Food Power

The controls applied in the wild by wolf packs are, of course, beyond us. Even if we wanted to, we are physically incapable of replicating the aggression and extraordinary body language with which the Alpha exerts its leadership. Yet by adding a little human ingenuity and subtlety, I believe one of the most potent tools available to the Alpha is available to us. Obtaining the power at feeding time is an immensely important element of Amichien Bonding. For reasons that will be obvious, I call...

The Pursuit of Prey Chasing Other Animals

It is only natural that the walk is an area where many owners encounter problems with their dogs. The dog, after all, has its primal instincts heightened for the hunt, and its adrenaline levels are soaring. A dog's nature can easily run away with it at this point, often literally. As you progress to letting your dog off the leash, this is something you must be careful to guard against. I have dealt with many owners whose dogs chase other animals while off the leash. I have come across...

Toys Not Trophies The Power of Play

I would not want to create the impression that all my ideas are unique, that I have come up with a complete process of techniques unlike anything ever used before. As I explained at the beginning of this book, I drew many of my early ideas from behaviorism. In many ways, I am heartened when I see elements of my work incorporated elsewhere. I was never more surprised to see an element of my method being practiced than in the spring of 1998, when I was invited to visit the country's biggest and...

Amichien Bonding Establishing Leadership of the Pack

No one could have a higher regard for the intelligence of the dog than me. There are still times when I seriously wonder whether they are wiser creatures than some of the humans with whom I come into contact Even I have had to accept that one thing is beyond them, however. Dogs are never going to learn our language. The bad news is that to communicate successfully with our dogs, it is up to us to learn their language. It is a task that requires an open mind and a respect for the dog. No one who...

Speak with Authority

It is vital that your tone of voice is consistent with the body language you display. I ask owners to speak clearly, confidently, and decisively. Short phrases or words are best Come, Sit, Stay, all convey powerful yet simple messages. Think of the most effective leaders in our lives none of them minces their words. Deliver praise with a smile and an extra softness to the voice, using brief phrases like Good dog, Good, clean dog, or Clever dog. My method is not so cold and mechanical that there...

Step

The dog should be rewarded with warm praise, maybe some smoothing of the head, and, of course, the right to eat the morsel from your hand. This should be done as soon as the dog's bottom touches the ground, so it knows that the word Sit, its action, and the ensuing reward are inextricably linked. Use this technique sparingly at first. Don't, for instance, ask your dog to sit each time you ask it to come to you. There is a good reason for this remember, dogs are deeply manipulative creatures,...

The YoYo Effect Overcoming the Problems of Rescue Dogs

Animal sanctuaries and dogs' homes have become, for many people at least, an ideal place to find a new pet. The idea of taking in a dog that has had a hard time in life appeals on many levels, of course. It is heart-warming for dog lovers to think they might be able to provide a little of the affection that has been so sorely missing in the lives of these canine waifs and strays. If they are taking on a dog that has misbehaved in the past, they like to think they are the ones who can straighten...

The Lost Language

Mankind has misplaced many secrets in the course of its history. The true nature of our relationship with the dog is among them. Like many millions of people around the world, I have always felt a special affinity exists between our two species. It goes beyond mere admiration for the dog's athleticism, intelligence, and looks. There is an intangible bond there, something special that connects us and probably has done since our earliest beginnings. For most of...

Taking the Lead

In a few short months I had gained a greater insight than I would have imagined possible. By taking time to watch my dogs interacting with each other, by listening to what they were telling me, I had picked up on some powerful knowledge. Behavior I had seen in the wild was being repeated on a daily basis in my own home by my own dogs. I had begun to see how they enforced their will on others, how they showed supremacy, how they showed dominance. And there was no shouting because dogs don't...

New Dogs Old Tricks Introducing Puppies to the Home

Much of the work I do is with remedial dogs, animals with behavior problems ranging from pulling on the lead to destroying the home. Invariably the root of these dogs' problems lie in the past. Their owners, through no fault of their own, have spent years giving them signals that have in turn given the dog a misplaced sense of its own importance. My task is to redress this balance, to offer signals that establish a new order and a kinder, calmer future for both the dog and its owner. It does...

It Is Better to Give Than to Remove Power Gesture Eating

A popular argument among traditional trainers is that a powerful way of showing the dog its place is taking its food away from it. I could not disagree with this more strongly. It is confrontational and potentially dangerous, particularly when the dog's previous experience is of being denied food. Power gesture eating is a means for proving the opposite applies. Nothing is more certain to win a dog's devotion than being seen as a giver rather than a taker of food. I first developed the...