First Aid for Parenting Problems

Have you pored over training guides, attended courses at the dog school, and done everything that was recommended to you? Does your dog still give a shit?

A new start for dog and human

If your dog constantly wants to get his way and your attempts at training have no effect, something has gone wrong in the relationship between you and your four-legged friend. In any case, you should end this power struggle very quickly and try a new start.

Lesson 1: Come on command

You grab your dog’s favorite toy or a treat. call him. Make sure it doesn’t sound like a rude command, but rather a promising offer. When he comes, he gets the treat or toy. But just a treat or the toy for just a minute, then the fun ends and you move on to other things. Important: Only do this exercise at home and call him no more than five times a day. And the beloved toy or the long-awaited treat is only available when the dog comes shooting at lightning speed to the (by now surely eagerly awaited!) call. If he does, you can go one step further and add another task: Sit, or down, or stay, for example.

Lesson 2: Educational walks

In less than a week your dog will be a model of obedience at home. You will love him and he will do his best for you. Now begin Lesson Two: The Educational Walks. Show the dog toys and treats and pocket them. Find a quiet area and unleash the dog. As soon as he moves a little away from you, your “lure call” will be heard again. Once the dog arrives, have him complete one of the mini-quests and then slip him the treat. Then just keep going. After a minute or two call him again, this time he gets his toy for a moment. And so it goes on and on. The intervals between free run and call should be irregular and may become longer and longer.

Lesson 3: The “normal” walk

If that works, you can rehearse the emergency: A “normal” walk, including meeting dogs, cyclists, and joggers. Call before he rushes off to give chase to anyone, and again, as hard as it may be at this point, in an alluring way, not hysterically. It will probably work, he turns and comes. Now there’s the usual reward, but also a bit of cheering and admiration, which your dog really deserves. What if it doesn’t work out, or the “relapses”? Then take a deep breath, count to 10, and pretend you never called. And go back to “go”: home, practice.

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