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August 29th, 2014
By Eric Letendre
It’s funny how much advice we get during the course of our lifetime.
Some of it is good, some of it is bad – really bad.
And then some advice can be life changing. A simple phrase or paragraph or two can make all the difference in the world.
Today I want to share some advice I heard long ago and I am always amazed at how correct this one sentence is. Here it is:
“Look at what the majority of people are doing, and do the exact opposite, and you’ll probably never go wrong for as long as you live”.
That was said by the late, great Earl Nightingale.
When I first started in dog training everyone was issued a choke chain and treats were NEVER to be used – EVER!
Luckily, I looked at the majority and did the exact opposite and ole Earl was 100% correct.
Earl also wrote and recorded “The Strangest Secret” which I highly recommend listening to or reading. It’s all over the web and a quick search will serve it up for you.
I’ll share his secret with you because it can greatly help you with dog training (and anything else) and it’s only six words:
“We become what we think about.”
What’s that? You’re not impressed?
Listen up Sparky, those six words can make all the difference when you are training.
Here’s the deal: Thoughts control our actions. Our actions control our results. If you think about washing your car and decide to do it, pretty soon you’ll be outside with a bucket and soap. It all began with a thought.
Now here is why I am sharing this with you.
A lot of the new clients I have been working with fail to realize that they can consciously choose their thoughts. Instead they think they are no good or beat themselves up.
Over the past few weeks I’ve heard comments like:
“I have been such a bad mother. I think I’ve totally screwed up my dog.”
“I’m not very good at this dog training stuff. My dog will never learn.”
If thoughts control our actions and actions control our results, what kind of results do you think you’ll get with thoughts and comments like those?
So if you’re not getting the results you want with dog training, take a look at your thoughts and start changing them.
Once you THINK you can train your dog and take ACTION you’ll remember this message and say, “Damn, that Amazing Dog Training Guy was right.”
Feel free to write and tell me how wonderful I am – haha!
Have a great weekend!
P.S. If you’re having problems walking your dog on leash and THINK you can’t do it, I’ll help you. You can discover my system for leash walking without prong or choke collars. All you need to do is go here NEXT: Leash Walking Serects
August 27th, 2014
By Eric Letendre
A hunting party and their guide are lost deep in the woods. One hunter turns to the guide and says: “I thought you were the best the guide in all of Canada.” The guide turns and says: “I am but I think we are in Montana now.”
Choosing a guide can be tricky.
I thought of this little joke working with a client yesterday.
The client said that he had tried his best to train his dog on his own. His problem was that their is so much conflicting information.
He said to me: “I wish you trainers would all just agree on how to train and make it easier for us dog owners.”
I understand where he is coming from. I was the same way years ago before I became a dog trainer.
I also learned the common saying among dog trainers early on: “The only thing two dog trainers can agree on is what the third dog trainer is doing wrong.”
So what can the average dog owner do?
Simple – follow me and my teachings. I would never steer you in the wrong direction (haha).
Just kidding, but in all seriousness I think dog trainers should have some type of Hippocratic oath.
There are a couple of lines in the oath I would use:
I will prescribe regimens for the good of my patients according to my ability and my judgment and never do harm to anyone.
I will give no deadly medicine to any one if asked, nor suggest any such counsel.
I would modify it to say:
“I will prescribe regimens for the good of my students (dog and human) according to my ability and my judgment and never do harm to any dog.
I will use no deadly training equipment, nor suggest any such counsel.
So finding a trainer can be difficult but if you’re looking for one that does not use harmful collars or training techniques, if you’d like to learn how to walk your dog without choke or prong collars, check out the Leash Walking Secrets Course.
Get all the details HERE:
August 20th, 2014
By Eric Letendre
Quick – what’s one of the all time greatest movies ever made?
If you answered Top Gun you are correct.
I haven’t met anyone yet that has not loved that movie. I’m sure there are some that don’t but they are few and far in between.
If for some reason you’ve been living in a cave or on a desert island since 1986 and have NOT seen the movie, it is a story about two Navy pilots attending Fighter Weapons School, also known as Top Gun.
Goose is a character who dies, and when his friend (Maverick) is in trouble he says, “Talk to me Goose,” in an effort to get through a tough situation.
As a dog trainer I have had many, many “Talk to me Goose” situations.
Being a dog trainer is one of the best professions anyone could ever ask for. I get to work and meet great dogs and owners everyday. Much of my work is done on a sunny beach or shady park.
I also hear from many of you, my loyal email newsletter readers.
Many of my clients become good friends of mine
But there is a sad side to the business. That is when dogs go to the dark side. Dogs by nature are predators. They hunt, bite and use their teeth and jaws to protect themselves, whether the threat is real or perceived.
Its when I am working with an aggressive dog, I find myself saying: “Talk to me Goose.”
So today I want to share with you some tips to help you so you never have to silently ask Goose for help.
1. Socialize early!!! If you have a puppy under four months old please go to a puppy class, go to the beach, go to the woods, the city, and around other friendly dogs and people. Socialize!
2. Focus on what your dog is doing right. I know, sounds like I am a new age, let’s all hug and sing Kumbaya. The problem is that we tend to give attention to what we don’t like in our dogs. The very behaviors we want to go away become stronger and happen more often. The behaviors we like get ignored.
3. Throw away your choke and prong collars. Let me drop a little know-how on ya. The overwhelming majority of people use these collars wrong. Many trainers don’t even know the correct way to use them. So please, please toss them in the trash.
4. Learn how to use positive AND negative consequences. A positive consequence is used to train the dog to do something for us (sit, stay, come etc.). A Negative consequence is used to STOP behaviors we don’t like (jumping, begging, barking etc.).
Here’s the rub with negative consequences – they can’t be associated with you. Positive consequences are associated with you, negatives are associated with the behavior.
Follow these tips and you and your dog can avoid the path to the dark side.
And if you ever find yourself in a tough situation with your dog remember these words:
“Talk to me Eric.”
And I’ll answer. Details coming soon.
August 12th, 2014
By Eric Letendre
Here is what happened:
Yesterday I was working with a Springer Spaniel. This Spaniel had a problem that many dogs have.
He goes absolutely out of his mind when someone rings the doorbell.
Barking, jumping, circling, bouncing off the furniture and the owner can’t stand it. She wants her to dog to calmly greet her guests when they come over.
I had a helper ring the doorbell and watched what happened.
After the explosion and once the dog calmed down I sat down with the owner and said we could solve her problem with one word.
She excitedly leaned forward and asked me what the word was. I said:
Her forehead crinkled and she asked: “How am I going to get my dog to relax when he is going crazy like that?” She did not like my reply. I said:
“Not the dog – you.”
She was really confused at this point. You see, she was making the behavior ten times worse. As soon as the doorbell rang she was right on her dog’s heels. Once at the door it became a verbal and physical wrestling match.
She was yelling and trying to grab her dog to calm him down which was like throwing gas on a fire.
I explained to her that the doorbell is the highlight of the day for most dogs and their excitement level spikes through the roof.
When a dog is in a high level of excitement or agitation, any form of attention is going to make the behavior worse.
Information can not be processed when the dog is going bananas. Most people at this point look at it like it’s bad behavior and feel that they have to punish.
The way we get information (training) into the dog’s melon is when they are calm.
Which is a good reason to avoid choke and prong collars during training.
Here is what I had her do. I had my helper ring the bell and had her stand in the background without looking, touching or talking to her dog.
The doorbell rang and the normal chaos happened. Her dog bolted for the door and began his out of control behavior.
Then, then, then…..after about 30 seconds he stopped and turned his head looking for mom.
He actually left the door and walked over to her. I pointed out that NOW we can start to take steps to teach a different greeting because he (and her) were calm.
She was stunned, speechless, and finally said: “That was amazing!”
I didn’t say anything but was tempted to say: “Well, I am The Amazing Dog Training Man afterall.”
But I’m way too modest to say anything like that – ha!
So here is your Do It Yourself training experiment to try.
If your dog blows a gasket every time someone rings the bell, find a helper and have them ring the bell.
Stay back, observe your dog from the corner of your eye. Don’t make direct eye contact, don’t say anything and please don’t touch your dog.
And then just wait and watch.
Chances are you’ll see your dog run for the door and after a few seconds you’ll see him calm down. Now you can take the next steps to train your dog to sit when your guest walks in the door.
It’s a lot of fun to watch.
Speaking of fun – if you want your dog to STOP certain behaviors like jumping, chewing, barking, begging and more check out the Good K9 Manners Program.
August 6th, 2014
By Eric Letendre
Got a question yesterday.
“Eric, everyone talks about positive reinforcement. Reward the dog for doing obedience, catch your dog doing something right. Focus on what your dog does good and try to not focus on the bad behavior. That is all good but what do I do if my dog jumps or steals food off the counter?”
Great question and this often confuses people.
Your training is NOT just about all about rewards. There are positive AND negative consequences.
You use a positive consequence when you want your dog to do something you want – sit, down, stay, come, etc.
You apply a negative consequence when you want to STOP a behavior.
The problem is that many trainers think a negative consequence should never be used. On YouTube I get my most negative comments when I talk about this.
I understand why. Like a lot of dog trainers, when I started I was taught how to train dogs using brutal and harsh techniques.
I got my start working with security dogs. I used to work in one of the worst neighborhoods in Hartford, CT and the dogs were successfully used as deterrents.
The trainers were extremely harsh and this is how I was taught.
And like a lot of trainers, I found positive training techniques through great trainers like Dr. Ian Dunbar, Jean Donaldson, Patricia McConnell and more.
Once we saw the error in our ways, we wanted to try and do as much positive training as possible. Like many, I tossed my choke and prong collars in the trash and learned how to train without them.
For a long time I tried to train without ever doing anything negative, but over the years, I’ve learned that it is okay to use negative consequences when you follow certain steps.
So to get back to your original question, you use negative consequences when you want to stop a behavior like jumping or stealing food off the counter. The negative consequences do not hurt or harm the dog and most importantly…..
…..the negative consequence should NOT be associated with you.
I know it all seems a little confusing which is why I developed The Good K9 Manners Program with step by step videos showing you how to do this.
You can watch how to stop jumping, stealing, begging, barking and more.
It’s all right here:
Use code GK9M50 at check out to get half off.