Have you ever found yourself desperately trying to stop your dog from doing something on the leash but they are too excited to listen?
Most often it is a nightmare! Dog owners are shouting and they’re dragging their dogs, while people are watching wondering why you don’t do something about it. In the meantime, your dog is barking, jumping and spinning out of control trying to get free. And you are trying your best to stop them and control the situation but it is not working!
First of all, you are not alone and there is good news…
In this post, I want to explain the things to remember and the simple steps to take when you find yourself in this situation.
What Triggers Your Dog
These are steps that can bring different situations that may trigger your dog into a panic mode. Here are a few of those times your dogs manages to slip from you leaving you standing there with leash in hand while they go do their thing…
Your dog may react to any of the following:
– Small Children
– Other moving toys
– Brooms, Brushes
– Lawn Mowers…etc.
I think you get the picture! It may even be something that is not moving!
So what can be done?
Below are key steps to solving this problem.
STEP 1. – Establish yourself as the pack leader
This step is very crucial and should be the first stage…establishing yourself as the pack leader. When you are the pack leader your dog will naturally be calmer, less reactive and more responsive to how you behave. Without this in place, your dog takes no notice of anything you are doing…this is the key. Once you position yourself as the pack leader you can actually start training your dog.
So how can you achieve becoming the pack leader?
It is not as simple as a quick blog post, however, if you love your dog you will be fascinated with using the techniques that the real experts know and use! You will not find a simpler and better place to achieve this than Doggy Dan’s video website.
STEP 2. – Keep your dog calm
The biggest mistake that owners make is that they allow their dogs to become too excited and stressed, then try to work with them in this uncontrollable state.
The key is to work with your dog in a relaxed state, not when they are excited otherwise you will struggle to calm your dog down and things can spiral out of control. Doggy Dan has a great video on his site explaining how to keep your dog’s energy low using some amazing techniques such as the calm freeze, (A simple hold of the collar with an upturned hand). He also explains what happens when dogs get too excited and the adrenalin kicks in and how you really want to avoid this.
When you find what excites your dog, a simple way of keeping your dog calm is to move further away from the trigger that sets him off. Then relax and enjoy your starting point!
STEP 3. – There are 1000 ways to calm a dog
While you are moving your dog away think of various different tricks to take your dog’s mind off of what is making him excited. The idea is to get your mind off the trigger then your dog will follow your example and calm down.
What is fascinating inside Doggy Dan’s video website is that Dan demonstrates a whole range of methods for calming dogs down. There is no single trick or technique that will work for every dog so the more your toolkit the more chance you have of finding what works for your dog and situation.
For example, with some dogs, you can simply distract them with food or a ball. Others will actually stop being so excited when you simply tell them to ‘sit’ or ‘down’, believe it or not. Then there are those that can be distracted with what Doggy Dan calls the stick trick where he goes and looks for a stick in the bushes and the dog follows! It is that simple but very powerful when it works.
STEP 4. – Enjoy this experience
Too often once a dog has calmed down, owners are too eager to rush their dogs back to the stressful situation. Enjoy this new experience with your dog as you start to rewire your dog’s brain, this is the key. Help them firmly embed this new way of behaving by spending some quality time with them. There is no rush. In fact, when you rush things and it goes wrong, the result is, it all comes crashing down. Patience is the key.
STEP 5. – Show your dog through your actions
So now your dog is calm and ready for the training. It is at this stage the work you have put into becoming the pack leader will show. If you have put in place the 5 Golden Rules to become the pack leader from The Online Dog Trainer then you will see your dog starting to take notice of how you are behaving. But if you skipped this step, then your dog will behave as always.
This is where you need to stay calm. Silence is usually best, and slowly move towards the trigger but not straight towards it.
The secret is to take things slowly. Very often if you put everything in place things do happen faster than you expect!
Putting all the steps in place
Putting those steps in place and with just a little bit of knowledge, you can turn your dog around.
Remember, the secret is Step 1, becoming the pack leader. When they are watching how YOU are behaving, ignore the animal or object that was the trigger. But when they are taking no notice of you because they are still the pack leader in their eyes, nothing will work.
As recommended above, put all the steps in place. You can not fool the dog. They are pack animals, with leaders and followers. They will turn and look to the leaders when in situations such as mentioned above. So establish yourself as a pack leader and then show your dog how to behave through your actions, not your words.
To learn more about the 5 Golden Rules of Becoming The Pack Leader, click here.
If you had any experiences, please leave comments or questions below.