Your Relationship With Your Dog

Your Relationship With Your Dog

Do you feel like you have a good relationship with your dog? A good bond?

It’s easy to love a dog and have them love you back. But going deeper, is there respect and true understanding? Does your dog respect you whether you’re home or out, whether there are distractions around or not?

It’s amazing how much closer we can bond with our dogs through training. You can really achieve this understanding of each other on a whole new level. When we have ways to communicate with our dogs, almost removing the language barrier, we can feel a sense of relief and so can they.

Often when I meet a client and their dog, the love is clearly there. But the understanding and respect is missing. The dog takes to me because I break things down for them into a language they can understand. They finally see things clearly!

Having this clarity does wonders in so many aspects of life with your dog. If you need your dog to listen more, you’ll have a clear way to show them want you want. Your dog will feel better with this communication system in place and will be more focused and willing.

Training becomes easier, lighter, FUN. You and your dog have more freedom. Training should always be fun and so should dog ownership!

But for many people, it could be… more fun.

If you’d like more fun for you and your dog and to improve your relationship, joining the Frantic To Foused program and becoming a VIP in the Dog Matters Academy is the way to go. Join by clicking here.

Register to my FREE Frantic to Focused Video Series: Click here to sign up.

Can’t wait to see you in there and see what you can achieve with your dog!

Leash Skills To Stop Your Dog Pulling On The Leash

Leash Skills To Stop Your Dog Pulling On The Leash

Simple leash skills every owner should know

Pulling on the leash is a natural behaviour for a dog. But it’s not healthy to let them continue to pull because no matter what your leash is attached to, constant pressure on the dog can cause damage (even with harnesses and head halters).

If your dog is overly distracted as soon as you leave the house, or is reactive, pulling on leash is one of the first things you need to address.

There’s lots of leash techniques out there, such as:

  • Turning the opposite direction when the dog pulls
  • Stopping every time the leash goes tight
  • Mark and reward when the dog is next to you
  • Correct the dog when the dog is ahead of you

Nothing wrong there, but there’s a technique I love that does more than just help stop pulling and that is teaching your dog to respond to gentle leash pressure. It’s simple but I can’t overstate how important it is to teach your dog to be responsive to the leash.

Rather than a battle over who’s pulling harder, leash pressure work should flow like a dance, where you can apply the lightest touch and the dog readily responds.

Beautiful! Would you like that for your dog?

And if your dog can respond like that, it doesn’t fit in with continuing to pull on the leash. It’s teaching them the opposite.

Here’s a video about teaching leash pressure.

Why don’t you give it a go with your dog today?

And just a tip: most people don’t practice this enough because it’s TOO simple. Yes it’s simple, but drill it in – practice, practice, practice! As always, at home first.

Want to learn more leash skills that teach your dog to focus on you more? Frantic to Focused can teach you all that and more. Join by clicking here.

Register to my FREE Frantic to Focused Video Series: Click here to sign up.

How Your Thoughts Affect Your Dog’s Behaviour

How Your Thoughts Affect Your Dog’s Behaviour

It’s not rocket science, our thoughts affect our actions. But do you always pay attention to your thoughts? What about when it comes to your dog’s behaviour – could it be that your thoughts affect that too? Well if thoughts affect decisions and actions, that definitely affects our dogs!

Here’s a common example I see: Karen decides she wants to walk her dog. But milliseconds after she makes this decision, she starts thinking of worst case scenarios.

It’s a busy time of day, what if another dog runs up to us…
My dog pulls on the leash and it’s not really enjoyable… maybe I’ll just throw the ball for him in the yard instead…
He never listens to me once we get out the front door, what’s the point?

In the above example, Karen isn’t feeling confident in her abilities to control her dog and it’s stopping her from giving the dog what he really needs.

Can you relate?

Training can be fun – it doesn’t have to be a drag.

The great thing about training is that if you were having troubles say, on the walk or in public, you could temporarily replace walk time with training time. This would get you better results when you train away from the home later because it would set up the foundations the dog needs, making the dog more likely to listen to you in any environment.

On top of that, it would build your confidence, leading to more confident thoughts, leading to more confident actions.

AND it would make your dog more tired and satisfied than throwing a ball mindlessly or going on a quick walk.

The first step you have to take with any struggle you are facing and want to change is to believe that you can do it.

If one human can do something, so can you!

Register to my FREE Frantic to Focused Video Series: Click here to sign up.

And if you want more help from me, I have great news. Grab the Frantic to Focused program AND all the videos in the Dog Matters Academy for just $297 (save $200). Click here to learn more.

What Is Impulse Control and How It Can Help Your Dog

What Is Impulse Control and How It Can Help Your Dog

Would you describe your dog’s behaviour around the home as calm and controlled, or more chaotic?

Can you trust them around your belongings without them being destroyed?

Does your dog push past you and barge through doorways and gates? Or wait calmly until they’re told?

Having a peaceful household with your dog/s in it is important for many reasons. Obviously, it’s more pleasant for you. But a dog that knows the rules is happier than a dog that has no rules at all.

When it comes to teaching your dog to make the right choices and not just run amok, a big part of this is what’s known as impulse control. This simply means that your dog is able to control their impulses rather than just leaping towards anything they want whenever they want it. It helps them to think before they act.

One brilliant way to teach some impulse control is the leave it command. This command is fun to teach (my favourite actually) and can show you how clever your dog really is.

If you have to shout, “LEAVE IT!!” in a panic or wrestle the object out of your dog’s mouth or physically intervene, your dog either doesn’t truly know what the word means, or is ignoring you.

Watch this video to see how I teach the leave it command and follow along with your dog at home.

Extra points if you post a video of your dog performing this skill in the Dog Matters Community facebook group!

Need more help teaching your dog some impulse control? Sign up now to Frantic To Focused!

Register to my FREE Frantic to Focused Video Series: Click here to sign up.

When your dog won’t come back when called

When your dog won’t come back when called

A really common problem I get asked about regularly is, “my dog runs off and won’t come back when called,” or “my dog only comes back when he feels like it.”

My question back to the owner would be, “have you spent time training your dog to come back when called?”

Most the time, the owner has not done any formal training on the recall but will tell me that the dog does know it and is choosing to ignore it. Often the dog comes when called in the house or backyard only and that’s the extent of how they know it.

But the most crucial times you’ll need your dog to listen to a recall is outside of the home around distractions and this needs to be trained.

A dog doesn’t generalize something they know well at home to all other situations and locations. A dog that comes when called at home is most likely doing it because the backyard is familiar and boring and they crave the owner’s attention so it’s easy for them to come running when they hear your voice. That’s why it can seem like the dog knows the recall without much training actually put into it.

But add distractions and new environments to explore? You’re no longer the most exciting thing to your dog and they have no training experience to help them realize that they can’t just run off to do what they want whenever something interesting and new is present.

When it comes to training the recall, there’s a couple of important rules. The first is to always make the recall rewarding and never punish your dog if you just called them and they came to you.

The other very important rule is to never allow a situation where the dog can learn that coming when called is optional. So when someone tells me their dog runs off and won’t come when called, or until he feels like it, I have to ask, why is the dog able to run off and make that choice?

If you haven’t practiced recall training to prepare for these situations, it’s really unfair to expect the dog to just know what to do.

Set your dog up to win – practice recall training in many environments on a long line, so that you can control the outcome.

Remember, practice makes permanent. Make sure that what is being practiced is what you want the end result to look like. Are you practicing a perfect recall because you are the one in charge, or are you allowing your dog to practice ignoring you? What you allow is what you’ll get.

If you need help with recall training, visit dogmatters.com and fill in the contact form to arrange a one on one training session.

Tenille Williams
Dog Matters