Yesterday I wrote a post for a clicker list in response to a question to helping out-of-control dogs. I decided this post needed to be shared with all of you that may not be on that list because it is highlits tons of resources to help anyone create harmony with their high drive dog.
Out of control dogs are something I happen to know quite a bit about. It seems they have been a part of my
life for almost 20 years. Now this entire post may sound a bit self promotional as I will have sight so many of my own products. But the tools of success I have used when dealing with high dogs are all documented within the books, articles and vidoes I am recommending and they have all be a part of thousands of success stories people have send me after applying those tools.
First of all before you begin, if you haven’t already dog so go and watch this video. “The Journey” will help to put your struggles in perspective and remind you of why this dog is in your life.
To begin training such a dog, I would start by teaching “ItsYerChoice“. This game has been written up in both Clean Run Magazine (by one of my instructors Tracy Sklenar) and in DogSport Magazine by me. It is a game of impulse control that helps to harness the power of classical conditioning (or as Bob B. says) “Pavlov being on your shoulder”. In fact Pavlov isn’t only on YOUR shoulder as much as he is riding your dog like a horse at the Derby trying to get him to make self serving (yet inappropriate) choices. The games is about minimizing the effect of classical conditioning in order to maximize your results with operant conditioning. If there is enough of you that can’t access this article I will arrange for a link to be put on my website so that it can be accessed there.
Next, when trying to create self control in any dog, young or old, you will be blown away with the results you get if you start with my video “Crate Games.” Check out this video clip to you will see a wild and crazy JRT X BC mix showing amazing self control at the age of 9 weeks old. This program will work, the results are spectacular, I am not kidding!
In addition, my book Ruff Love has helped new dogs adjust to their homes and saved many dogs from being euthanized over the years. My one warning of this book is to allow your heart to guide you when you read and apply the methodology. I wrote that book with the assumption of common sense, which I have come to realize is not commonly found. The goal of the program is to control access to reinforcement for the dog and to create new reinforcement that comes only for you and not the dog’s environment. This is not a program about using isolation to get a dog to do what you want but rather one that shows you how to set your dog up for success and develop an amazing bond with this dog that will develop as you play some of the many reinforcing games detailed throughout the book. If you used this book for no other reason, the value in the relationship building games written within are well worth the purchase.
If you go through this blog there are also many posts about high drive dogs. This one would be a good place to start where I write about creating a great recall.
And lastly I have written an entire book on creating drive in a dog called “Shaping Success.” This book documents my journey with my out-of-control puppy “Buzz”. It was named Dog Training Book of the year by the Dog Writers of America in 2005. Although it focuses on agility training it is a great read for any dog owner or trainer.
Sometimes with a wild and crazy dog it is difficult to find reasons to reinforces the dog as he appears to be doing 300 inappropriate things to every 1 desired response. The overwhelming reinforcement the dog receives from his environment for being inappropriate can make your efforts to turn this dog into a model pet slow or non existent. This in a nutshell, is why rescue dogs exits:). Using the tools I have suggested will help to make this Journey a reinforcing one for both you and your dog!
Today I am grateful for all of the people that have contributed to the knowledge contained within the resources I have produced over the years.