I have tears in my eyes every time I hear or see of a dog being put down for indiscretion or in other words attack on humans! It is rarely if ever the dogs fault!!

They are the greatest gift that God gave man, and mans challenge is to understand and work with the inate intelligence and power of the canine (in fact all animals) we owe them that.

You know I use simpe words and commands for my dogs and when I was looking eyeball and eyeball to my boy Scania the other day and said to him “whadda you want, what you lookin for, oh damn you reckon it’s feed time.” He tilted his head to the side with a quissical look because that is no way my normal communication with him. He is a supremely intelligent dog and in tune with my attitudes and speak but this day he was confused and showed it.

So I went about business as usual and he learn’t that no matter what I say, things continue the same-expectations are the same as they should be, we are creatures of habit, so are animals.

Another instance of supreme intelligence I just thought of was a dog I began with in rottweilers- obedience trained and going for walk with female at that time friend –whilst walking a country track –when a male person walking the other way appeared, the dog switched from left side to right side to put himself between handler and stranger –when he was passed put himself back in the heel position!!!!!! You see dogs are always thinking although we may not be.

My point I guess is allow and enhance your dogs natural attributes he/ she is not a puppet or play thing he is a living valuable part of your family.

Teach and allow your dog to like people –that way they only display aggression if there is a problem and dogs trained properly with family and boundaries are very good judges of character.

There are 3 things in play with dog attacks for supposed;y (NO REASON)

  1. the upbringing of the litter is wrong from birth to 8 weeks.
  2. bad or inappropriate raising of pup from 8-20 weeks old.
  3. the mating was wrong

Actually you could add a 4th and that is people who incite dogs to be aggressive with no boundaries. This is the ultimate stupidity.

Mostly these dogs are fear biters and do so because they have been cornered and taught that all 2 legged things are a threat- like I said the ultimate in stupidity and only suitable for being in a compound at a wrecking yard, and in reality not even that, cause anyone with an ounce of dog knowledge will walk straight past them- they are show not go, when they are confronted they will fold, but will go the weak, funnily enough this is same as humans –the weak are overrun by bullies except when stood up to. That is something to keep in mind DO not back a dog into a corner—He has 2 choices fight or flight and if cannot flee will fight in order to survive, dog human relationship should not be one of physical contest, both parties lose trust and respect and you are likely to to be hurt.

I have people contact me want dogs for protection –well in most cases a good purebred –well bred dog fulfils all requirements –IF treated as part of family group whether that is 1 or 5 makes no difference. So use my guidelines in this book as baseline for your happy assimilation of a dog to your family unit and to be your protector and mate.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Introduction

 All canines have similar attributes of desire of pack structure and needs to feed
 and yes be happy and content.
 Some breeds have higher drive for particular desires and outcomes than others but ultimatly
 all canines are similar in needs.
 Whether it be chase,  to search, to prove their prowess and strength within their pack, they all claim territory
 (that territory is your family home NOT the neighbourhood)
 they most of all need contact and socialisation–If left to socialise with their brethern only
 they do not develop good skills for interaction with humans- so it is paramount all dogs gain these experiences and skills
 to mature into acceptable adults.
I saw a brilliant film clip of a lioness at waters edge when a crocodile surfaced in front of her
 she probably had cubs nearby and after looking at this set of crocodile teeth she Roared at it
 several times without moving either forward or back- the crocodile slid back into the water and she took several steps into the river
 to make sure it was gone and establish (confirm) her superiority.
 Nature is beautiful!
 Same scenario applies with a good rottweiler or indeed many other breeds that have strength or character and confidence
 in themselves and their family,- they will protect their family and property IF they care enough about the people they call owners.
 There are 2 ways to achieve this 1 -Buy a well bred stable dog  2 -treat it as part of the family.

 

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I began my dog relationship at 17 years of age (1972) with a crossbred
kelpie,
I took him to obedience classes and trained him to a point that he was
good enough to
enter obedience trials except he was not allowed because he was  not
purebred. So I turned to instructing other people
how to train their dogs under the guidance of some very good people.
I then got a Purebred Border Collie from friends and mentors of me at
Fyneglen kennels. Lovely dogs although
I probably did not do them justice in hindsight I learn’t a lot from,
and with Opal and her daughter Fyneglen See Dee.
I trialled both dogs successfully but to be honest I was better trainer
than handler.
I was Chief Instructor for a club of over 500 members and their dogs.
I have trained dogs for others in one case getting a CD title on a dog I
did not own, but training is my passion
not entering and competing.
In 1994 I got my first Rottweiler and the love affair with this breed
began, they altered my perception of
training as did other circumstances at the time-their devotion,
trainability and strength of character is supreme
and demanded I look more to understanding dogs and their drives than I
had done previously.
I had never bred dogs before 1997 when I had my first litter of purebred
Rottweilers.
They have taught me a huge amount about the canine mentality and reality
is whether large
or small, dogs desires, needs and behaviour is the same.
We need understand that and treat dogs with respect.
This book is titled Luv your dog train it.

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sincerely hope my writings here will be of value to people who read it. My desire was not to be too boring or technical, or give information overload – but give basic parameters of general information for day to day appropriate interaction between human and canine, that satisfy the needs of both.

In short,training becomes A Way Of Life lived every day, as natural as eating and sleeping. It takes little time mostly just a mindset adjustment.

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Dog Training-A Way of Life

jouer avec son rottweiler     000_1415     000_1454

The title says it all, dog training is a mind set, we as owners need to embrace and make a part of our daily routine, in order to have happy contented pets that are a joy to have around our family, and a credit to both them and us.

Therefore we need to understand what drives the dog and how they think and why they react certain ways, in short think like a dog and provide leadership, and structure, and respect, and you will have a stable loyal happy companion.

I have been training and had dogs for over 40 years and in that time used and been trained in a number of methods all popular at some point in time.

We have gone from pure compulsion methods thru soft methods, like pure encouragement , food training, and play training, fact is no particular training method is wrong all are applicable under certain circumstances. What causes problems is when wrong method used for the particular instance.

However probably the most important requirement needed is consistency. Don’t allow the dog to do today what you will not allow tomorrow and if you give a command ensure it is obeyed, because if you do not, you are teaching the dog to ignore you. So do not give a command if you are not going enforce it.

Dogs have a natural instinct to fit in a pack situation and if leadership is not provided then they will assume the mantle. Look at a litter situation the bitch assumes total control over offspring-she may be loving, playful, controlling in either a passive or dictatorial way all within seconds—this teaches babies boundaries and behaviours which last it’s lifetime. That is why pups should not be separated from the bitch before 8 weeks old.

Also, that is why we as owners need to continue that same structure and control, that the bitch originally instilled in the pup when it comes home with us-that way the transition is easy and the dog has assurance because it is treated much the same –so very little confusion and it will be amenable to learning correct

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behaviours and not thinking it has to create its own, and remember dogs work on instinct of fight or flight regardless of age.

Happy training

Greg Tynan

Chapter 1—————-8 week old puppy

Newly separated from his family on the travel home from the breeder –a pat and some reassurance (establish your key words) dogs name and “good” for good behaviour– if cryin a sharp aaagh then pat and “good” at the same time then ignore till cryin stops then “good” this sets the control aspect —crying does not gain sympathy because this is a control mechanism of the pup.

When you get home the single best way to assimilate your puppy is to after allowing it to explore his new environment (which I recommend you do by following him around- you will soon see if there is anything he may get into that you don’t want and have to move) put him into a crate inside the house after he seems to have had sufficient exercise.

This will become his safe zone and initially a place you can house train him from-let him settle and sleep when he wakes immediately take him outside to relieve himself and praise as soon as he does so. (I used to have a dog which when I said pee she would, this came from crate training and word and praise association).

Crate is NOT for punishment like I said is safe zone –now it may be you have a dog that chews things that it should not, so putting it in the crate removes the possibility it can, but it’s not punishment for the act of chewing. Cause what you have to remember is dog behaviour demands instantaneous reaction –not a frustrated human response 5 minutes after the act. So prevent the problem then no need for retribution which is a human emotion. Crate best utilised when pup is tired after play or training and when we humans go to bed and don’t forget as soon as they wake take them out for relief-it is not normal for pups to soil their sleeping area but they will if left with no choice.

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Crate allows simple commands like “in” when being put in and “here” when letting out (give brief pat when they come out along with the “here” command) then straight outside with a command “out “ as they go out the door with you. Thus you are already establishing control, and teaching commands without stress, because you are only telling the dog to do what it probably wants to do anyway, and you are close enough to ensure your wishes are carried out.

In summary on crate like I said it is safe zone for the dog for life—I have a 55kg Rottie who when nail scissors yes even human ones come out he runs to his crate –the big chicken—I don’t even try coax him out I wait till he thinks they are gone and comes out of his own volition.

Dogs crave praise or maybe I should say contact –that’s why we teach them that good things come from the hands, food, pleasure, commands and praise.

So when you want to teach your dog to walk alongside you, use your hands, whether you use a few tid bits of food or simply click your fingers with your left hand to encourage response to do 2 things 1-keep the pup along side your left leg and 2 to look at your face. If dog begins to look for hand it is easy to raise hand up near shoulder, and also in future hold dogs desired object up high as an aid to getting focus on your face and shoulder. Reason to look in face is that this means the dog sees shoulders and expression on face –since our shoulder movement signal any change of direction and movement including speed this is what the dog needs to see so that he can be with you. You see if we move in a fashion the dog cannot possibly forsee HOW can we blame the dog if he is not where we want him and he actually desires to be—What does frustration cause –ignorance –the dog will ignore you if it’s too difficult and he is constantly frustrated.

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I heard the ultimate in stupidity today a family bought a maltese or something similar –because the kids wanted something they could pick up and cuddle-damn if you wanna do that get a guinea pig or a cat –NOT a dog because big or

small, a dog is a dog, and needs to be treated as such. We do not need kids growing up thinking that a dog is not to be treated with the respect and control it deserves. Yes it may be easy to push a small dog away when it suits or ignore it or make excuses for it when it misbehaves BUT what all that boils down to is violence against the animal and its natural instinct-and usually makes a psychotic little control freak that is often distressed with anxiety WHY because it has not been treated like a dog should be.

So 8 to 12 weeks old is the time for familiarisation and setting boundaries and your future comfortable life together of mutual respect and admiration and the beginnings of a pup that truly wants to work with you because you are giving him what he wants –security, desire to please, and clear boundaries.

Chapter 2——Play Time

Pups will Chew at times everything they ain’t supposed to- sometimes cause it relieves the fact of puppy teeth coming out and adults coming but more often cause the mouth and muzzle is the dogs main means of communication and learning. Its mother taught them that, from the time their eyes open and they got adventurous. Actually even from birth she used her tongue to teach them to defecate and at times to feed by pushing them to a teat.

So, the tongue, mouth, muzzle become paramount in learning for the pup and what we utilise to train them –The tongue I don’t know how much of their intelligence or abilities are impacted from the tongue but it certainly is an indicator of the most desired foods therefore giving us the right tool to use as incentive if we are alert to their most desired. In my case with my dogs it is cheese. Do not assume because they are fed a particular kind of dog food, that it is the most desired.

Mouth, well this means teeth as well Pups Cannot-learn that biting human flesh

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Rottweiler puppy playing with a ball

is appropriate (doesn’t matter whether large or small it’s a matter of respect)–it is absolutely taboo and will be roused on at first instance. Most dogs are prey driven, as they should be, and that means you give dog appropriate outlet-which is play with Ball or and tug toys. Including allowing the dog to bite hard and tug (apology to those living under stupid juristrictions that try banning that type activity but they are wrong)- Dogs need pleasure as we do. When dogs have pleasure just like us they become calmer and more satisfied with their existence- Therefore less likely to have unsatisfactory behaviours. Mouth is Dogs protection and pleasure and sign of hierachy as evidenced by their play with litter mates and also their place in the pack when they will lick a more dominant member usually around the mouth. Although sometimes it is a demand for food as this goes back to infantile behaviour. It’s up to you to work out what is driving behaviour. So mouth is extremely important in the training of the pup use it well –the rewards are great –misuse it and the consequences can be dire.

So create and reward prey type behaviour it’s the dogs natural instinct-even kick a prey (like ball) object a couple of feet and when dog responds –PRAISE you will know when the dog likes it He will bring it back to have it done again.

When they take away and not come back they not yet worked out YOU provide the pleasure –they are just workin on possession, which is good anyway-just have to show them you provide it-do not get frustrated!!! And most of all do not ignore a dog which is asking you to play –when you need finish session take toy away that performs 2 functions –1 is you dictate play and 2 the toy is yours he is allowed play when you want. That being said dogs should have toys to play with BUT the most desired toys are controlled by you and only brought out when you want to teach the dog something or improve responses –not for general play. They are your incentive and control item. Never leave a favoured toy or working item with the dog-it is for use when you training –maximise reward. And always finish training with maximum reward. Like sometimes allow dog to posses reward then when he drops or loses interest take away and archive it till next time. Remember dogs finishing on a high will remember and be more eager to do bidding next day –never work a dog till he fails: finish when all good.

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Several points on dogs fetching balls- It is far more desirable to have the dog give it to You, not just drop it at your feet so teach that from the beginning, when he brings it to you you put one hand under his jaw praise with the other along with a word like good, then remove praise hand and command give (if he is holding hard wait to give command till his pressure relaxes) (command and act of taking are simultaneous) and take with hand that is positioned under jaw. Do not turn it into a tug of war cause the dog will win particularly with an object like a ball. Do not over exercise a dog with high desire to chase and retrieve, I have heard of cases where a dog chases to the point of exhaustion and collapse.

A ball on say 3 metres of rope can be a good starter prey object as you can drag it, kick it to create movement helping to incite the dogs interest, tennis ball, old soccer ball (even if flat) it’ll be flat when you put a rope thru it. You can use 2 balls, give him one then when he grabs it introduce the other and retrieve the first one, changing focus and creating added challenge and interest.

As with all training do not overdo it till the dog becomes bored. Finish on a high maybe reward with some cheese or liver treat.

Play games are designed or maybe I should say utilised to create focus and bond between dog and master, they lay the foundation of a happy life and the groundwork for high level obedience work if desired or tracking or protection work – enjoyment and control and respect are the keys to future success-dogs are far smarter than many people give them credit for and if not given appropriate stimulation will create their own and sometimes this results in unruly members of society-this is not the dogs fault.

Find the item that your pup has highest desire for and that will be your premier training object and reward giver (never ever left for pup just to tear apart or play with on his own) – now usually with my dogs it’s a fire hose tug. These and others are available from http://www.fordogtrainers.com other suppliers available but they are who I have bought from. With puppies after creating desire thru ball etc you graduate thru a puppy rag (even an old sock

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with a few knots in it) (your smell is on it and any working dog will desire that) My pups thieve my socks all the time.

Allow and encourage them to bite and pull and shake always with a command of OUT when you want them to release, initially they will let go very quickly so make sure you praise while they have hold. It’s up to you to read your dog and Know when to issue commands that coincide with what the pup is going to do naturally this is creating word association.

Now as alluded to earlier some people frown on this kind of interaction between human and dog (like any bite is bad) well I do not agree we are creating desire and satisfaction for the dog and in the end stability and confidence – a confident controlled dog is a safe dog. A fearful unsocialised dog is a danger.

With what I describe here we are teaching a dog enjoyment not indiscriminent bite on anything.

Your important words in dog training are simple AAARGH,Good, No, Out and Here. No sentences needed eg your a bad dog get outta that garden bed ( 1 word OUT) or maybe 2 AAARGH and OUT. All pups know AAARGH if left with bitch till 8 weeks old it’s ingrained in their persona. Don’t be soft be guttural.

I am guttural with all my commands whether praise or command or discipline that way the pup has certainty. There is no confusion everything is a command and will be carried out! There are no ifs buts or maybes dogs respect that. Of course what that requires is follow thru from us as owners, everytime, as I said before don’t ask the pup to do something if you are not going to guarantee it does it. You are better staying silent than not ensuring outcome. We have many things in our lives to deal with which takes our attention Pup has 1 his self interest, and every time we fail to ensure outcome puts another point in his warchest of am I master not you. He is always looking to climb the hierarchy tree if he can, we become lazy and make assumption that hierarchy is established and will always remain same –this is a mistake – just like us they always want to better themselves in their small society. Dog is not just something that we have to feed everyday it is a way of life. That way of life

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gives us incredible companionship and yes protection from the evils of man because we have become a respectful union of 2 species each with differing abilities. I trust my dogs before I trust any human-they are much better judges than me and I know with the training I give them they are lookin at my best interest WHY you may ask – well it’s because they care for me and mine above themselves. Partly inherent in the Rottweiler breed, but mostly because we have mutual respect. They are stable and accepting of strangers when it is asked of them and good with all prey animals like chooks etc unless they invade the dogs territory (my territory) when I not home. Lol except for 1 girl I had who if had a chance to get out went chasing hares and rabbits till her belly was full then came home. But then I would shoot them and feed to the dogs so I guess they were fair game but never chased a cow or horse or looked at the chooks. I had 1 chook who because they are cannibals and always lookin to steal the dog feed flew into the dog pens chasin any leftovers –it did not last long-the dogs see them every day tryin to steal their food so payback. After all would you allow someone who stole from you in your house –I think not.

Dogs are not dumb!! Moral of story dogs will do whatever they have to in order to ensure their survival and satisfaction—I set the limits and allow my dogs to behave within those limits and as all dogs are killers and scavengers these behaviours are modified and controlled by us. Regardless of size prey is prey for smaller breeds the prey is different to larger breeds however human is never part of the prey in a properly trained and socialised dog. A bite sleeve may be prey object for a dog taught to bite it, but he looking for satisfaction on the sleeve not the person. This is different to Forces trained dogs but they are equally stable members of society because they only respond to set stimuli. What I endeavour to say is dogs are not evil or any particular breed a problem –but damn sure people are and if what I write here can reflect that then I am happy.

You see for decades we have had inappropriate people owning dogs and treating them in fashions to make them aggressive-that is NOT the function of this book –the function of this writing is to make you understand the dog better (read Dr Bruce Fogles Book a dogs mind) so we can all live peacefully with less intervention by Regulating authorities. So upshot is I desire my dogs

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to have appropriate outlet for their abilities and need for satisfaction and that is play.

Where you can come across problems is with mongrels cross breds with conflicting heritage and drives like for eg a cattle dog crossed with maremma –2 different purpose animals- cattle dog will bite from behind as it is bred to do- Maremma will confront and attack from the front to protect its flock how do you deal with that-you can’t because the mindset is not stable.

Chapter 3- Heeling

rottweiler and ball

I was going to call this chapter Lead training but changed my mind because that implies you need collar and lead to control the dog-You do not. In fact often collar and lead allows humans to be lazy and simply apply force to achieve outcomes. My dogs rarely see a lead unless off the property, this does mean I have to teach them that wearing a lead is not detrimental to them. This is achieved by putting a fixed collar and lead on and allowing them to walk around and explore in the backyard as they usually do but only allowing them to go to the end of the lead then guiding them in a different direction and continue their sniffing or whatever they are doing. Call them back with command “here” every now and then and praise immediately they do. You are once again establishing control! Allow the dog to correct itself by getting to extent of lead where it can go no further then call back and praise then allow continued natural behaviour.Very soon dog is completely comfortable with lead attached.
My point about passive control is, if the dog learns the lead is a weapon in your hands he will resent it, and only accept under sufferance. There will be a time when the lead is used to enforce compliance but not with a young pup. That is why previously I said about using toys and hand praise to have the dog alongside you. Now if you hold the lead in your right hand (lead needs to be 1.2 metres long) then your left hand is free to praise and direct the pup. Walk slowly allow the dog time to think and comply. Remember I said dog needs to look at your shoulders and face so he can be with you. This also minimises other distractions because focus is on you.

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Now I am well aware that most people will not be reading this with a view to high level obedience however same principles apply—Do you want a dog towing you down the street!! Of course not. Does not matter whether large dog or small dog –they have same instinct –want to smell and investigate new environments to understand if there are threats around or things they desire around- so that’s fine allow them investigate BUT not to the point of dictating to you where you go and how fast. Remember focus is You, so every now and then on a walk demand they leave their instinct alone and focus on you for a few minutes, then let them resume natural behaviour- once again it is you as controller and giver of pleasure.

Now maybe you may need a check chain – (mistakenly called a choker chain) if fitted correctly it functions as it should a check and release. If fitted wrong yes it does not release so remains tight round the dogs neck.

SO dog walks on LHS of our body, chain is fitted so that when dog in position it should be, chain is across the dogs neck and then thru ring if incorrect chain will come from beneath dogs jaw. So if wrong turn it over.Now I have seen dogs who have no regard whatsoever for a check chain –they will pull into the chain and forge ahead regardless of their airway being constricted—This is absolute disrespect of owner and sayin they will do whatever they want regardless.

This attitude points to the dog always getting its own way at home and has no structure in its life. It is very likely a dog left outside and probably only gets interaction at feed time or conversely an inside dog that rules the roost because it is treated more like a cat than a dog.

Ok back to the point of check chains –they are best utilised to allow the dog to make mistake and be checked by the pressure therefore suggesting to the dog the easier path is to release the pressure. In order to do that what you need do, is allow the dog to check itself, then immediately provide the alternate path you require with praise, so once again praise gives pleasure, the chain has given pain. Just keep in mind because we can give our dogs pain via the chain does not mean it should be overused or used to satisfy our own frustrations.

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Check chain is designed to correct from a loose chain-ie the chain slides and comes to an abrumpt stop when it tightens on the dogs neck providing a jerk which demands compliance. It is not meant to be a constant constrictor to the dogs breathing- so it is a tool for use and release ALWAYS going back to being loose after use. I only use a check chain when I find it necessary to correct dogs behaviour after he has had the teaching done and he is non compliant, or when going into unknown possibly dangerous situations LOL like dog shows where anything can happen and I may need instant compliance when a possible threat arises from a strange dog.

Now once again back to the beginning my dogs are trained and controlled on a flat leather collar, because they would not question my authority as this is established without even a collar on, let alone lead but as with all kids we err on the side of caution and also society standards –so what do we need –we need a dog that heels alongside our left leg as part of the unit that we both are a part of. Allow the pup to walk in front to investigate and fulfil its base desires and have the ability to call it back to heel when passing other people or other circumstance dictate the necessity.

Now if you truly want to have a dog respond to you all the time in heeling –always start movement with you left leg and tell him heel as you begin movement-this should start with the dog sitting and his focus on your face waiting for a command. You also always stop on your right leg and bring your left leg up to complete the halt that way dog has time to respond. This becomes second nature once you get used to it. Truly there are people who move off with right leg, and believe this is signal to dog that there is a requirement to move so they have time to respond and be with left leg. HOWEVER this is false, because when you move off with right foot left shoulder goes back so the dog gets confused signals. Remember what I said dogs watch body language!- Reading body language is intuitive to Dogs, it is part of their psyche they use it every day. eg They Do know the car we drive but if we arrive in a different vehicle they will not stop barking at us the intruder till they see us move then they know it is friend owner whatever-dogs don’t operate on our level we as smarter species have to operate on their level if we want to gain maximimum enjoyment and compatibility. I recently had my

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Father –ln -law here who commented you don’t wear hats round your dogs much cause they were barkin at him, fact is it was just another addition to a strange swagger they not happy with, I walked out next day with Hat and within 6 steps dogs were quiet Why cause they recognised my movement.

Anyhow that is a digression from the heeling content of this chapter- fact is whether you want competition dog or stable and controllable companion the basics are the same.

Work with your dog and he will work for you. I always demand if I am out with the dog he sits alongside me when stationary and meeting other people for 2 reasons He is mine ( he proves his respect and protection of me) and he is controlled by me.

Now he will want to sniff the strangers and I will allow that with their permission- you see not only do strangers need ask permission to approach our dogs but we need to gain permission for our dogs to approach other people and dogs—It’s called respect. If your dog is heeling under control you can enforce these guidelines. This is not a definitive article on heeling, it is basics only, but remember the better you create the bond with a pup the more respect you engender in your relationship, and the easier a simple thing like walking down the street will be.

One final thing do not walk a dog out the gate of your property- His property your property, is sacrosanct he is not to learn it is a place he can walk out of (escape from)–If you want to exercise him by walking somewhere put him in the car and take him somewhere even if its only 500 metres away because if the dog gains pleasure from a walk or going out the gate he will seek to find a way out himself, to satisfy his pleasure—That is not what you or anyone else needs. I learnt that the hard way, a bitch who was trained for endurance work and was taken straight out the gate for road work, she enjoyed it so much he took herself for some track work and was killed on the road.

House yard is house yard dog does not get to make decisions about outside it nor give itself pleasure for being outside it.

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My house is several hundred metres from my property gate a few years ago I came home to 2 very happy dogs greeting me at the gate, I opened the gate ignored them, and as I got in the car, roared at them to get home and drove to the house with them following, no more words were spoken they were both put away in their respective housing-they never did it again. I felt a little guilty as they only wanted to greet me as they know what time I get home, but I cannot have even my favourite dogs taking matters into their own paws.

 

Chapter 4 sitting

Two rottweiler dogs playing in the park

Now sitting is paramount to every aspect of daily life. Once again respect and compliance is required.

This begins with your young pup and food as reward, along with body language. First have some favoured food in your hand right or left no matter, call the pup toward you and as it does take half a step forward to meet it, show the hand and smell then raise upward in order to get your dogs interest to raise its head then with the other hand a little gentle pressure on the dogs rump and when immediately the dog sits praise with reward of food and a pat with the repeated command of “sit” and “good”.

What I have not mentioned till now is praise does not just consist of a quick tap on the head it is a long slow stroke from head and down side or back of animal –it is a calming supportive and giving bonding moment that creates and reinforces the bond and desire to comply. Sometimes a pat and stroke of the chest is sufficient just don’t be condescending they are not play things they are intelligent companions equally as smart as people –sometimes more so. Just in a different way. Now there are some dogs that resent being patted on the head and down the top of their back- as this can denote demand for submission and an alpha dog or one that thinks he rules the roost sometimes has difficulty accepting praise in this fashion. So until the dog is more accepting stroke cheek and along flank.

There are 2 positions the dog should sit when in your vicinity – In front of you when he approaches or you call him, and alongside your left leg when coming

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from behind you or when stopping from walking. Initially you will need to command it every time and give hand signal ( which is as described earlier an upward movement in front of dogs nose with right hand palm upward) the dogs need learn to respond to both physical and verbal signals. As always 1 command only, if not carried out show and enforce, multiple commands to get desired result breeds ignorance in the dog and frustration on your part –no-one has a dog in order to add frustration to our already sometime frustrating lives.

If you have a dog that will not sit it is usually because he has never or rarely been praised for it, so will prance about in front or push at you in order to get desirable outcome (contact) OR he has been physically disciplined for coming to you so is not going to put himself in a submissive position- he is leaving the option open of fleeing if necessary. So this is extremely important and affects all aspects of training and trust, NEVER call a dog to you to chastise it. The ground around you is hallowed ground when the dog comes to you (an area of mutual respect) it is different when you approach the dog to discipline it- and please also remember dog has very long memory but very short memory for any supposed indiscretions of what we might term bad behaviour, so unless you can modify any unwanted behaviour at time of incident, ignore it, because the dog will not understand a rant or discipline over a matter that was a fleeting moment in history. You see they did what they did for pleasure or because they thought it would please us (like my dogs greeting me at the gate) maybe. Think on this when my dogs greeted me at the gate WAS it because they wanted to be first to say hello or was it because when I get home they get fed???? And they wanted first access.

So teaching sitting gives an easier life for us because there is calmness and a common easy way to bond in our personal lives and control when others around or walking down the street – a dog not in other people personal space. When on lead you stop dog stops and sits and looks to you for direction as to whether he approaches or not and you can easily decide whether to allow others to approach him- you are not dictated to by an out of control dog at the end of the lead doing whatever he wants.

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If you will desire high level obedience the action of hand movement upwards to sit and coupled with what I previously spoke of in focus on face and shoulders gives you the basis to have a dog that sits like greased lightning and is waiting on next command. Dogs crave structure and certainty, this is taught from day 1 by bitch once again why pup should not leave bitch before 8 weeks old. When you see a litter disciplined by the bitch –the best pups will back off and sit or drop, the not so good pups will run away. See sitting is a natural instinct of a good confident dog use it well.

Dogs will tend to position themselves so they see your face it is why many dogs do not sit square to our body alongside left leg, they will position themselves at 45 degrees, so they need learn to use neck to turn their head rather than be lazy and position body to see us, of course another reason for dogs positioning themselves in this semi front on position is they feel our movement as soon as we move cause we walking thru them because they are in front of our left leg.-But if we did the right thing and created focus on us and appropriate movement they not have necessity to behave that way. Dogs are the ultimate survivors and they work out how to gain what they need.

So always move off with left leg, stop on right leg and draw left leg up and create desire to watch your upper body cause that’s the important part not the legs. Dogs can move Far faster than us but they have to understand what is required, they can sit as quick as we can blink just gotta know and understand what we require.

Chapter 5- Dropping

Submissive position again. This one can be difficult if we make it so. I always use a command of drop, not down, as “Drop” has more demand to it simply because of intonation. With young pups I use food initially to teach position by having some cheese in my hand and moving it forward and down to the ground to get the pup to follow and lay down then praise and command at same time DROP. A little gentle pressure may be required on the pups rump to get result, as natures gift to the dog is he doesn’t have to lay down to eat, indeed it is not desirable or base instinct for it to do so. A dog in a down position is not in the best position to protect his food or flee from a stronger

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more powerful predator if the need arises. Another way to teach a drop is to kneel beside your sitting dog, put your Left hand on his withers give him a little stroke in that region then whilst holding a little pressure there take your right hand behind the near side front leg and palm of hand under elbow on offside leg and move arm forward and down while increasing pressure on withers, praise and repeat command drop. Now very often as soon as dog feels he is being put down he will raise rear end –so that left arm with hand on withers just drop flat onto dogs back to prevent him doing so. If you have dog that respects you and trusts you this will be easy, if you have a dog which does not be careful not to get your face to close to his face he may bite. There are many ways to get a dog to drop I will not go into all here it will get confusing and give you too much choice. Even if dog rolls over at this point not an issue –easily corrected later the aim is to have a dog that will drop on command and learns to associate the position with the word, you will probably bring in a physical command as the dog learns what is required. The aim with the drop is to not only have a dog that will lay quietly when required but also be able to command him Drop when he is away from you at a distance. This can be very helpful if a danger arises to your dog and you are not close enough for physical restraint, so once the dog understand the position occasionaly wherever the dog is, as long as within a step or 2 of you, tell him drop and at same time use a downward motion with hand flat toward the ground, praise and release. Now release means dog is now free to do his own thing –he has complied, that is all that’s necessary and or give reward from tug toy. Training for anything can often be carried out in a few minutes not grind away till point of ignorance comes. Dogs finishing on a happy note learn quicker and with far more stability and are eager to do next time because of reward. So 1 good drop and finish, if you want to do again in 6 hours time, not 5 minutes later. Dogs need time to assimilate learning sometimes. Also remember food is a good incentive but not a good creator of stability or repeatability lol unless of course you intend to keep your dog constantly hungry then all you create is a dog that will only work for food and work out other ways to get food and will not comply if no food in evidence- not much point in that –do you really want to carry a bum bag full of feed just to have your dog behave in an acceptable manner. I know I don’t. Besides I want the dog to love and respect me not a hand constantly feeding it.

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Rottweiler puppy playing with a ball

Actually dogs totally trained on food have no respect at all, only desire to fill belly, I don’t believe dogs need have their intelligence reduced to that of a stock animal –they are our everyday companions, protectors and family.

Once the drop is taught and understood it is a powerful tool in your control of dog and a happy life- -It can be used to create and give the dog safe and secure places like for eg a dog inside on “your mat” Drop-that is his safe zone near to you-that is his desire unless you treated him like a lap dog! You see a dog sitting is guaranteed to move to the next thing that takes his fancy a dog in drop position is less likely to- however do not misuse it – Like with all things canine –do not give command for a task then ignore. If dog gets up from drop and you allow it to what have you achieved? Teaching the dog ignorance of your commands!

Like if you have friends over and the dog being a pest and you figure telling him sit or drop is controlling the situation and he no comply which in all liklehood he will not, you are teaching him ignorance –remove him from situation problem solved, with no corruption of your status as Boss and no embarressment for your guests and most importantly no mixed messages to dog.

Dropping is a natural position for a comfortable satisfied and relaxed dog but not necessarily so for a dog that is under command or in a strange or stressful environment. IF you are able to teach in minimum stress environment and the dog learns all is good he will carry out your demands in higher stress environments because he trusts you that harm will not come to him. That’s one of the reasons kids have to be taught to respect dog, and not be abusive of dogs trust and learning that you have spent considerable time instilling in the dog. That is another thing dogs are not play things for kids- they will be “kids protectors” if treated right, if not somewhere along the way they will bite them, whether large dog or small-do not take dogs for granted as they are only trying to do what we as humans want and satisfy their base instinct of being part of a pack (family) –But they will in the end revert to instinct when they can no longer cope with frustration, mixed signals and abuse. That is not dogs fault it is ours.

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A commanded drop situation for the dog is a position that waits for and requires another command or finish of demanded position by YOU so either command the dog come and then finish exercise by commanding dog to heel position, praise and release or give another command eg command to sit- easy to teach just step forward toward him and raise your flat hand upward same as spoken of earlier and command sit, reward and finish there or get dog to heel then finish. You Never tell a dog to drop and forget them that is human thinking and desire, not dogs thinking. We are lazy creatures the dog is not- he needs know why he is dropped, and what the reward will be or the next step to getting the reward which you will supply. If reward given for the drop itself by hand praise he may well rollover to complete submission and desire a rub on the belly-all good do it and finish teaching. If reward is to bring out a tug toy –so much better more effective –but only useful if dog is play or prey driven, do not try to force that reward on an unresponsive dog. Work with what your dog enjoys. For those that think food is the only motivator think on this-food is a necessity for survival and as such can be an incentive but it is not a pleasure, when belly is full desire wanes, it is not and never will be excitement or engender stability of action from the dog. Might give you a fat dog –Is that useful or desired by you or good for your companions health I doubt it.

Like do you think a dog would rather eat or visit a bitch on heat, eat or respond to their greatest desire which you have taught them. A little story I had a dog that would not eat unless a blond haired young female fed him. Now to tell the whole story my niece spent days maybe a week with this particular litter every day – Force a dog I kept was a sucker for every blond girl he ever saw and when my niece was here he would not eat unless she fed him. He followed her everywhere- look for one see the other. He adored her and my point is food is superfluous when true desire is sparked –so aim for true desire it will give better results.

You see his desire was not the food but the importance of being with my niece because she as a 5 y old spent so much time loving and handling them and yes the bitch as well-she was a senior member of the pack accepted by all, mother bitch was happy to have another helper. All comes down to respect and working together.

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Chapter 6-standing

Now this is not so desired for most people- mostly necessary for owners doing obedience competition. Although sometimes desirable at vet visits.

A dog will stand naturally – it is an alert position and one easy for the dog to instantly move from, in any for him, required circumstance therefore can be one more difficult to attain compliance to “stay”in that position. First you need decide if you need to demand that compliance, and there are instances for that necessity like maybe a vet examination. Or for you to check your dog etc. So heel forward with your pup on lead in left hand, food in right hand, and as you stop remember on right leg, as the pup draws up to your left leg finish, offer food 6inches or so in front and place your left hand on his outside hock to prevent sit (which should be his instinct if you taught correctly). Lead should have been loose so you have ability to reach the hock without pulling the head around—command stand and praise.

Now for those doing obedience action of hand in offering food gives the basis of command and hand signal –the flat of the hand moving forward to the pups muzzle, with thumb holding food and allowing him to retrieve in the standing position. All these basic positions and installing of memory to the dog lead to voice command only, which then needs only reinforcement by play and reward to consolidate and make natural repeatable compliance.

Remember Stand is a natural position –what is NOT natural is a dog standing alongside you in the heel position- they will want to stand in front or at 45degrees to see what you going to provide or ask next, I walk thru them and demand they heel to the stand position- if you have tug toy in your left or right hand near your left shoulder you can use that to help teach them to jump back or spin back to the heel position- now as confusing as that statement could be you are teaching 2 things here. 1 that stand means stand along side you, and 2 the return to heel by excitement and desire not the mundane forceful walk around you. They want to be where they need to be to get the next reward and pleasure.

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Chapter 7- Stays

Now this is a huge subject because there a hugely divergent views on not only teaching but the thinking behind the requirement.

I have NOT given a dog a stay command in the last 20 years.

Reason why- it’s a waste of command and causes conflict with in the dogs mind.

Think on it this way you spend inordinate amount of time teaching the dog eg sit and stay, then drop and stay, then stand and stay, then from a sit you demand the dog comes to you, you have no doubt chastised the dog for moving at some point in that training of stays, which is natural but how does the dog work out when he has to stay, when you call him from a position that you crucified him for moving from previously. All a stay command does is make life more difficult and less black and white.

Command given –command obeyed till given another one. So if I tell a dog sit he stays there till given another command- none of this sit and stay stuff that is crap. What I do teaches focus and stability. They always waiting for next command.

This requires you NEVER give a dog a command and not ensure it is carried out!

If and when you no longer need dog in that position release him from demand- he does NOT release himself. Now this is what the sub title of this book is A Way of Life –it becomes second nature keep it simple for you and simple and consistant for the dog. The old KISS principle.

I have been rapped over the knuckles in the competition obedience ring for not giving my dogs STAY commands- but never has one of my dogs broken a stay. The biggest problem with giving stay commands in the ANKC obedience is the fact that you need to do recall.( further on that in the next Chapter)

Now if the dog is taught my way he is expecting another command always (until he is given freedom) and will comply to whatever I ask so the previous

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position transitions to a recall without question in the dogs mind –there is no conflict. Whereas in ANKC obedience there is conflict engendered in the training simply because of the command STAY- do not do it.

Also because it makes us lazy –we say stay, and for some stupid human reason,we think regardless of what we are doing 15 minutes down the track (because we forgot about the dog)the dog should still be staying WRONG –what you have done is make assumptions when it suited and treated the dog with disrespect- you asked for it to stay (for what reason?) and you did not make sure it carried out the command did you! the dog moved then you realised and yelled at the dog for moving, your fault not the dogs. It is not a robot release it when reason for stay is over he is not expected to stay for 2 hours. If you do not require and acknowledge respect and compliance, and most of all a fair circumstance, what do you teach –easy: ignorance of all your future commands and lack of respect of YOU.

So upshot dog is taught to carry out commands or be free to be what he does best and be a family member. You are the controller never the dog after all you are smarter than a dumb beast or are you? Give the dog a command, you expect compliance, when no need for compliance Do not give command it’s easy really. It’s a way of life satisfactory for all parties involved. SO stays-Well its not a stay it is a requirement that the dog stays where commanded till released. Do not ask if you are not willing to enforce, always go back to your dog to release him (because if you call your dog to you to praise you are all of a sudden praising for coming not staying don’t be lazy). Praise for the position and maybe give release to the dog by a ball throw or brief tug play, but always release your dog from a commanded position otherwise you are teaching non compliance and engendering confusion –which ultimately means the dog is making the decisions not you-That is not good for a happy way of life with dogs. Don’t know about you but I am NOT the dogs servant or part of his pack –he is part of mine. Respected YES allowed to dictate to me NO, and I do not care what subtle forms he tries to use they do not work. This is where control or teaching via food falls apart because the dog ends up with control.Trainers with many years experience and knowledge of dog psychology may get away

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with it for a while, but for most of us do not go overboard on food training it is not worth the potential problems.

Last word on stays –DO NOT tell a dog stay in a circumstance that is stressfull for the dog –like for eg when strangers come, he has a right and in his eyes an obligation to make sure the stranger is acceptable into his environment and safe for YOU. So be aware of circumstance and what you require of your dog. Be Slow with your Mouth and fast with the mind.

Chapter 8-Recall –(one word name for get your backside here every time I call you)

Many trainers and people use the word “come” and its many derivatives like come ere, come now, come on, along with differing tones of voice ranging from asking, begging, to frustrated angry tones when non compliance is evident.

I use one word, “HERE” and in a guttural tone- whether the dog is 1 metre away or 100 metres away, always same inflection of tone. Reason for this is, it keeps confusion to a minimum, there is no question in the dogs mind of whether he might be in trouble, or that there is a choice depending on tone of voice, it is quite simply a command to be enacted on by the dog. How many people have you seen pleading with a dog to come? I often don’t even use dogs name unless there are other dogs with him and I want one in particular, or his attention is not on me, then I use name to attract attention-In the obedience ring I don’t because his focus is me so why use name he is already waiting for next command (if you can imagine the dog muttering under his breath yeah I know my name so what the hell you want).

Now as stated in previous chapter (stays) Dogs that are taught a stay command are often chastised for moving, what I mean is stay becomes sacrosanct do not move for any reason- then you want to call the dog to you from that sacred position. Result is dog starts making decisions about whether he should or not stay (state of confusion). Whereas when he is left in a sit position as last command he is waiting for next command and whether that be you calling him or waiting 3 minutes in his sight or out of sight and you returning to him, there

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is no difference he carries out the last command till given another and or released from formal compliance.

To teach “HERE” with a young pup is easy food is the driver, they will come to a food reward everytime –so titbit of cheese or whatever your pup desires most in outstretched hand to attract attention when they take note withdraw hand toward knees and command here, when pup arrives at hand feed and praise with other hand. You need pup coming as close to your body as possible- do not feed at outstretched distance. One word of caution never ever call a dog to you to chastise it- I know it is the human thing to do but does not work with dogs –you are only teaching the dog not to come. Now 2 things here always feed at dogs head level or 6 inches above ( you do not want to teach your dog to jump at you) to gain the reward, and hold food between 2 fingers and thumb with palm upward (dog gets your scent and food scent together) and it makes them ask you to release food, that’s part of control.

The best way of training the “Here” is once again by utilising what should be best reward tug toy. When they come produce it and give game, physical praise, then remove. Use ball if that is dogs motivator, some dogs need to be taught to enjoy a toy and that can be a challenge.If the bite desire is inhibited as young dog, some are very reticent to play. They are boring and lazy dogs because little excites them or they may be fearful dogs lacking confidence –neither is satisfactory for me. You see a dog which has confidence and allowed some freedoms and natural instinct (controlled) is easier to train and a safe pleasure to have around that will protect you within an inch of its life. 99.9% of the time never necessary but nice to have that trust and assurance.

The thing is- getting the dog to come to you, so you can control it, like I said before dog is not allowed to make decisions about whether it will or not comply only work within the parameters we give it, that is what is needed for a comfortable life together.

Initially the dog has to associate “Here” with the position which is directly in front of you looking at you for reward- so it does not matter if he is only 1 metre away from you when you call him as long as he is making positive movement to you-

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you can increase distance as stability and trust develops.

But don’t be in a hurry to prove dog will come from long distance –first be sure dog comes to you EVERY time you call even with other distractions nearby.

2 hard and fast rules-Do not call a dog to chastise it.

-Always praise for coming or at least acknowledge compliance and either give another command or release dog –dogs are not dumb (you called, he came, now he wants to understand why you called him). He is a living, breathing, thinking animal –like we are- not a robot or a puppet for our amusement,

Chapter 9 Other Things

There are many things you can teach your dog- like for eg speak on command, knew a person once who taught his dog to bark to the number of fingers held up. Another whose dog would always pick out the aussie flag amoungst a number of different country flags (simple scent discrimination). The list of things dogs can learn is endless, if you work with the dogs instincts and natural abilities. However this book is about our and our partners life together so it is comfortable and satisfying for both. One thing that annoys me big time is people who buy a dog before they have children, then when a baby comes along they want to get rid of dog, WHY.

That tends to show that either the dog was a surrogate baby and now the dog is going to get shafted when the real thing comes along or the owners have no trust that the dog will accept a new member.

Well if the dog was properly taught and knows its place it will accept a newcomer and in fact become the new ones greatest friend and protector.

Dogs have similar emotions to us-that is desire to be part of a family, survival, play, stimulation, jealousy, etc.

Human / canine relationship gets out of kilter when we as the supposed superior

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intellect do not treat canine with respect, and that could mean just putting dog in backyard and ignoring it, except when you want to go crook at it, or inciting dog to be protective with no teaching of control or teaching understanding of things that are not threat. (in other words the dog has

control not the owner, because the dog believes he has to make decisions). Or just expecting a dog to be protective because it is a dog. It is not going to be protective if it is not part of family, it is going to be an out of control set of teeth.

Dogs are actually humans without the ability to be corruptible –they see things in black and white and NO I not talking about their visual ability –I talking of their mind set. Their mind set is family and survival-THATS IT. Pure and simple. We use their survival instinct to gain what we want-we use that same instinct to have our companions stable.

There is rarely such thing as a genetically unstable or overly aggressive dog unless the breeding is wrong or it is crossbred (cross breeds are a problem because there is no stability of purpose in the dogs mind) Good Purebreed breeders have spent many a year researching and choosing what they think are good breed lines to use to create good stable pups- people who just breed whatever they have or even worse cross breed to cross breed do no favours for anyone unless, discriminatly bred by stock owning people for specific purpose and that makes them absolutely unsuitable for the suburban back yard.

As said earlier dogs can be taught many tings –Like speak on command –choose your commands and teaching method carefully as like all things taught, not hard to do, but can be hard to undo.

Had a reminder today of dogs jumping up on either us or strangers-This is a no no, I teach dogs when I wish them to jump up that they do it onto my forearm at either 45degrees or 90 degrees to my body cause I too lazy to bend down or more to the point give them a way get closer to my upper body and face which is their controller, without jumping AT me.

Jumping AT you comes back to the fact of faulty training because the praise

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giver (the hands) is not given at dogs level AND the fact that the dog seeks praise from the hands (what does a visitor do when they see your dog –raise their Hands) in an instinct of protection so what have they instantly done –exactly!-ask the dog to jump for the praise those hands give.

2 ways to deal with that visitor situation-1 tell visitors keep hands down-2 tell them step back as dog jumps –lol he will fall in empty space. There are many methods of teaching a dog no jump up –the simplest is, do not teach them to do it to start with. Which MEANS always praise at their head level not your chest level. Canine is an efficient animal in body and soul and If you his controller did not ask him to jump up he would not- he only does so to gain what he needs-either food –or interaction-praise. So when you see him coming up to you uninvited –either tell him no/out or just drop hand down and pat or stroke to satisfy their primal urge.. Now if you have small dog you can easily pat without bending if you are in a seated position- a dog is not a cat –it does not belong in your lap. Mine will lay on my feet but never my lap or chest, reason is I control them , not them me. And if you understand dog behaviour, or see litters and dog interaction, control is very often by posture, that is, positioning of body or paws over an underling. I am certain you don’t want to be that underling!

Dogs on beds has by many always been considered a no no and it has pros and cons—A dog that is higher in the pack hierachy than the person whose bed he is on should never been allowed on bed! A dog that growls at its owner when telling it get off or refuses to get off should not be allowed in bedroom.

I have a 50 kg dog that will when he desires, lay on my bed with head on the pillow but only when I am not in it, when I go to bed he either gets off when I approach, and gets up again to lay along side my legs or on my feet. Although more often lays in the doorway to make sure no-one else can get it. He would no more consider my bed his, than I would his crate mine. It comes back to respect and control once again.

What I termed to begin with A WAY OF LIFE..is not difficult but its rewards are huge, thank you for reading, canine is indeed a mans best friend, and I am proud to have owned each and every dog I have bought or bred, each has left

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its mark, by teaching me something, I wish you the same satisfaction, and memories from your companions.

This book is dedicated to my past and present dogs and people who helped me along on this canine journey. They are too numerous to mention but never forgotten.

All information and images in this book is copyright to Greg Tynan of Coalfire Rottweilers and not to be copied or used without authorisation.

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