Using and Manipulating Your Dog’s Instincts to Live a Peaceful Life Together

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A team of Siberian sled dogs pulling a sled through the winter fSo many people are out there trying to train, coax or beat the instincts out of their dog.

First off, dog’s aren’t people.

They often, aren’t even close to people.

They behave a lot like toddlers, but toddlers are human.

Toddlers have human instincts.

Dogs have canine instincts.

  • They bark.
  • They poop and pee inside (after all they don’t understand “bathrooms”)
  • They jump up.
  • They hump.
  • They sniff.
  • They pull on leash.
  • They dig.
  • They bite.
  • They protect.
  • They chase.
  • They herd.
  • They swim.
  • They hunt.

Don’t Get Me Wrong

None of those things sound particularly wonderful to me…

I want to be able to control my dog’s behavior and to teach him to control his impulses but sometimes I think denying him any use of his inherent instincts is unfair.

If you get a Beagle you can’t expect him to never sniff.

If you get a Malinois, you can’t expect him to act like a Golden Retriever and love everyone.

If you get a Terrier, you can’t expect him to never dig.

If you get a Husky, you can’t expect him not to pull.

If you get a Border Collie, you can’t expect him to never nip or herd.

If you get a Grey Hound, you can’t expect him never to chase.


Reckless Abandon

Now this doesn’t mean that these dogs can face their instincts with “reckless abandon”.

I mean, have you ever watched videos of dogs herding?

The videos on you tube with the sheep and dogs from Scotland (the land of simply amazing herding) where they light the sheep with lights and then film them at night?  Usually the videos are uploaded with some entertaining music.

My point is that the dogs are handled with almost surgical precision.

They aren’t running around tearing wool out of the sheep, or biting anything that runs past them.

They learn to control their instincts because they want to herd the sheep more than anything else.

A hunting dog doesn’t eat the duck or even chew on it.  The dog merely retrieves it.  He learns to control his desire to kill birds and chew and eat them.

A police dog doesn’t bite everything in his path, he learns to control his prey and bite drive so that he can play and bite decoys and then eventually criminals.

The Catch

The catch, and this is a BIG ONE

The catch is that this kind of training isn’t “easy”.

It isn’t easy like teaching them basic obedience, because they have to learn such a dramatic amount of impulse control in order to control their instincts.

For instance, having had protection dogs (like police dogs) it can take months and months if not years of training several times a week to build and then control the impulse to chase and bite.

And, this is not the kind of training you start and then stop (it is especially dangerous in protection sports), or you have a dog that is 1000 times worse because you have built their drive for what they want, but then never taught them to cap or control it.

It has to be something that you are dedicated to!

Want A Shortcut To All This?

Don’t have the time to dedicate to controlling ALL your dog’s impulses?  The next best thing is to build a habit of teaching him one, NEW & Mentally challenging activity a week.  Trick training is not only the best way to mentally stimulate your dog, but it also trains him to look for opportunities to please and obey you.

CLICK HERE for 36 fun tricks to start teaching your dog today!

The Benefit

The benefit is that you get the “control”, the control that you have been ripping your hair out wanting but not knowing how to get.

And, the dog, the dog gets to do the THING he was bred to do.

You don’t have to fight anymore.

You no longer expect your Beagle NEVER TO SNIFF, or your Husky NEVER TO PULL

So if you have

If you get a Beagle, teach him to track.

If you get a Malinois, learn to control his bark and possibly his bite.

If you get a Terrier, let him do barn hunting.

If you get a Husky, let him pull a sled or your bike.

If you get a Border Collie, teach him to herd.

If you get a Retriever, teach him to hunt!

If you get a Grey Hound, let him lure course!

After all, it is kinder to your dog to stop trying to make him human and actually let him be a dog.

We bred them for specific reasons, for a reason!

Then when your dog wants to go into instinct mode and you don’t want him to… Guess what?

You can control him!


There are 22 Comments

  1. sharon says:

    Crossbreeds are confusing. What is a maltipoo bred for…?


  2. Shira says:

    What do Shih Tzus want? Other than to sit on our laps? ; )


  3. Lori Herrick says:

    My husky recently caught a chipmunk and a mouse. So now she is on the hunt for anything that moves.. She’s obsessed. I can’t get her to focus on anything else outside right now! Help, please..


  4. Bonnie says:

    How can I train my 6 month old Husky to not jump up on the kitchen counter. Recently, she put her paws up on the stove, turned on one burners on high and started a kitchen fire. She is a very sweet dog but I don’t know how to not try to get food off the counter.


    Minette Reply:

    I would use a crate


  5. Joy Sharp says:

    what do your mean teach my border collie to herd? he doesn’t need teaching to herd the golden doodle but that’s the problem!


    Minette Reply:

    So you think that controlling the instinct and getting it on command is a bad thing.

    As I stated, herding dogs don’t herd at their own will. They listen to the commands and cues from their owners.


  6. Rosalind says:

    How can I train my chihuahua not to beg at the tables or food and jumping on table when your not there


  7. Steve Bridges says:

    What do you suggest for an 11 week old Golden Retriever puppy that for no apparent reason suddenly lung bites?


    Minette Reply:

    More exercise and training!


  8. Shannon W. says:

    Bonnie and Minette:
    My Dobe puppy was jumping on kitchen counters after only one successful theft of food. I could not deter her. Finally, I placed a large plastic clothespin-type rat trap on the counter. Soon, I heard it snap (it didn’t catch her; she just set it off.) She never touched the counters again.


    Minette Reply:

    I don’t want my dog afraid of noises, there are too many noises we face in real life


  9. Bernadette says:

    I’ve had 5 Huskies over the years. Wonderful dogs, but you have to start training early and never let them learn that you are not in charge. Watch them like a hawk for the first few months and insist that they follow your rules. A crate or tie down is good for short periods when you can’t be there to watch. The more one-on-one time you can spend with your dog in these early months, the more it will pay off in a calm, well-behaved dog in adulthood. They also need some strenuous outdoor exercise, like running or pulling. That will help them behave better indoors. And they are much more likely to behave when you make it fun. The are not a breed that just wants to please you, but if you make pleasing you fun for them, they can be the best dogs in the world.


  10. Betty says:

    I have a German Shepherd 2 years old she is very possessive of me she tries to heard me all the time she will bite anyone that she thinks will hurt me she comes between me and her mom when I’m trying to give her attention I don’t know what to do


  11. Free Spirit says:

    I have a shepherd-rotweiller mix. WHAT is he bred to DO?


    Minette Reply:



  12. Joy Sharp says:

    I’m sorry I sounded negative. I meant it sort of exasperatedly. I did not understand that you meant to allow the herding but only on my command. Who can I allow my border collie to herd?


  13. John says:

    Try training him to hunt a toy. I taught a couple of dogs once to play hide and seek with me. That could mimic the hunting instinct and always provides an immediate reward.


  14. Joy Sharp says:

    I’m sorry I sounded negative. I meant it sort of exasperatedly. I did not understand that you meant to allow the herding but only on my command. Who can I allow my border collie to herd?


    Minette Reply:

    find someone who teaches herding classes


  15. Lilla says:

    Some dogs regardless of their breed are simply not prospects for “what they were bred for”. My labrador hates water and has never retrieved anything in his life. He does tracking because that’s what he loves and that’s what he’s good at.


  16. Ella says:

    Betty, I once had a pit bull who had that same problem. I taught her that NEVER was she allowed to put her teeth on ANYONE! If she broke the rule I put her into the garage for five minutes. I let her drag the leash so it would be easier to grab her. I also made her stay on her Matt while I was greeting and hugging my company. Hope this helps solve your problem!!! 😀


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