Dog Training Secret

“Take your dog everywhere you go and don’t let it be a JERK!”

Dog Training Car MannersNot too long ago I ended up with a dog, a big dog, a big German Shepherd Dog.  I was not looking for a dog, and I definitely was not looking for a large breed dog.  The timing of ending up with another unplanned dog into my life was inconvenient to say the least. Sometimes life gives us unexpected surprises.  In this case it was “Nizzy,” who taught me the greatest Dog Training Secret there is. “Take your dog everywhere you go and don’t let it be a JERK!”

I’m  blessed to have a very successful dog training business in Phoenix Arizona, the Nation’s 4th largest metropolis.  There are tons of dogs that need dog training help and that means that as a dog behaviorist and dog trainer I stay extremely busy.

Phoenix Dog TrainersThis year marks 43 years that I have been personally training dogs.  I started at the age of 9 as a junior handler competing in AKC Obedience Matches and putting titles on dogs.  

Throughout the many years of training and working with various breed of dogs, different age dogs, and probably every behavior problem imaginable to a dog, I always get asked what is the secret to a well trained dog, and I have many times just shouted back, “its all about consistency and repetition.” 

I always get asked what is the secret to a well trained dog, and I have many times just shouted back, “its all about consistency and repetition.” 

While those are two very important aspects to a well trained dog that a lot of dog trainers would agree with, put 100 dog trainers all in a room together and ask them whats is the most important dog training secret, and you will probably get 100 different answers.

I have not had hardly any time to train “Nizzy” the Big German Shepherd Dog.  It might come as a surprise to many dog owners, not all dog trainers dogs are well trained.  One main reason is that they are so busy training other peoples dogs, they don’t have much time at all to train with or work with their own dogs.

Because I’m so busy and I did not want to have to leave “Nizzy” the GSD at home for long hours on end, I decided I would just have to take her with me everywhere I went despite it being a pain in my butt, I did just that.  “Nizzy” went with me pretty much everywhere I go.

dog training secret 3I took her to where I do volunteer work on Fridays.  She is the “Office Mascot.”  Everybody loves her.  I never wanted her to be a problem for anyone at the office where I do volunteer work at so in the beginning I had a leash on her that she would drag.  When she started to get into someones personal space, I called her to me and if need be I gave a tug guiding her back to me and away for the person or people in the office.

At times when she was calm and aloof to the people who were in the office I let “Nizzy” meet them and be pet by them briefly.  any excitable energy that is not calm got corrected with the leash.  We are not here to play.  Play happens outside. Calm happens inside.

Play happens outside. Calm happens inside.

I had group dog training classes to teach, and I brought “Nizzy” with me even though my students dogs were better trained.  Besides, I had gotten in the habit of telling people. “I’m not sure if I am keeping this dog.  I don’t have time for her, and I don’t have time to train her.”

During the group dog training class I was teaching I would sometimes just keep “Nizzy” on leash next to me.  Sometimes I would have her lay down a little bit out of the way of the other dogs who were there to train.  “Nizzy” is not there to train.

Many of the dogs in the group classes I teach are reactive or aggressive so it is important that “Nizzy” stays calm and not reactive at all herself.  I was always very close to her to correct her with the leash if she even got slightly excited around those reactive dogs in my group.

I also had to take “Nizzy” to my private lesson appointments with me too.  In Arizona it can get hot fast.  Hell, there are not many days in Arizona that are not hot.  I was able to leave “Nizzy” in the vehicle in the early morning but by mid afternoon and definitely late afternoon, it was too hot to keep her in the car.  

I remember at first thinking to myself, “what are my clients going to think when they see me with this untrained dog?”  I remember thinking that they will see me as a “REAL” person with a dog.

During private lessons I would bring “Nizzy” in the client’s house, outside in their back yard, or outside in the front of the house.  When I would go with clients to the park, or to train near a dog park for distractions, or to train inside of Home Depot for distractions, I took “Nizzy” with me.  If she became a jerk I just gave a a quick leash correction and she would settle down. 

Dog Trainer Secrets German Shepherd DogWell it has been 11 months now, I still don’t have time to train “Nizzy,” and I guess now I’m keeping her. LOL. She still goes everywhere with me.  I can’t tell you the number of places she has been with me, or the number of dogs and people we met, or the number of green belts and parks we have stopped at.   I’m sure we have been to the store, the dry cleaners, the car wash, the bank, the pet store and everywhere else I go on a daily basis a couple hundred times now.  It dawned on me the other day while I had not had any time to train “Nizzy”, I took her everywhere I went and my only rule was she can not be a jerk.  We have accomplished this and “Nizzy” has somehow gotten very well trained in the process despite me.

“Nizzy” has taught me that the number one dog training secret is to take your dog everywhere and don’t let them be a jerk. 


“Take your dog everywhere you go and don’t let it be a JERK!”




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