Training Enzo — Rowdy to Relaxed

Meet Enzo, a very excitable and hyper 10-month-old chocolate Lab whose owners wondered, could he possibly go from rowdy to relaxed?

Training Enzo began the instant I walked in the door. Indifference has never been more important than in those first few moments of meeting this excitable and rowdy pup. I cannot stress enough how critical it is to pay NO ATTENTION whatsoever to a dog who is exhibiting overstimulated or undesirable behaviors like jumping, mouthing/nipping, leash pulling, or barking at other dogs and people. What I am looking for is that first moment of eye contact—that is when the training can begin. When Enzo calmed enough to give me that, I began to work with him to willingly watch me and then follow me.

Keep these techniques in mind when training your dog:

  • Indifference: Reacting when your dog is exhibiting undesirable behaviors will only reinforce them—it can be hard to do but ignore him until he calms.
  • Eye Contact: Relax and own the leadership role—this is crucial so that your dog learns he must acknowledge you as the leader.
  • Reinforcement: Praise your dog for attentively and willingly coming when requested—rewards like treats, a verbal thank you, and lots of love are keys to letting your dog know to keep doing what you are asking.

Is my dog untrainable?

It can sometimes seem like a dog’s bad behaviors cannot possibly be corrected. During the numerous attempts it took me to get TWHW Calming Cord™ and leash on Enzo, he took crazy and defiance to a different level! I was feeling pretty certain during this battle of wills that his owners were second-guessing their decision of choosing me to assist them with Enzo. But trust me, you can always find the good; it takes patience, practice and persistence.

One session can work wonders, but it won’t do you any good if you don’t continue to work on the behaviors you want to correct each and every day. You have to practice so much that what you are training your dog becomes a part of his muscle memory. You may experience microbursts of resistance, but calmly compose yourself and reset—your dog will take the cues from you! Gradually add more time, distance, and complexity in between reinforcements as your dog becomes a willing partner and find your next thank you!

"Jerry was a huge help with our 10-month-old Labrador, Enzo. Enzo would pull on his leash so badly that he would take you for a walk. Jerry’s harness is life-changing. We are now able to walk Enzo on his leash without him walking us."

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