Hope and Chance
Hope and Chance get to meet The DOuG Trainer Wednesday.
Candy and Teddy, Las Vegas
The owner of these two Bichon Frisés was tired of their barking. A video is worth, well, you be the judge…
Spike and Doolie, Redondo Beach
Controlling one dog is easy, once you understand the basics. Controlling two dogs at the same time is just the next step in the string of challenges.
Max is a Boston Terrier living with his owner in Culver City. She called The DOuG Trainer because he had dog aggression issues. The DOuG Trainer worked with his owner for an hour, and with Max for a total of two hours, and Max quickly submitted. He wanted to have a strong leader to submit to.
Entering the scene with a strong and calm, assertive attitude, The DOuG Trainer told her with a few tugs of the leash that the leash pulling was not a game anymore, and that as the pack leader he wasn’t going to stand for it. When Cookie got the message – in dog language – she quickly understood and complied. Calm repetition is often the approach that works best.
Dogs don’t mind being dominated. Equality is not in their vocabulary. To dogs, being dominated means something completely different than what it means to us as interacting humans.
Named after the TV series, Huf was like most dogs, playful, energetic, but without discpline. The DOuG Trainer showed his owner a few of the basics, and he quickly got it. Huf became the companion his owner was hoping for.
Bugsy is a rescue dog from The Lovejoy Foundation. He was found at the Chevron refinery in El Segundo. Semi-feral, he had a hard time trusting anyone, and by his behaviors it was clear that he distrusted men.
Once again, the basics were what worked for Bugsy. Patience and follow through (The Pause) got Bugsy to that magical point of submission, in a matter of minutes.
Hershey and Honey
An eight month old cocker spaniel, Hershey was the typical puppy who wanted to play, hadn’t understood discipline, and did whatever she wanted. It didn’t take long for The DOuG Trainer to clarify where she could and couldn’t go.
The swinging of her head back and forth is behavior #2 in “The Pause.” There was nothing to look at, nothing to grab her attention, but her natural instincts told her to ignore The DOuG Trainer and look around. The hope was that distracting The DOuG Trainer by ignoring him and getting him to pay attention to whatever she was directing her attention to, she would win by making him divert his attention and ultimately go away. She lost.
This is all just a part of the dance, once you know what the stages of the dance are. Once again, it’s science. Now that you’ve read the description, watch the video again. It gets cuter, and cuter each time once you know!
How does one keep two, eight month old cocker spaniels in their crates with their doors open? By claiming the doorways and reinforcing the ownership calmly and assertively. Dogs understand and respect that vibe. The second video of Hershey and Honey show them respecting The DOuG Trainer by remaining in their cages while the lanai door is opened up a few feet away from them. They want to bolt out their cages, but the pattern that The DOuG Trainer is instilling in their brains is that they cannot proceed until they get approval from their pack leader first. You can’t PhotoShop this stuff.
Being dominated and being submissive gives them a job to do. Dogs want to have a job to do, and being submissive is their job. Look at “The Pause” once again.
After working with any dog, a trainer worth their salt will end the training on a good note, will end the session before the dog has reached her limit, before the owner has reached his limit, and before the trainer has reached his. The third video shows how the dogs react to being given permission to break their holds and beeline for the door to run outside.
When one stops and thinks about the context of the cage, it’s the location both dogs feel they want to run from. The outdoors is the target they want to run toward. A trainer could easily create a situation in which the outdoors became the context they’d want to leave, and their crates became their destinations. It’s all a matter of manipulating the perception of energy in the dog’s brains – what’s being perceived as having a higher energy level at that moment becomes the dog’s desired target, not the target itself, because the starting points and ending points haven’t changed, only their perceptions of the levels of energy behind the objects has. That’s all that’s attracting the dogs to come toward it.
Understand that dogs understand, sense, and respond to energy.
“Groucho” – Duffy
Duffy showed how he would be a challenge to The DOuG Trainer when, in his first opportunity to wait for Duffy to move to submission, it took him five minutes of waiting. There was plenty of ignoring with a little bit of flight behavior peppered in. All dogs go back to what they’ve learned worked for them in the past. That’s sort of like what we as humans tend to do.
Most dogs in our human culture get stuck in the ignore mode – we haven’t learned enough about the nature of dogs to know what the goal is surrounding a dog’s submission. Most humans haven’t learned how to read the training signs the dog is giving off, nor do most of us in our human culture have the patience to wait for nature to kick in and tell the dog to sit and submit. Patience is simply doing on the outside the opposite of what it is you’re feeling on the inside. If you do nothing else, the biggest growth you can make in your dog’s training progress is to consistently make your dog submit. The numbers prove it.
In Duffy’s case, he alternated between the flighting and the ignoring until he ran out of things to draw from his bag of tricks, and finally, he submitted. Submitting once is not the end of the road for training. Almost always it needs to be followed up with repetitions of the same drill for the new pattern to effectively sink in to the dog’s brain.
Max and Lucy
Formerly Orlando, FL, residents, now residing in beautiful Asheville, NC.