Raising a powerful breed puppy into calm, social maturity PART 1

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We have a new addition to our team at the Dog Language Center – it’s a bouncing Rottie pup! In this series I will delve into some rare yet wonderful puppy-raising hacks for all our rabid fans out there ūüėČ This post is lengthy but so worth it. Brace yourselves…its real talk from a genuine dog whisperer again.

If I could recommend one thing above all else it would be socializing the pup. In fact if I could only pick one thing to give to my new powerful breed puppy (or any pup for that matter) it would be ultra-socialization. What does this mean? It means that even above dog training or behavior modification and above visits to the vet or grooming shop, getting a puppy socialized makes all the difference in preparing the animal for success or failure, behaviorally speaking, for the rest of its life within our modern world. This ultra socialization means the gradual desensitization of our pup’s super senses each day/week/month that passes during the entire first year of life. The five senses of Touch, Smell, Taste, and Vision and Hearing develop quickly within young dogs and must be guided and influenced if one ever hopes to have a calm dog. The best way to help a dog truly mature and become calm is to get as many varied experiences and people and animals into the pup’s life as soon as possible. Many breeders do puppies and future dog owners a horrible disservice due to fixating on FEAR of parvo or other zoonosis as they fail the rapidly growing pups by coddling and keeping them away from normal life around the neighborhood. Friends, the health risk of socialization is so, so worth the behavioral reward. The law of the universe says we will most assuredly reap what we sow. No risk = No reward.

Let me point out now that authentic socialization is so much more than just attending a puppy group class somewhere or tossing your growing pup into high excitement environment dog daycare. While the puppy group class consists of one type of socializing please be aware that this “socialization” is usually nowhere near enough for most puppies to achieve social normalcy and it is certainly not enough for many powerful breed pups that tend to naturally guard and become more protective as they age. Also, there are many cons to be aware of in light of our desire to raise a puppy CALMLY and without the need for food treats and excessive shallow external reinforcement! When or if you do decide to place your pup in an excitable group class setting I’d ask you to reconsider. Believe it or not I DON’T typically recommend group classes filled with pups because older, balanced, calm, example dogs are usually absent and not on scene to help set the proper tone! Right off the bat this goes directly against nature’s ways and the way of all canines. So the group class is unnaturally wild with energy and overexcitement. The hapless dog trainer then often employees more excitement usually by way of a treat in attempts at competing with the already excitable pups that they are trying to make perform frivolous sits or downs. Rather than intelligently adding calmness, the professional trainer competes with the already highly excitable environment! Competing by raising more energy with an environment filled with foolish young pups is unwise and wasteful. As the trainer on hand encourages people to utilize high-pitched praise and “high value” treats in exchange for one second of the pup’s attention it often becomes a disgusting display of mismanaged energy and a total lack of natural leadership. It’s a bad scene and a noisy one to boot. Is it any wonder that most puppy “group” classes soon dwindle as the weeks pass to just one or two stalwart owners trying for perfect attendance as they drag their pups to the local Petsmart for the last couple weeks? I encourage any puppy owner to look deeper instead of just doing what’s typically done.

A similar conditioning of over-excitment and high energy can sadly yet easily develop in any pup that is at dog daycare all the time. Typically the workers in a dog daycare love dogs but many may not know much about real dog language or how or when to take action or adjust the pack’s energy. So day after day the rapidly growing and rapidly learning puppy is learning that whenever he lays eyes on his own species it’s supposedly instant play time and he (if he is a already a normally-functioning puppy) most certainly will raise his energy to heightened play levels…even if you’re just trying to smoothly walk down the street and past another dog and dog owner. You can see the problem with conditioning your puppy to be hyper from a young age.

When we compare and contrast the levels of energy found within a normal group class setting or dog daycare versus say of the energy while taking a wonderful hike through the mountains there are stark differences. That, Dear Reader, is not good. Excitement + Excitement = Calmness is a false equation, fuzzy math, that cannot work out mathematically and or scientifically within the animal no matter how badly many large pet training conglomerates might want it too. These conglomerates want to sell “high value” treats to dog owners in order to bribe their way into a pup’s life during an excitable round of obedience! A much more real world, beneficial equation that helps a puppy calm down and learn about real life around it would look like this… Excitement (the pup has this energy normally without being encouraged) + Calmness expressed through proper dog language (this is provided by the loving dog owner) = Calmness and steadily growing Maturity! Now that is a winning equation. Sadly, most dogs never achieve maturity because most dog owners have inadvertently downgraded their relationship to one of employer and employee (by “training” the dog according to typical dog training within the industry) even though the dog lives in the home and, in many cases is even babied and coddled at unnatural and often outrageous levels. Balance is nowhere to be found!

Society no longer requires work from 99% of our dogs. Instead these many dog owners that make up a good portion of our society desire calmness and trustworthiness. This is particularly important for young dogs and pups that will grow to be powerful, natural guardians. “Tapping the breaks” on growing guarding behavior is a must-do as it rears its head. The caring puppy owner must take action at the earliest possible evidences of any unsocial behavior (that is if you want a calm and trustworthy future dog that is fit for your children, your home, your neighborhood, the neighborhood children, and can be trusted in society at large. If you don’t want that then by all means continue “training” and “working” your dog as it is often tragically instructed almost everywhere.) Important Note: these unsocial signs or early signs of misbehavior are often overlooked in group obedience classes and they are overlooked in private sessions with professionals because of their horrible fixation on obedience and work!!! Then, typically at the year or year-and-a-half mark, as the young dog reaches sexual maturity, whatever unaddressed and underlying issues or problems the pup harbored come fully to fruition and suddenly it dawns on the dog owner that they have a serious problem on their hands. Then we get a call. We see this in almost every session we do with clients! What good are tricks and obedience when/if the original professional on hand cannot/did not identify and then take action and instruct you on the proper actions in order to prevent or reverse future issues with your dog? Too many people waste money on early piss-poor training instead of prepping their pups for real world success by way of extreme socialization.

Success Hacks for socializing your powerful puppy:

Because your pup is going to become a hulking beast or a dog that could intimidate some folks it is even more important to get people to TOUCH and pet your powerful puppy as early as possible!

This means week one of bringing the puppy home some visitors must come over and the pup should be starting right away to go out front of your house on mini walks to meet the neighbors. Yes, I know I might be going directly against some vets advice on keeping them “safe” and sound until the pup is damn near a teenage dog but I don’t care! I genuinely want what’s best for you and your pup behaviorally speaking and I’ve handled thousands and thousands and thousands of dogs with serious behavioral issues. Unlike many vets I don’t have the luxury of subscribing drugs and or just suggesting spaying or neutering or putting the dog down – if we’re being honest those are the three main approaches most vets take when dealing with dog aggression or extreme anxiety or other behavioral problems. Back to my point…Denying a young, rapidly growing puppy a couple months of socialization is most definitely Harmful to the dog’s psyche. I love the expression safety third. If life was always safety first no-one would ever do anything, or accomplish anything, or go anywhere. We’d all be paralyzed, unhealthy shut-ins. Socialize for success my friends. Sure, don’t roll your pup in dog crap and don’t bring your puppy to the busy dog park and let it drink from stagnant water while it’s 9 weeks old but other than those two things I would highly suggest the puppy meet as many people and social well behaved dogs as soon as possible in a majority of cases.

Make sure people and other dogs can touch your pup ANYWHERE on their body. This will inform you straightaway if your pup is fearful or dominant or overly hyper and then you’ll be able to devise a plan to help alleviate these issues if present (HINT: they are usually always present and need to be addressed or guided). Discover early on whether the pup refuses to let another dog sniff their rear end…if they’re nervous and they try to avoid being sniffed then you MUST jump in and make the nervous pup get it’s butt sniffed because that’s normal amongst canines. YOU dictate what’s normal to the dog just as older dogs in a large family pack would do. And forcing a nervous pup to get touched everywhere is one of the most important things a caring puppy owner can do for their pups. Yes I said force. You are forcing the pup to get out of your space and to be handled by a friendly person. You are forcing the nervous yet powerful pup to leave your space just like the mother dog weaned and forced her pups away from her body super early on. Hacking into the puppy’s sense of touch early on is INFINITELY More Important than any kind of obedience training!!!!!

Quick update on my upcoming third book…

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I edge ever closer to completion of my Third book on dog and human behavior and, let me tell you, I am excited. This will be my best book thus far and I am so happy to unleash this baby on the wide world.

Recently my first book, Dog Myths: What you Believe about dogs can come back to Bite You! has really been gaining audiences all over the globe. Big thanks to anybody who’s read and recommended it because, as you know, if read with an open mind Dog Myths can alter the entire way one views dogs and truly help repair damaged relationships between owner and dog. My second book, So Long Separation Anxiety is also gaining readers even though it is nowhere where I’d like it to be (in truth it’s probably because I didn’t make that book available in paperback and because I priced it so low as a thank you to readers of Dog Myths and it’s human nature to value things that are priced highly. It’s a shame though because So Long Separation Anxiety goes over everything from eye-contact denial exercises, to proper doorway greetings, doorway exits, to calming crate work – no treats or drugs required – and much more it is great for new puppy owners or dog owners with older dogs suffering with horrific anxiety. Many readers of both books actual prefer So Long Separation Anxiety because it is filled with very practical step by step instruction on every page.

I’m hoping to release this third, upcoming book about our dogs’ incredible senses and the 4 Pillars of Dog Language by the Christmas season 2021. Fingers crossed we’ll get it done for ya!

Thanks so much to all you fine readers of this blog and please keep spreading the word about my writing because it helps the readers and dogs and my family. That’s a win-win-win baby!

-G

German Shepherd behavior and training

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We handle a buttload of German Shepherds. ¬†Almost every single day we work with at least one or two of them. ¬†As an intelligent and sensitive guarding breed many, many owners screw things up with their GSDs. ¬†(Yes, I’m giving it to you straight like I always do and like a dog would) ¬†In my opinion many professional trainers screw it up too through “over training” (more on that later)!

Here are 4 Great Tips for the German Shepherd dog owner:

  1. Never coddle the weak. ¬†All of nature teaches us this and yet a lot of dog owners refuse to learn it. ¬†If you have a nervous pup or a skittish older Shepherd coddling it and talking softly to it at all the wrong times will only serve to grow the fearful state of mind and misbehavior. ¬†GSDs come with extra nerves so they could potentially be alert watch dogs but way too many owners let this grow to out of control proportions. ¬†Keep in mind the dog’s own birth mother and father would NEVER coddle! ¬†GSDs give birth to too many pups to do it. ¬†And they do not talk as much as humans – instead, they prefer action. ¬†Do you think you’re a better canine communicator and dog leader than the pup’s own natural parents? ¬†Do you have dog instincts? ¬†Can you run 32-45 mph? ¬†Do you have an incredible sense of touch, smell, and taste? ¬†Et Cetera Et Cetera…NO – you don’t – so please don’t presume to know more than mom or dad dog and to then dramatically change how they (and almost all animal parents) would do things with their young. ¬†INSTEAD of coddling place your German Shepherd into confident and peaceful postures familiar to all canines.
  2. Don’t over train. ¬†If you have a GSD then you know a lot of training comes fairly easy when compared to many other breeds. ¬†The GSD is definitely smart and highly observant. ¬†Sometimes they are too observant and too smart! ¬†Do not over train and over ritualize everything. ¬†In fact, the only thing I really want to set a rigid schedule for is feeding and elimination. ¬†Everything else I do with my German Shepherd should be about flexibility and sociability (with the caveat of raising and training a professional working dog – which most folks do not do). ¬†Over training your GSD just leads them into manipulating your training and controlling the same tired, stupid routine that you set. ¬†Maybe you were impressed at first because the dog knew precisely when you were going on your walk but now there’s rudeness involved because the dog is hyping everything up prior to your getting the leash out of the closet, spinning in circles, whining, etc. ¬†He knows where the leash is kept and that initial hyperactivity and rudeness can easily lead to exploding out the front door, and that then leads to dragging you off the porch, which then leads into pulling on the leash while walking, and then maybe even going crazy at every dog or person your dog sees! ¬†And all this trouble actually stems from your training and you having your GSD perform the same thing each day! ¬†Change it up, buttercup. y9W6UhdYSg6AqgpdYoQYEA
  3. Socialize like crazy. ¬†Socialization does not just mean taking a puppy class at the local Petsmart. ¬†Socialization is the gradual desensitization of our dogs’ super senses. ¬†Socialization is any and every new experience, new location, new touches, smells, tastes, sights, and sounds. ¬†Think about the vehicles, the beaches, the mountains, the cities, the country, the children, the old folks, the other dogs, the neighborhood cats, the squirrels, the garbage trucks, the Home Depot, the Costco parking lot, being left behind, or loading up and coming with…genuine socialization is infinitely more important to raising a healthy dog than going to the vet, than attending formal training, than grooming…socialization is and must be King! ¬†If you socialize your GSD enough with calm, firm, and sometimes playful leadership your Shepherd will absolutely have the best life and love you the more for it. ¬†Your GSD should NOT only love your family – that’s great in a literal war zone but everywhere else it sucks. ¬†Don’t let yourself, your family, your dog and all society down…socialize for success. IMG_3047
  4. Learn your dog’s language and use the 4 Pillars for great behavioral results. ¬†All dogs share an authentic and universal language. ¬†I’d highly recommend learning ¬†it from the dogs themselves. ¬†To aid you in this observational quest to learn real dog language my books are always available for purchase. ¬†Dogs can be incredibly manipulative – my books are there to help you identify and then stop those manipulations which then can let the better parts of your German Shepherd’s nature (and none of the nasty) come to fruition and full maturity. IMG_3629¬† IMG_3515¬† IMG_3141¬† Enlight172¬† ¬†(All dogs featured belong to former clients)

Speed hides mistakes. SLOW DOWN and you’ll make less mistakes with your dog.

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Sifu Hill, my Wing Chun Kung Fu instructor, always tells his students that “Speed hides mistakes.” ¬†As a martial artist master with 50 years experience in differing martial arts (40 years studying Wing Chun) my Sifu knows what he’s talking about. ¬†He often exhorts the individual that is going too fast to slow down in order to get the technique down properly. ¬†Speed may look flashy to the beginner but the master knows that a good Wing Chun practitioner should be able to work the method both slowly and quickly and that doing it slowly and smoothly is the best way forward for the beginner. ¬†It is the same with the Garrett Stevens Method of dog behavioral rehab and natural dog handling.

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This is my Mook Yan Jong, my “wooden man dummy.” It is a necessity for the serious Wing Chun disciple. I begin by SLOWLY working the forms around the imaginary human arms and legs while simultaneously striking the hard wood of the dummy sometimes causing tiny micro fractures in my arms which toughen the bones upon repair. I am loving it! ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† For more info check out Hill’s Wing Chun

Mainstream dog training techniques also hide many mistakes behaviorally speaking. ¬†Many dog trainers go fast because A. They’ve been taught to go fast and to continually motivate. and B. They know (in some cases) they can hide a dog’s mistakes and make themselves and the dog they are working with look better momentarily. ¬†They encourage their students to “work the dog” and take fast turns. ¬†These turns do a full circle when heeling (which, incidentally, is what overexcited or neurotic dogs do – they circle and pace and stare). ¬†The Garrett Stevens Method is different because we also encourage a quick turn to interrupt problematic eye contact when a dog is about to stare at an energy-escalating stimuli BUT¬†(and this is huge) then we have the owner slow down immediately and many times even instruct them to stop moving for a moment. ¬†We do NOT have them do a full circle like so many trainers and behaviorists do – instead we have our clients turn 180 degrees then greatly slow down their movement and the dog’s. ¬†This way the dog’s body and the dog’s energy is not allowed to complete the turn and hype the dog back up again by way of letting him/her continue to stare and in many cases continue to threaten the stimuli. ¬†The Garrett Stevens Method is 180 degrees different from what most trainers are teaching – that is why it works so well! ¬†We do NOT attempt to hide mistakes. ¬†We point them out and then move on towards success. ¬†By tapping into the 4 Pillars of dog language one will find it is much, much easier to influence a dog’s energy and behavior – especially when compared and contrasted with other dog training and behavior mod methods.

Your dog, as the member of a fast living, fast dying, fast moving species, may seek to control the situation through speed and by speeding your movements up. ¬†Don’t let that happen! ¬†Stay as calm as possible. ¬†Don’t talk a lot while attempting to slow the dog down. ¬†Take action quickly then take action smoothly and very slowly. ¬†Now pause and take action even slower. ¬†We desire DE-escalation. ¬†We need to keep experiencing the energy drop and guide the dog to do the same. ¬†(For more info look for my third book on all things dog and human behavior about the 5 incredible senses of our dogs and the 4 Pillars of dog language!)

Please don’t be one of the millions and millions that are impressed by watching some Belgian or German Shepherd briskly heeling like a robot, doing circles and trotting beside the handler on Youtube. ¬†If we could ask more questions of that same exact dog behaviorally in many cases it may be found wanting. ¬†Is that same dog that was excitably performing the heel on Youtube trustworthy and calm near human babies? ¬†Is that same dog calm around other members of his/her own species? ¬†Can they play with other dogs? ¬†Can they be off leash and calm at a buddy’s barbecue? ¬†Is the dog going to destroy the home when the owner/handler leaves or is it calm enough to manage itself maturely? ¬†Speed hides mistakes.

There’s a saying that came to us all from the Military. ¬†It goes “Slow is smooth – smooth is fast.” ¬†Take it to heart when handling your dog or pup. ¬†Take it especially to heart when handling the out of control, or fearful, or aggressive dog. ¬†If I had a saying it would be something like “Speed up socialization (because we can never socialize enough) and Slow down the dog or pup’s movement in the midst of that socialization.”

Happy Handling and keep Slowing Down and getting it right,

-G

the Garrett Stevens Method of dog behavior rehab and canine linguistics

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The Garrett Stevens Method of dog behavior rehab and training is unique within the dog training and behavior modification industry.  This is why.

  1. ¬†We begin by ASKING tough questions about dog training in general and the behavior industry and by thoughtfully considering many tactics and methods we can then streamline efficiency and get better results. ¬†Here are some of the terrific questions that one could/should ask when looking for a professional dog trainer or behaviorist or when examining ANY dog training method in the world. ¬†Do the methods used line up with what we know about how dogs naturally raise their young? ¬†Does the method take into account the dog’s point of view and how all dog’s think and respond within their environment? ¬†Are the methods of training CALMING because calmness is a very valuable and desirable quality in today’s modern house dogs just as it is within all of nature? ¬†(That last question often disqualifies a host of training methods) ¬†Do the methods line up with what we know as good, basic parenting (either among dogs or people) and common sense or are the methods unnatural and overly fixated on external motivation (positive or aversive reinforcement)? ¬†Is there a backup contingency when/if one part of the method fails? ¬†Is the training method bringing both dog and owner to a place of curiosity, thoughtfulness, and more physical activity? ¬†Would the method work for other domesticated animals? ¬†Is the training method FREE¬†from limiting items (ex: food, shock collars, etc, – Will it work without these items)? ¬†Is there evidence of the philosophy and method found easily within nature and within the universe? ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† The Garrett Stevens Method can answer YES to all of these questions!!! ¬†The overwhelming majority of dog training and behavior modification methods available to most people though – tragically cannot answer the above questions in the affirmative! ¬†Please pause to consider that.
  2. We put first things first in the Garrett Stevens Method. ¬†It is wise to put the horse before the cart and not the other way round. ¬†Yet, this is NOT often the case within the dog training industry. ¬†Obedience and tricks and “work” for a dog should be of secondary importance (yes, even amongst pro trainers) when compared in relation to the dog – human bond, to the fundamental order of the animal’s senses, and to how the dog experiences the world around him/her. ¬†This is why we teach all our clients¬†the 4 Pillars of dog language. ¬†Learning and applying those is a more simplified and highly efficient way to jump into understanding dogs and their culture and behavior and, in that way, the client will then be able to express themselves back to their dogs. ¬†We must look to nature and to our own dogs to discover what must be of primary importance (even above looking to the sterile science lab) and then we must put those things of primary importance first if we desire success. ¬†That is key to relational and behavioral excellence.
  3. We educate clients much more than we ever train dogs. ¬†While some obedience training is necessary here and there – within all the cases we handle, believe it or not, the human client is the one where all our “dog training” either fails or succeeds because dogs are relational and any and all results must be Maintained BY THE OWNER! ¬†The dog’s capacity for sociability must be stretched to the limits of that capacity (like working out and strengthening a muscle) so that real growth can occur! ¬†When owners are taught to take responsibility and action (by employing the 4 Pillars) the changes that happen during our training sessions together can not only take route but genuinely grow into something wonderful.
  4. In the Garrett Stevens Method we put an emphasis on physical action and touch. ¬†We do this because it lines up perfectly with what all DOGS care about and how all DOGS on the planet express themselves back and forth to each other and to us within the confines of their specific language. ¬†Touch is a pup’s first sense. ¬†All puppies are born blind and deaf. ¬†Touch is also the first of the 4 Pillars of dog language. ¬†Touch reveals everything to a person once they learn to use our unique method! ¬†Taking action (by way of touch, space, and movement) is the name of the game when initially communicating with a dog – knowing when to calmly address your dog (gaining respect) and when to smoothly ignore your dog (giving trust) is key. ¬†Being sensitive to touch and the space around our bodies and the dogs’ bodies is critical for healthy relationship and good behavior.
  5. Frankly, My Dear, we don’t give a d*mn when it comes to what training method is popular at the time or to what any doggy organization has to say when we employ the Garrett Stevens Method. ¬†In fact, we don’t care at all what other experts may or may not have to say. ¬†Does this mean we are closed minded? ¬†Hardly! ¬†In truth, it means the opposite because what we care about are Real Results for the dogs and for our wonderful clients. ¬†We care more about what nature is teaching us and less about what new fangled “certification” comes out within the money-guzzling dog training industry. ¬†Those utilizing the Garrett Stevens Method care more about what dogs care about and less about what people’s concept of dog training is or should be –¬†because we’ve found that the more we align with nature and the balanced mother and father dog, the greater the relationship and the greater the behavioral success between human and canine. ¬†The more we distance ourselves from the status quo industry methods the greater the outcome! ¬†And we’ve discovered that that excellent relationship and great results we get often has little or nothing to do with certifications and group think and the selling of billions of dollars worth in treats or sweaters for dogs (or in selling largely unnecessary training equipment). ¬†Results alone are and should be King!
  6. The Garrett Stevens Method does NOT require harsh handling or food treats! ¬†Yes, it’s true – you heard me correctly. ¬†We are the anti-trainers and we are the dreamers of dreams, we are the movers and shakers, of the world forever it seems. ¬†As mentioned probably thousands of times on this blog – BOTH positive reinforcement and punitive reinforcement are externally based (fleeting) motivators and not the best choice in most circumstances. ¬†Internal motivations (things like healthy relationship, freedom of choice, autonomy, curiosity, instinctual play drive, etc) are much, much better motivators than external positive or punitive reinforcement.¬† Internal motivation is one of the starting points in the Garrett Stevens Method but once that is rolling we begin teaching authentic maturity to both client and dog (as seen in mother nature) and that is one huge reason that sets this special method apart. ¬†We are pioneering the way into the FUTURE¬†of dog ownership (don’t believe me – read my books and discover why I say that). ¬†Dogs are smarter than most training methods and therefore, they can and often do manipulate the heck out of it! ¬†Training is secondary to a wonderful relationship particularly if the dog is NOT a professional working dog. ¬†Don’t treat your dog like a dolphin doing flips for tourists in Hawaii – don’t stuff it’s face with food and don’t rely on weak external motivators that fade quickly – instead learn our method and truly communicate with your intelligent companion. ¬†Once that happens freedom for both parties is just around the corner!
  7. When we use the Garrett Stevens Method we don’t need to make excuses. ¬†Over the years we hear the stories first hand (over and over) from clients that have used other dog training philosophies and methods, prior to experiencing ours. ¬†We hear about how the professional behaviorist, or dog trainer, whisperer, or animal communicator loaded the client up with many lame excuses once their method failed. ¬†We’ve heard everything from “Your dog just shouldn’t be around other dogs or people.” (Yes, a professional trainer that someone was paying gave them that sage advice after their great “training” didn’t work – It’s ridiculous, asinine, and totally unrealistic!) to “Your dog is your dog and maybe it shouldn’t be touched by anyone else.” ¬†(What a life for one of the world’s most social species – that brilliant advice, which came direct from a K9 trainer, is unbelievably stupid, and a cop out used to cover poor methods!) to one of the best lame excuses, in my personal opinion, we’ve ever heard. ¬†It went something like,¬†“Your dog wishes she wasn’t ever born.” ¬†(This gem came to a client from a gen-u-ine “animal communicator” with psychic powers and all. ¬†I guess that explains why her dog was barking too much whenever she was in the client’s vehicle…the poor dog just didn’t want to be born. ¬†Excellent. ¬†And this woman was paid for that “reading!”) ¬†The Garrett Stevens Method is so DIFFERENT from all that because if something isn’t working, which is very rare, it usually means the client wasn’t emulating it precisely and that precision is EVERYTHING IN Dog LANGUAGE. ¬†In proper language I cannot say, “I love the smell of that colon” and leave the sentence that way – can I? ¬†I MISSPELLED¬†the word “cologne” and instead stated that I love to smell a part of the human intestine! ¬†That’s nasty and, furthermore, the communication is off kilter. ¬†DETAILS MATTER!¬† The fine details matter to every dog that exists because they are the details of¬†their language. ¬†What does NOT matter, when interacting with our socially brilliant and highly communicative dogs, is whether you or I enjoy the absolute FACT that the details do matter! ¬†It’s THEIR language so…I highly suggest learning it and learning to speak it back to them through our natural method because that, Friends, just may be the closest thing you’re going to get to calm, natural touch, space, and movement. ¬†That is how you can learn to influence energy and really speak dog language and that will, in turn, influence your relationship and your dog’s behavior. ¬†IF you truly love your dog – as so many claim to – put your money where your mouth is and learn their language. ¬†Learn the Garrett Stevens Method.

Good luck on your quest. ¬†For those legitimately interested I’d begin the journey by reading Dog Myths: What you Believe about dogs can come back to Bite You!¬†because there’s a huge chance that what you believe about dogs and their language is way off base. ¬†Then I’d move on to So Long Separation Anxiety (this little book is packed with plenty of other dog behavioral excellence far beyond separation anxiety alone) and then I’d pick up a copy or two of my upcoming third book about the dog’s 5 incredible Senses and the 4 PILLARS of Dog Language! ¬†This book is going to reveal much more of the Garrett Stevens Method of behavioral rehab¬†and canine linguistics!

Happy Learning!

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Please remember to Share the stuff on this blog with family, friends, and colleagues.  Thanks much!

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Is your dog like Muhammad Ali?

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Perhaps your dog “floats like a butterfly and stings like a bee?”

Maybe you are one of the multitude of dog owners that “can’t catch what they can’t see.”

Boxing legend Muhammad Ali had masterful footwork and incredible spatial strike and retreat/retreat and strike techniques on the canvas that won him the heavyweight championship title. ¬†Known today simply as “The Greatest” he was a masterful tactician and a true artist of the sweet science.

I’m here to inform you that your puppy (or dog) also has these same incredible moves at their disposal just like Ali had. ¬†Whenever he/she performs these keep away moves on you it is purposefully rude, manipulative, and a relationship killer which then leads to a host of other dog behavior problems! ¬†Whenever your puppy¬†slips your touch or evades you, the pup then grows steadily worse.

 

All normal canines can perfectly calculate (just like Muhammad Ali could) the length of your arms and hands in relation to where their body happens to be. ¬†They are true masters of fight/flight distancing. ¬†Dogs know and care about space as it concerns their body and the environment they find themselves in. ¬†They can dance away just as skillfully as the champion pugilist did in his prime. ¬†Ali used the “rope a dope” tactic successfully on many an opponent in the ring. ¬†Dogs and puppies also do this to their owners all-the-stinking-time! This allows them to grow steadily ruder and, in their doggy mind, more and more in charge of the household, the yard, the couch, the dog daycare, and the neighborhood!

When a dog attempts to slip your touch and stay out of your personal space bubble when you’re reaching towards them or clearly asking them to come into your space in order to be touched or groomed or pet, or leashed up, we must be able to control that interaction. ¬†When you approach your dog they should not back away.

Beneficial suggestions to stop a dog from slipping your touch:

As detailed in my first book, Dog Myths, you must learn to play while moving backwards Рuse the tug, rope, or ball to lure the dog into your personal space.  When playing tug of war be sure to add your second hand into the mix in a fun way.  You should be able to touch your dog with your second hand without your dog slipping the touch.  This is how you desensitize and slow the classic Muhammad Ali slip and rope a dope behavior.

Do NOT lunge after the dog or chase it!  (Chasing the dog is a bad game because it reinforces the fact that your dog can run way, way faster than you or any human can)

Have your puppy wear a flat buckle collar around the house so that when he/she decides to slip your touch and give you the rope a dope you can easily reach forward under the neck of the animal and hook the collar and (gently) drag them forward into your space – then perform your originally intended purpose (the reason why you attempted to touch the pup in the first place – petting, grooming, leashing etc) Then be sure and turn away and exit the space first (before your pup runs off). ¬†This little paragraph is important and has the potential to greatly alter misbehavior and bring about healthy relationship! ¬†(If you’re still struggling with this then go to the leash and have your pooch drag one around)

Call your dog less. ¬†Our pets live in a world of human talking and man made noise. ¬†Humans are incredibly loud a majority of the time. ¬†It is not that way in the woods. ¬†Most animals don’t like loud noises. ¬†Many dog owners kill the “come” command by overuse. ¬†They also destroy the dog’s name because of overuse. ¬†Don’t be one of them. ¬†Be creative. ¬†Think like an older dog. ¬†Older dogs do NOT sit there calling the pups to them. ¬†What do they do? ¬†(I’m not giving you the answer because I want you to up your observation skills).

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This is my favorite pair of boxing gloves and my favorite jump rope

Muhammad Ali was fun to watch in the ring – he was one of the best boxers ever – but when a dog or pup slips their owner’s touch that is blatantly disrespectful and will most certainly grow poor behavioral patterns if left unchecked. ¬†It matters not if the dog is nervous or shy. ¬†Please follow my suggestions and then let us know how quickly you saw the changes in behavior occur! ¬†(This stuff works and not only does it work…it works better than many behavior modification methods out there.) ¬†DO it and both you and your dog will certainly reap the benefits!

-G

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“I have trained myself to notice what I see”

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Dog behavior and language can, like learning another language, be broken down in its simplest of components. ¬†It can be elementary, my dear Watson, if you have the eye. ¬†The title quote of this article I’ve taken from that most fantastic and fictional of all detectives, Mr. Sherlock Holmes.

Holmes was a masterful observer. ¬†In The Adventure of the Blanched Soldier¬†we see Sherlock easily identifying where Mr. Dodd has come from, what type of employment he has, what area he is from, and the beginnings of why Mr. Dodd came desperately looking for the super slueth’s help.

MR DODD: ¬†“You see everything.”

SHERLOCK HOLMES: ¬†“I see no more than you, but I have trained myself to notice what I see.”

In Sherlock’s next sentence calls his legendary skill the “science of observation.” ¬†Whether this incredible observation of Holmes’ is science or art matters little. ¬†What matters is that it is definitely valuable in every form of problem solving.

Problem solving is precisely what we do every day at our dog language center and whenever we are amongst dog loving families in their homes. ¬†If you desire to be a better dog owner – and you should desire it because most people, frankly, are very poor owners when it comes to proper animal husbandry – if you desire improvement in dog behavior you must learn to observe then act!¬† (This poor animal husbandry is true especially between people and dogs because there are so many foolhardy behavioral myths dog owners cling to. ¬†Can you imagine if I ranked and rated how great dog owners were or how terrible they were like people do with businesses on Google or Yelp or wherever else? ¬†God forbid…because I’d be forced, if I was being honest, to hand out a host of 1 stars left and right due to an extreme disregard for nature’s ways, the value of calmness, and due to the piss poor relationships we consistently see between pet owners and their dogs! ¬†We often observe that the owner adores their dog and the dog accepts that adoration readily and controls everything and acts as if they could care less about the bond with their owner or… on the opposite end the dog may be insanely unsocial towards everyone else in the world due to the extreme obsession allowed in the relational bond by the owner.

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If you want to judge a dog on behavior look at how it touches and interacts with its owner and examine how it accepts touch from a guest or a little child!  Touch is the first of the Four Pillars of Dog Language and the most critical for human-dog interaction.

If you were to work just one day in our kennel you’d see how insane dogs can act because people (their own owners) don’t know much or care much about animals and nature’s way. ¬†Perhaps I should clarify and say that they care about all the wrong things when it comes to their dog and hardly ever care or even notice all the things that lead to problematic behavior! ¬†That’s stating it more succinctly.

Friends, we MUST train ourselves to notice what we see!

Please pay attention to the details.  You have to if you desire any sort of change within your dog or pup behaviorally speaking.

I have loved and been fascinated by all animals and nature since my earliest memories. ¬†Let’s not fail our dogs by believing status quo dog myths concerning their behavior or language. ¬†Let’s all look deeper…let’s ask more questions…let’s notice what we see!

Garrett Stevens is author of the hot-listed book, Dog Myths: What you Believe about dogs can come back to Bite You! and the super practical book to reverse or prevent anxiety in puppies or dogs, So Long Separation Anxiety.  Sample them today on/at Amazon, Apple iBooks, at Barnes and Noble, and at several other places and books reading platforms.

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The Four Pillars of dog language

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Dog language and the adjustment of behavior need not be complicated.  After a decade and a half of examining and questioning the dog training industry and observing other pet professionals and after learning and studying the Way of the Dog directly from thousands and thousands of dogs themselves I have broken down dog language into what I have coined The Four Pillars of Dog Language.  These relatively unknown pillars of canine communication and language are the essence of dog behavior and social interaction.  They are incredibly important to all canids on the planet!  The Four Pillars have nothing to do with positive reinforcement or punitive reinforcement Рthey go far deeper than shallow motivation.  Once you recognize and utilize The Four Pillars you will see rapid improvement in even the most difficult of dogs.

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The Four Pillars of dog language I’ve discovered and am sharing with you now are tried and true. ¬†They stand the test of time. ¬†Every single dog I’ve ever worked with knows and responds whenever I tap into these pillars. ¬†It doesn’t matter what breed you have, what age the dog is, or the dog’s sordid past history – every canine on this planet, be they wild or domestic, use and clearly understand these pillars of communicative interaction! ¬†The Four Pillars are instinctual and, thus, primal and powerful.

If more dog behaviorists focused on first learning these Four Pillars and then teaching dog language instead of settling for and being perpetually enthralled by frivolous trick training and dog obedience the world and dog ownership as a whole would rapidly improve! ¬†If veterinarians knew the four pillars of dog language they’d be much better equipped to handle the large, fearful, and aggressive dogs that come for exams without accidentally adding more negative stress to the visit and the dog (this frequently occurs)! ¬†If animal shelters and dog rescue groups knew the four pillars their adoption rates would skyrocket because dogs would settle down peacefully and adapt much faster to modern households and society! ¬†But let’s not hold our breath. ¬†In the meantime at least you and I, Dear Reader, can begin at once a deeper relationship with our dog as we, the curious, the questioning, the nature-loving, and the open-minded, embrace these Four proven Pillars of dog language. ¬†Here they are for the very first time…

THE FOUR PILLARS OF DOG LANGUAGE

Touch

Space

Movement

Energy

 

The Four Pillars are what every mother and father dog concern themselves with when raising their young.  They are what all older social dogs rely on to remain socially skilled.  These Four Pillars are what either goes right or goes wrong when two dogs meet for the first time.  These Four Pillars determine whether a puppy will be a joy to live with and easily get along socially or if they will become a nightmare.

In the next installment (Part 2) we will examine each one and look at practically applying them with our dogs!

Thanks so much for following our blog.  Please tell your dog-loving friends about our blog or share our articles!

-G

http://www.stevensfamilykennels.com

http://www.gstevensdogtrainer.com

Your dog wants you to read these books!

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The information contained within these books is incredibly different from what most dog trainers, dog behaviorists, dog whisperers, and vets are espousing…the methods actually work! ¬†Order your copies TODAY (your dog will thank you!) on Amazon, Apple, or at Barnes and Noble.

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#gotcalm ?  #getgarrett #experiencethedifference

-G

HOT Listed book, Dog Myths, selling like hotcakes!!

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Stop the wordpresses!  Hundreds are flocking to their computers and hammering away on their keyboards feverishly in search of their own copy of Dog Myths!  Others are dashing madly toward their local bookstores and beating in the doors in hopes of reserving their own copy of this HOT Listed book about dog and human behavior!

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Dog Myths: What you Believe about dogs can come back to BITE You!, written by none other than Tacoma’s own dog disciple, Garrett Marcus Aurelius Godwin Geronimo Heathcliffe Nordheimer Danzig Embembay Stevens the VI, is truly in high demand.¬† Yes, yes, yes, folks, the book has recently been officially released and is on sale NOW!

 

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All joking aside though – hundreds have indeed preordered, Dog Myths, and, after reading just a few chapters and applying the incredible info, are already reporting changes in their problematic dogs’ behaviors!¬†Dog Myths: What you Believe about dogs can come back to BITE You!

Have you ordered yours?  We highly recommend getting one for yourself and picking up another one or two paperbacks for the other dog-lovers in your life (Dog Myths makes an excellent gift).

We can guarantee you haven’t read this sort of info on the dog-human dynamic.¬† We can guarantee you will learn more than a few things that could (if applied) greatly enhance the relationship between you and your dog which will help prevent or eliminate poor behavior.¬† And we can guarantee it is all based in natural communication that all dogs inherently understand (and NOT based in so much shoddy external motivation – such as bribery with food treats or harsh handling and overboard corrections like so many mainstream trainers and behaviorists and vets buy into and then sell you on!)¬† We can guarantee you’ll never view dogs the same way again after reading Stevens’ shocking behavioral book!¬† There’s one catch…please read it with an open mind.

Don’t delay.¬† Act Today.¬† Order Dog Myths¬† while it’s on Sale.

Go to Amazon (click the link in blue just above) or go to Barnes and Noble and reserve your paperbacks!

We await seeing your reviews of this fine book.

-G