- Behavior Problems
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October 28th, 2013
By Eric Letendre
You all know that I am a HUGE Patriots fan.
I know this will rile up a few readers but Tom Brady is awesome.
Before you trash me and this email, listen for a moment.
The best time to listen to Tom Brady is after he LOST a game.
He doesn’t blame the ref, his team mates, the coach, the weather or anything else.
He takes full responsibility.
Very admirable – especially in today’s society where everyone is quick to blame everything and anyone for their problems.
Funny thing, most people come to me with their dogs focused only on the dog’s problems.
My dog jumps, chews, pees on the carpet, bites, fill in the blank. The key to solving any problem is to stay focused on the solution.
Not fake, false optimism. Develop a plan to solve the problem and then get busy.
As a loyal reader of this highly entertaining, action packed, fun filled daily newsletter, I am going to share the plan for solving any behavior problem your dog may have.
All you need to remember is M.U.T.T.
I developed the M.U.T.T. Method as a simple plan anyone can follow to stay focused on the solution.
Here’s how it works:
M – Manage. The first step is to manage the behavior. A dog that is showing aggression towards other dogs would have to be managed. Zero access or a leash and possibly a muzzle if the dog is going to be around other dogs.
This will NOT solve the problem but it will help manage it.
U – Underlying. What is the underlying reason for the behavior? Every behavior has a reason. The aggressive dog above may have been attacked by another dog, the dog may be undersocialized, etc.
Once we know the underlying reason we can start helping the dog.
T – Train. Train a new behavior. This is where you may need some help.
T – Time. Training new behaviors will take some time. You need to remember this when it seems like you are not getting results. Give it some time.
So the next time you’re faced with a behavior problem use the M.U.T.T. Method to get to the solution.
I cover the M.U.T.T. Method in more detail on the Good K9 Manners site. If you need more help with jumping, chewing, stealing or any other behavior problem head on over to:
October 10th, 2013
By Eric Letendre
“You know I was talking to my friend Desdemona the other day she runs this space station and bake shop down near boomtown. She told me that human beings are flawed individuals. The cosmic bakers took us out of the oven a little too early. And that’s the reason were as crazy as we are and I believe it.”
That’s from my favorite Jimmy Buffett song, Fruitcakes.
Yesterday I took some heat about my thoughts on the dog training world.
I talked about how certain people in the dog training world literally go out of their minds if you ever talk about using negative consequences in dog training.
I do get where they are coming from. Dog training for many years was brutal and extremely harsh and even cruel to dogs.
Some dog trainers still use outdated, harsh methods and try to “dominate” the dog.
I get it because Human Beings Are Flawed Individuals – including me.
I make mistakes when it comes to training (not many, hehe!)
The problem with using negative methods is that it has side effects. If you have a shock collar on your dog and your timing is wrong, your dog is going to get confused. If the stimulation from the collar is high it could negatively affect the dog.
A prong collar overused in a group obedience class will almost always result in dog aggression.
So we do have to be EXTREMELY careful when using any form of negative consequence.
BUT – it does NOT mean that we can never use any form of negative in training.
Here is a simple formula to remember. If you want your dog to learn something: sit, down, come, stay, etc. use positive consequences. Loads and loads of positive consequences.
If you want your dog to STOP doing a behavior, learn how to associate the behavior with a negative consequence but this does come with one MAJOR caveat:
The negative consequence should not be associated with you. It should be associated with the behavior.
Positive consequences should be associated with you. All good stuff comes from you which will build trust and confidence and your dog will do great with obedience.
All negative consequences should be associated with the behavior.
I show many different ways on how this can be done on The Good K9 Manners Course. If you want your dog to STOP jumping, barking, chewing and more head on over here NEXT:
June 10th, 2013
By Eric Letendre
What’s the big deal.
I remember last summer everyone was talking about the book “50 Shades Of Grey” and lately for some reason it seems to be all over the place again.
I have not read it but Rachael did and she explained that it as a story about a relationship in where the guy dominates some college babe with some twists and turns along the way.
To date some 70 million copies have been sold.
It may make for good fiction but NOT good dog training.
Dog training for years was taught with the trainer physically dominating the dog. If the dog did not respond to the commands the trainer was supposed to physically “teach” the dog to perform.
It’s the way I was taught. I got my start working with protection and guard dogs. Unfortunately, some of the early trainers I worked with were extremely brutal and the training was very tough on the dogs.
Luckily, I found better, more positive training methods which is what I teach today.
One of the main reasons is that I have seen firsthand what physically, dominant, harsh training can do.
It can turn the nicest dog into an unstable and aggressive dog.
Dog training is NOT about dominance and submission. Dog training is about rewarding and reinforcing behavior.
Dog training is about consequences. Positive consequences to strengthen and improve behaviors we want – sit, stay, come, down, etc. and negative consequences to stop behaviors we don’t like or want – jumping, stealing, digging, etc.
Learn how to apply the right consequence to the right behavior and dog training is easy.
Moral of the story?
Forget dominance and harsh methods. There are better ways to train your dog. Ways that don’t involve dominance and submission.
Don’t involve choke collars and “alpha rollovers.”
You can learn about these ways at:
January 23rd, 2013
By Eric Letendre
Since I make my living on the internet you’d think I was a super computer nerd.
I’m not. In fact I know very little about computers, gigabites, html, whizzy wigs, gui’s, and all the other terms associated with understanding computers and the internet.
I just know those terms because I listen to my wife, Rachael, talk to our friend, Paul, but have no clue about what they are talking about.
One term I am familiar with is de-fragging.
Probably because I can think about it on dog training terms.
You see, the definition of “de-frag” is: To reorganize the way information is stored on a computer disk.
You brain and your dog’s brain is like one complex computer disk.
All the decisions you make are the result of past experiences stored in your melon.
The same holds true with your dog. A dog usually becomes aggressive because of the experiences they have had leading up to the moment the dog snarls, growls or bites.
A dog that does NOT come when called may have had some negative experiences that result in them going the other way when they hear, “Come.”
BUT – you can change your dog’s behavior even if you’ve made intentional or UN-intentional mistakes, and BELIEVE ME, I know because I have made MANY.
De-fragging your dog’s brain will require patience and time.
For every one negative experience it takes five or six positive experiences to overcome the one bad.
Let’s say your dog had a negative experience with the vet’s office. The best course of action is to bring your dog to the vet over the next couple of weeks when you have no appointment.
Walk in (please check with your vet first), give your pooch some treats, maybe a quick game of tug and then walk out and go home. Repeat five more times, maybe more, maybe less.
Before taking off, one more thing…
The best place for de-fragging is The Dog Training Inner Circle. That’s where the forum is for you to ask questions and let me help you with any sticky training situations you may be having.
January 9th, 2013
By Eric Letendre
Peaches was one of the sweetest dogs I ever met.
She came to my classes as a puppy and continued her training as she got older.
Around two years old, Peaches’ owners contacted me with some concerns. She was starting to show some signs of aggression.
I could not believe what I was hearing.
Peaches was a really sweet dog and I asked them to bring her to me immediately so I could evaluate her behavior.
When I saw her she seemed fine. The owners told me it was hard to pinpoint when she became aggressive.
They added that it seemed like a light switch. One second she was her sweet, normal self and the next she was aggressive.
As soon as I heard that I had a pretty good idea of what the problem was.
I informed them that they needed to set up an appointment right away.
I also made one point very clear to them.
I said, “You have to request, maybe even demand to have her thyroid checked.”
A dog with thyroid problems can display different behaviors and a thorough vet check is usually step one when I am dealing with aggressive behavior.
A dog with a screwed up thyroid is going to exhibit abnormal behavior.
Once the dog has been checked out and it has been determined that there is an abnormality, there are thyroid medications can do a lot to help.
In Peaches case, it completely changed her behavior. Once she was on medication she was fine. Never had a problem again.
If the thyroid is NOT the problem, then a behavior modification program has to be followed. The program I developed is The M.U.T.T. Method.
The M.U.T.T. Method uses a combination of Management, finding out what the Underlying problem is, Training a new behavior and then taking the Time for the new behavior to kick in.
If you’re tired of your dog jumping, stealing, barking, begging and more, then give The Good K9 Manners Program a look see.
It covers the M.U.T.T. Method in detail and you can get it with a discount.
Just use coupon code: 10-OFFK9MANNERS
Good K9 Manners