Common Core Math, and Other Things Your Dog Doesn’t Understand

I went to school in the “olden” days when we had to learn and memorize our multiplication and division tables.

I remember flash cards and memorization.

We were taught to put the big number on top and the little number underneath for multiplication.

And, to put the little number in front of the big number for division.

And then to multiply and divide from there.

It seemed easy.

I am sure it was taxing in its own way; but because of our generation’s superior memorization skills it wasn’t really difficult.

Common Core Math

Common core math, makes me want to rip the hair out of my scalp and anywhere else I might find it.

I don’t understand it, or the reasoning skills of why it is better, at all.

I apologize to those teachers out there who think this is easier, but it is absurd from the standpoint that most of us parents now cannot help our children with their math homework.

Thankfully I don’t have two legged children, but I do visit a few and when faced with a common core math question I would rather baptize a cat than try and figure it out.

So instead I rely on Google to help me answer any problem they are having.

I remember my sister used to tell her daughter, “I went to school, I paid attention, I did my time; now it is your turn.”

I think I would have to feel the same way!

The Things We “Expect” From Our Dogs, Are Like Common Core Math

flash cardsI think the things that most people just “expect” their dogs to know is like common core math is for us… they just don’t understand it…

Sure, sure, sure… I am certain that I am not too old to learn a few new tricks.

And, I am certain that I could be taught, and I could learn common core math (although I have no desire or need).

Just like your dog can learn obedience skills; but you have to teach these skills to him.

You have to TRAIN for that!

So Let’s Talk About What We Expect

Most people expect waaaaay too much from their dogs.

But I find a few common denominators (please excuse the math pun 😉 when it comes to dog training.


Most people expect their dogs to be born knowing not to use their voices.  Or to automatically know that when they shout “QUIET” or “SHUT UP” that the dog miraculously knows the meaning of these words and will then cease barking.

The truth is the opposite.

Most dogs are born with a voice that they use to alert their pack of impending danger, and as a means of communication (like when they are frustrated at you).

Very few dogs are quiet all of the time.

Being quiet especially through exciting distractions (like a leaf falling or the neighbor dog running through your yard) has to be taught and then conditioned by adding more intricate distractions.

For more on teaching your dog “quiet” click on the link.

Leash manners

Happy Dogs Look Happy

Happy Dogs Look Happy

Leash manners is just another set of complex behaviors that most people expect their dog to learn in the womb.

This too, goes against your dog’s instincts.

Dogs are busy people, they want to run and dash and investigate.

Being on leash is not a normal thing for dogs.

They would much prefer to frolic and run and check in with us when it suits them.

But, due to the world we live in, this isn’t safe.  The amount of dogs being run over by cars and dog fighting would be horrifying.

So, we must teach them to be on leash, respect the leash, and not pull.

This is very complex for dogs, and is not easily taught.

Most dogs never truly conquer this behavior within their life; reliably with no training collars.

The majority of people give up and never take their dog out for walks, or they put up with pulling, or they use training collars for a lifetime.

And, nothing saddens me more than seeing an old decrepit dog on a prong collar or worse an electric collar 🙁

Leash manners must be taught.

For help click here.

Not jumping

Just like the other problems can be instinctual, so can jumping.

Dogs jump on us as a way of greeting.

They also jump and leap on and over each other during play.

Dogs don’t understand that jumping up on their humans and other humans is a bad behavior.

They are just being dogs and engaging you in a greeting.

Dogs must be taught through training and communication, and occasionally teaching them an incompatible behavior (like sit or down) that jumping is not something that we enjoy.

I teach my dogs that keeping all four on the floor is what I like; and by doing so they will be amply rewarded.

And, by teaching them a good down on command, they simply can’t jump!

For more help with a jumping dog click here.

The Truth Is…

The truth is that dogs really don’t come hard wired knowing anything we really want.

Dogs are a completely different species with a completely different set of rules and regulations.

When we see a problem, we need to realize that we probably haven’t taken the time to teach them the things that we desire.

It isn’t their fault, it is our fault for expecting them to adhere to human guidelines.

And, provided that you are consistent and don’t let the problem get out of hand and become a habit (click here for why habits are hard to break) most of these thing are easily taught with time and patience!

Spend 15 minutes a day (I sometimes like to break it up into 3 5 minute sessions) teaching your dog something new, or working on existing obedience and you will see a HUGE difference in one month; I promise!!

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  1. Julian says:

    This is a refreshing approach! wd be pleased to read more.


  2. amonefrancis says:

    its true every domestic pets need to be trained fast before any one can tell.


  3. Lori Attack says:

    I absolutely love your training. It works, it’s easy to understand, it doesn’t cost tons of money and I will say it again, it works!


    Minette Reply:

    Thank you soooo much! I appreciate hearing that the voices in my head are actually educational and I am able to communicate well 🙂 Some days I sit down and write a half dozen articles hahaha


  4. Sharon Toll says:

    This is an excellent article — all things that I’m sure we all know if we take a minute to think about it, but it never enters our heads in our busy worlds. Our dogs are innocent and want to please us when we take the time and patience to let them know what we want. This article will, for sure, change my attitude in communicating with my 4-legged little Angel!!!


  5. Christina says:

    Thank you for common sense article.
    I am so tired of these dog advicers screaming in a video(terrible voices) babbeling för hours before reaching the subject and it mostly ends up in buying a video.Also hard when you are in a far away country,warned to buy over internet.
    Would not buy anyway so unproffesional done.
    77 old have had dogs since 5 learned a lot through misstakes.
    Forward this article to some who really needs to learn.
    Thanks again.
    Swedish lady staying in South Africa


    Minette Reply:

    I probably fall into that video category on occasion 😉 but video teaching can be hard to make sure you cover everything you need and people understand what you are saying 😉

    I am glad you like our programs and articles.


  6. DON J BARTELS says:






  7. Lori Yates says:

    I have a German Shepherd about 2 yrs old and he is soooooo reactive on leash, when he sees other dogs and people he goes crazy and barks and lurches like he is going to kill them. We have had him since he was 7 wks old and he has been socialized. He only acts that way with me, not my husband. I realize he is protecting me, he must not see me as the pack leader. What to do?


    Minette Reply:

    Take our aggression coaching program or our companion dog program.

    The aggression coaching program is available twice a year and just ended. So it will be run again in a month or two. The Companion Dog Program teaches a lot of the same core information but doesn’t deal with aggression specifically.

    You can email Dana at to find out when each begins again.


  8. Harley says:

    Great post, lot’s of useful information.. I train my dogs everyday in 6 minutes.. 2 minutes in the morning ..I hand feed them a portion of their food..and ask for sits and downs..and eye contact.. in the afternoon I rapid fire come,sit,down and stay for two minutes..and 2 minutes during their evening meal I repeat the morning routine… but obedience training is only practical when you put it to use in your daily life.. ask them to sit before going out..sit while you go up stairs then call them to follow you.. sit for affection and so on.. if you provide this kind of structured routine for your dogs on a daily basis you will be amazed at how much better they pay attention to you..thanks again..and all the best.


    Minette Reply:

    Well said 🙂 and agreed


  9. Lynn S says:

    Wow! I believe I just got a cosmic wake up call. I have a 10 month old boxer/gsd mixed puppy. He is doing well with sit but the jumping and pulling are horrendous. I thought he was just being stubborn. I am teaching a sit to be pet and before going out ot coming in and also sit for food. I have taught wait for going in and out of his kennel and the backdoor.

    Thank you for the wake up call that he really does not understand what i want until i teach him.


    Minette Reply:

    Glad to help!


  10. Allyson Mead says:

    Just can’t get dogs attention and deffinatly not if something interesting-have tried with cheese/sausage-high “value” treat.


    Minette Reply:

    Read this


  11. Larry Workman says:

    Dog is afraid of loud noises, especially thunder…gets in small dark places.


  12. Rob McGrath says:

    The training IS all about letting them know what you want. Dog training trally is just human training.
    As a practical experiment (and to keep her from scratching up the door) I installed a wireless door chime button just outside the back door with the chime inside the house, just inside the door. Within just a couple weeks our Great Pyrenees/retriever mix knows to ring the bell to come in. All it took was showing her where it was (and what it felt like to jer nose), she heard the chime and knew that a nice treat was waiting inside from whoever answered the door. A win/win for everyone.


  13. stephanie c. says:

    Pleeeease i really need the anti aggression dog training for my half lab half chow who is so sweet with me but on leash and even off can turn into a monster. I certainly dont want to see anyone get hurt just because I want the pleasure of seeing my dog run free for a few minutes. Not worth it. But my Dog needs help so I can keep everybody safe.


    Minette Reply:

    Email Dana at and get put on a list to be notified when it begins again


  14. tricia says:

    I have read your article about taking away privileges. It was suggested that if you’re out for a walk and the dog pulls, you should turn around and go home. But what if you’re 5 minutes from home? By the time you get home, will the dog understand that he was pulling 5 minutes ago?
    Thank you


    Minette Reply:

    If your dog does not have good leash manners then going for a walk is counter productive. First work on leash manners and teach your dog how to walk on leash in front of your house before you ever take them for walks.


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