There is a reason our dogs are often purchased by the celebrities and commonly chosen to star in hit movies – we simply breed some of the most well-mannered pups around! Of course, in addition to being born with the naturally sweet temperament of their parents, we have also had the opportunity to work with some of the greatest dog trainers in the world and, as a result, we’ve learned a few things that have directly impacted our breeding programs.
Yes, as we may have talked about before, we have been lucky enough to work with top-tiered dog trainers such as Cesar Millan and, in working with him, we’ve learned some tips and tricks that we’d like to pass along.
The Pack Mentality:
First and foremost we fully subscribe to Cesar Millan’s philosophies of The Pack Mentality. We frequently attend his seminars and recommend his books and DVDs because we have found that training under the principles of his “pack mentality” will yield some of the most obedient dogs in the world.
Understand the Pack:
People often make the mistake of treating their dog like a human when, in fact, it’s better to remind the dog of its innate desire to follow a pack leader. Of course, your position of leader is not a given, it is earned through constant, calm, confident and assertive behaviors.
Body Language & Energy:
Another of the highlights that we’ve embraced from working with Cesar Millan is how to vocalize to people the different ways to communicate with their pups and, more importantly, the importance of body language. It is important to realize that dogs sense our energy before we even notice it ourselves and, by wielding our energy this way or that, we can then evoke different reactions and behaviors from our dogs. Ultimately, a dog will respond to your calm, assertive energy by balancing it with a calm, submissive state.
Further, a true pack leader does not project emotional or nervous energy. By setting stern rules, boundaries and limitations and holding to them in calm, assertive ways, your dog will respect you as the definitive leader.
Discipline vs Affection:
Perhaps our favorite bit of advice from Cesar Millan, we just love the tip to “exercise discipline … then affection.” As much as we love our dogs and hate to discipline them, it is important, within the pack mentality, to reprimand the animals for any wrongdoing but then, make no mistake about it, show positive reinforcement! Much like with humans and the popular sentiment that one should offer “two compliments for every criticism,” dogs respond to the same flattery – exercise discipline … then show plenty of affection!
Although each and every dog is different and inevitably requires customized training, we have been so honored to work with Cesar Millan in the past and we believe that following the basic principles above (with customized tweaks here and there) is the key to well-mannered dogs with a mellow temperament that will serve you both quite well.