The Truth About Leash Corrections

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what is leash, dog correction spray, correction dog collars

Thanks Correct state ak us for the photo

I can tell this is going to be one of those controversial articles or posts that will probably pose heated debate.

Whenever you have the “purely positive trainers” engage the “purely negative trainers” you have a breeding ground for hostility and anger.

I try not to shy away from a little debate every now and again and as you can imagine I get a lot of grief from dog trainers who employ lots of negative training techniques and training collars.

I am not a big fan of training collars and force.

I have worked for years with people with disabilities who could not employ a “leash correction” or even hit the button on a shock collar if they had to do it to save their lives.

And, by working with these invaluable members of our society I gained a much greater respect for dog training.

When I used to do dog training demonstrations all of the time I would enter the demo in a wheel chair.  People inevitably thought I was permanently in the wheel chair and treated me as such until I stood up about half way through my demonstration.  It really helps to teach people not to judge a book by its cover.

Then, I would take people from my audience and strap them in a wheel chair and ask them to command my dog.

I would strap them down first like they were in a wheel chair as a paraplegic (meaning they still had full use of their shoulders and hands and some bending).

Then I would strap them around the chest (which meant no bending) and tell them they only had limited use of their hands sometimes vet wrapping a few fingers, and their hands certainly would not function as fast as those of us who were not quadriplegic.

If the dog did not want to comply, what would the person do?

He couldn’t use leash pops or corrections or training collars or ear pinches to force the dog, the dog had to WANT to behave and listen.

Yelling at the dog would only make the dog want to listen even less to the commands.

So as we progress through this article I want you to think about this scenario and this person and if you truly NEED as many corrections and physical force as you think you do…

what is leash, dog correction spray, correction dog collars

Thanks dog breed info for the photo

My intention is not to create controversy, but to create rational thinking about dog training and some misconceptions we have always been taught… like you have to WIN every altercation with your dog (for more on that click here)

Most people have never taken their hands, legs and body out of the dog training equation!  So could you train a dog with limited to no mobility?

Could you train a chicken to do something on cue?

The Truth About Leash Corrections

They Can Be Effective

The truth about leash corrections is that they can be effective and they can help to solidify a behavior.

They are not meant to TEACH a behavior.

In order to TEACH a behavior I believe that a dog must be willing and able to try new behaviors and not be worried about being physically corrected.

This is why I use and encourage clicker training, it helps me to teach my dogs and it inspires them to learn by trying numerous behaviors that I can either ignore or reward.

Forcing a behavior requires ME to do the forcing and it is not as easy for a dog to learn why you are forcing the behavior, rather than waiting for it to happen.

For example: if I push on my dog’s butt to force him to sit he will not understand the behavior as well as if he sits and then you reward him.  If he shows the behavior it is a stronger behavior and he learns faster.  He is also showing you multiple behaviors that can be rewarded.  I don’t want a dog that is scared to learn.

However once he learns “sit” and I know he knows the command because he is 95% reliable in all situations (at home, in the car, at the park, at class, at the neighbors etc.)and he chooses not to listen I can use my leash to help him or make him do what I asked.

Do I use leash corrections?

Yes.

what is leash, dog correction spray, correction dog collars

Thanks Forsyth Humane for the Photo

But my leash corrections probably aren’t what you are used to seeing or thinking about when I say leash corrections.

I’m not talking about prong collars, choke chains, or shock collars to use with my leash to force the behavior, I’m just using the leash.

AND, for I’m not doing “leash pops” to make my dogs comply.

I am simply utilizing the leash to the best of my ability to make him obey.

In the above scenario, I would not just crack his collar and leash; I would shorten his leash until he didn’t have much space to make another decision, and then I would utilize my body to take away space from him until he submits and sits.

Not exactly the leash “correction” you were expecting?

I think when people hear positive reinforcement they think permissive dog training.

Being permissive is allowing for excessive freedom of behavior or “optional” behaviors and training.

The fact is I am just as hard on my dogs for being obedient as your average force trainer, the difference is that I don’t use my body to cause them pain.

If your dog seems to need lots of physical force and corrections from a training collar (prong, choke, check, or shock) then it is my opinion that you have not sincerely taught him the behaviors he needs!  First you need to teach him so he can choose correct behavior.

The Problem is Leash Corrections are Easily Abused

what is leash, dog correction spray, correction dog collarsThe problem is that they are easily abused and people get frustrated and irrational when their dogs don’t understand and so they take it out on the dog physically, with a stronger and harder leash pop.

I see so many people run through classes or out in the “real world” who think the harder and nastier the correction the more “TEACHING” they are doing or the less apt the dog is to make the same mistake.  So their dogs are popped with a prong collar as hard as the person can muster (I’ve seen people run backwards to pop their dog), or shocked until they scream.

Back in the olden days when I was being taught this mentality I was told, to make an impression on the dog immediately with pain, to ensure the dog wouldn’t make that mistake again.

This is not always the case, because some leash corrections and force is painful and confusing and it is hard to learn when you are in pain.

If you are in doubt of that, I can strap a shock collar somewhere on your body (my choice) and then I will try and teach you a complex behavior shocking you along the way…  It is hard to learn this way and can even cause ulcers in dogs too!

You would probably learn, eventually,  but it wouldn’t be fast and you certainly wouldn’t be having a good time learning… and as soon as the collar was off you would probably be hostile to me and want to punch me in the face.

Chances are you wouldn’t jump on the “learning” band wagon with me or want to play this game again anytime soon after that.

Some People Think the More the Better

what is leash, dog correction spray, correction dog collars

Thanks Ban Shock Collars for the Photo

I have seen people who pop their dog (often very hard) at least 5 times after their dog has made a mistake.

So it is not one quick correction and done, it is a painful minute full of pain, conflict and hostility and it usually comes AFTER the behavior. A dog stands a chance of learning if you pair the behavior with the correction (so it must happen simultaneously) he has a hard time learning when the correction comes AFTER the behavior and while he is doing something else.

For example, I tell my dog to “sit” and he ignores me and begins sniffing the ground.  If I were to correct the moment he ignores me then he might learn.  If I correct him as he meanders around and is doing something else, chances are he won’t understand that the correction is for not sitting he will think it is for wandering or sniffing.

This, in my opinion is why people need to be so careful with pain and leash corrections, because if you aren’t careful or have a hard dog you can make problems worse and cause aggression.  Aggression often incites aggression.  And, quite frankly most people can’t successfully handle an aggressive dog.

It makes me wonder… what does a hundred corrections in a row do to your dog, his psyche, and his ability to learn and function?  I’m not sure I have the answer, but I would think it would cause serious repercussions in various aspects of his life and training and how he sees your relationship.

Balance is the Key

what is leash, dog correction spray, correction dog collarsThe key to all dog training and life in general is finding balance.

If you are going to use them, the key is balance.

Your training must be balanced.

Let’s face it, all dogs make mistakes and make poor decisions just like us humans make bad decisions so does your dog!

They choose to ignore us when we give them commands and there should be some kind of repercussions, but it doesn’t have to be purely physical.

Simply removing yourself or his ability to get his reward is often correction enough.

And, like anything the leash is a tool, but it is also a tool that can be easily abused to force our dogs to do things or to administer pain.

In my opinion, if you want a good relationship with your dog, you must avoid pain, bad feelings, and frustration as much as you can in your dog training.

Everyone likes something that is fun, so center your dog training around fun and games and you will find that you rarely need to use your leash at all!

Want To Learn More About “Leash Manners” Training your Dog?

Check out this video series, where we walk you through how you can teach your dog to have to have great leash manners.

Click here to learn this ‘Leash Manners’ training process

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There are 53 Comments

  1. Wair says:

    I have a question out of curiosity. There is this woman who lives next-door to me who used prong collars on her poor dogs. People are always commenting on how well behaved those dogs are, but do you think a dog who is popped and pulled around would actually listen off leash?

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    Probably not!

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    Gwendolyn Villavaso Reply:

    I think prong collars should be banned. I think that is abusive. I use pet corrector spray. I get it at petco. When my dog does some thing wrong I spray the can. It very harmless. It’s a lot of work, but she eventually listen. It make a hissing sound, that she doesn’t like. As for the walking, I seem to have problems with that. I don’t know what to do. I don’t want to cause her pain. She is hyper.

    [Reply]

  2. len houghton says:

    my dog does not always come when called even when offered treats.how do i correct this

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    Read this http://www.thedogtrainingsecret.com/blog/teaching-dog-called-matter/

    [Reply]

  3. joe says:

    As a first time dog owner I find that tthere is definitely two camps. The cesar milan approach or the totally positive approach. I much prfer the positive approach but find that the expense of treats, training books, gentle leaders etc. Is prohibitive. I have a street dog that is very scared but it costs me a fortune in food & vet fees here in turkey & I can’t afford books videos etc. On top of that so watching the milan programs on tv is my main soure of info so I follow that but miss out the kicking & throwing the dog on his back. Unfortunately there seems to be very few available positive training courses that don’t involve money. Unfortunately in my situation you take what you can get 🙁

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    My blogs are totally free and there are hundreds of articles at your disposal, search in the box to the right about 3/4 of the way down the page and you will find free articles on most of the problems you are having and if I haven’t written an article you can ask.

    There is lots of great free information on the web you just have to search for it

    [Reply]

    Joe Reply:

    Thanks Minette, I must agree. I have spent most of the afternoon looking carefully at this site & have picked up some great ideas. George has lots of problems not least his fear of strangers & I have found it difficult to cope. When he walked into the garden as a puppy in a dreadful state we gave him food & water & tried to find a home for him but when no one came forward & the local shelter advised us to put him back out on the street where he came from I decided we had to take him in but I just feel that my lack of knowledge is letting him down. The barking is a problem with the neighbours & I hardly get out these days but he is worth the effort.
    Thanks for your help 🙂 Hopefully if I can get him to hold eye contact this could be the breakthrough I am looking for.

    [Reply]

    Gail Reply:

    I am a fan of Cesar Millan and a fan of Minette and I think you are misinterpreting Cesar’s methods. He doesn’t “kick” dogs – he “touches” them to snap the brain out of a compulsive behaviour and he “puts” them on their backs like a pack leader would and to drain them of energy and relax them. He works with dogs with really serious behaviour problems, not family pets who are needing to learns commands. Someone has accidentally made the dog unstable and he helps the owners to correct their behaviour and balances the dogs.

    I like Minette’s ways too and I utilise them with my dogs because my dogs don’t have serious behaviour problems and noone has unbalanced them. The one thing that Cesar has taught me is the role of “your energy” in the happiness of your dog and that is why both Minette and Cesar are so effective. They have calm assertive energy and lots of patience. If you can’t afford books etc. there are sites like this and shows like Cesar’s. Listen and watch it all and try it with your dog but take notice of your own attitude when you are successful and when you are not and you will see it isn’t the books etc but your own energy which influences your dog. Stay patient and loving and both you and your dog will learn. Dogs teach us as much about ourselves and we teach them. Good Luck

    [Reply]

    joe Reply:

    Thanks gail 🙂 I to like cesar milan but find it difficult to dicipline george. I’m sure I am the problem & not him but find it frustrating that I cannot help him more. I get confused with differing ideas & I am sure this is passed on to him but I just hope I can be more helpful to him & make him enjoy life more without the fear. Your encouragement & minette’s advice have helped re-motivate me 🙂

    [Reply]

  4. Lee Hunter says:

    I trained with my beautiful Rottweiler for many years, we both thoroughly enjoyed ourselves, sadly, Daisy has now passed on, she won a lot of obedience training walked well on the leash, won top points for walking off the lead, she was trained with absolute love and kindness. I abhor the use of these cruel collars, I rescued a German Shepherd at the age of 1 year, very abused, took quite some time to get her adjusted to the good life she lived with my family, she trained eventually beautifully my dogs have made me proud, I give them much love, they give me more back. So NO I do not agree with the cruel tactics. Blessings to all. Lee Hunter.

    [Reply]

    Linda Bean Reply:

    Please tell me how you trained your GS? I have a 1 yr old, who can sit/stay and leave it, but will pull on the leash. I was told a prong collar is safer than a regular leather collar because instead of choking the dog against the windpipe, it contracts and pinches the whole neck. I used to snap-pop, but now I’m just working with stopping. I call it yo-yo walking.

    [Reply]

    patti Reply:

    The prong on a GS would not be good I am told. It could increase meanness or hostility. THe prong is less hurtfull to the esophagus becasue ti puts even pressure on and around the neck instead of just one area. I however would not use it on this breed

    [Reply]

  5. Mary Wysocki says:

    When I was training BBop with a Dog Obedience school, they told us to quick pop the leash when the dog didn’t listen. I found out that doing that more often than not makes the dog NOT want to listen after the fourth or fifth “correction”. I finally learned when training at home was when BBop didn’t care to follow me when I said something was to find another way to teach him the exercise I wanted taught. I found out that if he was forging on his heel pattern, was to turn around and walk the other direction so that he had to turn around and play catch up and on short notice.Eventually,he learned that he had to stay in heel position and at the pace I was going. He now is trained using a method that I put together myself,where he never knows what to expect on any given day. He may start off doing a basic obedience routine and end on an advanced routine, or it maybe an intermediate routine ending on a basic routine. He never knows what exercise is coming up,so it keeps him on his toes and makes him have to think–“ok what comes next?” and “What is she thinking about?”. BBop as a Miniature Schnauzer has to put his best foot forward and try to do what I want. So far he has a program that I am using where he does a little agility,basic obedience,intermediate and advanced all rolled into one. When he’s not paying mind, I say ok let’s go back to this and we then go from what he understood and then he will say “oh ok, that’s what mommy was asking me to do,no problem!”

    [Reply]

  6. Mary says:

    I live with smooth fox terriers and have been training formally since 1996. I found clicker training when my first pure bred smooth got through to me that he didn’t understand why I was popping his leash. I started clicker training and 2 months later he earned his UCD with placements.

    I do not call myself a purely positive trainer because there are consequences to actions. If the dog will not do what I am trying to train, I stop and review my communication skills.

    If a dog will not do something he has previously learned, I stop the training session and have the dog checked for possible physical causes for not performing. If there is no physical cause the stopping of the training session is a correction because my dogs love to train.

    I have trained 8 of my own dogs to do agility since 1996 and am running 2 sft’s at this time while training all 3 for my current dogs in nose work and barn hunt as well as training the youngest for agility and the middle dog in rally obedience.

    The oldest dog holds championship agility titles with 3 organizations.

    I have found that being positive works. Consequences, i.e. stopping the training session and walking away, works.

    Another consequence is not rewarding for unwanted behavior or lack of behavior. The key here is knowing your dog and understanding when to reward and when to with hold.

    My dogs are all trained off lead.

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    Good for you Mary 🙂 Thanks for your experience and words of advice! I concur 🙂

    [Reply]

  7. Jack Ford says:

    I tried several of those magic harnesses and leashes that are on the market with no luck, the only technique that has worked with my malinois is to reverse directions when he starts to pull. It seemed crazy at first but after awhile he started to get the picture and learned that if he pulls he will not get his way.

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    That and eye contact and focus work for my Malinois 🙂

    [Reply]

  8. jk says:

    Although I agree with what you have written and own Irish Wolfhounds who work with me who have been trained with hands-off training, I see too many people adopting dogs that are too much dog for them. They are being physically dragged around, jumped on, push down, and exposing the general public and other dogs to untrained, unsocialized, and rude dogs often causing dog to dog conflict wherever they go. Because many people are novices in training at best, they do not praise correctly and need immediate solutions keeping themselves and others safe from their 100 lb rescue. They also need to learn how to live with a dog. Nobody wants to “train” 24/7. Just like nobody wants to “exercise” 24/7. I no longer give “training” advice to my daycare clients. I give them “how to have fun with your dog” advice like playing Simon Says, or going to the beach, or sitting and watching a sunset together to put the owners in the right frame of mind to be with their dog. Today’s emphasis in the dog world on “training” is putting to much pressure on people to do it correctly resulting in a less then positive experience for both the dog and the dog’s families. Just my humble opinion.

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    Without training there is no learning, that is where your problems lie.

    In fact fun training can be FUN and something people want to engage in, but I can’t help those people who don’t want to learn how to teach and control their dogs.

    [Reply]

    jk Reply:

    Agree! 🙂

    [Reply]

  9. Maryann says:

    I didn’t really get how to teach my dog to walk next to me instead of pulling ahead of me, He is a 2 years old Yorkie , I have had him since a puppy! Suggestions please!!!I

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    there are 4 articles linked in here read them all 🙂 http://www.thedogtrainingsecret.com/blog/leash-manners-final-step/

    [Reply]

  10. Cindy says:

    I have an English Springer Spaniel super energetic. I run her and she runs ahead of me on her leash which is Ok with me because she helps me with my speed, but when it is time to walk. Nope she continues to pull, I can not get her to slow down enough to stay by my side, any suggestions, she is 3.

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    I would not let her run ahead of you; I think that is dangerous for both of you.

    I would also teach her eye contact and focus, see the link above in the comments.

    [Reply]

  11. NHC says:

    I like your post and agree. I use a leash “check” as you described. Only after I know the dog has learned the command and is choosing to ignore. Question, once the dog has blown off the command and has chosen to sniff how do you insist on the behavior without sending the message to the dog you allowed him/her to ignore you. Do you repeat the command? Do you just stand there and shorten the leash to wait him out?

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    I teach my dogs eye contact and focus so they pay attention to me and not other things in their environment.

    I would take my dog home or back inside as a way to take something away from them that they like.

    I would not repeat the command or he will wait for you to repeat until you are angry and he learns to ignore you.

    If I wasn’t near home I would wait him out.

    [Reply]

  12. martin geller says:

    Did I miss it or is the sole instruction on leash command is to shorten the leach and take away space ?

    [Reply]

  13. Jaime says:

    My dog Whiskey is 1 years old, and while he is usually pretty good on the leash, often times he sees something like a bird/lizard/beetle and will start to run after it as fast as he can. I don’t know how to make him stop, and if it’s something far away he will ultimately end up hitting the end of his leash really hard and I feel like that probably hurts his neck. He knows sit and most commands, but ignores them when he latches his focus on something. Any advice?

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    work on eye contact and focus read this http://www.thedogtrainingsecret.com/blog/eye-contact-focus-behavior-broken/

    [Reply]

  14. Jeannie says:

    I’ve trained a lot of dogs. We currently have six, and a seventh just went home to his real home yesterday after being here for nearly six months. I’ve never had any difficulty even training “difficult” dogs to the standard I want, which is not a performance standard, just cooperative and respectful living. I don’t use negative reinforcement except the word “no”, the “leave it” command, and a sound which is sort of like “hup!” said sharply, almost a quick bark. Except…I have an American foxhound who was feral until a year and a half of age or so, had never been in a house until ours, is a breed bred for stubbornness and an ability to fixate, and I swear, I would like to put this dog in some kind of bondage. She’s much better – after several years. But nowhere near where even I want, and I want them to all be doggish. If she had been my first dog, I would have completely understood why people resort to negative training methods. So I just want to say, if you happen to have a dog that seems extraordinarily resistant to training, don’t assume that you are “doing it wrong” or that you have to resort to more harsh measures. Talk to a trainer with more experience. Look into the breed or breeds you can identify in your dog – some traits that are bred in cannot be trained out. It’s one of the reasons dogs have so successfully integrated into human cultures, because they can be beed to do specific things without any training at all. You can’t make a pointer stop pointing anymore than you can make a dog not wag. You also can’t make a foxhound not bay loudly when it’s onto something interesting – including you getting dinner ready. Bark collars will just make them psychotic – but I think that bark collars, chain chokes and leash corrections can be okay with specific issues and dogs IF they’re used intelligently and kindly and with great restraint. Most people cannot do this and mostly it isn’t necessary anyway.

    [Reply]

    Gail Reply:

    That is a really great attitude and really good points. With specific breeds it is great if you can “honour the breed” by allowing them opportunities to do what the breed has been bred for and a good reason not to get a dog just on how lovely it looks. Your dog is lucky he got you and not an inexperienced dog owner or he may have been euthanized because no one understood him. Congratulations.

    [Reply]

  15. mary says:

    hello, thanks for your valuable humane concerns. Inherited Malamute,Husky,Samyoed mix. I was told a siberian Husky, 2yrs later he is all white, iceblue eyes, longhaired bushy tail. I drop him off at boarding to “be trained obedience”. He had been growling at all family. However, after 2 weeks went to see how he was doing, and brought him home. He had lost 3lbs in 2weeks and had anxiety eating his hair on his legs. He came back worst than before, snapping growling. However its been 3weeks and he has settle back into the family gain some weight, but now dominates objects. So I have removed things that triggers his behavior. I found that most of this behavior occurs at nightfall. He enjoys sleeping in his 4×6 house.

    [Reply]

  16. JACKIE says:

    THANK YOU FOR INSITE AND SHARING INFORMATION . I FOUND IT BEST TO 1ST TEACH MY DOG TO SIT AND THEN DROP UNDER REWARD SYSTEM. I ALSO TAUGHT HER TO WALK WITH ME BY CLAPPING MY HAND ALONG SIDE OF MY LEG. THUS CALLING MY DOG TO WALK WITH ME. HAVE A LARGE DOG I FOUND IT USEFUL, KEEP UP SHARING INFO AND GREAT WORK

    [Reply]

  17. Linda says:

    Number 1…No one can socialize enough …emphasize, practice, do .. socialization enough. My dogs are trained off leash in the house first. They know twenty commands before we use the leash to reinforce their training. We play games in training. My dogs will sit on a dime.
    Anyone who uses prongs or others are not understanding that a dog works for you from love…not being robots, pain, fear.
    Now, if you do have a dog with behavior problems, this is when real training becomes fascination. I think most folks need to understand there’s training, then there’s training. Training number 1…teaching and reinforcing. Training number 2…Behavioral problems. I think most folks are packaging their methods together. Remember folks, training number 2 is not the same as dogs just learning their basics. Cesar Millan is usually teaching or working with behavioral problems. Which I don’t agree with his methods, but it’s not my show.

    [Reply]

  18. Patty H says:

    We adopted a lab mix about 1 1/2 years old from our local Animal Shelter. (They were advertising a special on the adult dogs.) The info from the shelter was that she and her siblings were found in the woods and had apparently been there for several months, losing the window of social behavior that puppies need. She was fostered out with a very kind and gentle lady who had other fosters for the shelter and 2 or 3 of her own dogs. The foster mom (single) also had a very hectic work schedule and was away quite a bit because it took several days to schedule time to visit the dog at her house. Eve (shelter name) is a beautiful black lab which they claimed is a mix, but I can’t tell, she has an all lab appearance to me. Foster mom called her Evie so we stayed with that name. We were warned that she is VERY people shy, so foster mom & I agreed that my husband, son and our cocker spaniel would all come meet her together. Of course she went to the corner of the room and was not up for visitors but we finally got a little response with having our dog there and took some treats and a tennis ball that Foster mom said she loved. I’m retired with a part time job and was so taken with Evie that my husband & I agreed to adopt her. It took her a couple of weeks to get comfortable in a new home. We set up her crate and a bed in our den that has 2 steps up into the rest of the house. My thoughts were to let her come to us and not force anything on her. I’ve read articles and even attended a class about fearful dogs, so I haven’t been real pushy with her. We’ve had her now for 10 months and she is fine with this family and Molly (cocker spaniel). I did try some training classes with her, but just getting her Haltie halter on and getting her out the front door, in & out of the car is very stressful for her (and me), I have to have my son with me because she’s 55lbs.(or more by now) of scared muscle that wants to find the closest corner and pulls hard. I have mobility trouble and can not keep her from pulling me down, so my son has to help and has attended the classes too. We only went to a few classes, I felt it was just too much stress on her. I got a Thunder coat for her but only got it on her once with resistance on her part, but it seemed to calm her right away. Now if I just pick it up she runs for her crate. She loves being outside in any weather (back yard is fenced) and loves to run and wants to “retrieve” whatever is tossed.
    I’d love to be able to just take her for a walk up & down out street (private road not much traffic) but it just stresses her to the core to get the halter and leash on, much less out the front of the house. Do I just let her be herself and enjoy life with us and the backyard? Or should I get her out and expose her to “our” world like the trainer suggested. Trainer said that would be the only way to show her the world is not such a “scary” place. Thanks for any suggestions.

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    The problem is she may be forced to deal with “our world” at times like when she goes to the vet, if you vacation, or if you ever move.

    I would start to expose her but I would do it very slowly and I would conquer one problem at a time.

    So I would give her treats and teach her to get her leash and collar on, and then you can work on the thunder shirt.

    It may take you weeks or months but sometimes you have to work at their pace.

    Then you can choose to expose her to more.

    Read this http://www.thedogtrainingsecret.com/blog/understanding-desensitization-dog-training/

    [Reply]

  19. Madonna says:

    Thank you thank you. We are empty nesters and just bought our first male boxer. He is so adorable but only 7 weeks old. We know training has changed since the 60’s. We know he is going to be big and strong and stubborn. So I know i need to bet the alpha but i want to do it where our We both had dogs in childhood. For me it was a boxer.

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    Just start training right away and reward good behavior

    [Reply]

  20. JohnQ says:

    My new puppy goes completly ballistic when I put a leash on him. I try to calm him but he will not respond, he just freaks out and tries to choke himself to death. I find this kind of scary as I don’t want to hurt him but I really want him to learn how to walk on a leadh. He is a husky/shepard cross and is 10 weeks old. Did I wait to long to start getting him used to a leash? Should I have started right away at 8 weeks? Any suggestions?

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    Read this http://www.thedogtrainingsecret.com/blog/puppy-wont-walk-leash/

    [Reply]

  21. Carol says:

    It breaks my heart a brings tears to hear of the harsh methods you mentioned. How can anyone choose to be so cruel to their loving pet. Just awful. I have seen so many pictures of serious neck injuries from prong collars. I’m surprised they are still allowed. So sad.

    [Reply]

  22. Cheryl says:

    I was just wondering…I am dealing with dogs that have been raised in crates…for breeding only…not mine and they are skiddish but friendly. In other words they won’t let you treat them as a pet. Any suggestions?

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    Go slow and allow them to spend time in their crates still. Remember their crate is how they see their safe place and slowly acclimate them to home life

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  23. Heidi says:

    The point of popping th leash is not to be punitive but to get your dogs attention when he/she is not giving you the focus. Sometimes the problem is that the dog has just too much energy that needs to be released before they can get down to business in their training. Go throw a ball or frisbee for 15 minutes before your heel session and the focus will be much better and the need to redirect attention will be much less. I think it’s much like getting a five year old child to work on penmanship. If you’ve just let them out for a recess for 15 minutes first, it’s much easier. This is especially true with young dogs. Think of their needs first, then what you are trying to teach will come much easier. And if you do a leash correction, don’t make it punishment, just a light tug to get their attention.

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    I agree with most of this, however you would not pop that child in the neck would you? You would use your words to get their attention.

    Sure, dogs sometimes pop their own leash, but I do my best not to use it as a crutch because that is what most people do, they get into the habit of yanking and getting angry.

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  24. Hi Minette, I thought this was a great article. You voiced something about wondering what multiple corrections do to a dog, and speculating that it would have repercussions on ability to learn and function. Dogs and us, are mammals, with very similar emotional responses to experiences. (affective neuroscience is coming up with lots of evidence to back this up). I work with people who have had similar experiences to what you describe with dogs, and yes, they do struggle to learn and function, just like dogs do.
    One of the things that using positive reinforcement has taught me is that trying something is OK. Making ‘mistakes’ is OK. I have a dog who is really happy to offer me behaviours knowing that she will get rewarded. She’s not scared to learn. I’ve applied this to my teaching with ‘human’ students too, and it is a much happier learning environment.
    Maggi 🙂

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    Thank you 🙂

    [Reply]

  25. Phyllis says:

    “I would not let her run ahead of you; I think that is dangerous for both of you. “- I want to be able to take my small poodle with me when I do running work outs. I was thinking she should either be well ahead of me, or completely behind me, so that If I have to make a quick change of direction (i.e. an obstruction in the sidewalk, etc.) I do not need to worry about tripping over the dog, or getting tangled in the leash.

    What would you recommend for runners. How does one train the dog to stay behind?

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    I keep my dogs in heel position next to me. I don’t want to be pulled down if my dog is ahead and sees something to chase. And, I don’t want them behind in case they get scared, pull back or get tangled in the leash.

    Running in heel position is the only way I run with my dogs.

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  26. Jone says:

    With the above in mind how can you train a dog aggressive dog to not pull in the direction of another dog. I bought her a cage muzzle for others protection but I would like her not to pull

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    There are 4 articles in here, read them all. And, i suggest you enroll in my aggression coaching program which will also help you with videos and individual instruction.

    [Reply]

  27. Jone says:

    How do you train them to do this

    [Reply]

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