Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: New Paltz, NY
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I'm going to offer some advise, but I'm not an expert - just someone who has been through some of the same things and has successfully gotten my dog to do what I want him to do most of the time. And probably many people on here will yell at me for the advise I am about to give.
All I can say is that I had an AMAZING trainer (he trains search and rescue dogs) and this is what my trainer suggested. Second, I have a wonderful dog who is extremely happy, well behaved, and is never annoying in any way.
This technique is for the most dangerous behaviors - ones which can put your dog in danger if you don't get them to stop (and this includes trying to grab things off the counter because there could be something lethal to him up there). For Henry, this was lurching on the leash to chase a car everytime one went by when we were walking, and running away from me when I gave the COME command. I need him to obey me when I say COME and STAY because I need to be able to protect him if/when he is in danger.
I used this technique only twice in his life - at about a year old. And it worked. I held him by his scruff (not shaking or lifting - just holding him still) , looked him sternly in the eye, and commanded (yelled actually) NO CHASE (or NO JUMP) very loudly and very sternly. Then I released him and ignored him for awhile. As I said, I only did this twice in his whole life. The rest was positive reinforcement. But I will tell you, my dog COMES when he is called 90% of the time and he never tries to chase a car anymore. He also knows he has no choice but to obey me. That is for his protection and my sanity.
Our dogs are very soft dogs. They don't need you to be heavy handed in training. That is why I only had to use the technique twice. But sometimes they need some strong signs to show them where the boundaries are. Henry did.
Again, lots of people will disagree with me. Guys - dont beat me up too much please!!! I am only saying what worked for me.