The 3 steps to resocialize a fear aggressive dog

This is as bad as it gets. You are walking down the street and your dog sees another dog or a person. They lock eyes and begin to intensely stare at the person/dog.

You can see the build up happening right before your eyes. Suddenly your dog growls or lunges and you freak out.

You try your best to hold your dog back, but you can’t stop them and you are embarassed.

You don’t want to be seen as the person who has no control over their dog. Nobody does! So to avoid the embarassment you avoid the trigger that causes your dog to act up.

Now every time you see another dog or a person, you tense up and cross the street. This doesn’t fix the problem but it does avoid the problem.

In this article we are going to talk about how to resocialize an aggressive dog. Before I go into the steps let me first say that your dog should have a strong foundation before attempting these steps. I am an advocate for the dogs and I want to set them up for success. I don’t want you putting your dog in a situation that they are not ready for.

Why does this problem occur

Maybe poor socialization, but most dogs are usually insecure. They can not deal with the social pressure of someone entering in their space. They create more space by pushing the other dog or person back. This is only one reason why your dog may act like this. Lets jump right into it.

  1. Being neutral around other dogs and people without aggression

We don’t want to rush our dogs to be friendly with people or other dogs. After all, our dogs previously hated both people and other dogs. What we want to do is to make our dog first tolerate being around them with no reaction.

We first have to block this behavior from happening. Once your dog knows they can’t use aggressive behavior to deal with their issues, anxiety usually sets in. They start to avoid the other dog or person. This is ok because they are now starting to understand that there choices matter.

What we dont want to do is stand still. Standing still can create a lot of tension and pressure for our dogs. So we are in constant motion at this stage. There is also no sniffing each other( dog to dog) and no petting dog( people to dogs). We want to act like other dogs and people are not there.

Here’s a recap of the beginning in step 1:

  1. Block aggressive behavior

  2. Anxiety might start to manifest. And your dog might show signs of avoidance

  3. Move around dogs and people. Everyone is in constant motion

  4. Keep your dog in a little bubble. Don’t allow other dogs to come up to your dog. If they do you can gently push them away. Make sure you can control other dogs. This is important so that your dog can learn to relax and trust you. If you can’t stop another dog or person from entering in their space then they will feel they need to take matters into their own hands.

  5. Correct any aggressive behaviors

2. Standing still while other dogs and people are moving around your dog

This is where we will put our dog on a place bed and have them hold this command. Other dogs can play with each other but are not allowed to say hello to your dog yet.

We want your dog to be comfortable watching dogs and people and not fear anything bad will happen.

Once your dog is comfortable with movement around dogs and people, you must teach them some impulse control. They must stay on their place bed-obedience and relax-state of mind.

This combination should create a dog that is able to deal with the stress. This is teaching your dog to be a passenger in the world. They need to know that they don’t need to react to everything. Just relax and let your owner handle it. Remember to notice the signs of discomfort. Don’t put too much pressure on your dog to succeed. The little victories that are won mean a whole lot more.

3. Sniffing and rough play

This is where I practice something I call “go say whats up”. Ill talk about that in a little bit. But first your dog has to be able to be neutral and stay in constant motion (step 1) and stand still while other dogs and people move around them. Step 3 is a combination of both. In this step we will do

Step 1 + short sniffing greeting

Step 2 + tolerating rougher play by other dogs

The distraction level and the social pressure that your dog has to deal with is much more intense in this step. Take baby steps. Let your dog sniff another dog for 2 seconds before calling your dog off. Then work your way up to letting your dog sniff another dog for 5 seconds and beyond.

Just keep building up your dog. You don’t want to move too fast by letting your dog sniff another dog for 10 seconds on the first go. It is important for your dog to be successful in the early stages to build confidence.Aggressive dogs don’t like the social pressure and need to feel like nothing bad is going to happen to them. I have repeated this several times because it is very important that you understand whats going on in your dog’s head.

Hope you guys enjoyed the article. Also fill out the form on my website homepage to get FREE tips on stopping serparation anxiety.

How to train a guard dog

You think your dog will protect you if a burgalar broke in? The truth might surprise you. Your big pit bull will probably run. That is the honest truth that many don’t believe.

They want their dog to protect them. When their dog jumps in front of them to lunge at someone approaching them, they encourage this behavior. They dont realize that this is dangerous for 2 reasons.

1) it is not done on command.

2)This creates a lot of nervous energy for the dog.

You want a dog that is confident and does not attack your friend or sister because they walked passed you. These are out of control dogs. Not all dogs will be able to protect you. I will explain what dogs should not be trained in this.

This is a disclaimer: I do not advise anybody try these techniques at home without a professional.

Now I want to tell you 2 quick stories about people who have no idea of the how or the who of guard dog training.

The first one is a story about a young woman who I met who had a pit bull puppy. I can tell she did some research on dog training as she threw some terms around. As I stepped in her house I was met by her dog who barked at me then ran behind her.

Every time I would get close to her dog he would go behind her and cower. I asked her did she try to socialize her dog. She explained “I did not want him to be friendly with everyone as he is a guard dog”. It was her and 2 other women living there so I understood why she felt like that.

The only problem was that her dog was afraid of everything. He wouldn’t get in the crate without a fight and when he did you couldn’t leave him in there too long or he was busting out. This was an example of a nervous dog that should not be a guard dog. This dog had shitty nerves that may have been masked with a great trainer, but in this case it showed really bad. She was putting pressure on her dog to be something it didn’t want to be.

The next story was about a phone call I received. A young man from Connecticut had called me wanting to know if I trained protection dogs.( At this time I was not even considering doing personal protection as I seen it as a liability but things change.) We talked some about his goals and what he was trying to achieve. He told me “my dog will attack only his toy or a cone, but won’t attack a person”. This made sense to me as I already knew his problem. His dog was not taking the work seriously. He didnt understand what a real threat was.

Let define 2 terms:

Prey drive- the desire to chase things

Defense drive- the need to protect themselves or their pack from a perceived threat.

These 2 drives are needed for a dog to be a protection dog. The dog in the first story had defense drive, but was scared and didn’t know how to release the pressure of a threat by biting. The dog in the second story was all prey drive, but didn’t see anybody as a threat.

Protection or guard dog training is mostly about genetics. If a dog doesn’t have the genetics then it should not be a guard dog.

How to train a guard dog

  1. Pick a command like “attack”

  2. Do prey bite work dog

  3. Build your dog’s defensive drive

  4. Add intensity

Pick a command

This is a simple step. Just choose a word that you are going to use to communicate to your dog that it should attack.

Do prey bite work

This is done by making your dog chase things. You can use a flirt pole or a bite sleeve with a line on it.

You can also play tug with your dog. Make your dog miss the bite a few times to build frustration and increase the dog desire to want to bite.

I am simplifying this process but it really will take a while before you move on to the next stage. Once you can recognize when your dog is in prey drive and defense drive then you can decide which one you want to use. Prey drive is calming. Defensive drive is stressful. You have to be able to read dogs to know when to encourage one or the other.

Build defensive drive

This is a difficult one. You will need to use an experienced decoy to teach your dog to attack on command. You can not do this work yourself as your dog will not take you as a serious threat nor do you want them to.

The problem with this work is that it is stressful. If you do it too much and don’t relieve the pressure, your dog will try to avoid the decoy instead of fight them. This will lower your dog’s confidence. If you don’t stress your dog at all they will think that it is a game. If this happens you will never get the intensity that you are looking for.

Add intensity

After your dog is taking the work serious you job is to add then maintain the intensity.

Side note: Obedience is also very important as you do not want an out of control dog. If your dog takes the work too serious- do more prey biting activities to calm him down. A dog that takes his work very serious will a lot of times struggle with obedience in the beginning. It is a balancing act.

This is the science and art of protection dog training.

There are many details that will take too long to write. If you have more in depth questions or want to test your dog then leave a comment or fill out the form on my website.

Now this is just an outline. You can research these topics and do some prey bite work yourself, but there will be a point when you need the help of a decoy.

You also might want to look into schutzhund. It is a dog sport to test the courage of the dog. It will help you to better understand this type of work in the beginning.

This article is to inform you and not for you to practice these techniques as someone can get seriously hurt.

The untold truth about positive reinforcement only dog training

In a perfect world you wouldn’t have to punish your dog.

Your dog would do everything you told them to do because you have a reward for them.

But I get calls about people who want to do positive reinforcement only dog training and they are having trouble because it isn’t working like they thought it would. I am going to tell you why in this article.

I have had ups and downs before I truly understood what dog training was about. I watched Cesar Milan and thought I had to be dominant over a dog. I would visit dog training stores who always marketed to positive reinforcement only training.

No wonder people are confused about who to choose as a dog trainer. There are conflicting views and opinions. Who is right? Well let me start off by saying that neither are always right. But I want you to think about something.

If I give a dog a treat it will encourage him to keep doing what he was doing. But how do I get a dog to stop a behavior. I can’t distract a dog forever with a treat. And this is exactly what positive reinforcement only trainers do.

I watched an episode of Cesar Millan where he wanted to prove a positive only trainer wrong. The trainer was sticking to their ideas of using absolutely no force. I forget what type of dog it was but the trainer was struggling to get the dog not to charge at people and jump on them. Cesar did the exact same thing and it took seconds to get the dog under control. This same pattern of the inadequate trainer and the competent Cesar played out in different scenarios.
Seeing it play out like this I thought to myself why is the positive reinforcement only trainer sticking to doing what doesn’t work. Why doesn’t he observe Cesar and do what works. I realized why and Im going to share with you some lies and problems with positive reinforcement only dog training. It’s about holding on to an ideology instead of getting results. I am an advocate for the least aversive experience for the dog, but sometimes a correction is necessary. Here is what I hear:

Reasons positive reinforcement only trainers give

  1. “You have to stay patient”

    I hear this one a lot and sometimes these trainers will blame the owner’s lack of persistance for the reason the dog isn’t getting it. I first think it is unprofessional to blame the customer, especially if they are using the method that the trainer taught them.

  2. Another reason why this doesn’t work is because It needs to be a perfect scenario

    Positive reinforcement only can work but it often doesn’t work alone to help serious problem behaviors.. This is because we don’t live in a perfect world. We have distractions and changes.

    A dog needs enough SUCCESSFUL reps to get the right picture. If they are dog reactive and you successfully get them to not react around dogs 9 times out of 10, the 1 time that they react can set your training all the way back. Some might argue that if this happens then the dog was probably not ready to be so close around the other dogs. And I would have to agree. But the true problem is that there is no consequence for their actions.

  3. They are coming from a place of human psychology and not dog psychology.

    Many people feel bad for a dog. They think that every time they see a dog with their head down that the dog was abused. When in reality this is a social show of submission. It has nothing to do with a dog being abused.

    It is important that you understand that dogs are not humans. When we treat dogs as if they are humans then we are showing we really don’t care about them. We care more about our viewpoints than giving our dogs what they actually need- Rules and boundaries and understanding.

There are some more stuff but Im not trying to go on too much of a rant.

To recap:

You have to stay patient but it shouldn’t take forever to get results.

Since you are not stopping the behavior you will never feel truly confident that your dog wont display that behavior with positive reinforcement only dog training.

Dog are dogs, not humans. Treat them as humans and you will be doing a disservice to them.

Hope you guys enjoyed. let me know your experience with different dog training methods in the comments or email.

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The positive reward based method to stop and help reactive dogs

Isn’t it embarassing every time you walk outside or go to your vet’s office and your dog lunges to bite a stranger or another dog. There is advice out there on the internet on how to deal with this issue. But I’m going to explain a method that I have found some success with in the past on dealing with reactive dogs.

First, I want to talk about a study done by Dr. Emily Blackwell and Emma WIlliams. They took 630 dog owners whose dogs showed reactive/ aggressive behavior, such as lunging, barking, growling, and biting.

They had these owners take a survey asking them about their knowledge of positive reinforcement and if they understood dog behavior on a basic level.

The purpose of this study was to find out what influences an owner decision to use outdated punishment- based methods and what are the barriers and motivators to dog owners using positive reinforcement based solutions.

The results of the study showed that there is a potential for extreme negative emotional responses and feelings of failure are experienced by owners when their dog reacts badly towards another dog or person. Therefore the owners confidence needs to be built up.

They also need to be shown how to use positive reinforcement based methods and how they work in different situations. There is a reason why punishment is not always the answer as stated below.

“Current evidence suggests that positive reinforcement-based behavior modification techniques are both humane and effective in the treatment of aggressive behavior in dogs and that the use of punishment-based techniques are likely to be detrimental to the welfare of the dog and can lead to an increase in aggression. However, many dog owners continue to use punishment-based techniques in an attempt to inhibit this problematic behavior. “

The researcher also wrote "When learning to use positive methods, people are likely to need practical support that demonstrates the effectiveness of reward-based training and also provides an opportunity to practice under expert guidance, so that people feel truly confident in using the techniques themselves in a range of challenging scenarios."

So it isn’t that people dont want to use positive methods. Dog owners just don’t know how to. They need expert guidance.

As a balanced dog trainer I use both positive reinforcement and positive punishment. The key is to know when to use each. I always err on the side of positive reinforcement if I think it will not only harm my dog but damage our relationship.

I know it can be frustrating when your dog is exhibiting these behaviors. First we are going to be going over positive reinforcement and why you should use it. Then we will go over some reasons why they behave like this. ( Its not always what you think)

What is positive reinforement and why should I use it?

Positive reinforcement is giving a dog a reward to increase the likelihood that they will repeat the same behavior they were doing.

Why should you use it?

First let me ask you this. If you had a fear of heights and I told you to come to the edge, would you come? What if I told you its going be okay and that nothing will happen to you. Would you come then? Probably not.

This is what most people do with their dogs. They try to coerce their dog to going near people or other dogs instead of listening to their dog. Your dog will tell you their fears and then you can take effective action.

Triggers for dog reactivity

  • Lack of socialization: A lot of dogs just don’t know how to act because they haven’t been properly socialized. (No I’m not talking about take your dog to the dog park and let them run around)

  • How your dog sees the world: This is similar to the first one except for maybe your dog has socialized. The problem is the learned bad socialization and not the correct way to behave. They learned to either bite, lunge, growl, or flee when they are uncomfortable.

  • Genetics: This is self explanatory. Some dog just are genetically wired a certain way. Training can not fix everything

  • Hormones ( This is rarely the case)

Notice how I didn’t say that your dog is reactive because it was abused. Many people think this. This is applying human psychology to dog psychology. They are not the same. If we want to truly understand dogs then we have to stop humanizing them.

Understand Canine Behavior

It is important that you understand the signs that your dog is giving off. For example, growling is a warning sign to get back. When a person or dog doesn’t listen to this request then your dog feels they have no choice but to lunge to make them get back. You can look up calming signals as a starter to reading dog behavior.

Behavior adjustment therapy

Now I’m not big on using a lot of methods, but this one seems to work pretty good. When your dog is uncomfortable around another dog or person they might not want to take a treat. They usually want space. Giving your dog the space they need is comforting and releases some of the social pressure they are feeling.

I will use the term “below threshold”. This just means below the level or moment when the dog explodes and lunges for a person or dog.

How to do this: This is done in a straight line of vision. It can be done in a park. On the street or any other location.

  1. Take your dog and stand with your dog on a leash. Do not move.

  2. Have another handler walk their dog on the leash up to the point where your dog notices their dog

  3. Your dog will either stare intensely, growl, or forcibly trying to ignore the other dog.

  4. If your dog lunged at the other dog or started barking then the dog is too close to your dog. Move the other dog back further until your dog is not reacting intensely. Notice the signs of stress ( yawning, lip licking, sniffing the ground out of context, forcibly ignoring the other dog, and others)

  5. Wait for your dog to look away or to the side. Then mark that behavior with a YES!!!

  6. Remove the stressor ( the other dog) from the situation and give your dog space.

    The point of this is to reward your dog (give space), for doing the correct behavior( ignoring the trigger and not aggressing forward).

  7. Repeat the process

Do you move the helper dog back or do you move your own dog back?

It depends. If your dog is fearful and trying to flee then I move the helper dog back. If your dog is aggressive moving forward then I would move your dog away when they show signs that they look away or deliberately disengage from the other dog.

This is the same way it can be done with a human reactive dog. Just replace the helper dog with a human.

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How to easily stop even the most aggressive puppy biting

Don’t you just love little cute puppies? But those razor sharp teeth sure do hurt.

Its hard to know when your puppy is biting you whether its aggressive or not.

In this article you will learn how to stop this behavior. But first let me tell you how I came across these skills.

You see, puppy biting used to annoy me too. When I first started training dogs in a professional setting I started at Petsmart ( all of my professional dog out there dont judge me).

Petsmart wanted all the trainers to train their way, so I did. This meant no electronic collars, choke chains, or prong collars. It also meant advertising as positive only dog training.

One day while I was in the training area getting ready for a class, I was approached by a guy with a military background and a rottweiler. I cant remeber his name so we will just call him Joe. He explained that his puppy was 7 months old and everything was good.

His dog knew commands and walked well on the leash, but there was ONE problem. He explained “My puppy get too excited and starts playing rough and aggressively biting.

He went on to tell me how he went to a dog trainer when his dog was 13 weeks old. This problem was going on even back then and had not gotten better.

He then said “ my dog would bite my fingers and it would be annoying. The trainer told me to ignore it and it would go away, but that hasn’t work. Then I watched Youtube and this trainer up there said ‘scream and yelp as if I was one of my dog littlemates’. That worked initially, but not anymore”.

I understood his pain. I wanted to help this man. Something in him said he was genuine. So I told him to bring his rottweiler into the trainer area.

I decided to test his dog to see how aggressive the puppy biting was. So I started playing with a tug with his dog getting excited. Next thing I know his dog roughly jumped on me and I could feel his teeth touch my hand. It hurt, but I held it together out of fear of embarassment.

I learned my lesson.

I decided to try something I seen another trainer do. I took a spray bottle and filled it with water. Then I came back to the trianing area and played with the dog. When he jumped up and I felt his teeth I said NO!!! and squirt him with water.

His dog stopped and looked like he had been unpossessed. We worked on some more techniques and ideas to get this rottweiler to stop this behavior.

Now I will explain what we did

Discover the trigger to puppy biting

A trigger is what caused the dog to react in this way. It happens right before the puppy bites you.

In this case the trigger was play and prey movement. Some other usual triggers include:

  • Getting the dog excited using your voice

  • Movement ( prey based)

  • Nervous dogs might do it when they are uncomfortable

  • Playing rough

  • when your dog gets bored and doesn’t know what to do( We will talk about this later on)

  • Possession

Teach your dog that there are consequences for their actions


You want your dog to think before he bites. You have to create some type of hesistancy so that your puppy thinks twice. If there are no cesonsequences he will continue to bite.

What to do: When your dog bites you, say NO!!! and apply a midly unpleasant experience. You will know you did it right if you dog comes up to you to bite again but hesistates to do it.

You can use:

  • Spray bottle filled with water

  • Pet convincer- Tool filled with compressed air. Works like the Cesar MIlan PSSST.

  • Leash corrections when your dog is older.( Not a 12 week old puppy).

  • Bonker(rolled up towel)

DO NOT: Use coins in a water bottle or other noises as a bad experience. I do not recommend timeout either. As it is not very effective in the case of puppy biting.

Calm energy

Triggers:(excited voice, playing rough, movement)

Excitement can create a lot of behavior problems if it is not directed in the proper activities. In order to deal with a puppy biting problem it is important to remain calm. If you are calm you can’t be excited. Therefore, this elimante problems due to excitement.

What to do: Make your movement slow and uninteresting. Also your voice should be a low pitch and calm. Ignoring your dog along with teaching your dog about consequences can help a lot. Do this in the house. You can play with your dog outside.

Everything comes through you


Your dog needs should all come through you-Food, exercise, fun, discipline. If resource guarding is your problem then your dog does not respect you and your space. Guarding is nothing more than a dog claiming that space as their own. To stop this your dog is not allowed to have toys. But he is allowed to play with your toys. This simple mind shift can help you act different. You will start to take the toys away when you feel like it. They are your toys after all and not your dog’s toys.

What to do: You are now the source of everything. Take all your dog’s toys and don’t leave them around. If your dog is not playing with you then they aren’t playing at all at this point. Claim your space and do not allow your dog to just enter into it without your permission.

Keep in mind that none of these are isolated solutions. You must do them together to get the full benefit of stopping your puppy from biting.

Add Structure

Triggers: bored dogs who don’t know what to do with themselves.

It would be too much to go over here in detail but I do go over how to add structure in my program. This is the key with dogs that bite out of boredom. If we taught your dog consequences and how to be calm, then we have to teach them what to do with themselves to not get into trouble. We can’t expect our dogs to figure it out on their own. This is why we need a routine.

What to do: Pick a time to wake up, to feed your dog, to walk her, and to go to sleep. Perform these activities at the same time every day. In between these times is where training comes into play. Hiring a good dog trainer near you. With this you will be ahead of 75% of dog owners.

Behavior modification for aggressive puppy biting

Triggers: Nervous dog who feel threatened

If you have a nervous dog then you should look for a dog trainer who is educated in dog psychology. The biting will not go away until you get to the root of the problem. You can not simply correct these dogs and think the problem will go away. You need a behavior modification plan.

It is important to know that puppy biting will not go away on its own. You have to be active and not passive. Every breed and dog has a different temperament so follow these steps and I have no doubt in my mind that you should good.

To sum it up:

  • Discover the trigger

  • Teach your dog consequences

  • Have calm energy

  • Be the source of all things

  • Add structure to your dog’s life

  • Behavior modification if needed

Do all of these things simultaneously.

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Now how bad is your puppy biting?

Teaching an old dog new tricks

I get this question often. “ My dog is 5 years old, can he still learn new things”. My answer to this is usually yes or it depends. The problem with an old dog learning “new tricks “ isnt what you think. Most people think its because a dog is stuck in their ways. I disagree. The reason why its hard to teach an old dog has to do with 2 things. Their motivation level and their physical fitness. Let’s talk about each one.

Motivation level

You ever notice how when you have a puppy how food motivated they are. Thats because their bodies are growing. They even like playing with toys or having you chase them around the yard. This is not the case with an older though. They don’t want to play. It requires too much energy that they don’t want to expend because they might not be in the best shape. They also don’t care about food sometimes besides eating their meal. SO when you try to give them a treat they are not willing to do anything to get it. Its almost an attitude of “ I seen it all and done it all, so that doesn’t impress me”. I actually think its funny how older dogs will sometimes just give up in the middle of training because they become seemingly uninterested.

Older dogs also take a lot of naps like puppies do. The only difference is that puppies seem energized from their nap while older dogs seem to have only a tiny bit more energy than they had laying down. That brings me to the next part.

Physical fitness

As I mentioned before your older dog might not have the physical fitness energy. They also might have arthritis like us humans. As dogs get older they develop all type of physical problems such as hip dysplasia and arthritis. This makes it harder to teach any dog new behaviors. If I tell a dog to lay down and it takes her 10 minutes to lay down because she of the arthritis, then how do I know when the dog is being disobedient. I cant. So its a waste of time for me to try it. I speak from experience. I have a 12 year pit bull that has joint problems and is on supplements. Any time she is down stairs with me in the basement, I have to life her up the stairs to take her out the door. Therefore, I dont do anything with her. I let her be. She doesn’t have to sit, down roll over, none of that. She lived her life and I want her to enjoy her later years. By the way I don’t train any dogs over the age of 10 years. Thats just my feelings, but if a dog works for me for 10 years I will not require anything after that. The only time I train a dog older than 10 years old is if the dog is a danger to himself or to others.

Also look out for my youtube channel coming soon.

How to manage a dog in your house

There are barely any hard rules in dog training. This is why a lot of people do different things. My goal with a pet dog is to integrate the dog into society and to be social and defer to their handler for any minor things. This is when I take a dog out into the world and see how they are when it comes to new experiences- objects, people, environments, other dogs or animals. This is important to me because I want a dog who is confident but not aggressive or fearful. I will discuss this training in another article. But today I’m going to be talking about how you live with your dog in your home. Check out my blog post titled “ 6 tools needed for a new puppy” to get started. After that you are ready to start managing your dog. You need rules, a schedule, management skills, and what to do when a dog is acting a specific way.


You need rules to establish yourself and so that your dog knows what to expect. You shouldn’t hold a dog accountable for something he has not learned yet. Some example of rules is:

  1. When Im not around my dog is in the crate

  2. no begging for food. when we eat my dog goes to its dog bed

  3. no jumping on furniture

  4. not allowed in certain rooms

  5. my dog will eat in its crate

This is not a full list just a sample. It depends on what you like


Being on a schedule makes life for a dog predictable. Which makes life for him easier and in turn easier for you too. Being on a schedule is just doing the same things at the same time everyday.

For instance,

8am walk my dog

10 am - 12pm relax in xpen

1pm feed ( if its a puppy) then walk the dog 15 minutes later

6pm feed and walk my dog

Management skills

It is best to be proactive then reactive. I always recommend redirecting a dog in the beginning stages of a behavior that might be a problem such as barking, staring and eventually lunging at other dogs, digging, biting on furniture, and others. So when your dog is digging and its a puppy or just started doing this behavior it is best to tap your dog on its butt, or get its attention somehow, and redirect your dog away from the digging site. Have the mindset of” instead of digging come play this little game with me over here”. The same goes with staring. Once you notice your young dog staring too long, then redirect them away from the dog. After a while you will start to notice what causes your dog to react whether its another dog, cars, or loud noise from a construction site. Now you are prepare and can begin to proactively avoiding an outburst from your dog. If you see a dog coming then immediately whip out some treats and start playing food games. Same thing goes if you are going pass a construction site or people your dog doesn’t like. Avoid the problem so your dog doesn’t get a chance to practice negative behavior.

What to do when your dog act in certain ways

Hire a professional dog trainer!!! No seriously, I get calls from people thinking they can solve problems that is too complicated for someone not knowing what they are doing. Its not a simple as punish a dog and reward a dog. Sometimes there are psychological factors we have to consider. For example, if your dog lunges at another dog you can punish that behavior. The problem with this and what Ive notice is that dogs who have this happen to them tend to become unpredictable. SInce they are afraid to exhibit their true emotional state they will do it in unpredictable ways.

Hope you guys enjoyed this post. Let me know if you have any questions

Potty training 101

If you follow this process that I’m going to explain to you then you should have a dog that is potty trained in a matter of time. The #1 rule for potty training is to never take your eyes off the dog. This is crucial and why so many people come home and step in accidents on the foul. If you want to get your dog to understand how to use the bathroom outside then you must have a process to teach your dog.

Another rule of mine is to never punish the dog for making mistakes. I know that old school way of taking him back to the scene of the crime, mushing his nose in it, then smacking him with a newspaper. PLEASE DO NOT DO THIS!!! It is ineffective at best and damaging your dog’s relationship with you at worst.

Quick note: Notice when your dog has to go to the bathroom. Usually its first thing in the morning. Sometimes they will play and get worked up then drink a lot of water. Next thing you know they are peeing out a river.

For those of you using wee wee pads get off my site and don’t ever come back. If I see you in the street don’t say nothing to me. You are lazy and don’t want to walk your dog and I will not tolerate that. HAHAHAHA Im just kidding. We will talk about wee wee pads later on and how to use them and what not to do with them. But first lets discuss the process to potty train your dog.

  1. Feed you dog.

    Put down a bowl of dog food and give your dog 15 minutes to eat. The bowl should not be left down all day. If the bowl is left down your dog will nibble on food throughout the day and this will make it harder to time when they have to go to the bathroom. After they eat or even if they don’t pick up the bowl at the 15 minute mark. and move on to step 2

  2. Wait 15 minutes before taking your dog for a walk.

    It will vary from dog to dog, but this will work for most. During the 15 minutes make sure to keep your eyes on your dog and that you can see them at all times. Be proactive. If you see your dog sniffing the ground a lot then they might be sniffing for a spot to release their load. Pick them up if they are small enough and take them outside immediately. If they are big just run with them outside.

  3. Take your dog outside to a designated area

    IN the beginning this is important. Many people have spots all over their yard because they allow the dog to pee everywhere. Its important to take your dog on a leash and allow her to sniff the same spot and pee in the same spot.

    You ever notice how your dog might have an accident in the house but it always that same spot whether behind the couch or in the living room on the carpet.

    We can use this to our advantage. This also saves time. When you are in a rush and you know your dog has to go to the bathroom you can avoid all the sniffing and take them to their designated area to relieve themselves.

  4. Once your dog is sniffing and decided to use the bathroom then its praise time

    Give your dog a lot of praise when they use the bathroom. They need to know that they did a great thing. Mark the behavior by saying “pee pee” , “poop poop”, or whatever else you want to use to signal to your dog that its go to the bathroom time. I see some people give a treat but this can cause your dog to fake it just to get a treat.

What if you are struggling and your dog doesn’t use the bathroom?

I would first ask you “ did you get your dog from a pet shop or puppy mill. Those dogs can sometimes have a harder time because they are use to stepping and laying in their own feces. There are little tricks you can do, but lets stay on task here.

If you adopted your dog or brought them from a reputable breeder, then we need to fix this problem.

Remember the #1 rule of never take your eyes off the dog. Well when we step away from our dog we will put them in a crate. If we go outside for a while and we don’t have luck, we will come back inside and put our dogs in the crate and try again in 10 minutes.

My method is if they are never allowed to pee or poop in the house then they wont do it. They don’t get a chance to practice bad behavior.

“SO Donald what about wee wee pads”?

Well wee wee pads are helpful definitely for smaller dogs and especially during the winter months here in NYC.

SOme tips for using wee pads:

Use only one pad. Many people use a bunch of pads all throughout the house, but this can be confusing to the dog. Remember we want her to go to a designated area.

You also can’t get mad if your dog missed the pad by a little. It is not crystal clear to the dog. Using the bathroom inside of the house and outside in the yard is a clear difference.

One thing you can try is elevating the wee pad on something. The difference between an elevated object and an object flat on the ground is also a clear difference for the dog.

You can also try to put the pad in place where your dog likes to pee anyways like the bathroom or down the hallway.

That pretty much sums up potty training 101. If you have any questions email me at or comment below

How to motivate your dog using their natural ability

There are many drives that a dog has there is food drive, play drive, and prey drive to name a few. I will briefly talk about each and then Ill explain the reason for this.

  1. food drive is also known as hunger drive. This is your dog’s motivation for food. Usually you will see this with hungry dogs. A dog that has not eaten all day will be excited to do whatever you ask in order to get the reward, which is food. Food drive goes down as you give a dog food and treats. You need a hungry dog to have the motivation for food. There are exceptional dogs that will continue to eat after they are full and puppies have a large appetite for food. However, the average dog will get full and no longer be motivated for food.

  2. Play drive is a dog’s motivation for play. A lot of working dogs love to play tug or retrieve. You will see this with dogs who go crazy for a ball or crazy for any toy. They go from normal and casually walking around to being fired up and ready to go. If you are following me on Instagram( which you should be) you can see a little clip of a video of a Belgian Malinois that was so driven for his toy that he was shaking uncontrollably.

  3. Prey drive is similar to play drive. The difference is that when a dog is in prey drive he likes to chase things. This same dog could love a certain toy, but when you move the toy away from him the fun really begins. This can be used in pet dog training, but we will mostly use food and play drive.

How to use food drive to your advantage

First I would like to say that most of us Americans feed our dogs like we feed ourselves- too much. When I worked in an animal hospital I heard one of the Vets talk about how its healthier if a dog is a little skinny. That might shock some people as they immediately think of abuse when they see skinny dogs. After that brief form of self expression lets talk about how to help you motivate your dog using their food drive.

  1. Dog must be hungry for food.

    To be honest, some of the dogs I’ve seen can afford to skip a meal. Its not going to kill them Obesity will however. Feed your dog regularly as you do. When you take them out for a training session notice their energy levels. Do they swallow the food whole or do they have a “ i could take it or leave it” attitude? If its the latter then, your dog needs to skip a meal. The next day the should come back ready to work for their food.

  2. Feed your dog only from your hand and not out of a bowl. Use training time to feed them . There are no free meals over here

  3. Quality of rewards is very important. A major reason a lot of dogs have a “ i can take it or leave it " attitude is because the food that you give them sucks. The treats are dry and not tasty at all. Try giving your dog a cooked piece of chicken and watch how their attitude changes.

  4. Size of reward matters also. For a small dog dont give a huge piece and for a big dog dont give a small piece of food. It sounds like common sense but its not. Many people I’ve seen give a dog the size of a German shepherd a piece of food smaller than a penny.

How to use play drive to your advantage

Play drive increases with time unlike food drive. You want to work with whatever your dog naturally likes. I was guilty of trying to get a dog to play tug with me when the dog prefer to chase balls. When I stop doing it my way and did it his way training became much easier.

  1. Have a toy you dog likes. This could be a ball or tug or another object.

  2. Never let the dog play with the object by themselves. The toy should represent an interactive game with you. All good things come from you. You are like Sana Claus to the dog.

  3. Get the dog to bring the ball or toy back to you. This is an indicator that the dog enjoys the interaction and not just self satisfying on the toy alone.

  4. Monitor your dog’s energy levels. If your dog is allowed free reign they will use up their energy whenever they feel like it. This may not be good for you as it may be when you are trying to sleep. Instead set up a schedule and know when you are going to train. If its at 1 pm then keep your dog’s energy level relatively low early in the day so that all that bottled up energy can be put into training instead of jumping on the furniture. Use a crate for this.( It is important that your dog is crate trained first.) Take your dog out in the early morning to use the bathroom. Come back home and have your dog go on the place bed and stay or put them in the crate.

By following what is written above you can surely get your dog motivated to do the behavior you are asking of them.

How to get your dog to respect you

Unless you are a cruel human being or a psychopath most people are kind to animals. Its the respect that most people are lacking. Cesar MIlan has the 3-exercise, discipline, and affection. Most people easily understand affection and exercise. Its pretty straightforward.

The problem is discipline. Some people take it too far and hold their dog accountable for something they don’t understand. I never punish a dog for potty accidents for 2 reasons.

The first one is because i cant be sure the dog understands where to relieve themselves.

The second reason is because it can cause a dog to hide its feces. Big problem!!!!

Discipline is doing something whether you feel like it or not.

I try my best to detach my emotions during discipline. The mindset that I have is that:

”these are the rules, and they must be followed or there are consequences”.

This is a thought i encourage owners to have. Its tough but as your dog’s leader you must show love and enforce the rules. Now this all sounds good in theory but how do we do this in a practical way? Im about to tell you how to do it.

Its called the learn to earn method. Before your dog has access to any privilege that they want they have to perform a command. Most people get the dog to sit, but i prefer to get the dog to down. The down position is much more relaxing than the sit position.

Depending how much respect I want to gain, the stricter I will be.

My dogs sleep in a crate and are in a crate when Im not around. It doesn’t matter if they are the best behaved dog or the worst.

My dog is not allowed in the dining room. I teach them to go to their place bed instead.

My dog is not allowed to pull me. I teach them how to give in to the leash.

On a structured walk my dog is not allowed to constantly sniff. I will let them know what areas they can sniff

My dog is not allowed on furniture. I personally only do this because i dont like fur on my couch when guest come over. It has nothing to do with dominance.

My dog doesn’t walk through a threshold without checking in with me. I teach them that before we go for a walk you have to wait until i give the okay for them to come outside through the door.

My dog is not allowed to be aggressive with people or other dogs. I teach them by socializing them and working through environmental stressors. If I have to rehab then thats another issue I will address.

My dog has to lay down on command before they eat

Notice that I didnt say anything about hitting my dog to get them to comply or yelling at them to get them to comply. This is an emotional reaction to what the dog is doing. You are being reactive and telling the dog that you are not in control. I will apply corrections to a dog as needed but my main concern is to be fair to the dog.

Now this is not an all out list. Any preference you have can be a rule. But remember that this is only one side of the equation. If you want your dog to be motivated and pay attention to you the right way stay tuned for my next blog post where I will discuss motivation.