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                                              Who's Agenda?    
                  The Lifestyle Obedience Training Method  

Who's the Boss? Alpha Dog? Leader of the Pack?
The Real question is . . . 

"Who's Agenda is the dog working with?" 

"Authority is established at the point of conflict,
otherwise it's just a trick!"


 The terminology may sound the same but when the training begins that's what sets one training method apart from another. 

Over the years I have heard well-meaning trainers say some things that just have not been thought through.
Using human reasoning when communicating with a dog.

See if you recognize some of these statements:


  • "To show you are the leader you must eat before your dog eats."
  • "You must go through a doorway before your dog."
  • "Your dog must not walk out ahead of you."
  • (what about those guide dogs, tracking dogs, and bird dogs?)
  • "Don't play tug-of-war, if you do make sure you are the one with the tug when the game ends."
  • One of my favorites:
  • "Roll your pup over on its back like the mother dog does until it submits."

Do you know how many scarred arms and aggressive puppies have been created with this last one?

Please, listen to me here: when a puppy rolls over it has already submitted in it's mind to the mother, the rolling over is just a visual outward expression of what has already happened in the pup's mind. I will say the mother will still give the rowdy pup a "what for" while it is on its back to drill the point in as to who is in control. But the mom or more dominate dog has convinced the younger one not to mess with it.

I have seen people that have tried this method get bit by those sharp little puppy teeth and when they pull their arms and hands away the puppy only learns it can back the owner off just by biting and snapping (creating a more aggressive puppy.)

Some trainers want to treat you like a dog and others want to treat your dog like a person.

 "How the questions of authority should be answered is by looking inside a true pack and see how the hierarchy is set up amongst the members."

Let's address the idea of eating your meal before your dog eats its meal. The reasoning is that in a pack the alpha dog eats first. So if you want to be alpha, do as alpha does. OK, get down on your hands and knees and fight for your position at the food bowl BECAUSE this is how it is done in a pack.

In the pack the members eat off the same kill but it is incremental depending on the member's ranking in the pack, starting with the alpha and moving down to the omega. Oh, the omega, have you heard of him? Just as much a stabilizer to the pack as the leader I might add. But that will be another conversation.

You eating first at the table and the dog having to wait to eat across the room on the floor is just not a practical comparison to how ranking is set up in a pack.

Now I will ask, if you took your plate and placed that juicy burger on the floor who would eat that burger first?  Now we are getting closer to the real picture.

Let me say this and let me say this loud.

"Authority is only established at the point of conflict.
"Whoever wins the conflict establishes the position of authority."

That’s how it is done in the dog world.
They don't have elections, they don't take tests, they don't create the perfect learning environment and hold a treat over Jr. head,
They muscle it out.
Not quite the human socially acceptable thing to do, but we're not talking about humans, now are we?

This would be a good place to bring up what I call "Human Hurdles"


“Our Human Hurdles"

These are what I consider to be one of the biggest problems for the human /dog relationship. They are counter-intuitive to how we see things. But if we do not look at training from the
 dogs point of view
we will become what I call a "career trainer" i.e. making training our dog a career instead of getting quick results as a dominant dog would get from a submissive one. Lets look at a few things we do that impede our communication.

Hurdle # 1

"Train with the Dog's Will . . . NOT against it!
Have you ever heard the statement  "A man convinced against his will is of the same opinion still!"  "Guess what? so is a dog."

I never treat a dog like he doesn't want to do the very thing he is trying to get away with, jumping, pulling,
stealing food, running through the doorway, ect. but I DO let the dog know there are consequences for choosing to do these things.

Training with the Dogs Will will result in a lesson with quicker understanding, plus longer lasting response."

Hurdle #2
Train the "small picture" not the "big picture". "What does that mean", you say? Glad you asked. OK lets look at the this scenario, your get your puppy home and you want to do everything just right. So your puppy messes on the floor and you let it know thats not the thing to do with a "No,no". You scoop the pup up and take it outside and say "go potty" or whatever and the pup looks at you and gives you the impression that it no longer has to go.

You take it inside it wanders down the hallway into the bedroom and proceeds to finish what it started, and you say "you dumb dog I just took you out". Here it is you are training for, inside/outside, while your puppy is learning, in front of you or behind your back.

If you correct your puppy for messing in front of you inside it wont want to mess in front of you outside the house. So what needs to be done? Give me a call and I'll tell you.
We do the same thing while teaching the all important "Come".


Hurdle # 3

"Don't be Lazy"
"There is always a lesson being taught . . . Sometimes to your advantage
and sometimes . . . To your disadvantage.

If you are going to give a command, jump that Hurdle #3 don't be " LAZY", REINFORCE IT!" or don't give the command. This is what I call an "empty command" a command with no power. Again reinforce what you say or Don't say it!

When I give a command and if my dog goes about his agenda I think of it this way, if a more dominate dog growls and the more submissive one continues doing what it was doing to get growled at , wont he get bit?
Of course it will! Dogs don't give empty commands. So why should we.

I have to tell you a story. I was in a store one day and a customer with his nicely groomed Standard Poodle was next to me in line. You could tell he was very proud of his dog. He proceeded to tell his dog to sit, "Sit, Sit, Sit, Sit" I couldn't take it any more I leaned over to the dog and said "He wants you to sit four times."
With that he jerks the dogs leash and makes the dog sit.

"If your not going to reinforce it don't say it!"


"I like to use "HIGH POINTS " of distraction so the everyday occurrence will seem like a piece of cake to handle"

A "High Point" is a time when you see your dogs energy rise like when you first arrive home from work or plan to take your dog for a walk. We don't all have time to take our dog roller blading to wear it out before we give it a command. Although exercise is very important.
 If your dog respects you as the authority figure it will put it's excitement on hold in order to obey you.
Your dog will be exposed
to many different distractions and worked in many different settings.
We will travel to the public park, feed store, main street, our private dog park, and any where else you may want your dog handled. Your dog will learn to respect an open door way in your home and car, for safety reasons an open door is not an invitation to go out!!





































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