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Trapped and frustrated

Your dog is always learning, whether you intend to be teaching or not.

Practice makes permanent. So, what is your dog practicing today? Lunging, barking nonsense is typically a learned behavior. So, how are dogs learning to move forward and to be adrenalized over a stimulant in the environment? What are we practicing with our dogs to develop this skill? Does your dog play ball? Is chasing a ball your dog's form of regular exercise? Think about this... If you are teaching your dog to run toward a stimulant, like a ball, then why wouldn't your dog behave in a similar fashion with other dogs, cars, squirrels, skateboarders, or bicyclists [other stimulants in the environment]? Your dog is behaving EXACTLY as you've practiced every day in the back yard. However, what happens when your dog is TRAPPED on a leash, inside a car, behind a fence, inside the house... MAJOR FRUSTRATION! What behaviors do you practice together every day? Are those activities benefitting your agenda? Your goals? Or are those forward, stimulated, and adrenalized behaviors the exact opposite of what you truly desire...? If your role in your dog's life is to be excited, and to create excitement, then how can you help your dog when your dog is excited?

  • Are you just a part of what represents excitement?

Tip: If your dog cannot differentiate between appropriate behavior when seeing a ball and when seeing a dog (or any other stimulant), quit playing ball, for now. Playing ball (encouraging forward, stimulated, adrenalized behavior) can actually be counterproductive to your goals of having a calm, content, and social dog. This change in routine will not be the answer to all of your difficulties, but it is a piece of the puzzle, and it is one easy change to make, starting today. If your dog is already calm and cool... go for it... play ball 😊 All for now, Kate

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