When I was in the police canine services we often performed public demonstrations where we showed off our dog’s obedience, scent detection, and odor recognition abilities. Our department had a civilian academy where the public would spend one night a week learning all about the different divisions of the police department, and K-9 was always the crowd favorite.
People would say “I wish my dog listened that well.” I always said that you just need to be consistent and to work with your dog to get the same result.
That was the beginning of Adams K-9. We basically take pets and train them to behave as well as police service dogs. We can train any breed and temperament of dog, and teach it to come every time while ignoring distractions.
I think distractions are everyone’s downfall. The dog may be well behaved in the home where there are no distractions, but outdoors the same dog might never be let off the leash. We teach off-leash reliability.
Police dogs do not come pre-trained.
These dogs are 18 months old, imported from Europe and full of very high energy. They know nothing but leash pull and bite the sleeve. They love to chase the ball and will do it all day. What they do not know is don’t chase the deer, come when called, sit, down, stay, heel and do all of this without a leash and with distractions.
That is just the obedience. On top of that, we trained them how to track humans, find and alert on narcotics, chase down and bite criminals, and also stop chasing and return (recall) on command.
We did all of this in two months, and then the dog went on the road to do his job.
So, when people bring in their difficult dog there is nothing I haven’t seen before. The first thing we do is teach the dog to follow and not to leash pull. Once they understand these concepts we teach heel. Along with heel we teach sit, but not just sit – sit at every door you go through. Human goes first and then, the dog follows.
We also teach place, which is an obedience command that means “get on top of something and sit or lay there.” The dog must stay on place until released. Our fur parents love the place command because they can place their dog at the marina, youth sports event, campfire, you name it. Place is a universal command you can take anywhere and your dog learns to stay on his place and chill while distractions are going on.
The last thing we teach the dog is the Down command. We save down for last because it is a submissive position for a dog. Dogs that have dog issues don’t feel comfortable downing around other dogs. By our second week of training, we have developed a relationship with the dog where there is trust, so teaching the down command goes much smoother.
Once we are finished with our two-week doggie academy it’s time for the fur parents to take over. Which also means it is time to train the parent.
The dogs work for us like machines yet the owners will struggle. Not all, but some. It is because the owner is sending mixed signals, not consistent or persistent. The other day, a fur parent was struggling because the dog was not sitting at the door for her. Also, when she picked up her dog from its day of training, she pet the dog when it jumped on her.
I said, “If you don’t want your dog to jump on people you have to stop petting your dog when she jumps on you.”
She was sending mixed signals. I told her to tap the button (we train with remote collars) and say “off.” I demonstrated and then pet her dog.
You only pet when all four paws are on the floor. That is when the dog gets affection, not when it is jumping on you. As for sitting at the door, never let your dog disobey a command. If you do, you are letting her make the decisions.
Dog’s cannot be allowed to make the decisions.
If you say sit and she doesn’t, push her butt down and make her sit. Your persistence in training will pay off for both you and your dog when she is running for the road, about to get hit by a car, and you yell, “NO – COME!”
All the little things add up when it comes to obedience. For a well-behaved dog, we believe you need the following commands;
All dogs should have good manners, and we recommend no;
The key to success for West Michigan fur parents is consistency and persistence. Dogs love rules and routine. They want it the same way all of the time. Do this and it becomes routine. The dog always sits when you stop walking, they always sit at the door, they never jump on people, they always stay on their place until released.
They do all these things because that’s the way it always is. They don’t know any other way. Be consistent and persistent. Your dog will love his life and love you too.
Contact Adams K-9 today and love your dog, love your dog’s behavior!