N . I . L . I . F . (Nothing in Life is Free)

December 21

If you are dealing with a dominant dog or one that has exhibited aggressive behavior, then “Nothing in Life is Free” can help create a better relationship between you and your dog. These simple techniques work equally as well for several types of “dog personalities”.

The Dominant Dog – will challenge their owners for dominance.  Requiring this dog to work for what he wants is a non-confrontational way to establish leadership and control.

The Shy, Timid or Fearful Dog – will gain confidence by having a strong leader, and will understand that you are the protector and will keep him safe.

The “Pushy” Dog – though not showing signs of aggression or dominance, these dogs may demand your attention through pushy behavior.  Sneaking up on the furniture to be close to you or nudging your hand to be petted.


Teach your dog a few basic commands, such as “Sit”, “Down” and “Wait”.  Make sure your dog understands the commands and exhibits the correct behavior to the commands before beginning “nothing in life is free”.  Do not give commands to a dog if you are not in a position to reinforce them – 100%!  You will be teaching your dog that your words have no meaning!  In other words, do not say “Rover, Come”, unless you are ready to physically make your dog come.

Children should also practice “nothing in life is free” with the family dog.  Since children are small, and can get down on the dog’s level to play, they are sometimes viewed by the dog as playmates rather than superiors.

Rough play or tug-of-war games are not productive activities for a dominant dog!  If your dog wins, he thinks he is stronger than you, and that challenging you is fun!

Your dog should not be allowed to sleep on your bed, or on your children’s beds.  The leader always sleeps on higher ground!  Many dominance and aggression problems are actually created by people allowing their dogs to sleep on their beds.

When you are getting ready to go for a walk, have your dog sit to put on his leash.  When you feed your dog, have him lie down and hold the down until you fill his bowl, then release him to eat.  If you have taught your dog some fun trick commands, such as “Shake”, “Speak” or “Roll Over”, use those while you play a game of fetch.  Have your dog sit and shake before you throw the ball.  Have your dog work or perform a task for what he wants – Praise.  Praise, to a dog, can come in many forms; verbal, a stroke on the shoulder, throwing the ball, a bowl of food or a yummy treat.  Don’t reward your dog if he hasn’t earned the praise, but, by all means, when your dog does something right, don’t by shy – PRAISE!  A physical touch and a hearty “Good Dog” sometimes goes a lot further than just a handful of liver treats!

“Nothing in life is free” is a way of coexisting with our dogs that will help them better understand their place by accepting you and your family as leaders, and also serves to build trust and confidence for your dog and for YOU.

Enjoy Your Dog!!


Posted by on December 21, 2010 in Throw Me a Bone Blog, Training and Tips

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