Q&A - Should I Correct My 6 Month Old Puppy?!

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morning here we are with another QA one

of our email questions that sent in and

it's a good one too

this one says hi I'm contacting you

because I'm a dog trainer and I've

recently stumbled across something that

I have not encountered before and I'm

not exactly sure how to correct it I

have a six month old American Pit Bull

Terrier that I'm using for

demonstrations he's a very smart and

attentive dog I've taken him through the

learning phase of basic obedience come

sit down stay so he knows the difference

between sit and down but when entering

the correction phase I have found that

he will often just lay down when given

the sit command

it seems he thinks this position is the

ultimate safe zone when Corrections are

applied if I'm going if I am just doing

the training using positive

reinforcement he sits on cue every time

and he knows the difference between down

and set but once given a level 4 or 5

correction for refusing to down it seems

that every time he's told to sit he just

goes into the down position and he seems

to do the same when given a level 1 or 2

correction so I'm confused I have both

your videos on basic obedience and

remote collar training I have a fairly

strong understanding about dog drives

how to judge their hardness and softness

and how to gauge the level of

Corrections for refusals if you have any

suggestions please let me know I look

forward to hearing from you it's a good

question and and probably a common

question I think that a lot of trainers

new trainers get in a hurry and want to

move into a correction phase of training

way too soon I mean I was absolutely

totally guilty of this for 30 years it's

just not necessary I think you run the

risk of correcting a puppy too soon and

I don't know of any puppies that I would

be correcting at 6 months of age at all

I mean we don't start correcting dogs

for a law

a long time that didn't used to be the

case but I mean what we found out was in

correcting too young is it dogs don't

like to learn dogs don't like a training

session we want our dogs to go out and

enjoy training we want them to look at

training as a fun time with the handler

and by you going out there and

correcting a dog when he's a puppy and

this dog is a puppy he's gonna hate dog

training that's why you see these people

that really haven't learned how to train

yet take a dog out and the dogs they're

gonna train with it and the dog's tail

is tucked between their legs and their

head is down and they hate this because

they know they're going to get a

correction I think what happens is we

have a very good friend Michael Ellis

that we've done a number of training

videos with that has a fragrant

helplessness and that basically means

that when a dog gets corrected all the

time at some point in time when they

don't know what's going on they just

decide I'm done they'll lay down and

they just take the corrections and their

attitude is gone and they just give up

basically give up what do we think you

should do is go back to rewarding your

dog motivationally for for the times

that it does good things turn your

training into a game continue to use

high-value food rewards with this young

puppy make him look forward to going and

train and going out in training with you

don't kill his Drive by correcting him I

know that years ago our old basic dog

obedience tapes had a learning phase and

a correction phase I know that you know

people say okay we're gonna proof this

dog and it's the way I did it when I

competed in a kc obedience in the 80s

where you think your dog is trained so

you're gonna go out and prove it what is

proofing proofing means you add you're

trying to set up a scenario where the

distractions are so high that the dog

makes a mistake you're trying to create

a mistake for the dog so you can give

him a correction so he changes his


it's kind of negative training rather

than focus on the positive and rewarding

good behavior

I think if you change the way you're

looking at working with this puppy

you're gonna have a big difference we

would recommend to someone like you

especially somebody that's in the dog

business get the videos I did with

Michael Allison the power of training

dogs with food on advance motivation and

dog training on the power of playing tug

with your dog what we recommend is

people that are in the dog business DVDs

are a good first start reading the

Internet is a start there's a lot of

opinions on the internet I mean if you

haven't heard it before there's an old

saying that the only thing to dog

trainers can agree on is that they don't

agree with a third dog trainer or what

he's doing over here so what we

recommend people do is get the DVDs

study them watch them 15 20 times save

up your money save up some time and go

on out to Michael Alice's school do

hands-on training it's going to change

your life in 2014 we're going to come up

with a new online University type course

online learning in that case you use

DVDs you watch them as much as you can

take an online course because there's a

lot more information in an online course

and then go on out to seminars go to

Michael's school spend some time learn

from the professionals that's how you

become a good dog trainer and it makes a

better scenario for you and your dog you

make less mistakes I hope that helps