A sample text widget

Etiam pulvinar consectetur dolor sed malesuada. Ut convallis euismod dolor nec pretium. Nunc ut tristique massa.

Nam sodales mi vitae dolor ullamcorper et vulputate enim accumsan. Morbi orci magna, tincidunt vitae molestie nec, molestie at mi. Nulla nulla lorem, suscipit in posuere in, interdum non magna.

Dog Training that Works

Guest blogger Jonathan Klein of I Said Sit! School For Dogs and
The Dog Behavior Expert

Jonathan Klein of I Said Sit!

Are you bringing a new dog into your home or have you been unsuccessful at training? As it is with most everything, if we start with a good foundation the training becomes easier and more can be accomplished. But if you start off on the wrong foot, you may wind up with an unruly dog.

Most people don’t realize that if we take the time to create a plan, are consistent with the lessons and follow simple protocols, training and behavior can be improved almost instantly. It’s important to remember that if you make little or no changes, or don’t follow the prescribed course of action, it can take months or even years to train your dog. In fact, your dog might never change. However, if you do everything and don’t leave out any steps, then you can make a huge change in a matter of weeks. Besides, once your dog starts responding to the training it will bring you closer together.

Of course there are certainly behavior problems, especially deep-rooted fear, aggression and separation anxiety issues, that usually take longer to overcome. It’s also important to remember that we can’t change a dog’s natural temperament or instincts. What we can change is their behavior by teaching them how to react differently in certain predictable situations.

Whether your dog just needs to learn some manners or if he has some problems in need of behavior modification, the starting point is to lay a good foundation. To do that you will need to change the way you interact with your dog. You will also need to remember that your dog is always learning; so for practical purposes you are always in training. As quickly as possible we need to change the dog’s perspective so he will want to do what we ask of him.

First put yourself in a position of being able to effectively teach. Our goal is to be able to influence our dog in a way that results in a positive outcome. That is not going to happen if we are telling our dog what he’s doing wrong or take on the role of an alpha dog. If we were to do that our dogs won’t ever learn how to get out of trouble. We don’t want them to be afraid; we want them engaged, willing to learn.

I’ve seen over and over that in just a matter of moments a frustrated owner and a misbehaving dog can come together to form a partnership. It’s a spectacular sight to see a dog go from pleading “pet me” or “pay attention to me” by barking, whining, jumping and nipping, to seeing him calm and relaxed. The change comes when the dog can be taught to try new and positive behaviors.

Part I of 3 Articles
In the next two articles, I’ll share the steps you can take to help lay the foundation for effective training, including taking on a leadership role and the how to implement a plan to replace old habits with new ones.

Expert dog trainer and behaviorist Jonathan Klein> has successfully trained more than 6,000 dogs, and their owners, over his 20-year career. He is the founder of the Culver City-based, dog-training center I Said Sit! He is also a trainer with Truly Dog Friendly.

26 comments to Dog Training that Works

  • Anne H

    We’re getting a puppy in Jan and I’m eager to learn about how to train effectively. I was a dismal failure with our last (and only) dog, a Fox Terrier, who was a neurotic pain in the backside. Want to do it right this time.

  • Hi Anne, Thanks for commenting. Tomorrow’s post will have really great information. Jonathan has agreed to write a 3-part series, and I have another trainer, next week talking about gentle training too.

  • I always learn from Mr. Klein and appreciate his positive proactive loving approach.

  • That’s exciting! Thanks for the educational articles!

  • TaraLynn Campbell

    I also like Mr. Klein’s gentle approach to training dogs. I learned a lot from the last article he wrote for you. Glad to see him back.

  • Cody Jackson

    I have seen dogs being terrorized in training. I don’t use shock collars or make a lot of noise when I do my training. I don’t like the Cesar Milan approach. This works so much better, and without any trauma on the dogs and the owners.

  • Martha Molnar

    thanks for running this article. I look forward to learning more with the other two.

  • Thomas Reed

    I don’t look at training as deprivation. I think what Mr. Klein is saying is that we have to start from zero and then build with kindness to teach our dogs how to be well behaved.

  • Lenore Peters

    It’s funny that the same type of training can be applied to children. We have a rewards program at home, and when our son and daughter do things like set the table, clear the table, make their beds, etc., they get points. Ten they cash those points in for TV time, treats, toys, etc.
    We give them lots of love and lots of attention and guidance. We feed them and give them a roof over their heads. In return, we expect them to be well behaved. The same can be said of dogs, and cats too–I guess.

  • Stacey Sachs

    I also started training my puppy on the wrong foot. I was too gentle. So often people confuse being dominant with being mean. I have since learned that you need a good mix of both. You never harm a dog or be too rough. And you can’t let them walk all over you either. You need balance–just like with everything else.

  • Paddy Sinclair

    Thanks Jonathan, gentle training, like all of the readers said, is the only way.

  • Cathy Anderson

    I see annoying dogs that jump up on people and their owners just laugh and think it’s cute. And then there are the moms who think their little “angel” is perfect no matter how rude they are. As a trainer, you are not only training the dog, you are training the pet parents.
    I wish ALL parents would learn manners.

  • Margaret Lyons

    Thanks Jonathan, for this. I look forward to the next post from you. I, too, learn a lot from your articles.

  • Jared Burke

    Reading through the comments section, I see too, that so many of us would like ALL adults and children to learn manners. It is so needed. And yes, what we teach our dogs can be transferred over to our children and vice versa. After all, our furkids are like our children too.

  • Bill Thompson

    Deep rooted fears take a long time to train out of a dog. It takes a kind and patient trainer to do this. I think you had a post with a trainer at the ASPCA who talked about working with fearful dogs.
    But for the rest of us, gentle training is the only way.

  • Kate Hurley

    We use dog treats and food to train our dog. And we are sure not to give him too much. He is in good health, and we don’t want an overweight dog.

  • Robin Volcker

    Thanks Jonathan! Great story. Gentle training, like everyone else said, it the best.

  • Eric Stern

    A friend of mine took Jonathan’s classes, and she learned so much. Her dog is so well trained. Good job.

  • Melanie Vance

    Thanks Jonathan, any kind of training that is gentle and firm works. I look forward to part 2.

  • […] Dog Training that Works « Pet News and Views […]

  • Douglas Minter

    Good tips Jonathan!

  • Again, thanks for all the nice comments. You all give hope that we can make a difference in peoples perceptions of training and what is right to do with your dog. I hope to influence the next generation. With your help, we will!!

  • Alplan Hockney

    Dog Training that Works Pet News and Views . thanks for this post.

  • Raeanne Fitzgerald

    Thanks for providing this information. We just got a puppy and are looking into dog training for him and for us.

  • lesley Jones

    It truly is about training us.