Bella….. Get over here…… Oh my gosh!!! …..You tore up my new shoes again…. And my phone charger!!!
This is what I witnessed one client saying when I just arrived to do a consultation with them. I was just soaking it all in so that I could see what was fully going on. After walking around their house I noticed that there were several ways that they could of lived with their dog successfully. Here is the list of those things for you guys to get started.
1.Dog proof your home
You should do this immediately when you get that wild crazy puppy or adopted adult dog. What I mean by dog proof is that you shouldn’t have any extension cords, phone chargers, sneakers, etc lying around where the dog can get into trouble. Just like humans, dogs are creatures of habit. If they never learn to chew on those new pair of boots you brought then they will not be accustomed to doing that behavior.
There are benefits to this though. Your home will be less messy. Chewed up objects with dog slob makes your home look destructive and unclean. When guest come over you don’t want them to feel uneasy about coming over because of the mess the dogs created. Of course you don’t want a clean home for your self too.
There is another benefit of this also. If you dog proof your home it is less likely that Bella will chew on something she is not supposed to. This will decrease your chance of a late night visit to one of the emergency animal hospitals such as Blue Pearl in NY. Those visits can be costly believe me.
I witness someone have to spend $3,000 all because their dog received a foreign body from chewing an object which might have been a baby pacifier.
2. Crate your dog
Some people feel bad when they put their dog in a small crate. Im here to tell you that the dog feeds off your energy. If you make a big fuss then so will she. You have to first introduce your dog to the crate.
Start by playing crate games- You throw food inside, the dog runs in and eats the treat then runs back out. It is much better in the beginning to be patient and allow the dog to enter on her free will and enjoy the experience. Do not close the door behind the dog when she enters the crate. Let her have the freedom to go back and forth.
After a while start closing the door behind her for 2 seconds then letting her out. It is important to increase the time over a period of days. Once she is able to stay in there leave her in there periodically as you walk around the house. The last step is to leave the house and keep the dog in the crate. It is important to take this process slow so she doesn’t become a nervous wreck in the crate.
Warning: Do not punish your dog by putting them in the crate if they pooped on the carpet or peed on the living room floor. Doing so turns the crate into a bad place which we aretrying to prevent.
This just means that every time you and your dog walk through a doorway they have to stop first and acknowledge you. Dogs that are pushy will just run through without paying you much attention. Sometimes a dog needs a prong collar to feel some pressure to stop.( We will go through more about this in the next section.).
The process works like this: You walk up to doorway with dog, dog stops and acknowledges you by looking at you, and you give her the ok to walk through the doorway. This is how it works with training in a perfect world. When you first try this what is likely to happen is: You walk up to the doorway with your dog, she instantly run through before you can say sit, and you are frustrated because she is doing whatever she wants and not listening to you.
To make it simple think about it like this: You don’t give her what she wants until she complies with what you ask.
You might think this is limited to food but it can also be access to outside or another area or a toy. I guarentee that this most likely will not be easy for some of the big powerful breeds, but its worth it. Consistency is key. After a while , she will just realize that this is life and I have to look at my handler for advice.
4. Have your dog on the leash in the home
There is a saying that says, “ if you don’t have mental control of your dog then you need to have physical control”. Most people think of the leash as an outside tool, which it is. But its real purpose is control. I agree with Cesar Millan when he talks about dogs being in a follower state. Sometimes in order to get them there you have to control every thing they do.
This also helps with the previous section of thresholds because it makes YOU relevent in your dog’s mind. This is not necessary to do forever. This is to establish control in your house so that your dog respects you. I would suggest doing this for 3 weeks. After that your dog should get the picture.
I would suggest you use a flat buckle collar or a slip lead. A prong collar is not necessary as your dog should be less stimulated since there are really no distractions at home for the dog. Some dogs will need a prong collar because they are so strong and charged up which makes it difficult for them to listen.
This is very important and often neglected by many dog owners. But not you. Im sure you are going to set up boundaries in your house for your dog. These boundaries include specific areas that the dog is allowed to go in. For instance, my dog has his bed in the hallway. This is his designated area. He is not allowed upstairs or in my room unless he is invited. Certain areas of the house he is never allowed to go in.
The more strict you are with her early one the more freedom you can give her later on without fearing she will take advantage.
This is the learn to earn method. Your dog learns that everything they get must be earned. This is extremely empowering to your dog and gives them control of whether they get what they want.
These 5 are all foundational. You need to be implementing this ASAP. Don’t wait until little bella decides to try your patients. This is just management so that no bad behaviors develop. If you want a well behaved dog you have to not only encourage good behaviors, but also prevent bad behaviors from being created and practiced.
If you have any questions you can email me at Fraternityk9@gmail.com