How To Socialize Your New Puppy To The Outside World – Puppy Training Diary Episode #3

Adam talks about how to socialize your new puppy to the outside world. In this video, he’s taking “Gidget” — his Belgian Malinois puppy for a ride in a shopping cart at his local big box pet store. Note: There is always a risk of parvo, before your pup has had all four rounds of shots. You’ll have to way the risks vs. the rewards. Some vets recommend not letting the puppy leave the house before four months of age, and I’m not in a position to say this is bad advice. You’ll have to make your own call.

Puppy Training Diary- Meet Adam’s New Belgian Malinois Puppy

This is the first episode of The Puppy Training Diary… where we’ve adopted Gidget– an 8 week old Belgian Malinois puppy, and we’re going to document every step of development, from puppy to adulthood using the same techniques I write about in my book– Secrets of a Professional Dog Trainer– which you can download and start reading almost immediately, at

The Belgian Malinois is one of the most high drive, high energy dogs you’ll find. And although there are breeds that would fit better with my … mostly sedentary lifestyle… I adopted this breed for three primary reasons:

1. I wanted to demonstrate that my techniques work well with even the most difficult dog breeds. This breed was not intended to be a pet, they are bred to be working dogs. But by joining me on this journey– you’ll learn how a difficult breed can still make a fanastic companion animal, if you’re dedicated to learning the right techniques and giving your dog the mental and physical outlets he needs.

2. I wanted a breed of dog I could use for practically any dog-related activity or dog sport. The Belgian Malinois excels at pretty much everything it does.

3. I believe that this dog breed is put together the way a dog should be, as far as size, coat, structure and atheleticism are concerned.

Misunderstandings About Dominance In Dogs

Adam goes on a rant about common misunderstandings about dominance in dogs and how some prominent dog trainers are espousing views on dominant dog training without having a deep enough understanding about the nature of relationship-based training as it relates to dominance.

From the lecture:

Dominance In Dogs

dominance in dogs
Dominance in dogs
free mini-lecture below

Today we’re going to be talking about dominant dogs. Specifically, we were listening to a lecture given by a fairly prominent dog trainer in the sport dog community, who, I have a lot of respect for. I haven’t met him. But apparently he is a very good sport dog trainer.

But he gave a lecture on dominant dogs and aggression and I have some issues that I completely disagree with and thought I would share them with you, today.

Starting out: This dog trainer mentions in his lecture he mentions that some dogs are extremely pain sensitive and– in the process of being asked to do something– they show aggression. But… it’s not that they’re dominant. This is just a super pain sensitive response, like: Some dogs that if you step on their foot, they’ll bite you. That’s not dominance, that’s pain sensitivity.

Totally reactive.

And he goes on to say that you can correct them all you want for that but you’re not going to make them stop biting.

Not Dominance In Dogs But Rather Reactivity? Oh Really?

Folks, this is plainly, flatly, completely… not true.  I’ve been working with dogs for over 20 years now.  You can fix this type of behavior.  There are many dogs that are reactive in the sense that if you step on their foot… they will try to bite you, because: They see themselves as being dominant to you.

Listen to the full audio of this program– a free (five minute) audio mini lecture about dominance in dogs–  below:

Listen to my my free (five minute) audio mini lecture about dominance in dogs by clicking on the play button on the youtube video, above.

Why A Balanced Approach To Obedience Training Your Dog Is Best

Here’s an example of why a balanced approach to dog training is the best way to go: Because it allows you to use the tool that best fits both your dog’s temperament and the behavior you’re trying to teach.

In this video, I’m working on three issues:
1. Getting the dog to come in tighter, for the sit-front.
2. Once he shows me that he’s starting to understand that he should come in tighter– then I start getting a little more demanding by making him line up straighter.
3. Tightening up the heel position, which I felt he was too loose in his positioning.

To discuss more about this video, join us on our discussion forum.

Attention Training A Dog Around Distractions Part II

Adam demonstrates attention training around distractions — with a hyper boxer puppy as the distraction.
A couple of points about this video you wouldn’t know, just by watching it:

– The Golden Retriever was a dog we rescued from a veterinarian in Bogota, Colombia. He was so dog aggressive around other dogs (as well as pigeons!) that she couldn’t handle him. She couldn’t even take him for a walk!

– The boxer puppy is a dog we have never met before. The Golden Retriever is a bit nervous about the other dog– a stranger– being so close to him. This is an insecurity that will go away, as we do more repetition around similar types of distractions.

Our approach to dog training emphasizes actively seeking out and working your dog around distractions.

Attention Training A Dog Around Distractions (Part 1 of 2)

Adam explains attention training a dog around distractions (demonstration in part ii).  Attention training is the foundation for all of your dog’s training, both for obedience and for problem solving.  Without first getting and keeping your dog’s attention, you’re just talking to a wall.  So, in order to make progress with almost any behavior we need to first get at least 51% of your dog’s attention on you rather than anything else he may be trying to focus on.

Attention Training A Dog Builds Trust And Leadership

attention training a dogI use an exercise called the “Attention Getter”.  It teaches the dog that he must pay attention to you because you are unpredictable, and if he doesn’t watch you, you may suddenly take off running in the opposite direction and he’ll be left at the end of the leash.  And that doesn’t feel good to the dog, whereas staying next to you wins him all of the love and praise in the world.  Your dog isn’t stupid, and he’ll quickly learn to choose between the two outcomes:  Feels great or feels uncomfortable (hitting the end of the leash when you’re no longer standing around like a tree in a predictable manner.

Soon, your dog will learn that the same lesson (outcome) applies to the world, even if you’re around distractions, such as other dogs, cats, kids, etc… He also learns that as long as he’s paying attention to you… nothing bad happens to him.  This is part of the social contract between you and your dog: Your dog pays attention to you and in exchange you do not allow other dogs or kids or anything that might threaten him get in a position where they can hurt him.  You do this by being a good, responsible dog owner.  There are a lot of dangerous things out there in the world, and the more you dog learns that you will keep him safe, the more he’ll trust you and you will build leadership.  With that leadership position, you’ll now be in a position to tell him to “do this” or “don’t do that” and your dog will respect you and respond to you.

Attention Training A Dog Around Distractions

After your dog understands the exercise, it’s time to introduce more and more distractions. This is where my approach to dog training differs from many others: I actively seek out things that might distract my dog, because that’s how you proof a dog to work around all type of environments and scenarios.  In the video below I talk more about the theory behind attention training a dog  (and in part II of attention training a dog you’ll see me actually attention training a dog around sitractions)

In sum, step one is to teach the dog the exercise in a low distraction environment.  Step two is to practice in a variety of different place while step 3 is to proof the dog around as many types of distractions as you can find.  Attention training a dog should be the first exercise you teach any dog four months of age or older.