As we experience on a daily basis here at The Dog Bowl, not everyone has the same "house rules" for their dog(s).
Whatever your house rules/training rules are for your dog one thing is certain - your dog will not succeed unless you (and the whole family) are consistent.
We are currently helping out a friend and client of The Dog Bowl with the training of her Jack Russell Terrier named Dylan (shown on the left with Jennifer). He was a rescued pup and she adopted him approximately 3 years ago... We think he is around 5-6 years old. If you have come into our retail storefront recently you have had the "pleasure" of having us beg you to pet him. (He will be staying with us until tomorrow, Saturday.)
Dylan has A LOT of anxiety... Which many of you know is usually expressed as aggression. In Dylan's case he always needs a "job" and a place to just "be". Many dogs are like this - large or small! So even if you think a smaller dog breed is "easier" guess again! Dylan, for example, has proven to be a challenge, but we are working through it. Every day brings an opportunity to train and work with him (and his visitors/friends). To quote Cesar Millan "Rehabilitate dogs.... train people." Because dogs do behave the way we want them to - this includes the good or the bad.
In our quest to assist Dylan we had to first learn how to best communicate with him and react in an appropriate manner with any negative or inappropriate behaviors "in our pack" we came across Training DVD's as well as Breed Specific DVD's (now offered at The Dog Bowl Online Storefront). These were very helpful in his rehab!
We also took in a few of Cesar Millan's videos & would like to share a few of our favorite points from his show on National Geographic:
- Don't let them climb on you.... You tell them where to be.
- One of the most important things Cesar wants to get across is that dogs are dogs—not humans! (So they communicate differently than we do.)
- Often the solution we would use for a human is totally wrong for solving a dog’s issues.
- Nose/Eyes - claim your space If you reward dominance YOU become a part of HIS pack. His tail is up - checking you out with dominance.
- Discipline is not about being mean it is about being a great dog owner, the greatest.
- Discipline vs. releasing frustration on an animal is not good. It is not good with being angry and then touching anybody (much less your dog). Being calm & assertive to protect yourself.
- When a naturally submissive dogs lives with a human that does not lead, he or she will attempt to right the pack balance by filling what they see as a vacant pack leader role. This is how behavior problems develop.
- If dog is aggressive - Do not touch, no talk, no eye contact with dog. Agression is NOT a breed thing. Aggression is a state of mind.
- No one has ever challenged him - he has gone to "the red zone". Dominant needs to challenge him in the red zone. Challenge in a calm & assertive state.
- 2 dogs - 1 touch the other 1 touches.... 1 is going to win.
- Aggression is a result of 1 or 2 things: (1) Animal that is controlling the situation. (2) Animal that is the pack leader.
- If the animal that is the pack leader. Aggression is NOT what happens right away the OUTCOME (behavior) of insecurity, frustration, anxiety, tension... We don't know what the exact source is.
- Dog is more powerful in their own environment - neurotic behaviors come out in that environment.
- Once they feel how good it feels to be a balanced dog they feel good & say "hey let's do this more".
- Improve your relationship with your dog! Learn how to achieve balance and establish pack leadership with practical tips and techniques.
- Easier to influence calm submissive mind than excited submissive mind. Practice NO talk, can touch & can look at him, but sound brings excitement.
- Consistent with expectations of the dog & consistent with behaviors that we allow & with what we do not allow.
- The more you learn about dog psychology, the better you will be able to connect with your canine companion!
- Remember, there are no quick fixes; pack leadership is a year-round 24/7 commitment.
- Prioritize what is best for the dog.