Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Training Isn't Only About The Dog

As a canine behavior trainer I tend in incorporate other disciplines into my training of dogs. The ability to communicate with dogs is just as important to me as the ability to communicate with humans. The quality of my relationships and interactions with my family and friends, awareness about myself and the ways I relate to not only the humans in my life, but also those that wear fur, feathers, scales or fins, are all part of my training philosophy.

Over the years I've been a parent to dogs, cats, birds, fish, tarantulas, rabbits, crabs, snakes, lizards, gerbils and hamsters. My daughter even brought a huge toad home one day and asked if she could keep it. Every species of animal on this planet deserves our respect, and in return they can teach us about life and how we live it. When training your dog, it is important to understand that in most cases, the problems you may be experiencing with your dog are a reflection of things you have not yet confronted about yourself and possibly your family relationships.

Before you can change your dog's behavior, you have to change your own behavior. You need to learn new things and a new language - the language of energy, body postures and intention. Training a dog is about communication, awareness, education and relationship building. Training should be flexible, fun, fair, and forgiving, like a good relationship. In developing a relationship with a dog, we can better understand ourselves and our other relationships.

I would like to encourage you to look at dog training and yourself through a wider lens, one that includes developing skills that will assist you in every part of your life. I don't just want to help you train your dog, I want to help you change the way you think about yourself in respect to training and your relationship with your dog. Training is about common sense and team effort - the team of you and your dog.

I encourage you to be imaginative, think outside the box and find what works between you and your dog. Have fun, allow your dog to have fun. Giggle and laugh and recall the days when you were a child rolling around on the grass. Play, laugh, smile and learn something new every day. For your efforts, you will receive years of loyalty, love, and friendship.

Allow your dog to teach you how to live in the now. Dogs wake up everyday as though it was the first day of their life. It's always a brand new moment for them. Learn from this. The most important time for you and your dog is now. Learn from the past, plan for the future, but focus your positive energy in the now.

Education and training is a life-long experience. Enjoy the journey. Train smart, not hard. Use whatever resources you can find to integrate training into your everyday lifestyle. And most of all - relax !!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

A tired puppy is a GOOD puppy

Exercise is one of the first and foremost important activities that you must share with your dog. Taking your dog for a walk puts you in the leadership role. When you are exercising with your dog outside the house, your dog has to pay attention to you and read your verbal or physical commands so the both of you can exercise as a unit. Having your dog concentrating on you and at the task at hand certainly has obedience training benefits, and it keeps your dog’s mind sharp and engaged. Second, it helps to expend your dog’s energy so it does not need to find other means to release its pent up energy by herding family members, being aggressive, or chewing up your couch. Third, it keeps your pet healthy, happy, physically and mentally stimulated.

But how much walking does a dog need? A new puppy should be walked for short distances a number of times a day. If you can walk your puppy for twenty minutes, three times a day, you will be doing great. The older your dog gets, however, the more your dog needs to be walked.

Forced exercise (running, jogging, conditioning) should be left until after 18 months of age and preliminary hip and elbow xrays, but your puppy needs plenty of time to play and be active. Fresh air and outdoor fun is very important for a young growing puppy. Dogs are a lot like children, especially young dogs, and they need stimulation. This is why it is so vital that you take your dog for a walk a good amount of time during the day. A walk is a way for him to expend energy, helping him to remain calm in the time that you have to spend apart from him.

An adult dog in good health can easily walk for an hour when the weather is favorable. You do need, however, to watch out for older dogs and dogs that have conditions like arthritis. If your dog seems to be having a difficult time walking, ask your physician to check him and ask how long his walks should be. It can be difficult, sometimes, to get your dog walks into your schedule, but it is vital that you try your best to do so on a daily basis. If you can't walk, then try to throw the ball for them to chase as much as you can.

How much exercise is adequate for your dog? That is indeed a difficult question to answer since there are so many breeds of dogs with different physical needs. As a general rule of thumb, larger breeds require more exercise than smaller breeds, although smaller breeds also require exercise outside the house for the same reasons as was previously discussed. The larger the breed or the higher the energy level of the dog, the more exercise it needs. Start with 40 minutes of walking/jogging a day and add more exercise time as your dog requires. After a good bout of exercise your dog should come home and be happy to curl up on the floor and get some rest.

Most people think that having a large backyard for any breed dog is enough exercise. If I gave you a room full of exercise equipment would you use it daily til you are sweating and tired? Most people would not. Most dogs won't either. Panting in a dog is not generally about being tired from exercise, it's mostly about being hot and occassionally about being stressed.

The last time I moved from one house to another, I had to put the dogs outside for four days while we painted and cleaned and did minor repairs, etc. Because they are all under 2, they managed to keep themselves amused and exercised playing with each other, but mostly, dogs just laze around outside. They lay in the sun, lay in the shade, sniff for squirrels, bark at a passing neighbor or cat and every once in a while, a dog may get a burst of energy and race around the yard. The racing around doesn't last very long and is your dog's way of saying, "I know I need some exercise, but this is boring". There are some dogs that never stop moving when they are outside (and sometimes inside), but that isn't the dog getting exercised, it's an indication that there are other problems.

To exercise your dog is to address one of his most fundamental needs and is an undertaking that should be viewed as mandatory. For owners having difficulty making a commitment to exercise with their dog, think about this: Studies have shown that people who walk and exercise with their dogs are generally happier and healthier and live longer.

Studies done is the 70's and again in the 90's found that less then 3% of pet dogs get the amount of exercise they need, often resting for more then 18 hours a day. As part of these studies, the participating human's were asked if their dog had behavior problems and how serious those problems were. The results showed that the more a dog rested, the more problems he had and the severity of the problems got worse the less exercise the dog got.

The inportance of a dog's need for exercise cannot be overstated. Exercise is a key part of a balanced approach to managing canine behavior and ensuring a dog's well-being. I encourage all dog owners to do waht it takes insure their dog has sufficient exercise daily. Pent-up energy has to be vented or it will manifest in destructive and unacceptable ways. There is a long list of behavior problems caused or compounded by a lack of exercise. Aggression, barking, compulsions, obscessions and phobias, etc. Underexercised dogs are likely to be more moody, aggressive and fearful. These are problems about which I am often consulted, and exercise is an important aspect of treatment.

In conjunction with the studies done on exercise was a study done on what motivates a pet dog to move around. In 80% of the participants, the dogs did best when the owner was present. The owner didn't actually have to do anything, just his presence got the dog moving. Dogs look to their owners for leadership. Naturally, dogs don’t just decide to run off to exercise on their own, unless they have decided to leave the pack for some reason. Because the pack keeps alive by functioning as a unit, it is vital that dogs don’t decide to run off on their own somewhere else. A dog that does that would certainly be what we humans call “misbehaving”.

The responsibility to implement a workout regime for our animals lies on our shoulders as owners. Owners must undertake this leadership role. If there is no leadership in the house or the life of your dog, your dog’s natural instinct is to assume its own leadership, which results in your dog running amok in the house and disobeying you because you are no longer its leader. Dogs are not equipped with the instincts to operate in the human built world. Trying to be the leader results in anxiety, obscessions, phobias, aggression and fear.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Awareness Training

Dogs live in the present moment. They interpret their reality according to the information given them, and their reactions are based on their understanding of what will keep them alive and safe. They do not plan for the future, and although their bodies can store memories of past experiences, particularly bad ones, that memory bank can often be overridden through good experiences.

Normal approaches used to establish trust and communication in a relationship with a dog are eye contact, verbal priase, caresses, and food for rewards.

Your attitudes and beliefs are energies that you project into everything you create in your life and into those things you attract to you. When you project feat or doubt, you attract similar energy. When you project an attitude of calm and energy that is positive, you attract more of that energy. Worry, fear, and doubts create tension, stress, and the feeling of being "down". The energy of those emotions can affect the people around you, and it can affect your dog. Because dogs are so sensitive, they can eaily perceive and respond to these contrasting states, and they will u sually reflect them right back to you. Energy flows both ways.

Humans have the ability to create iwth their energy. We act on our thoughts and feelings by using the power of our will, which is what it means to be purposeful, or to have intention. We also make choices amoung those things tht we want to manifest. Some we accomplish with our hands, like the creation of a garden; some we create with our minds, like the solution to a math problem; and some we create with our emotions, like nurturing a child to develop confidence by giving her lots of love. Some things are never actualized in the physical, but fade away because there is not sufficient energy to bring them forth. On the other hand, simply maintaining a high level of purpose and a clear image in your mind of the objecf of your desire can bring that object into manifestation.

"Behind the word is the thought; behind the thought in intent; and within the intent lies power"

Your intention is your creative power. The relationship between your thought and your feelings is the essential dynamic in each creative act. By being objective, you are attempting to free your thoughts from the emotional energy of your feelings. If, on the other hand, you are subjective, you are allowing your feelings to be the guilding principle. Emotional energy is the most influential energy of all, which is why, if it is not controlled with purpose, it ends up controlling you.

When you work with a dog, purposefully create a consistent and powerful positive energy in order to attract a positive response from him. Project your intent, create the space and possibility for change to occur. Working with energy is not about controlling others, it is about maintaining an energy to attract additional energy of a similar vibration, in order to create something new.

Pay attention to what you are expecting, because your expectations are what you are attracting. Thought sets energy into motion. All words that we speak are a manifestation of our thoughts, which in turn, set energy flowing in a certain direction. The vocabulary you use with your dog represent your beliefs, and if you look objectively at those beliefs, you will see the kind of energy that you are attracting.

Although you can consciously choose how you will let things affect you, it is important to realize that dogs cannot. The same openness that dogs bring to being unconditionally loving and forgiving also means that they absorb whatever we send in their direction. This is why it is critical that you make every possible effort to be aware of how your energy affects those who are naturally vulnerable.

If family members say "NO! Bad dog! Look what you've done again! Don't jump! Don't chew! Don't steal food off the table!", and so forth, evertually everything that is said about the dog becomes an affirmation. You convince yourself that you have a horrible dog and that you need to get rid of it and get a new one.

Create a clear thought of your intention. I fyou want to train your dog to sit, you will want to clrify all of the things you and your dog are going to do to bring this behvior about. You will do this through visualization. See your dog in front of you, listening to you and responding correctly to your desire that she sit. Avoid blocking your intention by creating doubts or lack of understanding of the steps involved. Increase the level of positive emotional energy around your visualized intent, which will provide impetus and uspport for both you and your dog.

Visualization help you claify what you are going to ask of your dog. If you can imagine what you need yourself to look and sound like in order to communicate effectively, and if you can imagine how you want your dog to respond, you will create the kind of energy that will support your training. When you consciously visualze your expectations to your dog, he can read your energy and your body language even better then when you give only a verbal direction or pull on his body for a response.

Dogs are attuned to energy all the time, and I often observe some very sophisticated readings when the dogs are outside playing in the three fenced acres behind my house.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

The Cost of Training

The cost of owning a dog is about more than just the expense of food.The most major costs involved in raising a dog are training and the vet. Here are the typical costs of training your dog. Vet care costs will depend on your dog and if he/she has health problems or develops them. Though most dogs will only go to obedience school in their first year or two, training is something that should be ongoing throughout your dog's life. Whether you are buying books and DVDs for at-home training, or you enroll your dog in obedience classes, budget at least $25-300 per year for training needs.

You must also be aware that there are two different types of training that you and your dog might need.

Obedience Training refers to the teaching of verbal commands and hand signals to the dog. The dog learns that a certain sound means he has to respond in a certain way. Obedience commands include Heeling, sit stay, down stay, stand for exam, drop in motion, figure 8, recall, finish, move it in, back up, and so forth. Obedience training will make the dog respectful of the owner, but it won't cure behavioral problems or show the dog how to live in a human world.

Behavior Training is classified as "changing the daily unwanted behavior of the dog." These behaviors routinely occur in the home, or anywhere the dog is most comfortable, and stem from the lack of knowledge of how to communicate effectively with a dog. A behaviorist deals with the underlying behavioral issues that a dog is experiencing by first identifying the cause of these issues and then working through them on a primal level.

Typical costs:

  • Group classes at a local community center, dog daycare or pet store usually cost from $40 to $125 or more for four to eight weekly one-hour sessions. Puppy classes usually cost less than adult dog classes or classes specifically geared toward dogs with behavior issues.
  • Private classes with a trainer, which could be at the client's home or at the trainer's place of business, usually cost from $30 to $100 per hour-long session -- so about $240 to $600 for six sessions.
  • Dog obedience boarding schools usually cost from $950 to $2,500 or more for two to four weeks of board-and-train, where the dog lives at the trainer's home or at a boarding kennel and receives hours of one-on-one attention daily.

Additional costs:

  • A trainer might require the purchase of training aids, such as dog treats, a clicker -- a small noisemaker to get the dog's attention -- a long nylon lead and a short leash, usually for less than $50 total.
  • A dog with a serious behavior problem -- such as aggression -- could be evaluated by a veterinary behaviorist. Veterinary behaviorists usually charge $135 or more per hour, and a typical consultation runs about three hours for a total of $400 or more. This is generally just a consultation, you would need to spend more to actually fix the problems.

  • Behavior consultants will also do an evaluation for dogs with behavior problems as well as set up a behavior training schedule for you and your dog. Behavior Consultants can charge between $60 and $200 per hour depending on their reputation and whether or not they have the right to call themselves a Behaviorist due to their education. Most Behavior Consultants will give you lots of reading materials pertinent to your dogs' issues. Both Cesar Millan (National Geographic Channel "The Dog Whisperer") and Victoria Stillwell (Animal Planet "It's Me or The Dog") are Behavior Consultants with radically different approaches to behavior modification.


  • Obedience training can help with behavior problems but cannot resolve them. Before starting obedience training, whether or not in a group or home situation, make sure you are using the right tool to solve your problems. If all you want is your dog to obey you on the leash, sit, stay, come and heel, the go for obedience training. But if what you have is an out of control dog that won't even let you put a collar on him without taking half your arm off, then pass by the obedience trainer and find a behavior consultant. Don't let a trainer try and talk you into believing that obedience can fix behavior problems.
  • Never forget that you get what you pay for. If you are wanting to train your dog in Agility but you're only willing to pay a trainer $30 per hour, then expect to have a half trained dog.
  • Some boarding training programs offer a discount for a second dog from the same household.
  • Training can be done at home using a book or DVDs. has a selection of dog training books and DVDs starting under $10 as does
  • Some shelters offer low-cost training, starting at about $35 and up for several weeks of classes. The cost is usually lower for a dog adopted from that shelter.
  • Some boarding training programs offer a discount for a second dog from the same household.
  • There are many young people just starting out in the business who will help you train your dog in obedience for very little money.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Do Dogs Form Habits?

The response patterns and intellect of a dog is very different from that of humans, although we do share some common traits. Even though it may seem as though your dog is creating habitual responses, these are not habits as we know them.

Canine and human behavior should not be confused with each other.

Dogs live in the present moment. They interpret their reality according to the information given them, and their reactions are based on their understanding of what will keep them alive and safe. They do not plan for the future, and although their bodies can store memories of past experiences, particularly bad ones, that memory bank can often be overridden through good experiences.

Obedience training could be considered creating habits in your dog. You give it a word/command and it responds predictably based on what it was taught. However, you can teach a dog to sit next to your favorite chair in the living room, but that does not mean he will sit when you are standing next to the refrigerator. In the business, we call this proofing a dog. We teach a dog to "sit" in every conceivable situation so that they will reliably sit. At what point is responding predictably to a command considered a habit? Who is forming the habit, the dog or the human?

A habit is defined as:

  1. A recurrent, often unconscious pattern of behavior that is acquired through frequent repetition.
  2. customary practice or use: Daily bathing is an American habit.
  3. a particular practice, custom, or usage: the habit of shaking hands.
  4. a dominant or regular disposition or tendency; prevailing character or quality: She has a habit of looking at the bright side of things.
  5. addiction, esp. to narcotics

Left to themselves, the habits that dogs would probably acquire would be when to get up in the morning so that food gathering is advantageous or where to eliminate so as not to attract other predators. Habit generally applies to a behavior or practice so ingrained that it is often done without conscious thought.

Instincts are defined as:

  1. An inborn pattern of behavior that is characteristic of a species and is often a response to specific environmental stimuli.
  2. a natural or innate impulse, inclination, or tendency.
  3. a natural aptitude or gift: an instinct for making money.
  4. natural intuitive power.

An instinct is behavior that is not learned but passed between generations by heredity.

Under which definition do behavior problems fall? Are they habits or misplaced instincts?

If you take a look at the most common behavior problems - biting, chewing, jumping, barking, chasing things and digging - you can find a canine instinct to explain each one. Biting of course is the natural defense and offense of a dog. Puppies practice this, often on your hands and toes. Puppies teethe just like human babies and chewing eases the pain and discomfort of new teeth coming in. Puppies jump up at the adult members of the pack for attention and as a means of telling the adult that he is hungry and please regurgitate some food. Barking is a form of communication. Chasing and digging are both forms of finding food.

If your adult dog is still doing most of these activities, then most likely it stems from no discipline as a puppy. Eventually, in the pack, puppies are deterred from biting the adults in play, jumping up and barking unnecessarily. As an adult in the pack, chasing and digging are only done to acquire food and digging is also for burying food for later use. These instinctual behaviors are regulated by the rest of the pack for the survival of the pack. In a human pack, it's the human's job to teach a puppy how to live in a human world. This means disciplining the puppy when he is exhibiting instinctive behaviors inappropriately. You can never fully get rid of instincts, but you can regulate them.

What behaviors are habits and not instincts and how do they become habits?

Let's look at obedience training again as a habit forming activity. The trainer, or owner, teaches the dog to respond in a certain way when he (the dog) hears a certain sound or sees specific body language from the human. Eventually, this creates a habit of putting the bottom on the ground for "sit". The human taught the dog the habit by having the dog sit every time, no matter what the circumstances or environment.

Behavior problems, that are not instincts, are created in EXACTLY the same way. Your dog doesn't bite the postman because it's the instinvtive thing to do, or because he hates the postman, or because the postman is wearing a uniform, or because he (the dog) is mad at you about something - you and the postman taught your dog to bite.

Here's how it works.

In the pack, it is the job of every single dog to protect the pack - t's especially the job of the pack leader. Under most circumstances in the wild, a soft growl and a hard look are enough to deter any strange animal from entering the pack's territory. In the human world, that soft growl and hard look don't always work. So the dog escalates to a louder growl and maybe showing a bit of teeth. If that doesn't work, the dog starts barking and snarling with a lot of teeth showing. Lastly, the dog will bite if all the previous methods did not keep the intruder from the premises.

In regards to the postman, he comes to the door every day and shoves paper thought the slot. The paper coming through the slot scares the dog and he knows that the presence of the human outside the door is causing it. Since it's a scary thing, the dog instinctively wants to protect the pack's territory from this scary thing. Eventually the protection behavior escalates until the dog is franctically trying to get through the door to do some damage on the perpetrator. If the door is every opened, the dog will be out in a split second and the postman bitten. The second part of this is the the dog has learned that eventually the postman does leave and the dog thinks it's because of his actions. What the dog doesn't understand is why the postman comes back to try again every single day. This creates the "habit" of reacting to the postman, and eventually to anyone that comes to the door. Like any human habit, especially those dealing with drugs, the habit escalates to dangerous proportions.

Why is it the human's fault

In the dog pack, the puppy is taught, through discipline, what is right and wrong - similar to raising human children. The puppies in the pack are also shown what to do in any circumstance and who is to do those things at any given time. Generally, the pack leader decides or does it himself. The rest of the pack is backup to the pack leaders actions. Somewhat like a football team. The quarter back makes the decisions about the plays the team will perform, but once the ball is in motion, the quarter back with either allow the other players to carry out the actions or will do it himself.

If in puppyhood, the human pack leader softly growled at the puppy when it jumped up looking for attention or food, the puppy would eventually stopped jumping up all together. If the human, after correcting the puppy for jumping, then showed it where the food bowl is kept or directed the puppy to a treat, the process of extinguishing the jumping behavior would speed up considerably.

This applies to our postman biting dog as well. Had the human pack leader corrected the dog the first time it growled at the postman, the bite would never happen and the habit would never be formed. Even the postman could have averted the bite by getting the human to introduce the dog to the postman when it was still a puppy. All three of my dogs look forward to greeting the UPS guys and the postman because I took the time to make the introductions.

How do I fix "habits"?

Any behavior that has escalated into a habit will resolve with the same correction and redirection process that you would use on a puppy. Even though the dog's habit is now to try to bite the postman, he still goes through all the warning signs first. It may happen very fast, but he still does them as that is the instinct part. Catch your dog at the start of the warnings with a quick touch to inform him that it is no longer his job to protect the door and to redirect his attention and you are on your way to "breaking" the habit. After you have his attention, send him 10 or so feet back from the door and the "claim" the door by standing in front of it with confidence. Stay calm and redirect the dog every time he tries to reclaim his "job" at the door.

It's too bad the human habit of smoking can't be cured as easily as a dog biting the postman !

Monday, January 18, 2010

Communicating With Your Dog

Dog communication comes in a variety of forms, and is part of the foundation of dog social behavior. Dogs use certain movements of their bodies and body parts and different vocalizations to send signals. There are a number of basic ways a dog can communicate. These are movements of the ears, eyes, eyebrows, mouth, head, tail, and entire body, as well as barks,growls, whines and whimpers, and howls.

Dogs show emotion with every part of their bodies. These signals are often subtle, but by developing good observational skills we can gain valuable insight into what a dog might be feeling. Sometimes you will need to look at clues from more than one body part and also consider context clues from the environment to figure out how the dog might be feeling. Most people know the signs of a happy tail wagging dog, but often the tail does not give the only clues. You need to look at the whole dog and the environmental context to get the whole picture.

Part of communication, especially with another species, is to know how to communicate based on the social system the animal instinctively understands. For dogs, learning about the 'pack system' and how it affects everything a dog does in life, is the foundation of your relationship with your dog. If you went to live in a country that spoke another language the chances are you would try and learn that language so you could live and ask for what you wanted. You would also want to learn what behavior is acceptable and rules and laws and how the government enforces them. You are living in a house with an animal who speaks a completely different language and understands a completely different social system. Not understanding this is how unwanted behaviours start.

The reason that there are so many behaviour problems with dogs is due to two different languages, human and canine. Learning your dog's language is essential if you want a dog who looks at you for leadership, guidance and direction. Some people feel that to learn this language costs too much and they cannot afford to do this. I understand this as getting a dog can be expensive. However, not realizing how great the cost can be of not learning about the "pack" and how dogs communcate, can be much more expensive - both in terms of money and in terms of your peace of mind and sanity.

When your dog assumes the role of the Alpha (because it does not have any choice - there must be a pack leader) it becomes very stressed which results in health problems, increased vets bills and sometimes a shorter life. Your dog can become aggressive when trying to protect you and it's pack, which can result in nasty fights with other dogs, biting children and adults, running the risk of being put down long before it's time. You become stressed out as your dog's behaviour becomes embarrassing, you don't go out for walks any more because it is too stressful and embarrassing. You stop having friends and family come round because of how your dog acts. You are not able to take your dog with you when you go out as your friends and family have asked you not to. You are frightened to leave the dog even for small periods of time dreading what the house will look like when you get back. Going away on holiday is no longer an option as no one will look after your dog including some kennels.

The reality is that your dog is never going to fully understand human language but the great news is you can learn theirs.

Welcome To Seize the Leash and Canine Behavior Training Blog

Canine behavior training covers every aspect of canine education -from the species specific responses that are inherent to canines, to learning theory and operant conditioning, to traditional training methods. Canine behavior training involves teaching life skills, such as preventing aggression problems, and how to properly interact with others and the environment without undue stress.

Your pet's problems are often a direct result of the animal's inability to cope with the stress of everyday life in the human world. The purpose of behavior training is to show a dog how to live with humans, without stress, and still remain a dog.

Canine and human behavior should not be confused with each other.

The response patterns and intellect of a dog is very different from that of humans, although we do share some common traits. One of these traits is the drive to form close social groups with strong bonds to significant others. This bonding can be thought of as a kind of love. Even though this type of bonding is a natural trait in both canines and humans, we must avoid endearing our pets with human emotions.

Solving your dogs behavior problems

Many behavior problems (such as barking, biting and digging) stem from a lack of communication, or miscommunication between you the owner and your dog. Simply put, your dog is not aware of what is expected of him.

Set boundaries of acceptable and unacceptable behavior for your dogs, and stick to them. Be consistent, make it simple for your dog:
* Be clear that you are always the alpha dog or leader in your owner-dog relationship.
* Make it clear to him what is unacceptable behavior - every time.
* Make it clear to him what is acceptable behavior - every time.

Canine Behavior Training Can Make An Enormous Difference To Your Dog's Life

It's a sad fact of life that the vast majority of dogs that end up in animal shelters (or worse) are there because of a bad behavioral problem. It doesn't have to be this way, most problems (like aggression and destructive behavior) are at the very least manageable, through proper dog behavior training.

If you consistently apply the proper canine behavior training techniques and add some commitment and patience, you will be rewarded with an enjoyable companion for years to come.