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 – use 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).
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!