When I sit down with clients for a case relating to a puppy, teenager or adult I always highlight how in the wild, a dog’s very survival depends on a strong, stable and organized Pack, where every member knows its place and follows the rules established by the Pack Leader. The Pack instinct is perhaps the strongest motivator for a dog. I train the humans that in order to properly fulfill both our dogs and ourselves, we each need to become our dog’s Calm Assertive Pack Leader. This starts by us mimicking the rules, boundaries and limitations set by the mother and how she enforces discipline with her pups. This is vital as a dog that doesn’t Trust its human to be a good Pack Leader becomes unbalanced and often exhibits unwanted or anti-social behaviors. In rehabilitating unbalanced dogs and re-training their owners to better understand how to see the world through a dog’s eyes. I counsel people to calmly, assertively and consistently give their dogs rules, boundaries and limitations to establish themselves as solid Pack Leaders and to help correct and control unwanted behavior. I don’tt believe in “quick fixes”. Though changing some behaviors can appear to happen in a relatively short period of time, none of those changes will “stick” unless the human acts consistently with his or her puppy/teenager/dog every day to keep unwanted behaviors from returning. In my opinion, no one should ever hit or yell at a dog to correct unwanted behavior.
When using touch to communicate displeasure or snap a dog out of an escalating behavior, “touch” never ever means “hit!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Puppies and most dogs are very responsive to touch at the level of the kind of light tap you might use to get a friend’s attention in a darkened cinema or loud party. Touch a puppy on the side of his neck on the muscle or on the side of his hindquarters. Use a claw-shaped hand, which mimics a mother’s bite on the side of the neck, on the muscle, not on the throat. This hand doesn’t “pinch”; it is firm, but you don’t have to use much pressure. The pressure should be proportionate to the level of the behavior. Example, an adult dog that has escalated into a “Red Zone” energy state and being, will need more pressure, compared to a puppy that has just begun chewing a show, that will need on a light touch.
All dogs recognize this sensation from their early puppy days and respond to it in a primal way. The timing of the touch correction is critical. It has to take place at the exact moment the transgression and end the moment the puppy relaxes and changes his behavior. Waiting until after the behavior is over and doesn’t make sense to a dog because dogs live in the moment Cause and effect have to match their minds. One firm touch with the correct energy context is effective. Half a dozen small pushes, pinches or tweaks can make the situation far worse.
If at any point you are not sure on how to administer the touch or are having trouble getting results, then I highly prescribe booking a session.