Why Do We Avoid Using a Leash in Dog Training?

All New Dogs Must be on a Leash at My House too! Thanks to Paws and Jaws for the Photo

I answer a lot of questions about dog training in general.

That is what I do, I write, I read and I answer questions about dogs and dog training, I train and compete with my dogs.  I have 20+ years of dog training experience.

I have done a lot and have a ton of experience in different areas, and yet there is still plenty to learn; but some things have just become basic knowledge to me, they have become my default.

Using a Leash is One of My Defaults

If I want to teach my dog something I use a leash so I can control him, his space, and help him to learn.

Occasionally I train tiny puppies without using a leash, I just get the clicker out and we play games, but I usually shut them in a room with me to take their option of leaving and grabbing a toy or rewarding themselves away.

Recently….

Recently I was asked a question and my answer was to use a leash.

I think it was because the puppy was jumping on guests.

Although don’t get me wrong I recommend using leashes, yes even in the house, when guests come over and all the time until you earn the privilege of being off leash in the house.

But recommending a leash was considered cruel… or I was accused of being cruel.

Are There Other Ways of Training Without a Leash

thanks petlawblog for the photo

thanks petlawblog for the photo

Are there other ways or training without a leash?  Sure there are other ways, but most of them aren’t kind.

Usually you have to use nastier methods, or ignore bad behaviors which often makes them worse if you refuse to use a leash.

For Instance

For instance I once had a client complain that his dog got in the trash and would steal things out of it when they left the room, and he told me the story of how he broke the dog of the habit (sometimes we hear sad stories in this business.)

He waited until the dog knocked over the trash and crawled in it, then he snuck back into the kitchen, closed the trash bag around the dog and beat the sides of the trash can while he shook it back and forth.

Apparently, this method worked.

So when I suggested that another person’s dog who attended my class, who’s owner suffered from the same problem, put the dog on a leash and teach the dog “Leave It”  then set something really good on the trash and teach the dog to leave it on command.

After all, we do throw some pretty great things in the trash; at least our dogs think so!

Which is Easier?

trashSo which method is easier?

I’m just guessing (although I have never tried it) that beating your dog in a trash can and causing him or her severe fear of the trash can (since they must think it attacked them)would be much quicker.

But I also think that it would create fears and phobias in other places.  Perhaps if you had a super confident dog, you would never see him or her fear things again but most dogs would be leery of things that looked like trash cans.

Putting your dog on a leash and actually teaching him what is acceptable and what is not will surely take you longer.

I asked the other owner if he had ever taught his dog “leave it” or not to get into the trash and he assured me the dog should “know better”.

Why Do We Expect Them to Know Better?

Without teaching them, why should we expect them to just come out of the womb knowing that stealing trash (or treats in their minds) is wrong?

Without teaching them to keep all four on the floor and not jump on people, why do we expect them to somehow “know” not to jump on us?  Jumping is often how they greet each other, especially those they love and know.

You could boot your dog across the room when he jumps on your guests, or hit him, or use the “old” rolled up newspaper, but is that fair?

No!!!  No!  It is Not Fair or Humane

What is fair, is teaching your dog how to act and react and for that I think it is easier to use a leash so that I can more easily control the situation.

I can try and teach my dog without a leash, but I had better have treats or toys that are more exciting than everything else that is going on around him.

So When I Have People Over

Even my Puppies Go ON Leash

Even my Puppies Go ON Leash

So when I have people over I put my dogs on a leash and teach them how to respond.  I also teach them about “Place” for more on that and teaching your dog click here.

A Leash is My Savior

I do keep my dogs on leash in the house until they earn the privilege of being off leash.

Being on leash almost FORCES me to teach them manners.

So many people complain about their dog stealing their underwear, chewing on things they shouldn’t, chasing the cat, or not getting along with the other dogs in the house.

My default is to use a leash.

If you can’t control yourself and you are bullying the other dogs or animals in the home, you’ll be on a leash or tie down so that everyone else can keep away from your bullying ways.

If you steal my underwear while you are on leash… well, I have to ask myself how you got that opportunity and being on leash will take the wind right out of your sails!

Do I Over Use My Leash?

Perhaps,  perhaps I do!

But I have learned through years of having dogs of all ages enter my house, that if they are on a leash and I actually train them to do something; I end up with very well trained dogs!

And, when they make mistakes… and of course they do, they go back on leash so I can teach them!

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Comments

  1. Dawn Tuskey says:

    Again I agree with thedogtrainingsecret.com & Minette. Why is it cruel to have positive control over your dog? Why is it cruel to train a dog using methods based upon how a dog learns (not how a human learns)? Methods that are gentle, reinforces the human-dog bond, teaches a dog how to successfully live with people in a human world (and their homes), and finally, in the end, keep people & dogs safe. When correctly used, the leash sends dogs to heights of joy. Good things happen on the leash in his world (he’s physically close to you, walks with those wonderful scents of other dogs, squirrels, birds…)

    Yes, a leash trained dog shows me the dog is an important member of the person’s family. The person invested the time, energy & patience to help the dog suceed at being wall-mannered, and I’m looking at a responsible responsible dog owner.

    [Reply]

    Carole Olson Reply:

    Personally, I love having my 16 week old Eli on the end of the leash. He is connected to me like it is an umbilical cord. It keeps him out of trouble and helps give me a bit of needed rest. I am able to instantly correct any infractions…I don’t expect him to know he isn’t to do this and that unless I teach him the difference. He is EXCEPTIONALLY bright cause I am his mommy and no matter how bright he is…he is still a baby and doesn’t know EVERYTHING yet.

    I take him outside and he goes on command. If he gets sidetracked from his reason for being outside a tug on his harness via the leash and a verbal command repeated for him sends him back on track to do his job…then back into the house and then he can play… I got to feeling very trustful of Eli’s potty training abilities since he had not had one mistake in two weeks…I left him off the lease for literally 5 minutes while I made a cup of coffee….I WAS TOTALLY WRONG to do that, yet. He pooped right out in the walking area and was quite proud of himself. Or at least he acted like he was…LOL Right back onto the umbilical cord he went and I will not let him off of it again unless my eyes are glued on to him to catch him BEFORE he does it.

    The LEASH is a wonderful tool to use…When he is outside to potty and decides to pick up rocks in his mouth I give the leash a tug and tell him to “DROP IT”. Without the leash, I would have to TRY to get ahold of him as he kept himself just out of reach because he was enjoying that rock that could harm his tummy….WHERE IS THE CRUELTY?

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    Angela Christopherson Reply:

    I use the “you have to earn the right to be off leash” at friends’ houses, esp if they have cats. My pup is 18months and half terrier mix,out of control energy. We have a lot of fun playing fetch the toys from off my bed into the next room, she flies off the bed thru the doorway into the next room, and loves to catch things before they hit the ground with her front paws. If she gets off leash she comes back to me in about a minute or less. She’s pretty good for how much energy she has.

    [Reply]

  2. Cher says:

    Wow, beating the dog in the trash can Oh no!

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    Angela Christopherson Reply:

    My kitchen trash is a 5 gallon bucket w/lid, when my pup gets interested in it I just say, “NO, stay out,” and after a few months she doesn’t even notice it any more. “I love lids”,makes it a lot easier to train them. To scare your dog is very wrong! I would think that could cause problems with an animals mental well being big time. That guy sounds like a bully.

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  3. Naomi Arimura says:

    We have an unusually (so we are told) sensitive dog, who we rescued from a snowy Japanese mountain on Christmas Day. He was 2 months old desperate for some care, and we don’t know how long he’d been there. He’s a mongrel and had been thrown away. We have never, ever, treated him like that, so harshly, and he is responsive enough that we have never needed to. He’s naughty sometimes, disobedient occasionally, but he knows when we really need obedience and usually instantly complies (the exception is when he is terrified by sudden thunder.) He loves to run so we let him go free, but he knows he should keep in touch with us and if he bolts at such times we subsequently walk him on the leash. He has rescued me twice, once when I broke my leg and once when a neighbour harangued me fiercely. Not by attacking, he has never attacked anyone. Yes, he very occasionally disembowels the trash basket. When he’s feeling energetic and frisky. So what? Takes me 30 seconds to pick up. I believe children can be a lot more troublesome. A dog is a sentient being and becomes less so if bullied into being a robot. Power hungry people should stick to video games. We have laid down certain ground rules for safety reasons mostly and convenience, and beyond that try to listen and understand each other. Isn’t that what makes it interesting? We are different species, after all.

    [Reply]

    ashley kujan Reply:

    naomi, you are wise! i often refer to my pups as “sentient beings” when i need to remind others that dogs are feeling creatures, just as we are. i, too, train my pups mainly for safety reasons, then for a few random fun things! the one thing we must all remember, as you stated, is that we are different species! it helps to do a bit of research on the behaviors of wolves, but i doubt that most humans will do so. just knowing the basic behaviors, however, is quite helpful as we raise our companions. as for the “cruelty” issue, i do not agree with that guy terrorizing his dog into submission, yet i do believe it necessary to be a bit “alpha” at times. when one has stubborn, “bully” type dogs who could easily take control if allowed, it is important to establish the boundaries and heirarchy of the “pack”. i never beat my pups, but i will tap them below the jaw(as a mother wolf might do with her nose) when they are being particularly unruly! that is usually enough to get their attention and chill them out. if not, i go for the leash. simple!

    [Reply]

    Patricia BALDWIN Reply:

    I think the leash is fine if not used as a weapon. I would not ever have done the garbage can thing! I use tall cans so if one of mine gets in while its upright they stay stuck and I “catch ’em in the act! It is hilarious but doesn’t hurt or frighten the dog in any way.

    [Reply]

  4. Lisa says:

    Trash diving could be dagerouse, you never know what’s in the trash can. My dog has poked his nose into the trash can a few times, but that’s about it. I make it inconvienient for him, when I leave the house and he’s in, I simply put the can where he can’t get it, like the kitchen sink so it’s out of reach, for the most part, he stays out of the trash. When I’m home the trash can is in it’s proper place, he knows he’s not supposed to touch, and doesn’t, when I’m home.
    I do the same method with furnature. He’s only allowed on the furniture if he is invited. When I leave the house I put large cardboard boxes on the sofa and love seat making it inconvienient to climb upon the furnature, eventually the idea of getting on the furnature will fade, this process takes time, but it works. The dog simpley gives up on climbing on the furnature and only climbs upon it when I invite him. I also provide him with a couple of beds and a mat that are his, so he has his own space. He’s on his mat at this very moment.

    [Reply]

  5. Patricia says:

    Like this method, but we have a dog that was dropped off and we adopted it. Have problems with her jumping getting into everything. Any time we try to put a collar on her she is so scared. You can evenput a treat in ffront of her and she won’t eat. Take collar off and she eats it up. When we triedaadding a leash to it she ran in walls and went crazy. Don’t know what to do.she is sweet and don’t want to have to get rid of her, but she just don’t learn. Help

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    I’d put a leash and collar on her and let her get used to it. Just keep a close eye on her.

    You know it’s not hurting her or going to kill her so let her work it out on her own and soon she will be wearing one with no problem.

    [Reply]

    HaplessPizza Reply:

    Maybe someone put a shock collar on her at one point! One of my friends uses shock collars (and I despise the shock collar) and it malfunctioned, shocking the dog repeatedly for no reason. Now her dog is TERRIFIED of any collar.

    [Reply]

    Patricia Reply:

    This is what we were thinking, or mistreated her. Might try what minette said, just don’t know what else to do.

    [Reply]

  6. cliffford says:

    i agree you should never beat or hit your dag it is just like your child he or she has to be tough everything

    [Reply]

  7. Kathy says:

    Hi, thanks for the great article, I am learning so much! Question though, what is the proper way to correct your puppy when it is on a leash. We come from the old theory of the dreaded prong collar which worked well for our previous lab because that is what our “highly qualified” trainer had us do. Our new puppy is coming soon and I really want to change training styles, but I am confused as to how to correct just I assume using a plain leash and collar. Thanks!

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    Take away something the dog wants.

    If my dog doesn’t listen to me when we go out to train, we come inside and she is denied time and interaction with me. It works every time!

    [Reply]

    Kathy Reply:

    Thanks for the quick response! So are you ever telling the dog “no”? I guess I am little confused when he is caught in the act of misbehaving as to which should be the first response. I can remember nine years ago when our lab puppy got into the pantry when we were eating (one of the kids left the crate door open) and he grabbed a new bag of flour and had a field day while we were eating. We laugh now but yikes, he was a little bugger!

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    I tell my dogs to “leave it” I think people over use NO

  8. Luann Johnson says:

    It is cruel and abusive to beat your dog period. Making him fearful of something is also cruel and abusive. Do we teach are own children this way???? I hope not. If someone beats a dog in a trash can then this person should not be allowed to own a dog. If you don’t have time and patience to train a dog the proper way then don’t own one.

    The easiest and less abusive and cruel method for this person (if they had any brains) is to keep garbage cans out of reach of the dog in the first place.

    I changed my inside garbage cans to cans that cannot be opened by a dog and it cost $25. I put my small can in the bathroom in the cabinet. Outside I bought an extra pet fence to make a double gate just like the ones in the dog parks and place the garbage cans inside the gated area. The fence costs $40 on Ebay. So for under $65 I don’t ever have to worry about my dogs getting into the garbage and they don’t have to worry about someone abusing them.

    [Reply]

    Austra Reply:

    Luann good on you if only more people had yr common sense… Poor dog I feel for all abused animals its unnecessary, that Adult needs to remember he didn’t come out of the womb knowing everything, he had to be taught just like the poor dog… or maybe someone beat him about to be so damn cruel!!!

    [Reply]

  9. Larna says:

    I think it was extreme. However, he didn’t beat the dog, he beat the can. ??? Cruel? Kinda, yes. I think this pet owner has little patience and tolerance for time related training. I don’t think he actually enjoys the interaction required in training.

    [Reply]

  10. Flor Luna says:

    I don’t think the correct way to train your dog to stay out of the trash is by removing the trash. I think you should train your dog that the trash is simply something they are not allowed to even consider messing with. I have three little Chihuahuas and on occasion they get close to the trash can with the intent (I think) of smelling it. I then say “no, no”. Then they leave it alone for a long time. They are like kids. Even if they know better, they will try to do something once in a while to see if they can get away with it.

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    Whereas I agree with you and promote training, I don’t trust that all “big” dogs that can knock the trash down and eat out of it should be trusted when their owners leave.

    If in doubt, I would rather put my trash outside than have my big dogs that are lose when I leave eat something that may kill them.

    [Reply]

  11. Mrs. Black says:

    Hi Chet,

    I really appreciate your principled thinking when it comes to dog training. It is so much more considerate and “humane” to train a dog with a leash than it is to try to manipulate him by fear or bribery. It is reasonable and rational. However, i think most people have grown up seeing the reasonable as normal, and then they don’t know how to think any other way. Thank you for being so forthright and clear cut about what is sensible, and should be normal. I think everyone needs to hear more of what you have to say. Thank you!

    [Reply]

  12. Howard Hardin says:

    I have been a k-9 handler in the Air force and I never beat my dog, I love dogs and I surely don’t beat them. If you get your dogs love and respect he will die for you. I worked with the k-9’s for three years and I sure didn’t mistreat my dog one time. It takes patience and time to train a K-9 but it is work the effort. Thanks, An animal lover!!!!!!!!

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    Thank you for your service! I have a good friend that was K9 trainer in the Air Force and then regionally for many years 🙂

    Good luck to you and our others who serve

    [Reply]

  13. OM says:

    Agreed, but we have a problem. Like the puppy in the photo, our puppy started out on day one putting the leash in her mouth and walking us and now she is older and still bites on the leash any time she can and tries to play tug of war with us on the other end of the leash. We have sprayed the leash with bitter apple, no effect. Even finally bought a chain leash but she tries to chew that too and I don’t like using it. We can stop her from chewing the leash by holding her by her collar at the same time but that is not a workable solution for walking her for example. I have had many dogs in my life and never before one who insisted on grabbing the leash and chewing and tugging on it. She also pulls on the leash when it is not in her mouth and all of the techniques online, and there are many we have tried, have not worked either to stop either behavior chewing the leash and pulling on it. Cute in the picture but not so easy to deal with. Suggestions?

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    Give her an appropriate toy to play with instead. Read this http://www.thedogtrainingsecret.com/blog/ive-created-monster/

    [Reply]

    OM Reply:

    Hi Minette,

    Thank you will do that today.

    Peace,
    OM

    [Reply]

  14. John Markusic says:

    I personally think putting the dog in a trash bag and beating on it is cruel. I taught my dogs the word NO and they have learned that the trash can is off limits. The work “NO” is very powerful as it helps with controlling my dogs negative behaviors.

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    I agree it is cruel, that is why I used that example

    [Reply]

  15. Raymond says:

    Hi, I lost both my little dogs
    They were about 6 & 8 years old,
    Adopted another about a week ago
    name is lee o
    he has already leared to leave the trash alone
    not one time have I had to scold him,
    just say no no.

    Me and my wife not in good health
    but we love our little doggie and sam the cat
    We sure would like to purch the training course
    but have to much medical expence,just can~t aford it.
    Thank for the info U send
    From
    and frend
    Raymond

    [Reply]

  16. Janis says:

    I don’t ever think creating fear in a dog is a good thing. You may be creating a new problem. That goes beyond the point of being just plain cruel to such a loving animal. Dogs want to please their owners and patience and practice will get the results.

    [Reply]

  17. Stephen says:

    My border collie is a rescue dog and was a breeder in a puppy mill for the first 18 months of her life,living in squalor and she was also hit with objects. She is now 6 years old and is no longer a fearful animal. She has never been hit or subjected to any pain since leaving that concentration camp for dogs. She was taught the basic commands of come, sit, down, and stay, using positive reinforcement and a clicker. I also have fields and woods near my house and both the dog and I greatly enjoy hikes, with her off leash. The problem was that she felt that obeying commands, such as “come”,was optional. She’d happily comply, if there wasn’t a more interesting odor to track. Sometimes it would be too long before she returned, or she’d get into people’s yards, or other such mischief. While I would never traumatize her with a shock collar, I did use aversive conditioning to solve the problems. I used a remote training collar that gave her a puff of lemon scented spray, which she didn’t like and could avoid by following the command. And that collar also has a barely audible tone that can be given as a warning that a puff could be coming next, and my dog would respond to the tone to avoid the puff. I also got a shock collar, but removed the electrodes so that it couldn’t deliver a shock, even by an accidental push of the shock button on the remote control. I use it only for the vibrate mode (like a cell phone on vibrate) which was intended to eb the warning of a shock that could follow. Using the tome or the vibration is just like a tap on the shoulder that lets the dog know that even if she is off leash that I am still around. If she doesn’t come wen called, them she will get the puff, which annoys her, and she’ll comply to avoid it, although it is not painful and is not traumatic to her. The system works in that she is now 100% compliant with coming when called, and almost never gets even vibrated anymore, much less receiving a puff of spray. Her behavior allows us to hike through fields and woods, with her happy to run and sniff and explore, and I don’t have to deal with her ignoring me. I think exercise is important for a dog, and I think that always being leashed or tethered is a poor quality of life for a dog.

    [Reply]

  18. Mary Beth says:

    Let’s put him in a can and beat it….he shouldn’t be a pet owner!!

    [Reply]

  19. Gwen says:

    Some people think they are in ownership of a dog. It’s a partnership right from the get go. It’s just, one partner has a little more of a learning curve than the other. I’ll not say which is which. Some humans could never catch up to the wonder of a dog. Like the trash man who should crawl in a bag himself…..grrr
    GD

    [Reply]

  20. Carolyn says:

    How cruel! That man should be stuffed into a trash can and have someone beat on the sides!! Would he do that to a toddler? No! He would have the child removed immediately! What a jerk!!

    All I have ever done is haul out the good old vinegar and water spray bottle and saturate the trash with it. My dog (most dogs I hope) hates the smell of vinegar and it is harmless. Works for dogs who eat dog poop too.

    [Reply]

    Dori Reply:

    I thought of that one too, here in the Poconos we have a bear problem with outside trash (even if you store them inside, they must be out on trashday). My dad passed on his solution of amonia and water in a spray bottle-works like a charm, they can’t really smell the trash over the amonia stink. Indoors the vinegar would be better, who wants to live with the amonia smell? (and if they get into it anyway that’s not something you want them eating). I have a kitchen can with a lid, and haven’t needed anything else, though my puppy went through a bathroom trash phase (who knew snotty tissues were so yummy?) he got over it pretty quickly with me taking the tissue and saying NO!

    [Reply]

  21. Tonya says:

    So, I am still a little confused. If I put my 6mo old Lab/Hound on a leash in the house to train, do I hold the leash and have her tag along everywhere I go? She is somewhat trained. She will ring the bell to go outside. She use to come when I called her but she has stopped doing that now. She chews and eats anything she can get her mouth on. (clothes, furniture, trash, stuff off the counter). She also jumps on everybody. She is a big puppy and I am running out of high spots. So I want to try the leash method. She does ok on the leash outside. When I take her a walk around the block she walks right beside me and does not cross in front of me. She does well with me but if there is other people around me the training goes out the window. I am getting real frustrated and do not know want to do with her.

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    Yes, keep her on the leash and hold the leash and teach her until she understands, then you can let her drag the leash and eventually go leash free.

    [Reply]

  22. Tonya says:

    So, I am still a little confused. If I put my 6mo old Lab/Hound on a leash in the house to train, do I hold the leash and have her tag along everywhere I go? She is somewhat trained. She will ring the bell to go outside. She used to come when I called her but she has stopped doing that now. She chews and eats anything she can get her mouth on. (clothes, furniture, trash, stuff off the counter). She also jumps on everybody. She is a big puppy and I am running out of high spots. So I want to try the leash method. She does ok on the leash outside. When I take her a walk around the block she walks right beside me and does not cross in front of me. She does well with me but if there is other people around me the training goes out the window. I am getting real frustrated and do not know want to do with her. Any suggestions?

    [Reply]

  23. Gayle says:

    I agree with the “leave it” my former roommate and I came up with something that also worked…we found the extra strong velcro and used it on the cabinet where the trash was located. The Rottweiler that got into the trash daily was frustrated and discouraged therefore she quit going for the trash.

    [Reply]

  24. Bob R. says:

    Dogs have personalities just like people. My Corgi / Aussi mix is as stubborn as they come. He is smart but also has a mind of his own.

    Both my wife and I give him more love than he can ever use but there are times all the sweet and cuddly training in the world didn’t do the trick. I have knowledge of many different gentle methods and have used them all over and over again.

    On rare occasion, I have had to go to the choke collar and found that a good yank (that really didn’t hurt him but it did get his attention) cured him of misbehavior. He was somewhat aggressive to other dogs, especially large ones that could easily kick his butt or kill it, so I stepped in, after trying a variety of soft methods, and went to the choke collar. He was able to make his own decision after getting yanked a number of times when he became aggressive. It worked.

    Now I know from the posts above that I am not going to make many friends by my method but like I said, they have their own personality and in this case, what I did was what was needed and I don’t feel one bit guilty or sorry about it.

    My wife recently helped a lady who had a rescue hound that became aggressive to her and bit her a number of times. It was obvious who the alpha was so wifey went over with a tennis racket and simply stared the dog down and pushed it back to its bed with the racket. She didn’t hit it, just pushed it and gave it the same evil eye I get when I am bad. The dog hasn’t bit the owner since and is a very good girl in all other ways.

    So I feel under certain conditions, a stern method is not only NOT cruel but necessary to get a bad situation covered quickly. We as people fear things and that keeps us safe. Like heights, sharp objects, explosives and thousands of other things we are not familiar with. So to, a dog has the right to have certain fears that could keep it safe also and we, as humans, the higher members of the chain, have the ability to teach some of those fears when the sever situation calls for it.

    Fire away.

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    I never want my dog to be fearful. I want a dog that is confident and obedient. I teach that through obedience.

    I am also the “thinking animal” there is no reason I need to use my body to manipulate or use physical force. If I was in a wheelchair or if I had a 5 year old what would I expect them to do?

    I use my mind to teach my dog.

    And, this may have worked for you and your dog; but there are some dogs out there who would put you in and your wife in the hospital for that kind of training. If you go toe to toe with a dog you had better be able to physically dominate. So what happens when you have a 250# dog?

    I prefer to use my mind, then I don’t have to worry about being bitten, having my clients bitten or mauled and the dog is not mistreated in the process 🙂

    [Reply]

    Hannah Reply:

    I like your methodology, but how does it actully play out when you’re training your dogs? I have been trying to teach my 4 month old male ridgeback to ‘leave it’ with things on the counter, in the trash, on my bed, etc. He is 95% successful when I show him something, say ‘leave it’, put it infront of him, hold the other end of the leash, and watch him. But how do I get to where he’s trustworthy when I’m not there? Is there a way to teach him that nothing is ever his unless I spacificly give it to him?

    I definately agree that beating a dog for doing someting it has never been taught not to do is cruel and unjust. I would never want to beat my precious puppy or cause him to be afraid of me. However, I feel that when my dog, Elliot, knows a command, is given a warnig, and continues to disobey, that some kind of correction is needed. Withholding a reward actually causes him to jump up, bite me, and pull at my clothes.

    …So I reciently purchased a prong collar. I use it only to reinforce commands that he has already learned. Elliot seems to be testing all the boundaries and seeing if I really mean what I say. The prong collar seems to be the only correction he’ll actually acknowledge. I know it sounds terrible to put a prong collar on a 4 month puppy, but I really do love him and want the best for him. I am taking Elliot with me to africa in just 2 months and I want him, for his own safety, to be able to listen the first time I say something.

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  25. aimee says:

    i have a very determined 4 month old also. he is super trainable and wants to please but is independent and stubborn. also, he is growing up with his mommy and my daughter whose 8 so my rules mean very little.

    i think its important to establish a hierarchy of command and be consistent. a small amount of fear only enforces this hierarchy.

    you dont want a submissive dog, but it is a dog and should know its place.

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  26. Jim Smith says:

    My little dog is fearful of gun fire and fire crackers. What can I do to help him learn to ignore this. He refuses to come into the den if the tv has gun fire or explosions during the programs. Also when walking eith him off lease , if he hears heat he thinks is gun firing he runs back to the car and will not respond to my commands. Is there a solution to this problem. Jim Smith

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    Minette Reply:

    Read this http://www.thedogtrainingsecret.com/blog/preparing-gun-dog-gunfire/

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  27. Tawny says:

    I used a shock coller 1 time & never again it to repeatedly shocked my dog. To beat the trash can & scare the dog to death no way is that correct you don’t have to be mean to train a dog no matter how old the dog is. You can train with kindness not crulity. Don’t let me find you I’ll show you what crulity is & you won’t like me & I won’t care if you do. If I had my way you would have been arrested for what you did to that poor dog. Poor Puppy!

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  28. J says:

    Minette, I have a dog who is calm in most situations, but when it comes to toys, she is overly excited. She does not jump on me, nip or try to snatch the toys, and she listens to commands I give her, but the problem is her barking. She keeps barking when I tell her to do something while she does it, and sits and barks when I am not. This also happens without toys, in training sessions such as a jumping course I set up for her. I am teaching her to look me in the eye on command. She will bark less, but she still doesn’t stop. I will walk her (on or off leash) and do sharp turns, but she still will do a few barks every so often. How do you think I should deal with this? She listens perfectly except for the excited barking.

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  29. Linda says:

    Our year old jumps on us and others. The leash in the house is difficult to use. In fact most training methods are. We live on a 36’ sailboat. Are there training ideas for living in such a small space? We have no way to isolate her in an area when we leave. She broke open her metal crate and chewed up stuff.

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    Minette Reply:

    I use big indestructible metal crates called “impact” crates. Although expensive they are worth it because they save your dog and your things and sometimes you can find them used or cheaper. This is just an example https://www.impactdogcrates.com/products/high-anxiety-crate-xl?variant=32028042188&keyword=&gclid=Cj0KCQiAgMPgBRDDARIsAOh3uyI_11GWjLiFukSG_M8cqojxik5iVSz2_quW92nuUI7qlHp-oP3okb8aAvc6EALw_wcB

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