3 elemental parenting techniques from the mother and father dog!

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If you want to be just another moron that “works” their dog and molds their relationship into one of employer and employee these 3 incredible, primal and instinctual techniques are not for you. You should probably just busy yourself with endless motivation, however fleeting, and with consistent reinforcement however immature and unnatural. For the rest of you readers though, for you the curious and open-minded, for you the creative, for you the students of nature’s ways and the way of the dog, I will now reveal to you what EVERY normally-functioning parent dog on the face of the earth uses to properly raise their puppies into mature adulthood.

Maturity, my friends, is key. It is also incredibly rare among domestic dogs because masses of dog owners don’t even know what maturity in a dog looks like. How many of you have ever gone to pet and scratch a dog and the dog sees it coming and then skyrockets its energy? This is so common it has become the standard greeting from dog to mankind. I say this energy-raising is pathetic and unnatural. I say unnatural because all older dogs on the earth teach younger ones that their high energy is, in most cases, unwanted and wasteful. Amongst wild canids a waster of energy will die if they continue to waste their energy. Domestication has given our dogs food, shelter, and water (basically meeting all their needs and so many of them no longer are skilled at decision making or at any sort of self control or energy control. Many dogs are just immature fools that many owners bribe or scold in exchange for frivolous tricks. To be frank the whole thing is stupid when viewed through the eyes of nature and natural parenting.

The 3 elemental parenting techniques come to us direct from the mother and father dog. The sire and the dam. My lucubrations and keen observations over almost two decades have lead me to this simplification of proper dog parenting. These 3 parenting techniques will be featured in another upcoming book (my fourth book) after completion of my third book because the Garrett Stevens Method utilizes these 3 techniques with every dog we work with! That is how important I believe them to be. They are elemental. They are instinctual among all dogs. They can be consistently observed among all canines. And they sure help when trying to teach a dog or puppy to calm down and make better choices behaviorally-speaking!

  1. IGNORE – Ignoring is something all balanced, older dogs master. Ignoring speaks of trust within a relationship between mama dog and her pups because mama dog only has so much energy and attention to give to her many, rapidly growing puppies. Playing hard to get is an instinctual move that females of many species have employed for millennia. Ignoring gives puppies freedom to explore and make mistakes. It also can communicate how uninterested the older dog is in the pup’s wayward (too high) energy levels. Ignoring leads a wayward dog into calmness and proper energy. Compare and contrast this elemental ignoring technique from the parent dogs with how almost every dog-lover on the planet does the exact opposite and showers foolish dogs with constant eye-contact and attention (this then leads to a host of horrible behavior problems).
  2. ADDRESS – Addressing is something all balanced, older dogs master. Addressing speaks of respect within a relationship between mama dog and her pups because mama dog only has so much energy and attention to give to her many, rapidly growing puppies. Addressing is when older dogs take on the mantel of referee and blow the whistle on improper energy amongst the group of puppies. Addressing, as an elemental and instinctual behavior among canines, is needed for a pup’s development and for any new rescue dog entering the home. So many dogs and pups out there are asking for proper addressing of their poor behavior – they’re asking for boundaries so they can feel secure navigating the world. They’re asking for leadership from their owners. Dogs cannot initially lower their energy on their own so the pack is there to ignore or address the situation and, in this way, pups eventual learn self-soothing and self control. But initially the pressure of proper addressing must be put on the immature animal from a caring, older pack member. Addressing (when done properly) leads a wayward dog into calmness and proper energy. Compare and contrast this elemental addressing technique from the parent dogs with how many a pro training or behavioral company instruct their clients to never disagree with their dogs.
  3. PLAY – Playing is something all balanced, older dogs master. Playing speaks of new learning and discovery. It also speaks of release of energy just like the other two elemental techniques do! A clever observer can spot skilled dogs releasing and dispersing energy all the time. Play also affords a young dog many an opportunity to make mistakes and correct their mistakes by way of touch, space, and movement as they romp around with another dog or person. All predatory mammals play before they learn to hunt and kill. Killing (even for the tiger or the orca) is NOT instinctual. Play is. The smarter the dog or person the more playful they are – don’t blame me if you’re boring and non-playful – all the science in the world says play leads to further intelligence and discovery. Playing (when done properly) renews social bonds, builds muscles, builds language skills, and preps dogs to hunt and fight and, if needed to kill. The beginning of play is excitement – the end of play is calmness.

These 3 elemental parenting techniques will greatly aid anyone looking to raise a new pup or behaviorally rehab an aggressive monster dog with a horrific past. These surpass the need for any form of training. If you master these 3 things there’ll never be a need for “sit” for “down” for almost anything one even considers training because the dog will then be mature and capable of making its own wise decisions as it navigates the world with you!

(Stay tuned for my third upcoming book on the 5 Senses of a dog and the 4 Pillars of Dog Language! If you enjoyed these 3 Pillars you will love these next two books!)

-G

-G

Why dog behaviorists often get it ALL WRONG!

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The eyes and ears of every reactive dog are the two senses (the culprits) that cause trouble and yet a majority of professional dog training and behavior modification methods look to engage the problematic animal’s nose and mouth (olfactory and gustatory systems)! This is foolish and wasteful and yet most dog owners don’t consider the simple fact mentioned above so…they unwittingly waste their own precious time, energy, and money on professional trainers/behaviorists/vets that keep addressing senses within the reactive dog that are almost inactive whenever the dog is near any triggering stimuli! The professional is going after the wrong sense of the dog at the exact wrong time. It’s preposterous. These sadly common and result-lacking methods are quite outrageous and egregious when viewed in the factual light of how a dog’s senses function. The problem is…there are only a rare and precious few people that genuinely consider how a dog’s amazing senses function and which, when, and why those super senses come to the forefront of the creature’s mind depending on the situation the dog finds itself in.

Have no fear, Dear Reader, because my upcoming third book on dog and human behavior is rapidly approaching completion. This book will delve into the dog’s fascinating five senses and illuminate the readers about the 4 Pillars of dog language – concepts critical in comprehending and then applying the Garrett Stevens Method. In the book we go over many a real world example and how to calmly and efficiently navigate them. This is the book I am most excited about.

This read will greatly help spread understanding in the way of the canine and precisely how they all tick. The findings in this upcoming book will NOT be based on some random studies conducted in sterile “science” labs and then twisted in order to back billions of dollars worth of dog food or dog treat sales at massive conglomerates! This new book on the 5 senses and 4 Pillars will provide direct and beautifully simplified answers familiar among canines. These answers and solutions are then translated into excellent efficient action for our human bodies and brains.

Genuine science and real life experience will prove time and again that one of the first systems that SHUTS DOWN during an emergency or fight/flight state is the digestive system. The digestive system begins with the olfactory and gustatory systems. Thus…when a behaviorist takes your hard-earned money and then continues to try and click and treat or to motivate or reinforce the hyper or reactive animal’s olfactory (nose) or gustatory (mouth) systems at a time when the dog is entering into a fight/freeze/flight state and the adrenals are pumping the common yet idiotic method the behaviorist is employing and teaching you will undoubtedly FAIL! That is just another classic case of a lame-brained professional in the industry attempting to address or gain attention from a sense that is greatly diminished or turned down at the time. (Huuuuuuuge energy waste and something older, “example” dogs would never do) So instead of truly helping their clients many behaviorists will never take a dog near or above “threshold” in order to keep things “safe.” In reality that means you’ll be paying for nothing possibly for months before you get even the slightest of real world results behaviorally-speaking!

The main reason so many dog trainers, vets, and behaviorists get it all wrong is because of their full cup syndrome. They have a full cup. The usefulness of a cup is found in its emptiness. Please ponder that. As adults many of our cups are not empty. The mainstream vet, trainer, and behaviorists’ cups are NOT empty and so they’re not able to gain anything new from nature or the dogs. They assume they learned all there was to know about classical conditioning, operant conditioning, threshold, positive reinforcement, motivation, obedience et cetera. They were taught by humans about dogs and not the other way round. I really wish it was reversed.

Let’s try our best to shake off the cobwebs of our aging minds and view our world through the fascinating eyes of a child. Let’s try at the start of the day to empty our cups so that they can be filled with new mental synapsis and learning. Let’s intelligent observe and question our dogs and the dogs we so often see around us. And…stay tuned for more about my upcoming third book on dog language, training, and calm, natural behavior modification.

Garrett Stevens is the hot-listed author of Dog Myths: What you Believe about dogs can come back to Bite You! and So Long Separation Anxiety. He is the founder of Alpha and Omega Dog Training and the owner of Stevens Family Kennels and Dog Language Center in Puyallup, WA. With an incredible reputation for his behavioral rehab work and due to extremely high demand for their unique natural training with the dogs (even with two trainers working simultaneously) the team is now considering a sort of lottery-program for potential, future clients.

http://www.gstevensdogtrainer.com

http://www.stevensfamilykennels.com

An INCREDIBLE opportunity for Puppy Owners

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We are here to help people and help dogs. Over the many years I’ve successfully helped monster dog after monster dog, you know, the ones that have already been severely misunderstood, misdirected, mishandled, and in many cases mistrained by people but – I’ve finally decided to go right for the throat (behaviorally speaking) in hopes of intercepting growing misbehaviors on the part of the puppy owner and the puppy by way of offering this custom, Brand New, 1 week Board & Train program for puppies (age 5 months – 10 months) at our Dog Language Center in Puyallup, WA!!!

And here’s the best part…the focus of this custom, week-long Board & Train is hardly on obedience. Yes, you read that correctly. For those new to this fine blog “obedience” training and mainstream, externally-motivated behavior modification falls utterly short of what all pups and dogs need to calmly exist with their humans in today’s modern world. We have all been lied to about how all dogs should “work” and “need a job” just because they used to have jobs in the past. Friends…the PAST is OVER.

At our Dog Language Center we are pioneering the future of dogs. As I’ve said non-stop on this blog, our house dogs’ work and obedience should be SECONDARY to normal, socially-acceptable behaviors presented with calm energy. Most pro trainers and behaviorists have it wrong because they would try and teach you to be Tony Robbins for your puppy. They would have you motivate he/she to higher and higher levels of performance. The problem is that performance often fails when real life shows up and/or when the owner isn’t there to micromanage their dog with positive or punitive reinforcement. Our new program for pups goes far beyond fragile external motivation as we help the pup experience a myriad of different scenarios, each one designed to set them up for calmer energy and self control (something all animals teach their young and something that mainstream dog trainers typically are horrible at).

A calm puppy that has been thoroughly socialized and handled with and by adults, children, the elderly, other dogs, cats, chickens, loud sounds, vehicles, etc etc will ALWAYS have a better life and less behavioral issues than the hyped up puppy that can do a million tricks! There is NOTHING on the market like our new Puppy Board & Train Program.

This program will expose your pup to The Garrett Stevens Method of naturally calming, dog whispering. The pup will get to interact with my own example dogs daily. That alone is worth its weight in gold due to how all puppies learn. The pup will also learn to “heel” and walk nicely beside the owner during their week stay at Stevens Family Kennels. The pup will be handled daily by our excellent trainers and put into our specific massage each day. The massage is to aid the puppy in understanding that it can be be handled all over its body by almost anyone! Our program also includes our Strong Dog Program where the pup is trained to go on the treadmill and learns to trot on that every day (great for both body and brain). Since the puppy is staying at Stevens Family Kennels on our acreage it will also have the great opportunity to interact with my own young children, some of my extended family, and our chickens. During the pup’s stay they will also get out and about every day and will be purposely exposed to planes flying over head, cars near the road, nearby construction (for the time being), and whatever is available at hand. Our quest is to desensitize your very sensitive pup (all pups are sensitive) and thus smoothly add micro-pressure and stresses so that later in life when there’s macro stress or pressure, the pup takes it like a real champ with calm energy. We will also add obedience as a secondary focus and our specific “play training” in addition to the great leash training so your pup’s stay command, take it, drop it, and recall will rapidly improve.

The point of this program is PREVENTION. The point is to present your quick-growing pooch with a large psychological curveball. True growth occurs OUTSIDE of the comfort zone. The point is to point your pup on the proper trajectory (a natural, healthy, calming trajectory filled with interesting experiences and proper touching and exposure to all manner of things) and or to guide a wayward pup that’s aging rapidly towards sexual maturity and towards worse behaviors and put them on the calm path towards genuine maturity and understanding. Our highly, highly trained staff is expert at this. I personally wouldn’t tolerate anything less.

Like I said – there’s nothing like our Puppy Board & Train program on the market.

If you want a dog that acts like my dogs…call Stevens Family Kennels and Dog Language Center now and leave a voicemail because we are already booking up like crazy!

253-653-2875

http://www.stevensfamilykennels.com

(For those with pups older than 10 months – our other Behavioral Board and Train programs are also terrific and just might be a perfect fit)

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

Training your dog instinctively (and naturally)

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This means NO food treats and NO e-collars or harsh methods!  YES, training a dog or pup this way most certainly can be done.  In fact, I’ve behaviorally rehabbed seriously problematic dogs and pups thousands of times with great success using my unique instinctive and natural way.

Reasons to consider doing it the natural way…?

1. Dogs respond wonderfully.  (Technically speaking you shouldn’t need any other reason than that – but I’ll continue)

2.  My instinctual method brings every hidden problem right to the forefront.  There’s no beating around the bush wherein a human client or the dog or pup can manipulate or hide a troublesome area.  There’s also not the usual training for tricks and masking the underlying issues.  Remember it doesn’t matter if you teach Charles Manson how to juggle…he needed more psychological help than the addition of tricks and so do ALL dogs. (Honesty is the best policy – let’s remember that and apply it)

3.  The natural way of working with your pet will most certainly bring you closer than any external form of excitable obedience training you may have done in the past.  (All our clients experience and love this renewed and much healthier relationship)

4.  Working instinctively brings out the good in both human and canine (My method is direct, forthright, efficient, and kind – it helps calm both owner and pet and in many cases helps bring a bit of healthy assertiveness out of the owner)

5.  My natural method saves incredible amounts of time (This is especially true when compared with what passes as dog behavior modification or other forms of expert dog training!  And you can take that to the bank because our instinctual training works way, way faster at calming both owners and dogs and is more efficient at beginning the excellent journey towards a lasting healthy relationship)

6.  Almost nothings better than this method for serious aggression, anxiety, and other neurosis.

 

How does one use this amazing instinctual and natural method of dog training?  Good question – I’d start by keen observation of nature (not just dogs).  Begin looking at everything and, if astute, you’ll start to see many similar patterns throughout all of nature.  Next I’d question everything within the dog training industry and the veterinary industry.  Take time to think critically and take yourself away from the deluge of horrible advice that can be readily found on the internet concerning dogs and canines.  Third I’d encourage you to look within.  (Ask yourself the hard questions are you too soft to influence this tough old dog?  Are you too hard on this young pup?  Or are you just right?  Think of the story of Goldilocks and the Three Bears.  There are always deep lessons in the old children’s tales)  Next I would begin to really look and then question your pet’s behavior.  Begin with touch because that is the very first sense of all canines when they are born and it is the most important sense when it comes to dog behavior, language, and social interaction!

Does this sound too far out for some of you?  If so I’ll leave you with one example of instinctual dog training and how it is easier, faster, and often better than what passes for mainstream dog training or behavior modification.  Here it is…

The dog or puppy will not come.  So everybody decides to “train” the dog by way of food rewards or with a long line and that’s typically the standard within the industry and among masses of dog owners.  I say that’s dumb and here’s precisely why I say that – When we do that we can actually diminish or even kill what nature has put into the very animal we are trying to train!  All dogs and pups (if they’re not terrified at the moment of course) naturally have an instinct to follow and remain with the social group.  It is a powerful drive that goes all the way back to the wolf and is still found within dogs of today.  This drive or instinct is in place as a survival tactic…if I’m separated from the group/pack I cannot hunt as efficiently.  If I cannot hunt as efficiently I am more likely to become the hunted and or die off from starvation.  (And there are many other reasons why a canine would wish to remain close to their pack but for brevity I only went over one)  SO, INSTEAD OF GOING RIGHT TO THE FOOD TREAT OR TO THE LEASH (these external methods) I WOULD HIGHLY SUGGEST BRISKLY TURNING AWAY FROM THE ANIMAL AND WALKING AWAY IN THE EXACT OPPOSITE DIRECTION THAT THE DOG WAS INITIALLY HEADED.  DO NOT CALL THE DOG.  AND DO NOT, DO NOT, DO NOT, LOOK BACK!  IF THE DOG SEES YOU SEEING HIM BECAUSE YOU LOOKED BACK THIS SIMPLE METHOD WILL NOT WORK.

*There are exceptions to applying this one instinctual technique of course (like if you have a proven runner or escape artist or if you have a super bratty dog or pup that you have allowed to juke and slip you for weeks or months on end – then I’d begin by doing the natural method in a confined space like the family room or back yard.  Next I’d mix the natural with the unnatural/external method of leash dragging in a larger space.  If, however the dog is so rude that even in your own backyard it will make everything you say or do into a mockery as it zips by you in order to showcase it’s speed and agility and give you the dog finger so to speak, then I’d combine the instinctual walk away method with a dragging leash/rope (typically the rope I’d suggest would be about 10-15 feet depending on the size of the yard – if the rope is too much longer than 15 feet you cannot fade off the method efficiently enough to get to total off leash trust and respect)

Keep an eye out for my upcoming (third) book on dog language and behavior!!!  I’m about 60% complete and hoping to release it by the end of 2020/beginning of 2021!

-G

 

 

When your puppy or dog lays down at the water bowl

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Many dog owners think “What a cute picture this would make” as they scramble for their  phones to snag a photo while the pup’s legs are wrapped around the water bowl.  But when a dog lays down at the water bowl or food dish it can mean that the dog is CLAIMING the bowl for itself and isn’t really interested in sharing.  And that, Dear Reader, is never good for anyone (including the dog or pup that’s doing the claiming).

Step 1.  Stop the behavior before it grows worse through repetition and compounds over time.

Step 2.  See Step 1.

That’s it.

Follow the steps above and you’ll be doing at least one great thing towards preventing or reversing “resource guarding.”  Or blow my advice off and potentially suffer the consequences – what do I care.  Either way I win.  If you don’t listen now you’ll eventually need to spend more time and energy getting our help to reverse what could have been prevented or…if you listen now – you’ll have listened to beneficial dog language advice and done me, your pet, other dogs, and the wide world a favor by making it a better place.  Have a nice day.

Sincerely,

Your local, neighborhood dog linguist

Want the PERFECT dog?

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“Perfection is not when there is no more to add, but no more to take away.”  Antione De Saint-Expurey

Almost every method of dog behavior modification and dog training I’ve heard of, seen, or come across in my life has been the endless quest to ADD motivation and reinforcement onto the dog.  Obedience and work are the order of the day when it comes to 99% of professional dog trainers’ philosophy and methodology.  What a shame!  And, often, these mainstream training and behavior modification methods are a sham as well as a shame when considered and contrasted in the ever shining light of Nature and Nature’s way.

The true way of the dog is a path many behaviorists and dog trainers never tread upon because of their unending quest for great obedience.  Obedience (as it pertains to the dog training industry) is highly unnatural because what we all call obedience is never taught by the parent dogs to their pups.  Respect is taught and certainly trust is taught from older dog to those that are younger but “watch me, sit, down, stay,” et cetera – not so much.   Older dogs teach Respect and Trust in very clear canine language to their pups from an amazingly early age but what most folks consider to be good, solid dog training and sound dog behavior modification does, in reality, typically fall utterly short of what healthy, socially-skilled, older dogs teach their offspring!  

Most dog owners and professionals within the industry are missing the simple, direct beauty found already contained within the pup or dog instinctually.  Instead of looking to Add something to the dog – the wise individual would seek to Chip Away the rougher parts and Refine what is Already Naturally Present within the dog or pup.  Calmness not work is the way forward for the house dog or companion dog of today and of the future!  Nature and nature’s God has already provided everything one needs to communicate perfectly with our domestic dogs and to prevent, reverse, and or eliminate any and all problematic behaviors within the creature with which we are interacting (no food treats required).  There is usually ZERO need for the majority of what’s been taught to us as “dog training” and as “behavior modification!”

You and I have been brainwashed.  We have all been brainwashed through year after year after year of advertising and teaching from major conglomerates (seeking more profit) concerning what dog training is and what it should look like!  And the only way to change this conditioning and washing of the mind is to experience a change in perspective and by forming new thoughts and new neural pathways…perhaps like honestly considering the concept I’ve just written about here.

Please think on it.  Want the perfect dog…?  I’ve put info below for you!

 

Garrett Stevens is the creator of the Garrett Stevens Method of natural dog handling and behavioral rehab (no food treats required and no harsh handling either), Hot-Listed author of Dog Myths: What you Believe about dogs can come back to Bite You!, and So Long Separation Anxiety, and owner/operator of Stevens Family Kennels and Dog Language Center and founder of the award-winning Alpha & Omega Dog Training in Puyallup/Tacoma WA.

http://www.stevensfamilykennels.com

http://www.gstevensdogtrainer.com

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The neurotic Doberman that had excellent training!

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The big Dobie lunged forward snapping and barking at the 190 some odd pounds of Saint Bernard standing nearby!   Straining with all of his might, the Doberman kept the leash taught as his owner, situated about four feet behind his wild dog, struggled to maintain his grip!  Just another day in the life.

I suppose the most bizarre thing about this scene to most folks would be that only moments before (this total behavioral freak out) the Doberman Pinscher was heeling beautifully, sitting admirably beside his owner, and performing “watch me” commands like a professional working dog.  The owner was giving praise and the occasional treat at all the proper times.  It was almost beautiful to watch.  The dog looked like all working dogs do on Youtube – heeling briskly and looking at his handler – whenever the man stopped the dog sat perfectly.  The doberman had excellent training.  And nobody from our company trained it.  In fact, during the entire time the owner was training his dog (this took place at the very beginning of our first session) I was gently but repeatedly attempting to explain that all that fancy obedience that the dog was performing masterfully DID NOT HELP AT ALL when it came to the dog’s Horrible psychosis!  The obedience training did NOT help the Doberman to experience the world they way he naturally could or should through proper utilization of the right senses at the right time.  You see, unlike most folks, I was 100% unimpressed with the Dobie’s quick heeling and fast sitting because nature and all calm, social canines would also be 100% unimpressed with that excitable performance!

The Dobie was dog aggressive and human reactive and the great obedience that the owner had taught his dog to do was NOT working to help calm his dog down enough to think and operate clearly in normal social settings.  His great training FAILED in REAL LIFE.  Here is a fact that I’m hoping the readers of this article can and will spread far and wide to anyone willing to listen (Share this article for the love of dogs)…Dogs can perform incredible feats of obedience and simultaneously be neurotic and out of control dangers to society.

The giant Saint Bernard (who was having his third session at our Dog Language Center) was able to walk very close to the lunging, frantic Dobie and maintain his cool.  The Dobie, for all his prior work and prior tricks and obedience at the hands of his owner, was having an utter meltdown.  But wait…there’s hope…Enter the Garrett Stevens Method!

Over the course of the session we taught the owner how to SLOW DOWN and TURN DOWN his typical training and, in turn, SLOW down his Dobie’s outrageous and unsocial behavior.  Here’s another fact for any dog owner wise enough to consider it – Dogs are faster than humans and will certainly manipulate us by speeding up the action and speeding up their movement and ours.  A skilled dog trainer or whisperer (or owner) knows how to SLOW the movement of the neurotic dog and influence the energy that way.

By the second half of our session the Dobie was walking calmly beside my own example dog.  The Doberman was able to be smelled repeatedly and calmly led around the property.  The owner was blown away at the differences and said so repeatedly.  We are so excited to continue teaching the owner the way of the dog and the Garrett Stevens Method as we work with his Doberman.

Please remember:  Excellent training and wonderful, trustworthy social behavior are two very different things!

(SUBSCRIBE to THIS Blog for further help!)

 

 

 

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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