ignore the importance of such principles, and still decide to enroll your dog in a group class, this is what I predict when I look into my crystal ball: You will be teaching your dog new commands, constantly correcting him, and getting louder when he can’t or won’t ignore all the new dogs, new people, new location, new smells, or any other unexpected distractions and noises that you were never prepared for. Is this fair?
Don’t get me wrong; I totally agree that dogs need to get socialized. But it’s wise to do so around one or two dogs first, before joining a group of untrained dogs and novice owners. From observing and conducting many classes over the years, I’ve noticed that group lessons are ideal for polishing your dog’s commands.
The last thing that bothered me the most about the trainers was that difficult dogs were always ignored or pushed to the side. Some of them weren’t even allowed to participate. So the poor owners with their unruly dogs were humiliated and embarrassed. Even the trainers teaching the class had no clue how to control some of these dogs.
As soon as they started their barking, whimpering, lunging, growling or the goofy dog that wants to play with every dog out there, the trainer gave the owner dirty looks. The look that meant: You must be the dumbest pet owner on the planet for owning such a dog. Here’s another shocking truth—
Owning a Difficult Dog = You’ll Be Ignored or Asked to Leave!
I’ve seen trainers who conduct these classes shout at people, “Hey, get your dog under control!” or “We can’t have that in our class!” Well, duh? Why do you think they enrolled with you in the first place? Einstein! If they had Lassie on leash, they wouldn’t be there now, would they?
So ultimately, it was just easier for those folks to just drop out of the class. And some of these morons had the audacity to tell them that it was “the dog” that flunked the course. Oh come on. It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that it wasn’t the dog or the owner, but actually the trainer who failed to deliver results OR your refund.
Don’t get me wrong; there is absolutely nothing wrong with trying a group class. It’s just you will get far more out of it if you build a solid foundation from your home first. Let’s face it. Most of you have no foundation whatsoever. It is all about the fundamentals.
Common Belief #7:
Before Giving Commands, Make Your Dog
Look at You OR Your Hand Signal
TRUTH: Your dog is perfectly capable of responding to your voice without even making eye contact or the need to follow your fancy hand signals.
Let me ask you a question: Would you rather have your dog look at you or listen to you? If you answered, both. I’ll ask you again: Which is MORE important, making eye contact or listening? Then do yourself and your dog a favor and don’t drag out your training by saying, “Watch me… watch me… watch me,” before each command. That’s nagging and it will stop working very fast!
The majority of dog schools don’t bother telling you this, but you only need your dog’s eyes glued to you if you want to prepare him for obedience competitions. As I mentioned earlier, most of you would love a well-mannered and responsive pet—not a super-trained soldier that wins you a bunch of titles, ribbons and trophies.
Common Belief #8:
Don’t Ever Say “NO!” to Your Dog!
Instead, Try, “Uh,” “Uh-uh,” or Some Other Noises
TRUTH: Your dog must stop dead in his tracks the second he hears the word, “NO!” In fact, it shouldn’t even matter whether it comes from you, your spouse, your kids, a guest, or your vet. NO means NO!
Maybe you’ve been somewhat successful in getting your dog’s attention with funny terms such as: “Uh,” “Uh-uh,” or my favorite of all—“Baaaah,” (Doesn’t that one remind you of something you’d hear from a Klingon in some old Star Trek movie?)
Folks, your friends, relatives, kids, neighbors and even those Klingons will laugh at you and have a hard time remembering those funny noises. So stop the insanity! Be honest. When you are out in public, and you catch your pooch misbehaving, can you picture yourself literally growling, yelping or barking at your dog to get his attention?
You read that correctly; many trainers these days recommend that whenever your dog nips at your hands and feet, scream like a hurt dog. Their logic is: Hey, that’s what dogs do to stop one another, so why shouldn’t we? But wait a minute; you are NOT a dog! Am I the only voice of reason here?
Even that example depends on that particular dog: So if it’s a gentle dog, he might stop or play nicely as soon as he sees the other dog yelping in pain. But this approach, this theory, or should I say, this nonsense, will NOT work if it is a human being who’s doing the squealing. Sorry. Your dog knows too well that you didn’t turn into some yuppy puppy and could bite you even harder.
Besides, by using your high-pitched voice mimicking a dog in pain, you’ll confuse your dog that you are actually trying to play with him. Think about it. Many of you use the SAME tone when you baby talk to your dog. So how would he differentiate when you are really hurt and upset and want him to stop or when you are just playing? (Your dog will think of you as a giant, warm, soft and animated squeak toy and will act even worse.)
There is a dog training franchise with the name “bark”-something. Oh, what the heck, let’s call them “Bark Bastards.” They’re the ones who recommend that you actually bark at your dog. I get many of their clients and that’s one of the first things they tell me. (What boggles my mind is that they are one of the biggest dog training franchises in the world; yet to this day, I still haven’t seen ANY of their clients full on barking at their dog out in public.)
Besides, doesn’t saying or even shouting “NO!” come naturally to all of us? Then let’s not sugarcoat things. “NO” means—“NO” and your dog should stop whatever he’s doing the second he hears it any place and at any time.
Oh, before I forget, there are also those trainers that tell you when your dog bites or jumps up, clawing you with his long nails, that you should say or yell, “Ouch-Ouch”! Last time I checked, Ouch,” is NOT a correction either. Then how can—
Cesar Millan Tame ANY Dog with his, “Shhht”?
Are you The Dog Whisperer? I didn’t think so! So leave that to Mr. Millan. He can pull it off and you can’t. Although I have a great respect for all Dog Whisperers out there; I don’t do any whispering and I’m nobody’s uncle. Be honest; do you want me to whisper things to you or be loud and clear in revealing my secrets? (Besides, everyone seems to be screaming at their dogs these days. Nobody whispers. I have to keep reminding people to keep it down, already.)
Common Belief #9:
Any Dog Can Be Trained with the Same Training Tool
TRUTH: Most dogs are just too smart, too strong, too big, too stubborn, too dominant, too fast or even too unpredictable for their owners. Some are a bit shy or sensitive. This is why narrowing it down to “only one training tool” to train or control every breed of dog is just not fair or realistic.
Have you ever wondered which training tools top trainers swear by? The answer to this question may come as a surprise to most of you, but they too rely on whatever that works best for them and their dogs. So why should it be any different with you?
Be smart. If the tool you are using at the moment stops working, especially around hard-to-avoid distractions—try a different one. After all, isn’t your main objective achieving results? Then stop using something that doesn’t even seem to faze your dog when you really need it to work. That’s what I’ve been preaching all along: Diversity!
The Reality About Your “Current” Training Tool
Can you get your dog’s attention with it around other dogs, your guests, a cat, the mailman or kids playing?
If not, don’t embarrass yourself and use what truly WORKS!
You’ll soon be shocked to find that the majority of dog trainers are close-minded and will never let you use different tools. So ultimately, it will be up to you to find what works and what doesn’t. Here’s the cold hard fact: What works on one dog, or your previous dogs, doesn’t necessarily mean it will get you the same outcome with your current dog. This again proves that all dogs are very unique.
Bottom line, use what works and most importantly, use it properly and humanely. And trust me; people will judge you and comment on it. All you can do is smile and say, “Look, I know you mean well, but you just don’t know much about this dog. In fact, you are seeing him at his BEST right now. Without this tool, we wouldn’t even be having this conversation.
Because you would’ve been knocked down on the ground cursing and kicking my dog off you.” You could add: When he’s really distracted or focused on someone or something, this is the only tool that seems to get his attention! Be firm and polite. (And oh, don’t forget to smile. It’s usually contagious.)
Common Belief #10:
If Your Dog is Trained by an Expert, He Will Only
Obey that “Trainer” and NOT You
TRUTH: Some of the best-trained dogs in the world are trained without their owners. If you doubt this, just research dogs for the blind, the handicapped, drug-sniffing dogs, hunting, or even attack trained dogs. Guess what? Just about every one of these dogs has been trained without the owner’s day-to-day involvement.
You may wonder how in the world will the training transfer to me, once the trainer is out of the picture? Well, I could say the same thing about group classes or even private dog trainers. Please tell me how can you guarantee that the dog will respond to YOU once the trainer goes home? Why should you believe them? Hmm…you never even thought of that, did you?
Think of Doggie Boot Camp as Getting a Liposuction.
You could spend all the money, lose the fat and look dazzling. But if you revert back to your old ways, you’ll get back to being ffffffffat. (Most people love that analogy!)
Here’s Another Fact: It is much easier to take over once the dog is already trained. This way the expert doesn’t have to train you AND your dog. (Half the hard work is out of the way.)
Send away training can be a wise choice for those of you who need to travel out of town, have a busy schedule, are a mother-to-be, or might be in the process of moving or remodeling your home. Perhaps you are one of those folks who prefer a professional to do the hardest part for you. This way, all you do is stay on top of things with the maintenance aspect of the training. I don’t see anything wrong with that.
Keep in mind that you need to be involved in your dog’s training regardless! In fact, it will never work without your interaction and commitment. It’s just that some get involved from the beginning to the end, and some prefer to come in AFTER the dog is completely trained or rehabilitated.
Written by: Kevin “The Dog Prodigy”