THE BEST dog training in Stamford, Norwalk, Fairfield & Bridgeport with Michael Konstantaras and Bark Busters Home dog training!
Would you believe me if I told you that your adorable dog has your number? Knows exactly what buttons to push to get what he wants? Actually, your dog is an excellent people trainer. He knows how to get you to rub his belly, to give him a treat, to play a game of chase, or take him for a walk when he wants to. How could you possibly resist that face? Those pleading eyes? I often hear “Look how smart my dog is. He brings me the ball when he wants to play.” Without realizing it, your dog is training you making sure you are following his rules. Therefore, he considers himself the “leader of the pack”, the “head honcho”, the “man in charge”. If you act when she demands (pet me, play with me, feed me), your dog will become confused about who is in charge. As a result, he may be questioning: “Why should I listen to my pet parents?” You have made it clear that you listen to him. You are not assuming your role of dog trainer!
As a Fairfield County dog trainer, I see this all the time. If this is occurring in your home, we will need to work on role reversal where the relationships are clearly defined and you are in charge. Don’t worry that your dog’s personality will change, because it won’t. He’ll be as fun-loving as ever. But well-behaved, fun-loving. Your dog will still love you unconditionally.
“Wait. What? Am I saying you can’t pet your dog’s belly when he approaches you? You can’t take him for a walk when he wants? No, what I am saying is you should give your dog tons of attention and pets on your terms, not his. It should be when you invite the dog over when you want versus when he wants. This is difficult for us as pet owners to understand because it is counterintuitive. In theory it works, but it’s harder to put into practice because well … we love our dogs!
For fun, I have listed some examples when my client’s dogs were definitely in control:
• Shadow (a border collie — one of the smartest breeds) wakes his pet parent up every night but sneaks back in and takes his spot in bed.
• Kayla barked every time anyone came to the door. So, her pet parents started to give her a treat whenever she was good and didn’t bark. Now Kayla barks at the door unless she gets a treat.
• Max would start being destructive if his pet parents spent longer than 5 minutes on the phone. He wanted attention. So, his pet parents kept their conversations short.
Do you find yourself giving in? Dogs can be exhausting and consistency takes a lot of patience. They are playing tug-of-war with you for control. For a day, make a list of all instances where you are responding to your dog’s demands.
Don’t worry if your list is bigger than the national debt. We can turn things around with patience and consistency. Note when you are giving in to your dog and STOP doing it. Easier said than done, I know. You have to ignore attention-seeking behavior or demands from your dog. By not responding to your dog’s demands, you are communicating that you are the leader in a passive way that he instinctively understands. He may sulk, whine or bark but after a few days (or even weeks) he will see that his mis-behaviors aren’t getting him anywhere.
Don’t ignore your dog completely. Play with your dog as you build trust and allow him to use his intelligence in new ways. Dogs need to be mentally and physically stimulated or they will get into trouble. If your dog demands something from you, ignore him until he gives up and goes away. Wait 10 minutes and then call him back to play, eat or walk. This may seem minor to you but is massive to a canine brain.
When you stop letting your dog take the lead, your relationship will change in a good way. Your dog will learn that you are in charge. Your relationship will be based on love and respect versus control.
Call me Michael Konstantaras to have a well-behaved dog. Read what my customers say about my training.