My dog Luna doesn’t really have any particular behavioral issues. She was pulling on her leash, but your system fixed that in about 20 minutes. So, my question is this: Do you have a specific schedule you recommend for dogs that are not causing problems? What would you consider the most important commands that a dog should know i.e. the commands that I should teach my dog first?
Great to hear about the pulling issue being completely fixed in 20 minutes. Awesome! This is the way it should be when people fully apply the knowledge in my Perfect Dog system, so well done.
To answer your question, even if a dog is not exhibiting any serious problem behaviors (although, please see my comments below about this – you might be surprised!), I still recommend following the training plan that’s detailed in my Quick Start Guide. (Note to readers: My “essential reading” Quick Start Guide comes with all complete Perfect Dog systems.) The guide helps you to know where to start, what process to follow to build the dog’s skill level and respect for your authority, and it also highlights the key things to watch out for.
My Quick Start Guide really is a powerful resource for “wrapping your head around everything” before beginning the physical work with your dog. It’s not like some manuals that come with certain products whereby you can pretty much guess what’s written inside. My training guide is thorough and enlightening, and it truly is essential reading in order to properly prepare yourself for the exciting – and possibly challenging – road ahead of you.
When you have a solid plan in mind before beginning the training, you’ll exude confidence, you’ll minimize the possibility of mistakes on your part, and you’ll ultimately maximize the training results. Starting with the foundational commands is critical to gaining control over your dog’s will so he’ll begin to learn to defer to you as his leader. The “Down” command is definitely the most important of all the foundational commands in terms of establishing respect, however you don’t want to jump into this without having done some initial work first. You’ll find that your dog responds much quicker and smoother to the “Down” command once you’ve first addressed leash pulling at least. All this is discussed under “Critical Steps to Follow” on page #11 of my guide.
Now, when a dog does have behavioral problems that need addressing right away (e.g. jumping up, barking, etc.), these can be dealt with in conjunction with following the same training plan. That is, you stop the particular training lesson you’re working on at the time, correct the problem behavior immediately as per my DVD instruction, and then continue the lesson. (If you need to stop a number of times then that’s okay. Correcting problem behaviors as soon as they arise is always the priority.)
I know your dog doesn’t have any particular issues right now, but you never know what could “emerge” once you begin the training. Some dogs are very good at hiding their true colors. With this kind of dog, the fullness of what’s inside only seems to surface once the dog is seriously challenged for the first time in its life. As soon as the dog begins to feel threatened in terms of its self-perceived leadership position in the “home pack” hierarchy, the dog will act out in defiance. This acting out could involve one or more of a number of unacceptable behaviors. If this happens, rest assured you’re not creating anything new in your dog. You’re simply exposing the fullness of your dog’s existing dominant character, and this is a very good thing because now it can be properly dealt with. Now you know what your dog is truly capable of, you can begin to rehabilitate him away from independence and toward obedience. A dog without serious behavioral issues is not necessarily a submissive, “follower” type dog. He may well be a dominant-minded dog that appears to be obedient simply because he’s happy knowing he’s the boss around the place.
I’m not saying you’re going to experience this with your dog for sure. You may well have a relatively placid, compliant dog (and I hope you do!). Nevertheless, it’s good to be open-minded and prepared.
Also keep in mind my advice that watching my Perfect Dog DVDs twice through (at least) is extremely helpful. They’re jammed-packed with important information and demonstrations, and correct application of the training techniques does directly correlate with training success. So, it’s worth taking a few extra days – or even a week or two if necessary – to digest everything and thoroughly prepare yourself versus jumping in right away. If you’re too hot off the mark, you’ll make mistakes and limit the results.
Having said all of this, so far you seem to be off to a great start, so perhaps you’ve done the above already. If so, keep up the great work and I look forward to hearing about your future success!
– Don Sullivan, “The DogFather”
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