Many times, when I start working with clients, they become frustrated with the fact I don’t immediately start working on the problems they have called the office about…

  • Dog that jump on house Guests
  • Dog that pull-on leash Outside
  • Dog that do not listen (Add the when and where of your choice)
  • Dog is out of control in the House or Backyard
  • Dog does not like Men, House Guests or Dogs

Well, all those things (Highlighted words) are what dog trainers call distractions.  While those might very well be the things that are driving you nuts, they are not and cannot be the starting point for a successful dog training experience (in my humble opinion).  Instead we must start with teaching a dog to pay attention in the most comfortable environment your dog has, the 4 walls of your home!

Therefore, we start with resource control (hand feeding) inside your home.  From there, once we have the dog’s attention, we move on to more and more distracting environments.  Moving forward to each new or more difficult task will be determined by your dog’s success or failure…and that, my friend, depends on the work you do during the time between each session (you know…practice).

Let’s look at an example:

              A dog that pulls on leash…. What we do on the first session….

  • Hand Feeding: In your home…
    • EZ and Wait Technique
    • Sit, Down and Watch Me with Thank you and All Done
    • The Turn Around Game
    • On and Off furniture and beds (only if an allowable behavior at your house)
    • Leave it
    • Door Skills
    • In and Out of Crate (if you use one)
  • How to deal with the doorbell
  • How to deal with dinner time
  • How to deal with Family TV time
  • What to do when bad behavior happens (what is the consequence)

What we do next….

  • Move all hand feeding and technique work (if you have done your homework) to backyard and driveway on leash…. This ups the distraction but not so much that the dog can’t handle it (the actual walk) ….

After another batch of practice…

  • Now we tackle the walk (if and only if the dog is ready and you have done your work)
  • 3 days a week (Monday, Wednesday and Friday) on rules training and leash work
  • 2 days a week (Tuesday and Thursday) on a long line skills, working recall and letting the dog be a dog…
  • At least 2 weeks of practice…

Finally, our last follow up to review practice and progress….

For most dogs pulling on leash, we will work for over 2 months and meet four times.  Each problem behavior is different…some take more time and some less, but a month of work is usually a minimum.  It all comes down to the age-old question of how do you eat an elephant?  Well, the answer is one bite at a time.  Dog training is exactly the same – until you can handle something simple, why would you even think to tackle a more complex, frustrating and difficult problem?


I only write this article so you realize that dog trainers are not Magicians, Jedi Masters or Whisperers of any kind.  We are teachers that do just that… teach humans how to train dogs.  Your success is dependent upon your work, your consistency and your ability to practice what we teach you.  Expecting anything else is silly and will not get you where you want to go.


So, if this sounds like a plan you like, a plan you can get behind and a plan you can follow through on… Take the next step and read the Fine Print and FAQ… (Both are under the tab READ FIRST on our website)


After that, call the office and we will be happy to set up an appointment to come out and help you!!!!





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