Leadership Program for People

A modification of Wendy Jordan's program

The following suggestions are to be followed for those dealing with problem behaviors where dominance or aggression is involved, and for those people who have adopted a second hand dog, or are raising a puppy. These suggestions will not change your dog's problem behaviors altogether, but they will help you to establish leadership, and thereby increase your success at training your dog. Remember, the alpha dog is not the most aggressive; it is the most confident. It is the "I'll take care of you" dog in the pack.

The closer you follow the suggestions, the better your chance at success. Be persistent. Occasionally upon initiation of this type of program, your dog's negative behavior will temporarily increase in frequency prior to improving. This is similar to a child throwing a temper tantrum when he/she can't have his/her way. Do not let the tantrum make you give up the program. Work through it and keep going.

Aggression is a serious and potentially dangerous behavior to work with. Be certain that you can accept all risks when working with an aggressive dog. Neither the author or No Nonsensel Dog Training implies safety in any of these suggestions, and neither may be held responsible for any damage, injury, or destruction that may occur while following these suggestions.

1. Feed a high quality, all-natural diet. Avoid chemical preservatives, fillers, and excessive salt and sugar in the diet. Research the correct level of protein and fat for your dog's age, size, and behavior. Many dogs with behavior problems improve on a raw or home cooked diet, which is highly digestible, and contains no filler or chemicals. Discuss this with a behaviorist, canine nutritionist, or holistic vet.

2. Feed scheduled meals. Do not leave food down at all times. Allow the dog 10 minutes to eat, then pick up the bowl.

3. Eliminate all extra food treats, except those used in training.

4. Dog must earn everything positive (food, attention, petting, etc..) by responding to a command such as "sit" first. The dog must sit (or other) for everything, including getting leash on, going in or out the door, getting in the car, etc.. No more free lunches!

5. Limit all attention, petting and talking, except that given during training and exercise, or grooming sessions to less than 10 seconds.

6. For two to three weeks, pick up all the dog's toys, and keep them out of reach. Dog may have a toy to entertain itself, but it must be given to the dog by you, and it must earn the toy by sitting. Permanently remove any toys that the dog is aggressively possessive over.

7. Never give the dog attention when it demands it. Ignore the dog, Walk away from the dog, or remove the dog from the area for 10 minutes if the dog is "attention seeking". Attention seeking behaviors are problem behaviors IF the behavior disturbs you, or if the dog is aggressive, or a "problem dog". In a normal dog, attention-seeking behaviors are not necessarily a problem.

8. Limit the dog's "freedom". Restrict unsupervised exercise or yard time, and do not allow the dog off-leash in an unfenced area. While in the house and unconfined, the dog must be attached to you via the umbilical cord - a leash attached to the dog and attached to your waist, where you can easily reach it. The purpose is to give you immediate control over the dog's current behavior.

9. Dog may not sleep on your bed, however, it should sleep in the bedroom, unless otherwise advised. Furniture may also be off limits in certain cases of aggression.

10. Daily, on-leash exercise is a must! The average dog needs about 30 minutes of on-leash walking daily. Many breeds and problem dogs need every more! Walking will help the dog to relax, and also teaches the dog that you are in charge. (As opposed to off-leash play or running, which can enhance the dog's independence.) Start with the goal of 30 minutes (can be divided into 1- 30 min, 2-15 min, or 3-10 min. session) and add a daily 10 minutes training session or two, and a 5-10 minute retrieve session, and adjust the amount of exercise from there.

Begin general obedience training as soon as possible, or as soon as your dog can be safely integrated into a class. Train your dog to the novice level, and beyond. The more your dog understand and learns to work with you, the less conflict you will have with the dog.

One of the books included in our No Nonsense Dog Training Course entitled Become the Respected Leader will go indepth and give you all the tools, training and exercises to become the alpha dog. As we say time and again, the alpha dog is not an agressive, bullying leader. He or she is a calm and assertive pack leader that represents leadership, confidence and offers a sense of safety for your dog.

To Your Success,


Chad Thompson
Canine Behavior Expert

 

 

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