Reactive dogs- Every owners nightmare


8 out of 10 of my emails/calls regarding dog training revolves around re-activity of the dog towards either people, other dogs, or even inanimate objects.

So why are dog owners training in re-activity so often now??? (and yes do not pretend it just “magically happened”. we train crap into our dogs all the time we do not want. This is why i try to hammer in the point that you are ALWAYS reinforcing and training something when you are with your dog)

A big part of the reactive dog is a lack of time and patience.  EVERYTHING now a days are done with shortcuts, in a time crunch, and with little forethought.  This equals disaster when paired with owning a dog.

So how do you get a reactive dog under control?

Show him what you want!!!

I swear its as simple as establishing a relationship with respect (no this does not mean dominant the dog……..) reward the desired behavior, take it on the road and proof it all over so it generalizes, and communicate to the dog when he has done the wrong behavior when he should be offering the correct one. Time lapse with a GOOD knowledgeable trainer is anywhere from 4 weeks to 8 months.

All my knew clients with reactive dogs start out with focus exercises, connection exercises and self control exercises. If you don’t have a relationship with your dog, and you don’t have respect, how can you communicate effectively?

Next week we will talk about focus exercises and how to start them at home.

Please contact us today if you need help with your reactive pooch, the longer you wait the longer the process to get the relationship established and behaviors fixed. Call us now 1-856-624-3459

Honesty is the best policy, but don’t expect to find it most places

I met a puppy the other week, i meet a lot of puppies i guess so that in and of itself isn’t surprising. However what really threw me was that this puppy was from a “breeder”  and “trainer” (and i use these terms OH so loosely) of german shepherds in the southern tier area.

Now let me say i have met, and know of a lot of good breeders, and have huge respect for those that know their lines, title and work their dogs, and breed stable nerved pups matched with the best home possible.

HOWEVER- i have seen to many puppy buyers duped by your average Joe pretending to know how to breed and train dogs, and the family and puppy always pay the price.

This puppy has numerous medical conditions, comes from a line of back yard bred dogs but  being sold as “working german shepherds” and the parents have no hip or elbow xrays or clearances because the “breeder” gives a long story of how its a waste of money and puppies can have it anyway so why bother.

The puppy came out of the car and immediately barked at everything, and everyone with hackles raised, backing up. Ok….well….maybe some work and she’ll be ok? Over the next hour I worked my dogs, but kept an eye on the 4 month old pup. I watched her work, tried to get her to want to interact with me with hot dogs, and while i saw a slight improvement, for the amount of time and hot dogs i had every new position i went in, or object that crept up started the panic all over again. Sadly the nerve strength on this pup was a touch above some of the worst rescue mutts i’ve gotten in. The good news??? Oh i’m sure the litter will be repeated…………..


If your going to spend the time, money, and want to add a purebred dog to your family, regardless of breed, PLEASE do your research! I’m always available to look at litters,  help people pick a breeder or pup that suits their family, or just talk over the basics the breeder, sire and dam, and pups should have health and training wise. Remember your bringing this dog home for the next 15 years, don’t rush into it. I love the dogs i breed, they are amazing, but they are not for everyone and in fact are not for 80% of people i meet. That’s ok, everyone is different and every litter bred matches its family and future job.  All dogs have weaknesses and downfalls, we breed to improve, if your breeder cannot state their dogs weaknesses or the areas they are breeding to improve do not walk away, run very very quickly.

Terrific Tip Tuesday



Todays TTT is all about puppies!!!!

We do a lot of foundation work with clients and I consistently see one big area for improvement when bringing your new puppy home.

Prepare prepare prepare!!!!

I cannot stress enough, you bring home a clean slate the day you walk in with your new dog or puppy, make sure you have a plan in place, the time to execute that plan, and the skills and knowledge or help during this important part of your journey. The first few weeks in your home set the tone for the next 15 or 20 years with your dog, PLAN PLAN PLAN! Keep things consistent right from the start, do not allow or encourage that which you do not want your dog doing in 7 years and remember you are always training when you are with your dog, behavior is not static it is always changing!


Getting a new puppy?? Want to do things right?? Contact us today, we can get you prepped and ready and be on standby with lifetime training support for all those “what do i do now” questions and of course get you in those important puppy foundation classes.  1-856-624-EIK9  or email us!