Posts tagged ‘Dog Behavior modification’

Adopting the Right Dog

Adopting the Right Dog? Copyright@2010

Remember that your decision to adopt should be based on your lifestyle and the lifestyle of your family and not based on how cute or cuddly a particular rescue dog may look.  Dog ownership is a huge commitment and a big responsibility so you should take your time and avoid a rushed decision.

Working with Nina a rescue dog

Working with Nina a rescue dog

Be aware that many rescue dogs have a somewhat turbulent past which may require extra attention to training and behavior modification.  You must be prepared to spend the necessary time that may be needed to ensure stability in your new dog. It is also very important to make an informed decision on adopting a particular dog. Ask questions about background, prior owners, etc.  It is very easy to make a decision based on emotion when the sad eyes and scared faces are tugging at your heartstrings.  However, this can be a recipe for disaster.  It is your job to make a sound decision based on breed research, stability and appropriateness of temperament for your family. If you are full of emotion, you cannot make a sound decision and your family and your new companion will suffer as a result.  So be sure to resist any decision that is based purely on emotion.

I cannot stress enough the importance of analyzing your lifestyle and choosing a dog that matches your energy level. For example, a less active family should not choose a high energy dog that requires lots of exercise. A more active family should choose a dog that is able to join your family functions and is capable of being very social. If a low energy family chooses a dog that has high energy, both family and dog will suffer greatly and behavioral issues are sure to arise. Many dogs are returned to the rescue group or humanely euthanized due to the owner’s inability to control behaviors that are a result of a bad match between the dog’s activity level and temperament and the family’s social structure and activity level.  Don’t let this happen to you!   You want to make sure your new dog would have a forever home.

I have personally adopted three dogs and they all have brought great joy into my life. In fact my first dog was a stray found on Ryan Rd. We called him “Ryan”.



I also adopted a Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever named Rivie. She became a certified Therapy Dog. Currently I have Windy my big yellow Labrador. What a great dog.


June 24, 2010 at 3:01 pm Leave a comment

How to Help Shy and Insecure Dogs.

Nina initially was a little on the shy side. We are not sure of her back ground, but Nina has trust issues. Think about this, if you trust someone or the situation you are in. You will do what is asked of you knowing that you will be safe. Nina had plenty of love to give but was always diligent to insure her safety. She needed to be in control. As stated before the first thing I did was gently teach her that she could trust in my leadership. This was accomplished by making her learn to walk on a loose leash. The next step was to teach her a static exercise like sit and than sit stay followed by down stay. It has taken many repetitions before she felt comfortable enough in me and her situation to sit.

Nina originally wouldn't even sit for a cookie.

Nina originally wouldn't even sit for a cookie.

Remember initially she would not even sit for a cookie.She is now doing sit stay and I am able to get over 15 feet away. The next step was to do the down and because we have already developed a trusting relationship she learned this very quickly.

Today we worked in different environments. It was the first time training occurred away from the facility and she did well. Of course with new distractions she initially thought that she didn’t have to listen.

Nina on Front Lawn Doing Down Stay

Nina on Front Lawn Doing Down Stay

The most important part is that she was very confident in herself. With shy or nervous dogs you want to take things slowly, so her first outing was just walking through the neighborhood.  Even when big trucks rambled by she stayed calm. I can’t believe that she is the same dog.

Buster as stated earlier will be the most challenging. It is such a shame, because he is an actual gem of a dog. It is so sad that he didn’t have a better start in life. He actually acts like a wild dog. I am so pleased that I have started noticing remarkable improvement in him. In the past when you would walk with him, he would constantly lean on you to insure you wouldn’t leave him or take him were he was afraid to go.

Walking Perfectly

Walking Perfectly

At our last session he walked perfectly by my side and never once leaned on me. Bless his heart he even did several automatic sits.

Yeah, I can sit!

Yeah, I can sit!

We also tackled something a little scarier, the down. For dogs like Buster the down is a challenge for two reasons. First is because to do the down he has to submit. I don’t care who you are. Even the shyest quite person doesn’t want to submit. The second reason is that it is harder for him to run away. As a trainer it was hard to get Buster to do a down, because he won’t take treats. I even brought several different types of lunch meat. So I simply kept placing him gently in the down and after about the 10th time he started going down on his own. Than came down stay and if you remember the first time that we did sit stay, Buster was like Velcro. I could barely get 2” away from him before he would panic. I know that down stay will be just as hard. Its okay I would rather take baby steps and slowly build his confidence than have him shut down. Believe it or not by the end of the session I was able to get over 6 feet away.

April 24, 2010 at 1:20 am 1 comment

Working on Territorial Aggression and Crate Aggression

Worked on territorial aggression and crate aggression

Continue Reading March 24, 2010 at 7:22 am Leave a comment

Tucker, the Rescue Dog goes Shopping

We went to the Pet Supplies Plus on Woodward and worked around these distractions and stimulus. Once again he was nervous at first and gave

Tucker in the Pet Store

Tucker goes shopping

everyone a watchful eye. Within a half hour he was taking treats from all the men. Great job Tucker!

March 24, 2010 at 7:13 am Leave a comment

Meet TUCKER a Rescue Dog in Training

Meet Tucker, a rescue dog in training

Continue Reading March 23, 2010 at 9:03 pm Leave a 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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