Posts filed under ‘Jumping’

Training a Goldendoodle to stop stealing food

Cody has such a sweet expression when you look at him. Well that is if you can get him to stop jumping on you long enough to look. I showed up at Cody’s home on a nice Sunday morning. I was met by a blur of beautiful white fur that kept leaping at me. Than when he finally stopped jumping and I went to pet him, he submissive urinated on the floor. We than sat down and I got to hear Cody’s story. On a walk he either pulls the owner down the street or would lay down and refuses to move.

Someone say, "Lunch!"

Someone say, "LUNCH"

He had stolen the breakfast bagels off the counter that morning and they showed me a picture of him actually lying on the kitchen counter. When we went to put him in the crate it was like trying to catch a slippery fish. He wouldn’t come and when we finally caught him and tried to place him in the crate. Well, no sooner did we put him in the crate and before you could close the door. He twisted himself around and plowed out the door. Man was he quick. So it was decided to send him to bootcamp.

Cody has a wonderful family and deep down he is an absolutely sweet and very sensitive dog.  The problem is he knows he is stronger and bigger than most of his owners and uses this to get his way.  He knows he can’t mess with Dad, because Dad is strong enough to make Cody mind. Dad also knows that he is not going to hurt Cody’s feelings by making him listen.  This is not the case with the rest of the family. Even though Cody is still a puppy and is only grown to half of the size he will be. He is big and strong enough to throw his weight around. There is no way that Mom or the kids can physically make him do anything. My goal is to teach Cody that throwing his weight around is useless whether it is choosing not to follow on a leash, pulling on the leash or refusing to go into the crate. This needs to be so ingrained, so that he will listen to even the smallest member of the family. Of course addressing the stealing or counter surfing is a must.

As always the very first day of bootcamp is letting him get to know his surroundings followed by a couple of sessions working on getting him to walk on a loose leash.

Let's Play!

Let's Play!

He did great. As stated earlier, Cody is very smart and soon figured out he had no choice but to walk on a loose leash. He enjoyed getting to meet my dogs and thought Fireball was kinda cute.

On Day two and three we worked on more loose leash walking. Not just working outside, but also up and down stairs. He occasionally forgets himself and needs to be corrected.

Cody & Fire in School

Cody & Fire in School

The biggest thing that he does is just refuse to move. As stated in other blogs that this is just a passive aggressive way of not wanting to listen to us. We also addressed his charging out of the crate and worked all day long on making him stay in the crate with the door open or when he was told “IN”. He would go in the crate. He is now doing this.

Tomorrow I will address the counter surfing or stealing. I’ll keep you posted and let you know the progress.

November 17, 2010 at 9:40 pm 2 comments

Casey Is On Her Way To Become A Seizure Response Dog

Casey is destined to serve a special duty to her owner and that is to inform him of an impeding seizure.  In reality Service dogs are born with a certain temperament and personality. But her owners love her and are willing to do whatever it takes to make it work. Casey is 10 months old and is all puppy.

Can we Play?

Can we Play?

She is quite active, but has more of a nervous hyper temperament and gets startled easily. She is very manipulative and knows how to get what she wants. One of the games that Casey likes to play is to race around the yard and do a full nelson on the owner’s poor Mom. She jumps on guests and sometimes when you try to make her do something she will roll on her belly as she kicks out her feet in all different directions. Oh and I almost forgot about getting car sick. Which can be a problem if she is supposed to travel with her owner all the time.


The actual training to be a seizure response dog will be done by a certified Service Dog Trainer provided she passes the initial evaluation. A seizure response dog requires special training and has to have the right personality. There have been many cases where a dog has actually bitten the person having a seizure.


The major reasons that Casey went to bootcamp is to address the jumping, nervous hyper behavior and to socialize her so that she isn’t so fearful about her surroundings.  Even when she sits still it seems like her head and eyes are swinging back and forth and her eyes show how nervous she is.


The first few training sessions were just for brushing up on her obedience. I worked on walking on a loose leash, sit, sit-stay, down & come. By the afternoon of the second day she was working at a level that would allow me to start taking her places.

See How Good I Can Be.

See How Good I Can Be.

Now working on the jumping is 24/7. Every time she got out of the crate, running around outside and even a little in the house, she was ready to jump and I was ready to correct. The good news is that her jumping is getting less and less frequent. Once again her jumping is a way to control the situation. If she doesn’t like what you are doing she jumps, if she doesn’t want to do an exercise she jumps and if she is overly excited she jumps.


After the first two days it was time to start socializing her. Shyness can be expressed several different ways. The most common is that a dog will tuck their tail under their legs with ears down and not make any eye contact. They may try to move away when someone approaches. Another way is a dog that really wants to say HI, but is afraid or not sure of how to act. Their tail may wag, but as soon as someone goes to pet them. The dog will turn into a mop. They will suddenly flop down, wiggle all over the place and perhaps submissive urinate. The head will toss back and forth and try to avoid eye contact. This was Casey’s style. So it was essential that she be socialized in a controlled setting.


Our first trips were to different pet stores. The environment at a pet store will have lots of distractions, but will also be quieter and not as many people. The good news is that by the end of the visit to the second store, she was calming down and not so nervous. The next phase was to take her to the city. I took her to  Royal Oak and Birmingham.

Casey in Royal Oak

Casey in Royal Oak

These would be short jaunts in the car which will let her get used to driving in a car. There was only one time that she got sick and that was actually the second time I took her anywhere. I am glad to say that I am seeing an improvement each time we go.  Today my plan is to take her to Rochester. The drive will be the longest she went on and it is my hope that she doesn’t get sick. She is improving each day and I have high hopes that she will be fine.




November 9, 2010 at 2:15 pm Leave a comment

Jade makes a homerun in downtown Royal Oak

Jade is a beautiful 5 month old yellow Labrador Retriever who is owned by Carlos Guillen of the Detroit Tigers. Jade is your typical Labrador puppy full of energy, gets distracted easily and just wants to play. She is very mouthy, will jump and counter surf, but on the good side she is very sensitive. Another problem is that she is a little cautious of new things. Jade is a prime example of why it is so important to socialize your young puppies.

Just Hanging Out

Just Hanging Out

She has been in boot camp for four days now and besides training. I am working on socializing and desensitizing her to people, places, things and noises. She is also very cautious of new dogs and it will be very important to expose her to many nice dogs.

The training has been going well. She does an excellent sit-stay,

Jade in Royal Oak

Jade in Royal Oak

walks well on a leash with mild distractions, and does down, but struggles with down-stay. Don’t worry, by the time she goes home she will have a much better handle on the down-stay. Today was her first big trip to the city. We went to downtown Royal Oak to work around the people. She did great.  I thought she might be nervous, because the first time I took her to the pet store “Pet Food & More.” She was a little nervous, but after about 10 minutes she acted like she owned the store. This is normal for cautious dogs, so I figured that she would do the same thing in Royal Oak. Not at all, as soon as she jumped out of the vehicle her tail was wagging and she showed no signs of apprehension. In fact initially she was very distracted and wanted to investigate everything and say hello to everybody she saw. Within a few minutes I was able to get her focusing and start working on her obedience. She walked perfectly past people.

Can We Walk to Tiger Stadium

Can We Walk to Tiger Stadium

Okay her tail was wagging so hard that her body was twisting back and forth, but she stayed by my side. If I placed her in a sit-stay she would hold that position even if people walked past. I am also glad to say that she had the opportunity to be a therapy dog. There was a lady in a wheelchair and she greeted the lady making her smile. Tomorrow we will go to downtown Birmingham and work her amongst these busy city streets. I’ll keep you posted.

September 22, 2010 at 3:26 pm Leave a comment

Training a Havanese, named Mojo

Mojo is a very exuberant little black and white Havanese, but also very sweet. Her owner lives half the year in Florida and the other half in Michigan. In Florida Mojo is the highlight of everyone’s day.

Spunky Mojo playing with Aggie

Anyone for a game of chase!

She is such a happy little dog, always wagging her tail and wants to say hello to everyone. Mojo only has a few flaws like: jumping on everyone she meets, pulling her owner around, running in front and tripping the owner, barks at everything she sees, hides under the bed and won’t come out. She also has a bad habit of chewing things. I had worked with the Daughter’s Wheaton Terrier several years ago and so they hired me to work with Mojo.

I showed up at the house and was soon greeted by a high pitched bark that I was told would continue for 15 minutes. I simply pressed the button on an Ultra Sonic devise and Mojo was instantly quite. Mojo was than lavishly praised for being quite. Because of the situation and circumstance (The owners 94 Mother was in the Hospital.) It was decided the best thing to do is send Mojo off to Bonny’s Boot Camp. The funny part is while I was explaining to them how boot camp worked. Mojo snuck in the bedroom grabbed a box of Kleenex, ran underneath the bed and chewed it up. It was almost like she signed her own enrollment forms. The sad part is that she was previously trained by one of the franchised training companies

Boot Camp was probably the best bet for Mojo. Havanese are very sensitive dogs and need a very positive approach to training. They need to have a clear understanding of what is expected of them. They need to be shown what you want, and feel comfortable doing it. The trickiest part is that they also like to act as if they are clueless of what you want.

DAY ONE: To be honest when I got her home I wondered if she even knew her name. I would say Mojo and there wasn’t even a glimmer of recognition. So we started with the name game and getting her to watch me. We had several sessions of this before I attempted to teach her anything else. Once I had her focusing on me it was time to teach her to walk on a loose leash. This was accomplished very quickly in the comfort of my back yard and with no distraction.

DAY TWO & THREE: It was very important to teach Mojo to walk perfectly on leash and so I spent a lot of time working on this. By the end of 2 days she was doing very well. She even accompanied me to one of my group classes and was worked around all the other dogs. I had worked a little bit on the control exercises like sit and stay, but my main goal was walking.

DAY FOUR & FIVE:  It was time to teach her down, work at her mastering the sit-stay

I can Stay!

I can Stay!

, work on come and of course all through out this we would do chew discrimination test. (You can see how to set one of these test up on my DVD, “Instant Solutions”)

DAY SIX THRU EIGHT: Continued working on all previous exercises except my main emphasis was on getting her to come. By day eight she would now come when called in the backyard or house with minor distractions, so it was time to start teaching her to walk off leash. Mojo is one dog that under the circumstances as stated earlier really needs to have good leash manners.

DAY NINE THRU TWELVE: Was all about working off leash taking her with me to client’s homes and proofing her on all her newly learned skills.

THE REMAINING DAYS:  had one new exercise to teach her and that was the place command. “Place” is where they learn to go to their dog bed lay down and stay. By the time we were done Mojo would stay in place for an hour and even held that position when someone came to the front door.

The real trick is working with Mojo’s owner to teach her what to do. What I really liked is how enthusiastic the owner was to learn. She keeps practicing the techniques and keeps bragging how she has a new dog. Originally the owner was worried that I would take the spark and spunk out of Mojo. The best part is that Mojo is listening to her and is still her spunky self.

September 3, 2010 at 8:50 pm Leave a comment

Stopping a Dog from Jumping the Fence.

I am surrounded by yellow Labradors. First we have my precious Windy who I adopted over 4-1/2 years ago. Than I have two boot campers. The first one is Isaac an absolutely wonderful sweat laid back and stubborn 2 year old Lab.

This was a reflector collar so when I jumped, People could see me.

This was a reflector collar so when I jumped, People could see me when I jumped the fence and ran away.

Who will counter surf if given the chance and get into the garbage. The biggest reason that his owner drove in all the way from Indiana is that Isaac is a fence jumper. Of course he doesn’t walk well on a leash and come isn’t part of his vocabulary.

The second boot camper is Duke. He is a neutered male who was given up by his original owner to the rescue group Sanilac Scoopers. He is 2 years old and is absolutely wild. Because of his behavior, he spent most of his life chained up.

Bong! How High Can a Labrador Jump?

Bong! How High Can a Labrador Jump?

He can spring in the air and reach heights of 5 feet (horizontally) without any effort and of course jumps on people just as high if not higher knocking them over. He is completely out of control. When you put him on a leash he either drags you or knocks you over by jumping on you. He does have a great temperament and is good with kids, just no manners.

Isaac’s update:  I know why you love him so, he is a sweetheart. He is very loving and somewhat calm in the house.  He loves chasing Windy around the backyard. Eclipse (my old Lab.) and Fire duck and hide as soon as they see two blonde streaks racing towards them. He is doing very well with coming when called and I would say after 3 days he is coming 85% of the time. Initially when he was called he never showed any indication that he heard you. At least now he may come to you, but he tends to walk right past you. As if to say, “Here I am but don’t expect me to stick around.”

Look how good I can walk.

Look how good I can walk.

He now walks very well on a leash and today we were working on Sit & Sit-Stay. You can really see his stubbornness when you try to get him to sit. When you say sit he calmly stands there as if to say, “You can’t possibly talking to me.” Even when you show him a cookie his whole demeanor is one of, I don’t have to. Once you get him to sit he has an eternal clock that told him that after 30 seconds he could and should get up. By the time we were done with the morning session he would hold the sit-stay for 3 minutes and I went 10 feet away from him.

As I stated in our first conversation the trick is correcting him for fence jumping, because we are doing the training at my house. So far he has not tried to jump my fence. He got real interested one time when a squirrel was just on the other side of the fence. He ran up to the fence and put his front paws on the fence. Of course he was corrected. Now I did forget to ask you how he jumps the fence? Does he clear the whole fence, put his front paws on the fence and push off with his back paws or does he climb the fence?

Right now I am continuing to work on walking, sit & sit stay so that they all become more habitual and that he will do them even with distractions. Tomorrow we will also work on down. I’ll let you know how it goes.

Duke’s update: I must admit Duke is wild, he has no self control, no manners and is very busy. He is the AD/HD kid of the dog world. You put him on a leash and he goes into instant pull mode. If I didn’t know any better I would say he is part Husky & kangaroo.

I want to go East, West, North, South, Up, Down etc.

I want to go East, West, North, South, Up, Down etc.

If he isn’t pulling he is trying to jump all over you. Some of his jumping is just from his exuberance and love of people. The other reason is that it is a way to control people. He thinks, “I keep jumping on you, putting my paw around the leash, mouthing you and than you can’t make me listen.” Of course the first thing that I did was to teach him to walk on a loose leash. To be honest when I first started working with him it was amazing. I never knew a dog could go 10 different directions, right, left, behind, in front, up, down and sideways all at once. I have never tamed horses, but it was almost as if I had a bucking bronco at the end of a leash. After about 15 minutes he figured it out and was actually walking by my side. We have had several lessons to work on his jumping. Actually every time he gets out of the crate we have a session or two on jumping, because it is so natural to him to exhibit this behavior. The important part is to remember that even though he is corrected for jumping, when he is calm and not jumping (even if it is for 2 seconds) that he gets a good boy. Often times people only give their dog attention when the dog act up and never give them attention when the dog is calm. Remember negative attention is still attention. By praising when he is calm will teach him what we expect from him.

Duke is an affection starved dog who didn’t know why his owner tied him up outside and from there he went to a kennel to await being adopted. I have only had him for a day and a half and already he is jumping less. He is walking almost perfectly on a leash and will sit.

Wow! Duke Can SIT STILL.

Wow! Duke Can SIT STILL.

Duke is a field Labrador Retriever. He was bred to run in a field all day long and is always looking for something to do. He needs a job and if he isn’t given a job. He will become bored, destructive and very nervous and hyper. We have had 2 little training sessions and I already notice a calmness about him. He is actually very intelligent and will learn quickly if given the right guidance.

I was told that he didn’t even know his name and to be honest, since he was never made to respond to his name when called. He learned that his name didn’t mean anything. If you say his name he hesitates for a second and than is off doing something else. I will have a lot of fun training Duke as under all that craziness he is a great dog.

May 28, 2010 at 2:40 am Leave a comment

Working with a jumping dog and nipping dog named Maui

Maui is a beautiful sensitive dog who knows how to manipulate the situation for his own amusement. I know he is supposedly part Golden and American Eskimo, but part of me thinks that maybe he might also have some Australian Shepherd in him. The way his back legs look reminds me of the back legs of an Australian Shepherd and he has the tendency to try to nip at your ankles just like the other Australian Shepherd I have worked with.

He is a little of a challenge to train in the fact that he actually likes getting into trouble. He feels this is how to get your attention and to feel needed. Yet if you correct him he may submissive urinate.  Another problem that Maui has is that he is a very high energy dog. I am very glad that you signed up to take him to the dog park. I really think this or taking him to doggy day care a couple times a week is going to help. I know you have been taking him for 2 to 3 walks a day, but this still isn’t the same type of exercise that he will get by running full out for an hour. The good news is that he plays very well with my dogs. Occasionally he has to be corrected for trying to hump my girls, but they do a very good job of telling him off. Otherwise he does very well.

Jumping, manipulating or controlling the situation is one of his biggest problems.

You want Me to do What?

You want Me to do What?

As soon as you try to put a leash on him or try to tell him to do something he doesn’t want to (like come into the house after playing.) Lets Go, sit stay etc. He tends to try to control you by taking his paw wrapping it around the leash and or jump on you.

Maui jumping

Maui jumping

He also occasionally takes the leash in his mouth. As you know the first thing that I am doing is working on teaching him to walk on a loose leash. Now walking doesn’t mean that he can grab the leash or jump on me. Let’s Go means GO. If he starts to jump he is corrected and I of course keep walking. The good news is that he is jumping less and less. He is now really only trying the nipping at the ankles during the witching time 7:30 – 8:00 at night.

"Lets Go" means GO!

"Lets Go" means GO!

So I am making sure that I work him at this time. The reason that dogs act up around this time is a natural carry over from survival. If you think about it, when do predators hunt for food? In the morning and evening, so dogs are more energetic at these times.

On Friday I started walking him off-leash in the backyard and he is not doing to bad. At the same time we are also doing many sit & down stays.

Maui on a Sit Stay!

Maui on a Sit Stay!

This week is when he will be accompanying me to many of my clients. By doing this we are following the natural progression of learning. That is you first need to teach them, than use this in your day to day routine (Proofing it under many circumstances) and finally you expect it.  I’ll give you another update in a couple of days. He is coming when called 80% of the time now and I still need to teach him place. Place is where you send them to their dog bed and they have to lay down and stay. This way you can actually invite guests into your house and they don’t have to worry about being run over by Maui. After they have said hello to you and they are dog people, then you can released him.

May 11, 2010 at 2:17 am 3 comments

Second Training Session with Buster, Gus, Nina and now Mattie


Wednesday training session:

It is amazing how each dog (just like people.) have there own individual personality and how this affects how they learn. This is why it is so important to socialize and train a puppy right from the start.

Buster is an absolute gem. He is loving, wants to please, but afraid to do anything. He would rather just lean on you if you are close. Control you by putting his paw on your foot. If he can’t be right next to you than he would rather lie down in a corner or run from you. If you go to him, he will show you his belly (submit) and than not want you to leave him. He is very needy of reassurance and love. So I spent most of the session working with Buster. Because of his insecurities and fear he has a problem with sit stay. He will now sit, but stay! Buster thinks, “If I have to stay and Bonny leaves me, than I can’t run away.” I call these dogs Henny Penny dogs. They think the sky is going to fall on their heads and so they want to run and hide. If you can get these types of dogs to do a sit stay with you away from them. Then they start to trust you, trust the circumstance they are in and trust themselves.

Buster doing a sit stay

Look at me I can Sit and stay with out you by my side!

By the end of our session I was finally able to, not only get her to stay at the end of the 6 foot leash but; have the leash on the ground and be about 10 feet away.

Gus on the other hand decided that he didn’t want to do anything. Last time he would sit and stay. This time when I said told him to sit he acted deaf. He even struggled with stay. His session was short and we quit as soon as he completed this simple task.

Nina is making remarkable improvement.  She seems to have gained more confidence. She is more trusting and more willing to sit on her own. We worked on sit stay and she did great. We also worked on having her come to me and sit. She was very receptive.

Today I also had a session with Mattie. Mattie is an Australian Cattle Dog mix. Who is about 7 months old and is all puppy.  She is just one happy go lucky dog who wants to run, play and JUMP.

Can you come out and play

Can you come out to Play!!

Mattie was spayed last week so my training was short. She was taught to walk on a loose leash by my side (heel) and we worked on her jumping. Of course I had to yell at the people who are taking care of her as they will pet her while she jumps on them. Dog training often involves more people training than dog training.

April 16, 2010 at 1:41 pm 1 comment

Hello world!

Welcome to Alternative Canine Training’s Blog (A.C.T.) Here you will find useful tips on how to achieve the perfect dog and how to solve behavior problems once and forever! Behavior problems such as housebreaking, jumping, barking, digging, stealing food, running away, aggression, separation anxiety and much more. As an added bonus you will learn how to speak to your dog in the language they understand. The exciting part is that you can follow along specific cases. See how individual dogs went from terrorist to loving members of society. Of course we always appreciate your comments and feedback.

My own personal mission statement has always been that all I ever wanted to do is train dogs and help people. Alternative Canine Training’s mission statement is that we want you to have a well trained dog that you can take anywhere, under any circumstance.Through this blog we hope to accomplish both missions.

A.C.T.’s blog will be both entertaining and educational for every dog owner. Look for upcoming posts!

February 18, 2010 at 7:43 pm 2 comments


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