The following is a very necessary exposition on the structure and progression of proper dog training, exemplifying the levels of dog training, and how they are used to develop dogs correctly.
There are several aspects of what we call dog training. Modern day dog training was developed in Germany around the beginning of the 19th Century by Colonel Conrad Most, (Europes most successful obedience trainer, at that time) from whom the world’s leading trainers have developed our theories and philosophies for training dogs. Colonel Most produced the first manuals for modern day dog training, and his philosophies have influenced this field, and still do. Unfortunately, most trainers are ignorant, and have never read or used his books.
…is a living, natural, dynamic process where your dog, through your conditioning, experiences, receives instruction, and processes it from the conscious to the sub-conscious mind. They then, under your instruction, begin to apply that conditioning to actual life experiences, and build actual habitual behaviors.
In the process, the dog:
and habitualizes BEHAVIOR
The process takes 21 days for knowledge to be transferred from the conscious to the sub-conscious mind of the dog, where it can be “triggered” automatically.
Many dog “trainers”, not having sufficient education, drive, or understanding of what they are actually doing, do not go far enough into the process to achieve the results they desire, in the brain of the dog they are working with, and fail. However, it is your decision,
how far you wish to go
how deeply you wish to engrain your conditioning, and
how much control you wish to have over your dog’s intelligence.
For instance, (forgive me), today a dog is considered by society (as demanded by the “Humane” Societies, etc., as a “pet”. A pet is;
who has been stripped of their original purpose and genetic background by irresponsible selective, ignorant, self-serving breeders. These mutilated animals, who are only a shell of their intended beings, with temperaments that have been consciously lowered, (so as to make them more handleable by ignorant masses), are good for very little, and incapable of light performance. This way lazy, self-absorbed “owners” can raise and home them with as little effort as possible. For instance, many of our smaller breeds of dogs have to be artificially induced, cut “c-section” out of their mothers, and bottle fed from birth. Ninety to ninety five percent are never trained, or house broken, and as a result they can handle zero levels of stress. That is the difference between a “pet” and a dog.
Therefore, dog training is the tool which you can use to construct and customize your dog’s brain to respond and perform the exact way you desire.
This is a natural process that evolves by itself in your dogs’ mind, through your conditioning. If done properly the dogs’ behavior is changed, and their performance becomes custom stylized, according to your desires. Because dog training is natural, the dog will progress quickly over a short period of time automatically. You can keep your sessions short and simple. The dog needs time to ingest your conditioning, done one step at a time, and it is during the “breaks” where they sit or lay and THINK that your training seeds have the chance to fertilize, germinate, and pollinate the dog’s brain.
• There are NO short cuts, no magic wands, or artificial “tricks” that will help you skip from your starting point, accept those provided genetically by your dog’s ancestors, to where you desire to go with your dog. There are NO gimmicks, artificial devices, or super methods that will circumvent the system and produce instant behavior, without causing a myriad of problems at the same time and overlooking behaviors you are just going to have to turn around and deal with tomorrow. You want to do that yourself, to make sure each step-in training is done correctly, the way you want.
• Dog training, when done properly, can be intense and very emotionally taxing. It’s all about making decisions about their behavior. The decision is the key to proper behavior. Once the decision is made, the actions will follow, naturally, without force, demands, or cohesion. We use the dog’s instincts, drives, and individual personality to help the dog make those all-important decisions.
In order to make a strong decision it takes strong emotion, and often the sessions when your dog is making these decisions to stop, focus, receive, follow, and obey your instructions are emotionally stressful for you as well as your dog. However, they are also life-changing lessons for the dog where they will make quantum leaps in decision-making and as a result, performance.
• IF you want the right behavior out of your dog, you’ve got to put it into your dog.
*Yet, how do you accomplish imprinting your training into the subconscious mind of your dog, so that YOU can transform your dog’s behavior, and replace the behaviors you do not desire, with those you do desire?
• As you consider starting your dog in obedience, focus on the overall goals you have set for your dog, how you wish for your dog to respond, and what type of behavior you are really looking to develop in your dog through your training, which is only a tool, that is only as good as the trainer using it!
• Obedience training is not an end in itself, so structure your training to establish and perpetuate the specific proper behaviors you want in your dog. A great many dog trainers teach obedience exercises are merely tricks your dog learns to perform instead of using the training exercises to teach them consistent forms of behavior they normalize and habitualizes.
• Set your dog up to perceive and feel about your training commands the way you want.
Dog training is a process of focusing and motivating your dog to make decisions through your training experiences which you can use to motivate proper behavior and performance from them in all areas of their life.
Should be a positive, therapeutic, strategically designed instrument that you use as the key to developing proper behavior in your dog.
It is the dog’s ability to stop on command, ignore distractions, receive communication from their handler, follow their handler’s commands, and respond wholeheartedly to those commands that will make all the difference, and make their performance special.
A trained dog is a dog that does what they know.
It is the quality their obedience training that provides them with the ability to perform as a useful tool within the family (pack) structure.
Because of proper obedience training, you and your dog will learn to function as one unit, and become a team, in order to be successful. This demands that you become a team leader, and they become an active and responsive part of that team. This is not to be compared to the dominance/submissive theories that have caused so much trouble in training, used by almost every illiterate dog trainer on the market!
You become a leader by becoming the example for the behaviors you wish your dog to follow.
Unlike what has been expounded by other training manuals and books, the leader is not a dictator who is separated from their followers and demands performance from others. Instead, they are a living example to follow, and instill what they want in their followers by their own example.
Years ago, while working with and evaluating successful horse trainers, I picked up on a “Team Training” philosophy and integrated it into my dog training policies. In doing so:
I learned to understand dog behaviors on and off the field as either “In pack” or “out pack” behaviors. Instilling this idea in every dog is now an essential fundamental for our training. It is essential for the dog to understand and accept you as “Pack”. In order to disobey you, they must first break “pack” with you, which is much harder than just committing a random disobedient digression. At the same time, the trainer is constrained to let go, and become emotionally and personally attached to the dog, which helps them to psychologically bond.
Conscientious leadership, not force, demands, threats, or punishment, motivates performance. The level of performance you will attain with your dog physically will correspond to the level of understanding, trust, respect, sensitivity, and agreement you both develop mentally, and psychologically.
Our atmosphere is filled with diversified concentrations of energies, and by connecting with energies around us we become a part of that energy. You can literally become an electrical conduit;
Harnessing the energy,
Resonating with the energy,
And projecting that energy into your dog.
You can then use that energy to connect and work together on the same energetic levels of intensity. As you put your energy into the dog you train, and the dog responds to you with the same energy, you become “like” on an energy level. This is a natural “miracle” that can even change your life, depending on how far you go.
In 1984 started working in the field of Schutzhund, known as the world’s hardest Dog Sport. My friends all told me the trainers there were giants and would squish me like a grasshopper. This gave me great hope, because this is what 10 of the 12 spies of the Hebrews told Joshua and Moses. The 11th was named Caleb (dog in Hebrew) who reported that they should push forwards and take over. So, I proceeded full speed! Where most people train 1 dog at a time for the sport, I trained 10. Consequently, the next year we placed in the top five handler/dog teams in America, just by luck, and went to the World Championships. On the way we stopped in Germany, and while the rest of the team went on vacation, we stayed with Heinz Krause in Langanargen, by the Boden Sea, and learned the German way to train. I trained 100 dogs a day and worked with German trainers from sun up to 10 pm. At the World Championships I only placed 33rd out of 400 teams, because the Germans told me I was NOT a good team member with my dog. I have never forgotten this and am deeply grateful for the criticism. Through it I became honored as the number 1 dog trainer in the world, by three of the top qualified experts in the world.
Eastern philosophers, centuries ago, entitled this process, calling it Zen. Bodhi dharma, the great Shaolin Priest, in the fifth century, used it to create the concepts of Zen, Nihilism, and the Kunyu Mountain Shaolin Martial Arts Academy, teaching the art of Kung Fu which he learned while sitting in a cave in India, meditating for 7 years. It is said that the rock at the spot where he meditated cracked from his energy.
Scientific Proof that Energy Works
In March of 2012 the Higgs Boson proposition became a reality. The Nobel Peace Prize Honorees proved the “God Particle” proposition to be a reality; that two separate energies could approach, inter-change properties, and become one. The also proved that two separate energies could approach and destroy each other. What priests and philosophers have taught for Centuries is now scientific, proven fact.
WORKING WITH ENERGY
By connecting with the energies around us, we become a connected part of the living universe,
You can then share your natural, dynamic power, to infuse life into your dog training.
As you work “in-sync” with the same energies you are projecting into and receiving from your dog, you unite mentally and emotionally.
Your dog learns to go “in-sync” with you, working through your joint energy connection. In a short period of time you will need less verbal and physical help to command and control your dog.
BEHAVIORAL REPLACEMENT, TRANSFERENCE, TRANSFORMATION
We co-create Resolutions!
Everyone is concerned with the ability to use their dog training to resolve unwanted or inappropriate behaviors in their puppy/dog(s). We, instead of concentrating on problems, concentrate on resolutions. By concentrating on problems you get stuck in a reward/punishment psychosis which endangers your whole program. However, by concentrating on resolutions, you produce positive behaviors, while the problems go away.
• Feed the answer, starve the problem
• Find the answer, lose the problem
• Emphasize the positive, erase the negative
The goal of obedience training is to imprint your conditioning upon the conscious and then subconscious mind of the dog you are training. This occurs in literal 21-day processes. These 21-day processes of imprinting work through the dogs thought process, as described in my book, DOG PSYCHOLOGY 101; The Thinking Dog, found as a Kindle book on Amazon.com.
HOW, WHAT & WHY OF DOG TRAINING
As your dog grows, they develop their own personality, learn to do things their own way, and learn to see things through their own perspective. Many times, success in dog training comes from your ability to understand
how your dog sees themself (temperament), and accordingly,
what role they have adapted in your family (pack) structure, and
why they behave the way they do.
Often, we attack behaviors that the dog has chosen, which they identify with, and the dog will literally see this as an attack on themself! They will fight the training because they are fighting for their own life and see your assault as an attack on their being.
When a dog comes to me for training, most of the time they come with the mentality of a 3 to 6-year-old child. I’m not talking here about their level of maturity, which will tell you how fast they can progress. A dog might have the mental ability to progress, but may not be ready emotionally to do what they are capable of BOTH mentally and physically.
A dog’s mental state of being, or temperament, is a combination of their drives, and instincts from both parents. If the mother has a higher level temperament, but a more fragile disposition, often the case, she will be unstable in her actions, and dangerous. If she passes this on to her pups, so will they.
Therefore, if their emotional state of being makes them more fragile and you aren’t paying attention, you lose, which is quite often the case, with many dogs who fail in performance because of their unstable dispositions. I have found that training a puppy to use its natural drives for tracking, retrieving, and playful games like tug-of-war helps them to develop mentally, and prepares them to handle the stresses of obedience work better.
Like children, your dog’s brain is not fully developed, and may take time to develop, before they are fully capable of responding to your instructions. YOU need to watch and give them that time to grow into being the dog you want them to do be, to do what you want them to do. There are many breeds that “hibernate “as puppies, retaining behaviors they respond to you with that are juvenile and immature. This gives them the ability to retain puppy like reactions until they are old enough, and large enough to “change”, and become the dog they really are. They are not mentally capable of performing in that state when young, and pushing them is either destructive or futile, and only causes them harm.
I am talking here about a framework of mental characteristics. The first steps in training are critical, not because they are so physically hard, or even hard to learn, but because through these first lessons you are breaking into the dogs’ personal mental space, and this needs to be done with extreme care and sensitivity.
A four-year-old child is very self-focused. Their world revolves around them. Think back, do you remember going to school as a child, and the intense critical experiences you endured the first days, hours and weeks of your school career. I do, I remember my first teacher, the kids in the class, my seat in the class, and how stressed I was with the first contact I had with them, and the first time she told me off. So will your dog. Again, connection, and connectivity is more important than conditioning.
The goal of every normal dog owner should be to create a training situation with their dog, that will teach the dog to behave in accordance with their desires, which will eliminate behaviors they do not desire. In order to get your dog to behave the way you desire you need a comprehensive, intelligent strategy of conditioning that you can use to replace old behaviors with new ones, that can be expanded as your dog grows and matures.
This is a natural process of biological and psychological evolution that occurs in the physical brain of the dog in training. The dog, given a, and b, will, through natural processes, produce c. As the training sinks into the subconscious mind of the dog in question, a 21-day process of conditioning, it has an effect of its’ own. That effect is to produce a transformation in that dogs’ mind through conditioning given, that naturally produces behaviors desired. This is not just a symbolic or philosophic, but an actual, physical change in their brain, retained as a part of their brain. Through proper conditioning the brain is literally transformed, and enhanced!
This is the concept of transferring a behavior from one environment or handler to another. It is important to note that in this process the dog looks for stimulating actions and responses that are similar in either the new environment or new the person, which they can link with the old environment or person. Even if the behavior is negative or causes them pain and stress, the dog has been who has been conditioned in the old, will look for and produce the same in the new. It is hard to break the link/habit with transference of behaviors, and in order to do so we use behavior replacement techniques. This is why, in breeding, it is so important to use good females as mothers, who care for, play with, and love their puppies with intensity, and correctness. The mother instills behaviors into the pups that you will then use for the life of the pup/dog. Likewise, we can transfer a behavior we desire by simulating the situations wherein the behavior occurred and coaxing the dog to repeat their behaviors they had with the old handler, in the old situation, over again.
This is the concept of replacing one behavior with another. It works best if the behavior being replaced is replaced with another behavior that conflicts with it, and therefore forces the dog to choose one behavior over another.
Behaviors are not usually a separate or unique phenomenon but come interrelated to other behaviors that support and help them to stay healthy and controlling.
Behaviors support each other in an intelligent chain of interlocking strategies that strengthen them, defend them, and help them to grow.
This is a process where you teach your dog to accept new behaviors that you can use to replace old behaviors you do not desire. As you continue and your dog learns, normalizes, accepts, personalizes, and habitualizes these behaviors, they become an actual part of their behavioral life, which is what we call behavioral transformation. That’s what this manual is all about.
Therefore, the idea of replacing one behavior with another implies a complex strategy which is used like a doctor would use a serum or vaccine, interjecting a foreign virus into the mind of the dog, which produces antibodies than grow, strengthen, and form a viable alternative for the dogs’ behavior. This process, with enhanced conditioning, over a period of time, can be very successful in changing a dogs’ behavior. However, it must be a total behavioral change, embraced by the dog, which affects their total behavior, to be effective.
Behavior replacement does not necessarily imply correction.
The concept of behavior replacement is a radical idea, and must be used in a united, strategic way, to be successful in the training of any dog. For this reason, most techniques for problem resolution by most trainers fail miserably. They are based on stopping the dog from committing an isolated behavior that is normal, sometimes personal, and important to the dog.
Often this behavior is tied to the dog’s chosen role in the pack. It is part of an integrated pattern of behavior that the dog has strategically chosen, which they identify with and use to promote social responsiveness in those around them. Replacing this behavior with another which is more suitable for you can be difficult and will require time.
Trying to change one behavior, without considering the entire spectrum of behaviors that go along with it, is futile. It usually only results in the dog becoming paranoid or psychotic about that behavior. Many times, after being exposed to stress related to that behavior, the dog will mentally retreat, strengthen its’ resolve concerning that behavior, and only become worse.
The idea of punishment for one action most often only strengthens that activity, and those activities supporting it. The dog is not being given the opportunity, through positive conditioning. They can then consider superior alternatives that can be found more harmonious and acceptable to the dog themselves.
Therefore, behavior replacement will be much more effective in replacing unwanted behaviors, if it is based on positive, connecting drives and desires within the dog itself. It embodies the concept of using one behavior, created in sync with others, to replace unwanted behaviors in your dog. It is based on positive beneficial feelings and reactions in your dog, founded on the basic drives and needs innate within each dog.
DISCIPLINE IS A TWO-EDGED SWORD
The two edges of the sword of discipline represent yin and yang, positive and negative, instruction and punishment. Unfortunately, using the concept of corrections is mis-associated with punishment, and, if we allow it to, opens our brain to the concept of punishment. So, it must be used selectively, and with correct discretion.
The top edge of that sword can be labeled as instruction, and the bottom edge of that sword as punishment. Using your discipline to love, help, support, advance, and for the betterment of your dog, through your instruction, enables you to discipline your dog in a way that promotes closeness, togetherness, bonding, and friendship. Your dog will love you for it. This is what the Bible refers to, when it mentions “sparing the rod”, not as a tool of punishment, to beat and torment, the rod refers to our instruction, bringing enlightenment, wisdom and knowledge, bonding, and betterment!
I use discipline constantly, in a loving way, as instruction. It’s positive, good, and motivational. When my clients come their dogs jump up to kiss my face, they love me openly, they run to me, and often do so while their “owner” is standing next to me. Yet, at the same time, I discipline them harder, and with more power and commitment than their owner ever would. The difference is, I do it as instruction, not punishment, in love, and never with anger.
Instruction is always used for the benefit of the pup/dog. It is administered as a suggestion, rather than a demand. It leaves the door open to the dog to accept, and use it for their own betterment.
Correction is used to stop the dog, informing them that their present chosen behavior is not, and will not be accepted as correct. If your dog is use to being instructed, the should accept your corrections as well. However I suggest to restrict your corrections.
Punishment, on the flip side, destroys behavior. Punishment is based on producing stress, guilt, and distance; it pushes you away, alienates you, causes trauma, and desensitizes you. Punishment is the opposite of teaching, it is the way for you to enforce your power over your dog, it is insensitive, it is egoistic and self-serving; it is the way of a looser.
CANINE GROWTH CYCLES
There are predictable growth and life cycles for all dogs which follow exact patterns. The growth cycles begin with birth and follow until death. In many respects they repeat each other in an expanded order, both physically and mentally, coinciding with each other so astoundingly as to suggest they are unconsciously regulated by a true but undiscovered process which is embedded in the very fiber their cellular structure itself.
Each cycle initiates mental and physical changes, which prepare the K-9 for the next cycle.
Each minute, hour, day, and week brings new changes, and orders new behaviors.
However, these changes are so precise as to be capable of being predicted with great accuracy by the sensitive observer.
The K-9 growth pattern is for the most part a pattern of expanding and then retracting circles of natural behavior, which occur according to the age of the dog. Each pattern is both a cause and a result of the growth of the individual K-9. However, it can be shown that it’s physical and mental evolvement follow exact patterns in all breeds of the species with only minor, questionable exceptions. Some breeds appear to mature faster in some respects than others. However, over time it can be shown that while physical changes may occur faster in some respects, behaviorally immature aspects of their personalities are retained longer. Eventually Physical and behavioral changes eventually balance themselves out.
Observing and evaluating the growth of pups:
From day 1 through three months you can see a complete life-growth cycle in their behavior. It’s like they have received a full circle introduction to their life’s behavior.
The pups then go through a time of development from 12 to 15 and 1/2 weeks where they learn and develop openly. This is a very important time in the life of every pup, and should be used to your advantage. During this time I help pups expand their drives and instincts, learning to track, bite, and retrieve.
The pups then go through a puberty from 16 to 25 weeks, where they grow and develop in similar ways to a human does from 9 to 13 years. This is a prime time to develop social-structural-focus, and a great time to train the pup for level one and beginning level two obedience work.
From 25 to 75 weeks the pup goes through adolescence, and becomes a dog. Some pups mature faster, and at 45 weeks begin to initiate adult behaviors into their personality. Other pups can take up to 110 weeks or more to go through their adolescence growth stage of their life. This is based on:
Instinctive Imput that controls their mental development
Individual Temperament development that motivates specific behaviors
That are role oriented
Enhanced environments that support personal growth in the pup
Using special techniques that connect with the sub-conscious brain of the pup, and bring out natural deep-rooted primordial behaviors
USING GENETICS TO ENHANCE YOUR PUPS
Of course, you are going to find extreme examples, based on selective breeding, which produce cause for exception. Many good breeders do breed for what is called a “throw-back”; a pup endowed with the potentials and behavioral characteristics found in a distant genetic predecessor, who had dynamic genetic potentials.
Most of the time a pup will not directly reflect the genetics of their parents, but most likely their grandparents, or even their great grantparents. Line breeding with professionals is very popular for producing them genetic traits in quality pups.
However, it has been proven that breeding for “type” is far more effective at producing these qualities. By breeding to an unrelated partner who possesses the exact “type” to your choice dog, you get stronger “type”, and healthier pups.
However, almost always, the exceptions suffer in other ways, as a result of their uniqueness, and only serve to prove this hypothesis even more correct. As an example, the larger dog will also be less aggressive, less mobile, live a shorter life, and have more physical problems than the smaller dog. The more mature dog will have mental problems, and die younger from overstress, as its body deteriorates.
Obviously, this has a dramatic effect on the results of behavioral work done with any dog. A trainer may put the correct work into a normal dog, and experience one of a number of results, based on the age of the dog, and the behavioral cycle it is experiencing at the time of the training.
A dog may enter into training while completing one stage of growth, and end the training during the initial stages of another period of growth, depending on the length of the training course.
The work done is accomplished based on the behavior of the dog as it entered the course of training. However, as it ends the course of training it may be experiencing new perspectives, calling for new behaviors, and as a result may have developed a need for a completely different type of methodology in order to be effective in controlling its present behavior.
The methods used before and during the training may now become too hard, too soft, too basic, or need to be expanded, in order to cover a behavioral perspective brought about by mental development not present in the before mentioned training program.
Additional growth can be motivated by a change of environment, relationship, and handling of a dog. By changing the pack role and behavior towards a dog it may afford them additional input that allows them to grow and develop.
LEVELS OF DOG TRAINING
There are five distinct levels of dog training that need to be understood and applied by every dog trainer, in order to be train any dog effectively. The five levels present themselves as follows:
LEVEL ONE: Introductory, Puppy Training
LEVEL TWO: Constructive Behavioral Training
LEVEL THREE: Command Training
LEVEL FOUR: Instinct Training
LEVEL FIVE: Team Training
Each of these levels is distinct, and produces specific behaviors. The trainer needs to be acutely aware of where the dog they are addressing is at, mentally, in order to provide an effective, positive conditioning experience for that dog.
Other considerations that need to be considered in training are:
the temperament, (self-image and pack role)
disposition, (emotional framework and sensitivity) and
instinctive levels are assertiveness, (how controlled the dog is by its own thoughts)
in each specific dog the approach to condition.
LEVEL ONE DOG TRAINING
The goal of the first level of training is to imprint a positive experience in the mind of the dog, associated with the specific behavior you are introducing your dog to. The pup/dog, who knows nothing about what it is being taught, needs to be given a positive experience that will produce a positive memory they can associate with the behavior the trainer desires for them to learn.
Set them up to want your attention, affection, and handling using a kennel, bringing out on a chain, and making the wait for you.
We use food, not a much as a rewrd, but as a conditioning tool, giving it to the dog during the entire time they are being trained.
The training needs to happen quickly, short sessions, with time in between where the pup/dog can refocus mentally and emotionally, and prepare for the next session.
The emphasis in level one training is on the handler, to put the training into the pup/dog. It is their energy, their power, their performance, which helps the pup/dog to stop, focus, receive, follow, and desire to perform the training shown to, and performed for, them. Giving the pup/dog as positive, exciting, nurturing, and beneficial experience as possible it ultimately what counts.
Learning how to use your body, your voice, and your brain, to communicate correctly in a positive, exciting way, is imperative to the first level of training.
Learning how to handle your dog will help your pup/dog to relax, focus, and produce positive receptiveness to your energy, and intentions.
Learning to use your environment to motivate your pup/dog to want to learn
The most important part of Level 1 training is producing a foundation for your pup/dog that will encourage strong performance, and make it easier for you as you continue to condition your dog. Creating positive experiences that will develop desire to continue the training you want your dog to learn is what Level 1 training is all about.
*Almost every pup that comes to me for training after 4 months of age shows signs of abuse, where they were traumatized through a training experience, which shows a failure on the part of their handler/trainer. Thoughthey may be well intentioned:
most people are motivated and mentally controlled by fear
most people quickly develop insecurity
most people are motivated by greed.
These factors influence the energies they project out at your pup/dog. They are toxic, and will influence your dog, even if you don’t intend for them to come across. There is no way to hide or control them because they are emotionally triggers by your brain’s Amygdala’s, (your emotional control centers) automatically, and no matter your conscious mind tries to produce, these innate behaviors will come out. As soon as you are put, (by the pup/dog, or whoever) in a defensive position, they will surface like a submarine, and attack. Theonly way NOT to trigger these responses is not put or be paced in a position with your pup/dog, where your ego/will is being challenged.
A dog has three working drives that are necessary, in order to train them as a working dog. You have a food drive, a prey (or retrieving) drive, and a bite drive. There are two types of prey drive, a prey-retrieve drive, and a prey-kill drive. Everything you teach a pup or dog will become a story, a mental picture that they put themselves into. You need to help them create a story for everything you teach them that will fit into your strategized plan. In so doing you will be able to create the emotions, and perspective your dog has about the work you want them to do. If trainers would put the intensity, emotion, and sensitivity they put into protection work into obedience work, they would see phenomenal success.
LEVEL TWO DOG TRAINING
In Level Two several things happen that change your dog in many ways:
1. You institute the thought process, and the learning process, (see my book DOG PSYCHOLOGY 101).
A. You teach the dog to stop, relax, and enjoy being quiet with you
B. You teach the dog to stop thinking about themself and instead focus on you.
C. You teach the dog how to ignore distractions
D. You teach the dog how to observe, think about, and receive your instruction
E. You teach the dog how to follow your instructions
F. You teach the dog how to correct their own mistakes
2. You teach the dog how to focus on your energy,
taking them from the self absorbed conscious state of mental being that has controlled them up to that minute of their life
Teaching them to get outside themselves and concentrate on you instead
Teaching them to concentrate on only you for 10 seconds to 10 minutes at a time.
The dog learns to tune the specific level of energy they use and project to match yours.
They do this through on line, double line training, on a tie out, and then in the training field.
You then teach the dog to focus on your hand and body communication process.
As you do this, using several selected techniques and exercises, several things happen to your dog:
A. You teach the dog to feel the energy you project with your hands first, and then with your body, and finally your brain.
B. You teach the dog to move step by step “in-sync” with you physically and mentally.
C. You teach the dog to tune their intentions to yours.
D. You teach the dog to work as a connected extension of your co-intentions.
E. You and your dog become partners in co-creating your own world.
3. You teach the dog how to overcome stress with focus and intention
4. You teach the dog to work voluntarily, willingly, intelligently, and
5. You teach the dog to make their own decisions and follow through
As a result of Level-two work you and your dog become an integrated, connected team.
In level two work, you use only instruction, NO harder corrections, but suggestions, designed to focus the intentions of the dog. In level-two work:
A. You teach your dog how to use their left brain, and to develop their rational faculties. This actually teaches the dog to use their brain and intelligence abilities to behave in ways that we, as human beings, can understand and respond to.
B. You teach your dog to be sensitive to energies in you, around you, and in the psycho-centric world surrounding you.
C. You teach your dog to go into “Command Mode”, where they slow down, focus on you, feeling, smelling, hearing, seeing, and connecting with you. (If a “well trained’ dog could be anything, they would be YOU.)
D. You teach the dog to consciously make correct decisions, to think in a focused, intelligent, proper manner that is dependable and predictable.
Even though, in Level-two work, we accomplish a multitude of accomplishments, these are all done on a level where your dog can work, at first, with as little stress as possible. This is a level of maturity, where your dog, and most people, are the most comfortable. Then you progress to higher levels of diversity, stress, and complexity. Finally, your dog should progress to the point where their thought process is focus and capable of making proper decisions instantly, without arguing or disputing your intentions.
THE REASON FOR MATURITY LEVELS IN DOGS
There is a reason for the maturity levels adapted by dogs, and humans. It is primarily to protect them from the onslaught of stressful attack, presented by circumstance, in the world around them. A lower maturity level serves to protect the dog mentally and emotionally from having to respond on a level that might cause injury to them. There are dogs that seem to naturally possess a higher level of maturity, and many dogs, through training raise their maturity levels. They also live a shorter life span, and die younger than those who don’t.
One of the great things about level-two work is that we can instruct the dog where it is at, without having to modify its maturity levels, or its mentality. This is important because we progress with the dog as they are ready and capable. Every dog is different, with different temperament, dispositions, and instincts (and accompanying drives), and it is our goal to help each dog progress as is best for them, with their particulars.
LEVEL THREE WORK
Modern day dog training was started in 1902 in Bavaria Germany by Col. Conrad Most, and the creator of the German Shepherd Dog, Max Von Stephanitz. In his book on dog training, Most described in detail how to use compulsion to condition dogs to perform. Col. Most had been the national Obedience Dog Champion two years in a row because of his conditioning methods, and was gaining popularity. Using his methods, Max put together the most comprehensive training program ever developed for a working dog, which they called Schutzhund training, which they used to train Police K9s for Germany. Today 10,000,000 dogs are still being trained and compete world-wide in this dog sport. Placing in the top 500 is a momentous feat, and proves you to be a MASTER trainer. Placing in the top 30 insures you to be a SUPER DOG TRAINER,
In the past 40 years dog training has evolved, and now there are several different methods being used. However, the original methods produced by this team still serve as the fundamental standard for all dog training. Unfortunately, 99 percent of all dog trainers have never heard of Conrad Most, or Von Stephanitz, and are ignorant.
In some ways, there level three work contradicts the level two work. These levels are not meant to be consecutive, or to overlap each other. They are each areas in themselves. There are five steps to teaching anyone anything: stop, focus, receive, follow, and respond.
Each step in training requires a separate thought/emotional progression, in and of itself.
Each step in training is different for each dog. For instance, the fourth step in the learning process is what I call ‘follow’.
In this process, the dog has to learn to receive your command and then to respond by identifying your intention, and obediently performing, exactly as requested. This is a complex process because it demands that the dog give up its will, and substitute it with yours. For a female dog, who sees herself as yours, this is a natural bonding progression. However, for a strong male dog, who sees you as his, this becomes a hysterical contradiction of everything he feels and believes. For this reason most females can progress faster and easier than males. HOWEVER, FASTER AND EASIER isn’t always better, and doesn’t always produce the best results. Some times slower and harder is better, and the end results, which we are all looking for, come out better.
LEVEL THREE CONDITIONING
In level three dog training, the dog has been conditioned and evolved to the point where they are ready to perform “on command”. The dog is ready to learn:
To respond as “commanded”
To respond instantly without having to think or determine
To respond instantly
To learn to focus, mentally absorb the handler/trainer’s intention, and respond.
Level three work helps the dog to take all of it’s training and;
use it right now,
in this moment,
to perform exactly as requested.
In Level three work the dog learns to resolve its stress experiences by responding quickly, in an effort to resolve its immediate ‘Delima’.
In level three work the trainer/handler must use verbalcommands, and simultaneous physical instruction. The dog is getting conditioned to respond instantly, to avoid the physical instruction. This training does parallel the training of Col. Conrad Most, only slightly abbreviated, and not as hard, because the dogs we are training with are not Police K9s with sharp temperament levels, but Service Dogs, with medium or medium high quality temperaments.
A higher level of respect for the command.
A sharper focus from the dog on the handler’s intention.
A deeper respect for the handler/trainer in the mind of the dog.
A stronger desire to perform in the mind of the dog.
A more single-minded focus between the dog and the handler/trainer.
A more cohesive behavior from the dog.
Through your work with the dog in level three the dog and the handler should learn to advance their mutual respect and natural bond for and with each other. This training sets the team up to progress into the fourth level of dog training. Remember that as you train your dog in level three you need to be sensitive to the dog’s mental/emotional needs and desires. Sometimes you might want to start on level two, and then advance into level three work, especially in the beginning, so as not to overwhelm the dog. It is not bad to start on level one, and progress from there, depending on where your dog is at.
Quite often I will start over, at lower levels of training, and progress upward to higher levels of training, monthly, weekly, and daily, allowing the dog to respond as they are ready, willing, and wanting, and to move with the dog.
In the fourth level of training we draw from the first three levels of training with the dog, and the strength of that conditioning, to provide a strong and fundamentally comprehensive background, mentally, emotionally, and psychologically, for each dog being trained.
Level four training teaches the dog to respond to the handler, regardless of its situation, environment, or its particular experience. In this level the dog is tested continuously by being placed in situations where;
they are made to feel free, and
they have the choice to choose whether to follow the commands of their handler,
or to follow their own dictates.
The dog is then taught that not following the commands of their handler can be dangerous, self-abusive, and futile.
In this level the training with the training is focused on teaching the dog not to trust its own instincts and thought processes, but instead to learn to look for and follow the commands of their handler. In order to do this with a minimum amount of stress, compulsion, and trauma, the supervised, controlled, partial use of an electronic collar is often necessary.
I do use electronic collars Electronic collars as the final step in the learning process.
First, we comprehensively train a dog, so that they, without a doubt, know exactly what is expected and how to perform in each exercise where an electronic collar is going to used
Second, the dog must have gone through the “thought” process to the point where they have consciously made strong decisions to act, exactly as commanded and expected.
Third, their decisions and actions in each circumstance must have become habitually engrained into their thought process, which takes a minimum of 21 days.
The collar is then used on a minimum setting, and upgrades, only as is necessary, to work with the mental process of each dog, to accomplish its goal.
This is not to cause pain or torment, but rather to challenge the dog’s decision, to remind them that this action-choice is wrong, and to give them the chance to change their decision. This is actually very humane. The dog may not even feel the collar physically, but may detect, through the collar, that something is wrong, making them stop, change mental and physical directions, and proceed correctly.
Again, this process is not an end in itself, and the dog’s performance must be critically evaluated with each use. Often, the process can to be stopped, and
the level of training backed up, to give the dog time to evaluate, build behavior, and perform correctly.
As this level of work continues, the dog needs to be trained while wearing the electronic collar, however using it less and less, and on lower levels. This progression is only successful when it is done exactly as written here.
The training with the electronic collar should shorten the predictable response time for each dog, reducing its stress and mental Delima, and helping the dog to make faster, more focused, dependable decisions.
LEVEL FIVE TRAINING
In level five training the dog and handler work with a regular collar, and the dog responds based on its training, with the handler/trainer, as a team effort. In this level the dog should have habitualized its conditioning, and not need harder instructional efforts. It should work in-pack as trained.
Questions? Call me at 808-213-5848