- Behavior Problems
- Get Help Here
August 28th, 2008
By Eric Letendre
Every day I get over 100 emails asking me dog training questions.
When I first started my website I could answer them all. I would get 2 or 3 emails asking me questions and I could easily answer them.
Not anymore – as much as I like to, I just can’t answer them all. It’s one of the reasons I started the forum on my website: Dog Training Inner Circle.
Anyway, when I checked my email this morning this subject line caught my attention: "Dog rescued from volcanic eruption"
Here is the email and advice I gave, I also included a video:
Hi Eric: I’m writing because I have a problem. I’m from Chili, the little town of Chaiten. Recently a volcano erupted near the village and destroyed it. I was away for 5 years in another city studying veterinary medicine and returned to my village on vacations from school.
In Chaiten I had a dog called Nalón that is 7 years old. I was able to rescue it a month after the eruption because we were not allowed to enter in the village before then. I brought him to the city with me, but I live in an apartment, and I am only allowed to have him (tied) in a field of the university. Every day I go to see and feed him, I let him run in the field, and according to the weather, I bring him walking with a leash in the city.
In Chaiten he did not receive any type of training and Nalon was never tied out, and he was accustomed to go out to the street (as all the dogs there). Now that he does not have such freedom, when I put him on the leash for a walk, he pulls strongly and sometimes I fall down, until he gets tired and stops pulling and walks at my side.
When I teach obedience to him, he sits down but gets up rapidly and begins to jump to take the prize from me. In addition he chases all the dogs that he sees, disobeying me.
It is a dog of 25 kg, a crossbreed of mother Samoyed, and very crazy. I have bought a clicker and will try to begin tomorrow with this training. He is my friend and I love him so much, because of it I did the almost impossible thing of saving him. I’d like to know your opinion and some help that you could give me. I need a lot of help right know.
Hi Andrea, Thanks for your email. From what you wrote I think one of the reasons you’re having a difficult time is that Nalon probably spent the first part of his life off-leash. I would think that he was never put on a leash and that is why you’re having a difficult time.
The first step I would recommend is bringing him to places where you can let him just drag the leash around; a big, open area where he won’t get caught up on anything. By letting him drag the leash around, he will get used to the feel of it. This is the same thing we do with puppies.
When you are teaching him obedience you can use the leash. When I’m working with a dog that likes to jump and grab the treat I step on the leash, this keeps the dog grounded and it allows you to get a little control and prevents him from jumping up and grabbing the treat.
The clicker is a good idea. It is a great way to communicate to your dog. Here is a video I did on clicker training.