Spoiled untrained alpha bitches

I recently went to Vail, Colorado for a friend’s daughter’s wedding and if you peruse the post, “Vail venture” on arizonacustomhikes.com you’ll get the lowdown. While Lana, my lovely better half and I enjoyed lunches and breakfasts at tables outdoors we were amazed at how many untrained confrontational dogs disturbed the peace while their owners attempted to enjoy meals in our proximity. The dogs postured, strutted, and vocalized with puffed out chests at the end of leashes tied to chairs or tables attempting to claim territory while their owners cooed at them unsuccessfully. Whatever happened to the simple command “down-stay”?
The problem as I see it is all the dogs were alpha males or alpha bitches who had minimal or no training at all during “puppyhood” and now they were adult dogs in foreign territory with no leadership. Most dogs today when walked are out in front of their owners on extend-a-leashes, thus in the alpha position in charge of their pack’s security. Because of inept, poor, or no training the owners are unaware of this. In addition the owners often use devices such as “halties” that prevent the dog from pulling but they don’t practice commands such as heel where the dog must choose to walk at your heel rather than in front of these owners thus giving the alpha position to their owners. This relieves a lot of stress on a burgeoning adult dog thus making way for more harmonious travels. And lastly a lot of these pampered pooches are not socialized enough or at all when they’re puppies which would allow older, bigger dogs to school them in proper behavior. All the owners acted chagrined, ashamed, and apologetic after the fact but none of them seemed to know where to turn for help. It’s unfortunate I was only passing through and I had no time to work with them. The end result is that all these fine, intelligent, beautiful dogs will be left home the next time these owners travel or they will be given up as untrainable.
I personally have had as many as 10 to 15 dogs under my care while their owners traveled and since I trained them, I could hike off-leash with all of them. If I ran into bikers or hikers I could issue the command “stay” and they would all “sit-stay” wherever they were until I released them with the command you’re “free” which I would do once the bikers or hikers cleared our vicinity. Most of these dogs were started in my verbal and physical training at age sixteen weeks and I would board them when their owners traveled. They learned to mirror my pack’s behavior while I practiced the basics daily with them so they would respond off leash as well as on. When they performed correctly they earned praise when incorrectly they earned minimal correction and we would repeat the process over and over until it became ingrained. It was hard work but worth it. Today everyone buys devices and trains under minimum wage trainers that steer clients to devices sold by their corporations;ie extend-a-leashes, halties, and other sundries. After the recession/depression hit owners either stopped training or went for cheaper courses offered by Petsmart or Petco where rather than hire professionals with knowledge and expertise they hired kids and taught them how to train with treats and refer the owners to store products and devices to resolve issues rather than training dogs to perform positively to commands in order to earn praise. Thus creating a relationship where the humans are the alphas and the survival of the pack depends on these social pack animals performing properly.
I had a dog named Bella I trained for a couple who traveled almost six months out of the year. When they were traveling she boarded with me and my pack at my house. Bella was a gorgeous Wheaton terrier with Tammy fay Baker eyelashes that had a strong prey drive yet I could call her off a rabbit chase, she would turn on a dime and run back to my side in an instant if commanded. My dogs Midnight and Aiko have startled small children when we left restaurant patios after a meal because they would “down-stay” under our table until commanded to “heel” when we were finished. Several famous people whose dogs I’ve trained also had this ability if they practiced what I told and showed them. Some did some didn’t but when these dogs stayed with me they all learned to act as a solidified unit. The bottom line is if your dog hits twelve months of age and won’t come when called please hire a professional to come to your house and work with you, don’t take the dog to cheap group training.
One of the problems is that owners fall in love with their puppies but eventually these puppies evolve into adult dogs and what worked with puppies doesn’t necessarily work with adult dogs. Dogs are descended from wolves not cute teddy bears manufactured at Disneyland. There is nothing wrong with cuddling, loving, and treating your puppy like a special child at home but you must train this dog to obey you implicitly everywhere else. Actually it is easier to start at home with fewer distractions and work your way out to unfamiliar territory. You have a responsibility to be the alpha and relieve the stress of unknowingly placing your pup in the alpha position in unfamiliar territory. If you need help call a professional
I intend to travel more often and if you keep up with my websites; arizonacustomhikes.com and arizonabaddogs.com maybe I can do a crash course in your area. I also do fund raising for worthy rescues so don’t hesitate to call me personally at 602-955-1615. Your puppy can evolve into the best adult dog you’ve ever had like a third arm but it takes a solid foundation and some work. Ben Hogan, a revered professional golfer once said “the more I practice the luckier I get”. I implore you all to hire a professional particularly if you discover that you have an alpha puppy morphing into an adult dog. Just watch the tail if it sticks straight up you’ve got an alpha. I guarantee you will rewarded over and over again with a great dog that receives compliments everywhere you go. Lets stop producing spoiled, untrained, alpha bitches that ruin vacations and instead create more Benjis, Lassies, and Rintintins(Old T.V. star dogs). Make advances not excuses.

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