K9 BEHAVIOR CENTER
Name of the dog(s): AXEL / MARLEY NO. OF VISITS TO DATE: 1
– Make sure your daughter does not lean over Axel to kiss dad and goes around to the other side of the couch. If Axel growls or snaps, put him in time-out in the closet for two minutes, then let him out and totally ignore him for at least 10 minutes. After that, act like normal and move on
– Allow Axel and Marley to play and mouth each other, but do not let it be at Marley’s expense or get to where it stresses her. Gently but firmly make Axel stop and follow through to make sure he does. Allow for a cooling down period of at least five-ten minutes before letting them play again if he is getting too rough
– Control the food. Put their bowls on the counter for them to see and fill them with food, then put them down for them to eat. If they do not finish, pick up the bowl and put it aside for the next feeding
– Control the door. Always make both dogs wait at least five feet back from the door before going outside and when coming back inside. When they sit and have settled into a stay, say “OK Come!” and let them come out
– Take 10 minutes three to four times a day for basic command training (sit, stay, come, etc.) with both dogs, using treats or kibble (dog food) as a reward
– Remember to always praise and say, “good boy, good girl!”, or “good job!”, and pet them, rub their ears, pat them firmly on the shoulders, chest and butt above the tail whenever either dog does something you ask. This tells them that behavior is what you wanted them to do and pleases them. THIS IS EXTREMELY IMPORTANT. It builds a bond of respect between you and the dogs and makes them want to please you in order to get more praise
– Get a whistle and an air horn. Use the whistle to get Axel’s attention when he gets too rough mouthing or playing with Marley. Use the air horn to get his attention and the “Here!” command, with the horn bone as a reward when Axel recalls outside. Keep the horn away from him otherwise, in order to increase it’s value to him.
The bottom line is that Axel needs to realize that you are in charge, not him. This is done by firm, calm leadership and following through any time you ask him to do something to make sure he complies and praise or rewards for complying.
Please don’t hesitate to call, email or text me with any questions or concerns, and please schedule a follow-up whenever needed. I look forward to seeing you guys again soon.