Meal Time Stress & Mess!

QUESTION: My dog is a frustratingly finicky eater. Every meal time she nuzzles through her bowl to pick out all of the tinned food that I’ve mixed with kibble and then she leaves all of the kibble scattered over the floor. She absolutely refuses to eat dry food on its own. I’ve even left her [...]

How Don Sullivan Replies to Unfounded Criticism

The following is a copy of the response I offer people who post unfounded, critical comments about my training system/method. I feel for these people because they are simply in ignorance - brainwashed by all kinds of influences (which I discuss in my book). I believe what I write to these people is fair - [...]

I Lost My Quick Start Guide. When Should My Dog Wear The Training Equipment, etc.?

My Quick Start Guide comes with the purchase of all complete Perfect Dog systems and provides – amongst many other topics – a detailed explanation of when to use my training tools and what to watch out for. However, if you’ve lost your Quick Start Guide and can’t remember my advice – or you didn’t [...]

Is the Command Collar Meant to Stay in Place, Rotate, or Sit High on the Dog’s Neck?

The Command Collar is not meant to stay in one place. Rather, it swivels around the dog’s neck to accommodate the training needs. This is why I instruct (in the “Equipment” section on Perfect Dog DVD #1) people to adjust the collar so there’s a two-finger space between the dog’s neck and the collar. (However, [...]

My Dog Whines While He Waits in Position. Should I Correct Him?

QUESTION: Does whining while in a particular command position cause for correction? I know from “Crazy in the Crate” and “Crazy in the Car” on your DVDs that whining should be corrected. But if my dog is in, say, the down position yet still whining, should I correct him? While watching your DVDs, I noticed [...]

Shocking News Story. Don Sullivan Comments on Dog Attacks & Rescue Dogs.

Highland Twp. Girl, 7, in critical condition after family's 'rescue dogs' rip into her neck. https://www.freep.com/story/news/local/michigan/oakland/2017/12/01/rescue-dog-attack-highland-township-humane-society/914823001/ News story: A seven-year-old girl was fighting for her life Friday but was expected to survive after she was attacked by dogs that her family rescued from an animal shelter where they'd faced being euthanized, police said. The attack [...]

What to do When an Aggressive Dog Approaches

QUESTION: In your book, you mentioned about Judah’s confrontation with a dominant Boxer in a dog park which is just super amazing on Judah’s part, to be so well balanced. How do I teach Max to be submissive in these situations? Do I ask him to "Down, Stay” right away? Also, how do I deal [...]

My Dog Won’t Play with Dog Toys. How Can I Properly Exercise Him?

QUESTION: We’re getting ready to start your Perfect Dog system and we’re excited. My only concern is the play time. My dogs don’t play with toys at all. They will wrestle with each other occasionally, but not very often. What can I do to give them enough exercise?   ANSWER: Now and then you’ll come [...]

My Dog Would Rather Spend Time at My Neighbor’s House. What Should I Do?

QUESTION: Hello Don. I have used your training program and it works wonderfully well. But my question has to do with why my 3-year-old Lab Shepherd mix has, in the last few weeks, chosen a neighbor to live with. Henry was a dog that ran the streets and was starving. He had no boundaries and [...]

How to Deal With Dogs That Have a Phobia of Loud Noises 

NOTES: For tips on how to prevent a loud noise phobia from developing, please see the following Blog post: How to Prevent Loud Noise Phobia from Developing & Early Warning Signs When Choosing a Puppy. The following training advice is relevant to all loud noise phobias such as thunderstorms, fireworks, vacuum cleaners, large crowds, etc. [...]

How to Prevent Loud Noise Phobia from Developing & Early Warning Signs When Choosing a Puppy

NOTE: The following training advice is relevant to all loud noise phobias such as thunderstorms, fireworks, vacuum cleaners, large crowds, etc.   QUESTION: I’m hoping you can help me. Being that Don is a legend and has probably worked with hundreds of dogs, I assume he has encountered a few dogs that are scared of thunderstorms. [...]

How to Correct the Off Leash Stick Around Command & Off Leash Heel Command

QUESTION: Could you help me clarify some techniques when it comes to non- stationary commands? How do I correct a "Stick around" command when my dog breaks the allowed perimeter when we are out walking when he has the shortest Freedom Training Line attached to him? This is what I have been doing: I say [...]

How Do I Calm Down My Over-Excited/Stressed Out Dog?

QUESTION: Hi Don! I'm loving your Perfect Dog system so much! However, I'm still struggling with my dog’s energy levels in some situations. How do I handle an over excited/stressed out 6-month-old hunting line Labrador? Whenever I allow him to investigate (allow him to sniff the ground - like he wants to do all the [...]

Will Your Perfect Dog Training System Cause My Hunting Dogs to Lose Their Prey Drive?

QUESTION: I have hunting dogs and I'm wondering if your Nature-Based Discipline, Praise & Play Method style of training will make my dogs want to stay with me all of the time and not go hunting. I don't want them to lose their prey drive.   ANSWER: Briefly, the answer is no, your hunting dogs [...]

Is There a Word I Can Use When My Dog is About to Break a Command?

QUESTION: I was just wondering... Is there a "between" word to use when your dog is about to do something wrong? I was watching my dog’s body language and I knew he was about to get up. I was wanting to say something to warn him, to kind of remind him what he should be [...]

Can More Dominant Breeds Be Trained to Be Off-Leash Trustworthy?

In response to the following quote that was posted on one of my social media pages, someone asked the following question. You can read my reply below. Quote: "I yearn to see the day when off-leash training is an everyday reality among dog owners." - Don Sullivan, “The DogFather”   QUESTION: Even for breeds that [...]

What Do You Think About Incorporating the Use of a Clicker?

QUESTION: I have purchased your Perfect Dog system and was wondering about the use of a clicker in conjunction with your training techniques. I have heard that, for instance, you can click the clicker when the dog’s elbows hit the ground during a down command, to let him know what he’s doing is right.   [...]

My Dog Was Attacked & Now She’s Terrified of All Other Dogs

QUESTION: Hi Don. We bought your Perfect Dog training system for our Doxie/Beagle mix, Annie, a couple of years ago when she was just a puppy. Annie walks like a dream on leash and does well off leash. I need advice, though… Last summer, we were walking outside and Annie was on leash. With no [...]

My Dog Drops the Toy Too Far Away During Fetch. Any Retrieving Tips?

QUESTION: Hi Don. I love your Perfect Dog DVDs. We bought the whole system. I have a question, though. My standard poodle plays fetch with a Frisbee just like the videos, and she always drops the toy in front of me. But, when she's tired and done playing, instead of bringing it back she runs [...]

Does Don Sullivan’s Training Work on all Types of Dogs?

QUESTION: Hi, I have a Mountain Cur. He’s 3 months old. It will be my husband’s hunting dog and my companion. My question is, does your training work for every dog? I do want to have a well behaved, fun dog. Thank you!   ANSWER: Yes, absolutely, my Perfect Dog system works extremely well with [...]

My Dog Refuses to Get Up Out of the Down Command When I Release Him

QUESTION: My dog does the Down command really well. However, when I clap and say ok to release him, he sometimes refuses to get up. He just stays laying down even though I’ve told him he can get up. Should I give him a Come command when he does this? Is he getting his way, [...]

Temporary Tools For Long-Term Results

In this post I want to highlight some key points about my training tools. My Command Collar and my Freedom Training Lines set are integral components of my Perfect Dog system, however it’s important to keep their individual purposes in mind. Firstly, the three Freedom Training Lines (various lengths) are not meant to be long-term [...]

How to Train More Than One Dog At a Time

QUESTION: Don, I have 5 dogs: 4 months old, 3 years old, 2 x 4 years old, and a 10 year old. How do I start training them - one by one, or at same time?   ANSWER: Basically, you first lay the foundation of training with each of them individually and then you start [...]

My Puppy Is Only Six Weeks Old. Should I Wait?

QUESTION: I've recently come to own a 6-week-old puppy. Is that too young to incorporate your training? Should I wait a few more weeks? Also, I only have the large Command Collar because he's going to get big. Will that work?   ANSWER: You can begin the fullness of my Perfect Dog training when your [...]