K.I.S.S. Dog Training - Mike & Dogs

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Sometimes when I start working with clients, they become frustrated that I don’t immediately start working on the problems that they initially called the office about:

  • A dog that jumps on house guests.
  • A dog that pulls on the leash.
  • A dog that doesn’t listen.
  • A dog that is out of control in the house or backyard.
  • A dog that doesn’t like men, children, house guests or other dogs.

While these behaviors might be driving you nuts, they are not and cannot be the starting point for a successful dog training experience. Instead we must start with teaching a dog to pay attention in the most comfortable environment your dog has: Inside 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 distracting environments. Moving forward to each new or more difficult task will be determined by your dog’s success or failure, and that 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 the leash.

What we do in the first session:

  • Hand Feeding: In your home…
    • “Easy” and “Wait” Techniques
    • 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 work) to the backyard and/or the driveway on a leash. Going outside 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 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 two months, and meet four times. Each problem behavior is different, but a month of work is usually the minimum. It all comes down to the age-old question of how do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time. Dog training is exactly the same: Until you can handle something simple, why tackle a more complex problem?

I tell you all of this to illustrate that dog trainers are not magicians, Jedi Masters or “Whisperers” of any kind. We are simply teachers: We teach other humans how to train dogs. Your success is dependent upon your work, your consistency and your ability to practice what we teach you.

If this sounds like a plan you can get behind, take the next step and read the Fine Print and FAQ.

We require all clients to not only read them both but sign each before we get started.

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

Next Steps: Fine Print & FAQ’s

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