Lab loses interest in fetch

dana.hanson writes to me:


I have a 3 year old rescue lab who I would consider very ball motivated. Because he has some dog aggression issues (which we’re working on, but that’s a whole other episode), for exercise I take him to the park to play fetch, rather than go on long walks because we live in a very dog-heavy area. Loose leash training is really helping with the aggression, but I want to mix his exercise up too. We go to an “island” of grass at the edge of the park where we can be in our own area and other dogs do not pass very nearby. So for the most part, it’s just us with none other than natural outdoor distractions. When we first got Jake, he would play fetch non-stop for over an hour — I think he would have played all day if we let him. However, lately he has begun to lose interest in the ball after 5 fetches or so. He will either not chase the ball at all and start wandering around sniffing, or he will chase the ball, drop it 10 yards away and start wandering around. Either way, the ball ends up 10 yards away. Since I have begun your training techniques with him, I intersperse fetch with 5 or so minutes of sit-stay or down-stay exercises, with the ball as a distraction and then the reward after 5 or so reps. This sparks his interest again, but it is short lived, and the ball ends up 10 yards away again. If a dog DOES happen to pass by (no closer than 20 yards), I have been putting him in a down-stay and correcting as soon as he perks up or lunges. When the dog is out of sight and Jake is calm again, I give the release command and throw the ball. Again, interest sparked, but short-lived and ball is 10 yards away. (This technique seems to be correcting the aggression though.)

So I find myself in a quandry. I don’t want to go get the ball for Jake and try to get him to fetch because (a) I want him to know that fetch is MY idea and this is what we’re doing right now, rather than my fetching the ball on his terms, and (b) I want him to get the exercise! At the same time, I cannot get his attention redirected to “get your ball” and bring it back to me after he has disengaged, so he gets no exercise unless I go get the ball and resume fetch (which doesn’t usually doesn’t work anyway). I’ve tried putting the ball away and ignoring him for a bit, but this doesn’t work either. And again, fetch needs to be MY idea and My game on MY time, not his.

SO, to make a very short question extremely long, how to I get him to go get his ball and bring it back to me after he has disengaged from the game? In short, how do I get him to play the game MY way and not his.

As background info, our set up during fetch is this: Jake wears a harness connected to a 50 foot rope, which is attached to a tree. This is insurance against his taking off after a dog. I stand near the rope and can grab the rope if my voice commands do not stop him in his tracks. (I’m no dummy — we’re not 100% on recall and I won’t risk it.) I do not want this rope to be attached to a collar, pinch or otherwise, because Jake often kicks the ball further than the 30 feet I throw it. If he kicks it too far, I don’t want the rope yanking his neck when he goes after it and hits the end of the rope. Along with the harness, he wears his pinch collar with a tab on it. This allows for any corrections necessary during training or dog encounters.

If you have any advice or can direct me to other posts, I would really appreciate it. Sorry for the long question, and thank you!



Hi again,

I just wanted to add that I have read the entire Secrets book as well as the “Becoming the Alpha Dog,” “Loose Leash Training,” and “Fixing Aggression Problems.” I just started using your techniques yesterday, and Jake is an entirely different dog. Today at the park I had him running right next to me — I was darting all over the place and he was right there the whole time! Even more amazing is that all kinds of dogs walked by our “island” and he didn’t even break stride!! 2 days ago, he would have started yelping and whining, reared up on his hind legs, and tried to take off after the dogs. THEN, after this leash session, I brought him to about 15 feet from the road where dogs were passing by, did a down-stay, and… NOTHING!! He just sat there!! I had to give him ONE correction when he started whining, but that was it. I can’t believe it. So THANKS!!

Still having the same issue with Jake leaving the ball 10 yards away though. Any help would be great.

Adam replies:

Hi, Dana:

Thanks for the kind words. Can you please post a picture of your dog?

As for the ball issue: If I’m understanding correctly, it sounds like you’re using the ball as a distraction (to tempt him)? I believe this may be killing his ball drive, and/or confusing him.

What I recommend is to never correct the dog (at this point) for chasing after the ball. Get creative and use other things as a distraction.

In addition, use the ball-on-a-string or the other “drive building” exercises I describe in the book, to increase his ball drive.

Remember: Drive works on a curve. Take the ball away BEFORE he loses interest, and tease him with it… then put it away. Even if he loses interest after four or five throws, then you should be putting it away after two throws– but not before you tease him with it and get him excited about it.

Then, the next time you bring it out, he’ll be just a little more excited for it, and a little more, and a little more… each day. Frustration builds drive.

– Adam.

Dana.hanson responds:

Thanks for the advice! I’ll work on it. Here’s a favorite picture of Jake. I would gush about how beautiful he is, but I’m sure you hear/see that all day! 🙂


Training your dog not to chase cars

Melissa writes to me:

Hi there! I am almost half way done with “Secrets of a Professional Dog Trainer” so pleased with it so far! I have 2 Border Collies. A 2yr old male, Jack and a 9 mo old female, Jill. We are from USA, rescued Jack and Jill in England and now live in Amman Jordan. Huge transition for them from the fields in England to the streets of Amman!!! Jack is transitioning well, Jill is having a bit of a harder time. We rescued her at 8 wks old. She was taken from her mom at 3 wks old but was with her littermates up until we rescued her. Since we have had her she has wanted to chase cars. We have come a long way with her, but on our walks I somehow feel if I had more of her attention I could probably get through to her. She is obsessed with cars when we are out and now cats as well there are millions here, everywhere! I am sure I will find more answers as I continue my reading, but just couldn’t wait to ask…any thoughts? Thanks! Mel

Adam replies:

Hi, Melissa:

Amman, Jordan… that’s pretty cool! Do you work for the State Department? What an exciting life!

Keep reading through the Secrets book. I can guarantee you’ll get a better understanding of how to get through to your dog’s mind, by doing so.

As for your specific issues, I have some video techniques that will apply, pretty closely:

Watch this one, first– for the attention issue. Attention is the FOUNDATION of all training. If you’re not paying complete attention to me, I can’t even begin to teach you, right?

Next, watch this video– which teaches the “Come on Command”.
I would use the cars as a really good way to “proof” her, once you’re in the proofing phase.

Next, watch the boundary training video. This gives you a visual guide as to how to issue the correction. Correct her for going after a cat, firmly. (You can also use the “Loose-Leash/Attention Getter” exercise:

Remember: With my system, we look to distractions as an OPPORTUNITY to work the dog around, because if you have found things that consistently trigger your dog’s behavior, then you can use that to build the dog’s reliability.

Keep us posted.
– Adam.


Melissa responds:

Hi, Adam!

It is really nice to be in direct contact with you. Let me say first of all that I have really enjoyed reading your book. I have gained such valuable information. I am using new training methods on my dogs and results are amazing. Jill is still a handful on our walks, as you say, I think my corrections are not motivational enough…I think with many first time prong collar users, there is that hesitation, of “I may hurt the dog”. I know I am wrong to think this way, and am quickly getting over it! I find after each time I use the collar, I am deleting yet another link. I think I finally have the right fit and size. Jill is about 16 kg and I am using a med on her, Jack is 26 kg and is using a large. Jack does not need much motivation by the way. It’s my Jilly girl that wants to be the protector out there in the jungle…I should mention that she will be spayed in a couple of weeks. We waited as rules in England have them wait til after their first season wich she is just coming out of. Also, I think I need to spend more time alone with her. By the way, my husband is in the hotel industry…this is why we get round…Thanks Adam! Will keep you posted.


Dog counter surfing and jumping up on the backs of people legs

Phyllis writes to me:

Hi Adam, I have read your book on dog obedience training twice and searched the forums but haven’t found a good answer to my questions. I have a 4 1/2 month old German Shorthair/Lab mix named BooBoo. She is an assertive but not really aggressive dog. She has already become dominant mostly to our 5 year old Shepherd mix. My questions are: 1) how do we keep her from counter surfing. We have tried the mousetraps on the counter but she wised up to those after just one snap. She simply ignored any “set up” food we place behind a mousetrap (even when we hid it in a folded paper towel) or if she can, she gets around the trap to get to the food. She has even moved the trap to get to the food before. She is not frightened by loud noises so I can’t use the loud pans trick. I have also tried putting a tab leash on her but she just chews on the end of it whenever she can. And it is hard to grab her tab when I am several feet away from her while she gets her paws up on the counter. By the time I get to her, she is already down. Should I be correcting her even after she has gotten down? One more thing, I have gotten her to stop jumping on me in front, but she’ll come up from behind and bounce off my the back of my legs and be gone before I can turn and correct her. Other than these problems, she is adorable, I must say! Thanks for any help. Phyllis

Adam replies:

Hi, Phyllis:

What you’re going to need to do with this dog is: Use the crate when you cannot supervise her, until she is 100%. When you set her up, correct her with the pinch collar and tab/leash. If she’s chewing the tab, this tells me that you’re not keeping a close enough eye on her. (Hint: To make it easier on your pocket book, use a harness snap and a piece short piece of rope you can buy from a hardware store, both for under $1).

Just to make sure you’re understanding correctly: Take the collar and tab off, when you put her in the crate.

In regard to correcting her after she’s gotten down: That’s where the bridging technique comes in. As soon as she does the behavior — even if you’re on the other side of the room– you need to yell, “No, no, no” as you run to her and administer the behavior. By saying “No,” right at the moment she does it, you’re creating a virtual snap shot in her mind, and by continuing to say “no, no, no” as you run to her, you’re forcing her to remember what she’s being corrected for. Studies I’ve read suggest you have at least 7 to 9 seconds after the behavior, as long as you’re using that bridging technique. So, yes; You should be correcting her after she’s jumped back down off the counter, as long as you’ve said, “No!”

In regard to the jumping while behind you: Same deal. Say, “No!” and then grab that tab or leash and administer your correction. If you’re using the pinch collar and leash correctly (loose-tight-loose) this behavior should be eliminated, very quickly. If not, then your correction isn’t firm enough.

Keep me posted,
– Adam.

Dealing with your dog’s prey obsession problems

Andersenm writes to me:

Hi Adam – Just joined and started on the book – I adopted from a rescue orginization a Border collie/Golden retriever mix of 15 months of age. he definitly needs work but has learned some commands while indoors – problem is his prey obsession, I have had to cover some windows and door windows because he has become totally obsessed with the squirrels outside. Since this is entering week four of our relationship I still use a leash on him in my 1.5 acre fenced yard. I realize I cannot rid him of this as it is natural but do have to temper it some. Anything that would help while I digest your book cover to cover would help. I did raise and train a border collie that we had for 15 years before he passed and do not remember having this much trouble with him.
Mike Andersen


Adam replies:

Hi, Mike:

Most likely, with this breed mix, he’s got a pretty soft temperament– which is a good thing– so it shouldn’t be too hard to correct this.

First: Make sure his exercise requirements are met. (This means: A lot of cardio).

Second: You’re correct in keeping the leash (or a long line, outside) on him… until he’s 100%. I would start with correcting the behavior in the house, using the tab (as described in the book). This is mostly an issue of making your corrections motivational, and then keeping him in the dog crate (in the house) or kennel (outside) when you’re not home. This allows us to make sure the dog is getting corrected CONSISTENTLY until he drops the behavior.

You’re actually quite lucky, because you can channel that prey drive into a ball or a toy, and use it as a motivator to get him to respond to commands extra-fast and with a positive attitude.

Read through the book. I think it’ll make a lot of things clear for you. If you still have questions, please post again and I’ll try to extrapolate on any issue that might not be clear.


Dog Seperation Anxiety on the Leash

Whiteshepherd wrote to me about dog separation anxiety:

I had a really embarrassing moment this afternoon. I and my 8 months old GSD live with my cousin. My cousin usually takes him out potty in the morning and feed him when I’m not home. My dog is house trained and stays in his crate during the day. he doesn’t bark when we’re not home.

This afternoon we took him out for a walk since it’s the first sunny afternoon after 2 raining days. I started teaching my cousin some basic concepts and handling skills I’d learned from Adam’s secret book. Things went pretty well with loose leash heeling, sit and down commands since my dog had previous exercises with these commands. Then here came the embarrassing moment. we soon found out that I could not walk away from my cousin and the dog. I could take my dog from him and went for a walk with no problem, but when my cousin took over the leash, and I walked a way, then the dog started barking and whining. I had prong collar on him and asked my cousin to correct him and to make him stop this unwanted behavior. the dog gave vocal response to the corrections, but didn’t stop whining. I asked my cousin to put him to a down position, the dog did follow the command but kept whining loudly. People in the park were looking at us and few guys came up and check if we were abusing the dog. and few people made those typical comments on how we should never use the prong collar on a dog, and blah blah… we decided not to draw too much attention and took the dog home.

So here I am, looking for the solutions. I saw my cousin giving him couple of pretty good correction and heard the vocal response from the dog as well. should we give him even harder correction or not? Really need to solve this problem ASAP.

whiteshepard adds:

I really need a solution for this. and this happened again. today my friends and their dog came over, and my dog went nutz cos I tried to take him away from my friends and their dog. no matter how hard I correct, he just kept barking, whining and pulling on leash (with a prong collar on). he sounded like i was trying to kill him.

Adam replies:

Hi, WhiteShepherd:

For this type of behavior (and especially for this breed) — I think you’re really going to get the best results by using the e-collar. I recommend this one:
(The 280 NCP)

What you’re going to want to do is: Work the dog with the e-collar, but without distractions, the first few times. Re-teach basic commands (I.E. acclimate to the e-collar) by synchronizing your leash correction with the e-stim). Demand perfect attention.

I’m not exactly sure why the e-collar works so well, for this type of behavior– but it does. Just make sure your commands are clear and the dog understands what you want.

Don’t just say, “No!” for the whining — make the dog (with the e-collar) hold a down-stay or a sit-stay. And focus on you.

When you start working around other dogs, start with the “attention getter” with the e-collar. Then progress to commands. Give a tap on the e-collar, every time the dog’s attention is not on you, and walk the opposite direction.

This will work, pretty much guaranteed. Just make sure the e-collar is fitted properly and the contact points are making contact.

You’re welcome to post a video on Youtube, once you get the collar, if you need more instruction, and I’ll watch it and critique. But I think you’ll be amazed at how well the e-collar works, as long as you’re 100% certain the dog understands what the e-stim is for.

Until you get the collar, don’t let her around other dogs, as you currently don’t have a way to give a meaningful correction.

– Adam.

Adam adds:

I should add: Once you’ve got the dog understanding the exercises with the e-collar, then transition to your cousin. He’ll initially have to work the dog at a slightly higher stim level, to get the dog’s attention, but after the first initial 5-10 minutes, he’ll be able to adjust it down.

– Adam.

Train Your Dog to Stop Licking

DancingFlame writes to me: “Hello, I have a pug/chihuahua mix and I would like to thank you for the solutions you’ve already given me. My dog was whining in her crate and having a hard time learning the down command. We bought her a comfy bed and began feeding her inside the crate, and now she actually enjoys napping in it and will go inside at bedtime without being prompted. We’ve also got a good start on the “down” command.

I’ve looked over your games to play section in order and would like to teach her to locate hidden items. I started with smelly salmon treats, and she was unable to find them. Do you have any recommendations of tricks or techniques that can help us to develop her sense of smell? I would love to work up to her bringing me my keys (when I lose them).

My husband has a question for you. Our dog will often lick his hands, face, and arms while he’s petting her. He doesn’t like it and says he feels like a jerky treat, but hasn’t corrected her yet, as he doesn’t want to discourage her from feeling confident in our pack. Should we train her not to do this, or is it normal behavior for her place in the pack?

Thank you in advance!”

Adam Replies Hi DancingFlame:

Hi, DancingFlame:

Thanks for the feedback.

The trick with teaching her how to find hidden objects is to start by getting her excited about the treat, and then let her see you hide the treat — but pretend like you’re really hiding it. Tell her, “Go find it!”

Do that a few times, and then hide it in pretty much the same place, but don’t let her see you put it there. (She’ll go back to the same place! LOL).

After a few times, hide it maybe a 1/2 foot, and then a foot from that same location.

The rinse and repeat in two more locations.

Then mix it up, so that she goes to check the old locations, too. At the same time, you can help her out by saying, “Check here,” and snapping your fingers at the spot.

As for the licking: It could be from a vitamin deficiency. You might talk with your vet about changing food. If it is behavioral, usually the easiest way to fix it is to just say, “No!” and pinch the tongue when she licks you. (This licking behavior isn’t submission, because the submissive behavior does not continue for more than a couple of seconds, when it’s that!)

If pinching the tongue doesn’t work, you can use the collar and tab to give a LIGHT correction, and then offer her a toy to chew on.

Keep me posted.




How To Train The Shy, Insecure or Fearful Dog

Shyness and fear behavior in dogs comes from insecurity.

Your dog’s insecurity can be caused by several factors:

  • A genetic disposition toward insecurity
  • Lack of early socialization
  • The owner not providing clear leadership
  • Traumatic past experiences

But regardless of the cause of your dog’s insecurity– believe it or not, the solution to fixing this type of problem behavior is fairly easy, using the right techniques and a little bit of patience. These are the five points that are crucial to understanding how we professional dog trainers cure the shy, insecure and fearful dog. Use these and you’ll see 80% of your dog’s insecure behavior vanish in less than two weeks, and in most cases completely disappear after three months:

1. As with any dog, the first step is to establish yourself as the pack leader. If you are not the pack leader, then your dog has no reason to trust you or listen to you. And if he doesn’t feel he can trust you, then he won’t ever learn to relax and be confident with his environment.

The way to establish yourself as the pack leader is two-fold: First, start using our “Nothing In Life Is Free” approach. (I go into more detail about this, earlier in the book). And second, start teaching your dog obedience exercises: Sit, down, come, heel, boundary & perimeter training and stay. Obedience exercises help teach your dog that you are the pack leader (after all… you’re making him do behaviors, not the other way around) It also teaches your dog to trust you.

2. Do not coddle your dog. Do not try to reassure your dog that, “everything is going to be okay.” Coddling your dog does not help. The dog perceives it as reassurance that he’s doing the right thing: Acting afraid! Instead, make a bid deal when he’s acting confident in a situation where he was formerly showing insecurity.

3. Make Your Dog “Work Through The Fear” Owners frequently think that because the dog is showing fear or insecurity, they need to stop making the dog do what they’re asking. The opposite is actually true: Dogs get over their fears by doing the behavior. Make your dog “do it.” Not with force or aggression, but rather with calm firmness and directness. When I work with an insecure dog that doesn’t want to climb up on a step, I adopt a, “Hey… it’s no big deal. Here’s what you do.” And bang! It’s over and done with, before they know it. They’re up on the step. Then I bring them down off the step and make them do it, again. The important take-away here is: I’m not giving the dog a choice. They’re going to do it, and then they’ll realize that whatever I’m asking them to do is really not so bad. You can’t reason with a dog. They have limited use of logic and reason. They learn through action. They get over their hang-ups that way. We probably do, too. We’re just too dense to realize it.

4. Repetition Builds Confidence. Make your dog “do it.” Then make your dog do it, again. And again. And then again, in a different environment. A hundred times. Two hundred times. Repetition builds confidence. Soon, you’ll see your dog realize this exercise is familiar. And familiarity builds confidence. It doesn’t matter what behavior you’re working on getting your dog to overcome: It can be sitting while people walk past. Or walking over a man hole. Or coming when called. Repetition builds confidence.

5.  … read the rest of this article in Adam’s “Secrets of a Professional Dog Trainer!” 


The Problem With Using ONLY Positive Dog Training Techniques

BETHANY asks: “I would like any advice you could give me regarding the use of positive training techniques. By this I mean training w/out choke chains, pinch collars or shock collars and without physical corrections of any kind.

I am not against these methods per se but I am not comfortable using them and do not think they would work well on my very sensitive rescue dog. Thanks for any advice! – Beth ”

Dear Bethany: The concept of Motivation is such that, once you understand it, it will work on any dog.

Motivation, as it applies to training, just means that– whatever you do– positive or negative– has to HAVE meaning. Now… to your question… When people talk about “Positive training techniques,” they’re usually talking about… as your question states… not using any corrections.

And the problem with that is:… Imagine somebody trying to teach you to drive from Los Angeles to St. Louis … but they ONLY tell you when you’re going in the right direction, and they NEVER tell you when you’re going in the wrong direction.

Either you’re going to get completely lost, or it’s going to take you a VERY, VERY LONG TIME to get to St. Louis. Of course… you might have a lot of fun taking a long, long time… but if you’re trying to get home on time for Christmas dinner… forgettaboutit!~ Plus, when you train exclusively with positive training techniques… you will never end up with a dog that is 100% reliable in a “street smart/around town” environment.

If you’re REALLY, REALLY good… the best you can hope for is 90%.

So why train with a handicap? Why take 2 years to train a dog something that you can do in 3 weeks? If the end result is a happy, working, reliable dog… ??? Just doesn’t make sense to me.

So what do I suggest?

I recommend using BOTH positive and negative motivation. The wise trainer will always adapt to the dog and respond with more or less positive or negative motivation in response to what the dog is giving him.


How Do I Make My New Dog Get Along With The Other Dogs In My House?

In general… you can’t really control how dogs interact with each other when you’re not around.

Probably, if your new dog isn’t being outright aggressive with the other dogs in your house, once she starts spending more time with these dogs, she’ll start to accept them and either:

1.) Start interacting and playing with them, or…

2.) Just simply ignore them. If she does show outright aggressive behavior, you can correct her for that behavior.

1.) Keep a leash (even if it’s just a one foot, piece of rope on a harness snap…. what we trainers call a “tab”) and a training collar on the dog.

2.) Just as she starts to bark, say “No” and give a pop (not a pull, but rather a pop and release) on the rope attached to the collar.

If it doesn’t even break the dog’s focus, it means that your correction isn’t motivational. You want the dog to stop barking and look at you. If she fold her ears back slightly, this is submission, and it means she is submitting to you, the Alpha.

Obviously, if she rolls over on her back, or shows extreme submissiveness, then you’re being too motivational. But on the other hand, you don’t want to under correct, either. That’s like a cop giving a $2 ticket for speeding, when your last name is Trump, and your first name is Donald. It’s not going to MOTIVATE you to stop speeding.

The type of training collar you choose can help with the motivation of the correction as well, but in general, a sharp “pop” and release (like you’re snapping a belt, or hitting a ping pong) should work well enough. “Pop!” on the leash. And then, as long as you are around, (and as long as she respects you as her “Alpha”… she’ll be cool and:

1.) Start eventually interacting with the other dogs

2.) Simply ignore them. When you’re not around, all bets are off. I have a Pit Bull/Rhodesian mix right now that I got from the pound about 3 months ago. He was so dog aggressive when I got him, that when I’d put him in the back of the truck, and he’d see a dog walk by outside…. he’d go so ballistic that the whole back of the truck would shake. I started correcting this behavior.

Soon, he learned that he could be around other dogs, and everything would be cool. Soon after that, he learned he could start playing with other dogs. And right now he’s out in my enclosed commercial area, rolling around with my parent’s Rottweiler. Oh yeah… just thought I’d mention that he’s about two years old. Long story short, it usually takes about three weeks to aclimate. But again, I don’t know your dog, and I’m just giving you rough, general advice. Every dog is different.


How Do I Correct Negative Or Unwanted Dog Behavior?

The fastest and most humane way to get your dog to stop any unwanted behavior is to attach a motivational NEGATIVE association to that behavior.

Your dog is no dummy, and he will not continue to do a behavior which does not feel good. In fact, if the negative association is motivational, he’ll drop that behavior quicker than you can imagine.

The safest way to give your dog a motivational correction is to replicate the way the mother dog will correct the puppies, or the way the Alpha dog will correct the subordinate dogs, and this is by giving a NIP on the neck. Now, you can go ahead and get hair in your teeth… or you can use a pinch collar, which replicates the Alpha dog’s bite.

For most dogs– with a few exceptions for the toy breeds– this will be the best collar to use.The pinch collar is actually the safest collar for training if you use it properly because it does not put stress on the dog’s trachea like the choke chain or slip collar does. Also, it will not irritate the hair or the skin on the dog’s neck, like many of the other types of training collars do. Plus, it has a safety ring at the bottom so that you cannot accidentally choke the dog out, like you can with the other collars. And the most important reason is that it’s like driving with power steering. It’s always much better to give ONE motivational correction, than 1000 nagging corrections.

Here are some tips for how to give a motivational correction:

1.) Add or subtract links from the pinch collar so that there’s only enough room to slide approximately one finger space between the prong and he skin of the dog’s neck. This will also mean that, when you put the collar on the dog, you’ll need to break apart one of the links in the middle and put it on like you would a necklace. If you’re sliding the pinch collar over the dog’s head, then the fitting is too loose.

2.) If you were a canine rather than a human, you would always have your mouth to give the dog a bite on the neck. So to replicate this form of being able to consistently give a correction, always let the dog wear the pinch collar any time you’re with him. Only take it off if you leave him unsupervised or confined… or at night while you’re asleep since you won’t be giving any corrections. Remember, you don’t want the dog to become “collar smart.”

3.) Leave a tab attached to the pinch collar while you’re around the house. It is impossible to just pull on the chain part of the pinch collar to give a correction. You must get slack. And to do this, you must have a leash or tab (short leash) on the dog when he does something wrong.

4.) Keeping slack in the line means that the harness snap of the tab or leash is hanging straight down. When you give a correction, you should “Pop” on the leash, so that the leash goes from SLACK-TO-TIGHT-TO-SLACK again… all in about 1/8 of a second. The leash should never remain tight. No dog ever bites another dog on the neck to give a correction and keeps his mouth clinched tight. It’s always a nip… and this is what your correction should replicate.

5.) After you correct the dog, immediately tempt him to do the unwanted behavior again. Offer him the choice: If he does the behavior again, then most likely your first correction wasn’t motivational. Try correcting harder. If he refuses to do the behavior, then praise him since he’s just made the RIGHT decision.

6.) Never praise your dog immediately after you correct him. If you do this, you’re confusing him. Many people think, “But he stopped the behavior?” No. YOU made him stop the behavior. HE did not choose to do it on his own. After you orrect him… then give him the choice to do it again. If he THEN chooses not to do the behavior, THAT IS when you praise him.Remember, there are three keys to fixing pretty much any problem behavior: timing, consistency, and motivation.