Posts Tagged ‘socialization’

Neutral Territory

I receive this same question multiple times a year.   “I’m going to visit my friend and I’m taking my dog.  When we turn them loose together in the yard what should we do if they…growl, bite, fight, etc.”  My answer is always the same.  Introduce them on neutral territory.  Basically, neutral territory is anywhere other than the property of the home-dog, where he feels a need to protect his property by a show of dominance.   True, there’s less concern when it’s a male-female introduction.  Still, if it takes a little extra time to let them meet…on lead…at the dog park, at the mall, on that vacant piece of property about a mile across town, it is well worth the effort.  Then, when you take them to the back yard…still on lead…of the home-dog and give them another 5-minute re-introduction before turning them loose to romp, you’ll have had every indication as to whether problems are going to occur.  How will you know  if trouble is on the horizon.  Watch the tail, ears, hackles, curled lips, low growl, stand-offish attitude.  You’ll know.  I promise.  Remember the old addage…stop, look, listen and heed!  WOOF!   

Dogs running loose

While running in the park yesterday I encountered an all-to-common sight.   In this case, it was a chocolate Labrador, running like a bat from Hades, in and out of traffic as if it were the first time he had stumbled upon his freedom.  He ran, never tiring, from one lawn on the north side of the boulevard to one on the south side, never breaking stride for oncoming cars, some of which slammed brakes and skidded into one another, as others swerved over the curb.  He worked his way over a four-block area, leaving a path of disheveled automobiles, upset drivers, and onlookers expecting tragedy at any moment.  He ended up in Four Pole Creek, lounging in frigid water as if it were springtime.  He had a leather collar to which was tethered a six-foot lead line.  He was, in fact, a beautiful Labrador.   Moments later a man and woman came down both sides of the street, running and calling his name, totally oblivious to the havoc their dog had wrought.   

It is beyond me why folks do not control the behavior of their dog.  This dog was a fine specimen whose owners probably paid $300 to $400 to get him into their household.  While they worked their way in my direction, I stepped over the creek-side bank, grabbed the looped end of the lead, and pulled the dog to dry land.  He looked to be a two-year-old, and though he followed me without struggle, it was obvious he could care less about who it was that now followed his wild drive towards grey squirrels who scampered from ground to tree-top storing whatever it is they store for winter.

The owners, both huffing and puffing, thanked me graciously for capturing “Silas.”  “He’s really a good dog,” offered the Mr.  “But he runs away all the time,” said the Mrs.  “We just don’t know what to do.”

Any of this sound familiar to any of you?  It’s an all to-common scene, mostly ending in car crashes and dead dogs.  After which people generally admonish themselves, “If we’d only have spent more time training him!”          


Dogs on TV


on’t know if any of you were able to catch the 5:30 News this evening on WSAZ TV in Huntington, WV, but it was pretty cool.  Anchorman, Tim Irr, interviewed me regarding my book, 14000 Dogs Later.  I’ll post the TV clip hopefully by tomorrow.  In the meantime for those of you that happened upon the interview this evening I’ll answer the most asked question thus far. “Who were the dogs I was handling?” The black Lab is Writer, my eight year old sidekick., The long-haired German Shepherd is Trooper, a dog I trained for my church pastor.  WOOF!

Dog Behavior

Initially, I mentioned that I have trained over 14000 dogs over the past 47 years.  That covers teaching classes in four states (Ohio, WV, Ky and VA) and the Distrit of Columbia.   Most were trained in my training center in WV where classes where held 3-4 nights per week.  Additionallly, I maintained boarding facilities where dogs could be housed for various trianing periods, mostly for 30-day stints.  I have not trained any of the field dogs for field work…although that has allways been fascinating to me.  Some years ago I attended the national Border Collie Trials in Lexington or Louisville, KY and it was fabulous watching how the dogs had been trained to work.  My background, however, is in the area of bahavior management…all levels of obedience, understanding dog psychology and socializaton, and finding ways for man and dog to co-exist in a world were man craves companionship.  I believe dogs are one of God’s greatest gifts and yet we so often turn on this four-footed friend as if he is our enemy.  Dogs are incredible substitutes:  they are child substitutes, mate substitutes, empty-nest-syndrome substitutes, and on and on.  Anyway, don’t want this to be too long, however a little background should suffice.  Next week, I’ll start at the beginning…finding the right dog…or will respond to topics you want to discuss.  Peace, John  PS:  Please consider my book, 14000 Dogs Later…find it on my web site: or  You can become a fan of 14000 Dogs Later on my Face Book.

Getting Started

Blogging is new to me, so help he out here.  It’s not that I have opinions and experience in the training and handling of dogs that no one before me has ever encountered…but training and handling over 14000 dogs for the past 47 years accounts for something…and I’d like to share what I have learned with you.  The topics can be as diverse as you want…my list is long…together, then, there should be plenty to discuss.  My plan is to develope a topic of interest and post it on Sunday or Monday evenings.  I’ll not post ideas or thoughts without thorough consideration.  All aspects of dog obedience and training, psychology, socialization, and behavior.  Dogs in service to man, as friends and companions, as heros.   Is it biblically sound that dogs have an afterlife, a soul, or have they been placed here to help us get from here…to there.  Maybe too, you’ll consider my book, 14000 Dogs Later.  It’s the story of my life with dogs and what I’ve learned and can be found on Amazon or my web site,  Peace, John

Hello world…this is my first post.

The purpose of my blog is to answer queries regarding dog problems that you have experienced or are experiencing.  Socialization, psychology, training, behavior…I’ll cover it all.  So let’s get started…