Personal Narrative: My First Dog Training

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I was having dinner last week with Jeff and Michelle--two of my first dog training clients, when I branched out on my own and started South Bay K-9 Academy in Southern California, back in 1994. [I 'm now actively retired from working with the general public... I love working with dogs, but the dog owners (Jeff and Michelle not withstanding) drove me absolutely nuts!] Anyway, Jeff and Michelle still have their Dalmatian, "Dotty," who 's now close to 11 years-old. I 've always thought it was funny that the one thing people seem to remember from my 324 page dog training book, "Secrets of a Professional Dog Trainer!" is that I recommend spitting in your dog 's food. As if this were the magic key to getting a well behaved dog. Regardless, it seems to be the one thing that almost everybody remembers--from…show more content…
I take a lot of guff from people--especially other dog trainers--who misinterpret my advice and think that spitting in your dog 's food is the only thing you need to do tol make you the Alpha dog. It 's not. Well, not any more than the 100 other subtle things you must do to communicate that you are the pack leader. I always stress to new dog owners that the more things you 're doing to reinforce that you are the pack leader for your dog, will make your dog view you as the pack leader, faster. Spitting in your dog 's food is just one more thing to do that helps. So anyway, back to my dinner with Jeff and Michelle: When I asked how Dotty was doing, Jeff responded that Dotty was absolutely fantastic. The best dog they 'd ever had, due in no small part to their diligence and consistency in applying the dog training techniques I showed them. But then Jeff said something very interesting: "I 'm still spitting in her food. In fact, she won 't even touch the food until after I spit in it." (Remember: The Alpha dog always eats first!). So there you go: Further proof that some of my more outlandish dog training techniques really work! Even if you may feel

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