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Ask the Trainer: Help Training a Difficult, Overprotective Dog


Dear Steve,
I’ve a German Shepard move Kelpie who I rescued when she used to be eight months outdated, she is now five yrs. I’ve two issues along with her, the first is she is over protecting round the house and after we’re at the canine seaside she is going to steadily run and bounce as much as other folks as she runs previous them. This may be very intimidating as she’s a giant canine. She has a tendency to stalk them first then once I name her she runs as much as them. The 2nd downside which most effective came about not too long ago is she killed our two hens, sadly my husband locked her of their pen by accident. I’m undecided tips on how to maintain her, will she now kill different animals?”


Hi Carol,

This is an engaging query, with crucial takeaway for all canine house owners. In my opinion, right kind control is a idea this is steadily overpassed or improperly applied.

The two kinds of control we can speak about are: momentary and long-term. A right kind coaching plan will have to incorporate a momentary control element and relying on the complexity, a long-term element.

Short-term control refers to the control tactics/equipment used whilst we undergo the coaching procedure. A protracted-term control protocol is what we do after the coaching plan is entire. The purpose of any control plan is to set the canine, people, and different animals up for luck.  We do that by means of serving to to stop an incident of aggression, noncompliance, needless/over the top concern, and so on.

What are a number of examples of control equipment and methods?

Tools come with: A crate, leash/lengthy line, muzzle, putting the canine in any other room, restricting freedom, and so on.

Here are simply a few imaginable examples of ways those equipment might be utilized in each a momentary and long-term control plan.


Short-term: Aids in the burglary procedure, however would possibly now not be vital as soon as the pet is housebroken.

Long-term: A canine with separation anxiousness would possibly all the time want a crate when left house on my own (in an effort to stay the canine protected and feeling extra comfy).

Leash/Long Line:

Short-term: Allowing your pet to tug a quick leash in the house (most effective when supervised) is helping mitigate biting/mouthing and allows you to obviously train the ideas of “Off” & “Leave It”.

Long-term: A canine who isn’t totally off-leash obedience skilled will have to stay on leash when in an unfenced out of doors space.


Short-term: When correctly utilized by a skilled, a muzzle may also be nice for serving to teach an competitive canine.

Long-term: Certain canine would possibly all the time wish to put on a muzzle when visiting the Veterinarian for a scientific examination.

Placing canine in a separate room:

Short-term: Place a canine who’s reactive towards the vacuum cleaner in any other room till they learn how to stay in a “Down-Stay” whilst you vacuum.

Long-term: You can put a canine with competitive inclinations in a separate room when the cable repairman arrives – as the possibility isn’t value the praise of him assembly the canine.

Limiting Freedom:

Short-term: A brand new pet or not too long ago followed canine will have to now not have get admission to to each room of the house. Gradual publicity is perfect.

Long-term: Certain canine will have to by no means cross to the canine park, as different actions and socialization choices can be higher.

Whenever I speak about the idea of control, I am getting one among two responses: both house owners by no means knew they may make the most of those equipment/tactics, in order that they in finding it a reduction that they are able to OR they suspect it’s punishment to enforce a protocol like this.

I wish to debunk the false concept that right kind control is punishment, because it merely is NOT. As I said previous, control is supposed to stay the canine, people and different animals protected, whilst offering the perfect high quality of existence imaginable. We will have to take into account that freedom is now not entitled, it’s earned. Once the canine is advanced and dependable via the use of right kind coaching, we will then supply extra freedom.

We use each momentary and long-term control on a daily basis in our human lives and assume not anything of it. Children all the time use coaching wheels (momentary control methodology) when studying to trip a motorcycle, and they’re got rid of when the time is correct. What is one among the first issues we do after we get in the automotive? We put our seat belt on (long-term control methodology).

I imagine we’re doing our pets a disservice by means of now not doing the identical of their existence. I’m even going to move so far as to mention we might have considerably fewer canine in our U.S. safe haven gadget if extra house owners used right kind control tactics.

Now let me immediately solution Carol’s query…

Obviously you can not have your canine “stalking” and leaping on other folks. The very first thing I’d do is just now not permit her off-leash in a public surroundings till she is reliably off-leash obedience skilled. I’d stay her on a leash/lengthy line that I’m in ownership of. This is momentary control to lend a hand save you her from with the ability to bounce on other folks. I’d additionally train her a rock cast recall command (“Come”), that manner you’ll name her again ahead of she even begins to “stalk” or run towards a particular person.

In regards in your husband by accident locking her in a pen with the two hens… Obviously it is vitally unhappy each hens had been killed, however now not an surprising consequence. I don’t assume it’s an peculiar response for a predatory animal to kill a wild prey animal when contained in combination in shut confinement. With that mentioned, I haven’t any manner of understanding what her long run movements can be in opposition to hens or different animals. I’d have her on a leash/lengthy line and supervise her interactions with different animals in the close to long run. Once she regularly proves to make protected and suitable alternatives, you’ll have her re-evaluated by means of a native skilled in an effort to decide if extra freedom may also be given.

The essential takeaway I wish to depart you with is that this: Proper momentary and/or long-term control protocols are extensively underutilized. When blended with a sound coaching program, they are able to lead to a happier and no more aggravating existence for each canine and proprietor.

Steve Reid is a Certified Dog Trainer and proprietor of S.R. Dog Training in Westchester, NY.  For extra details about S. R. Dog Training and to sign-up for his e-newsletter, talk over with www.srdogtraining.com. Please additionally transform a fan of Steve on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/SRDogTraining.

Do you’ve got a difficult coaching query of your personal? Ask the instructor by means of clicking right here.

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