A guide to navigating the challenge and adventure of life with your dogs.

Video: 3 Tips for Training Hyper Crazy Out-of-Control Dogs

This is the second half of a two-part series. Click here to go watch part one.

Here’s a transcript of the video:

1. Reward your dog for doing nothing
I’m gonna take a wild guess and say that the thing you most want from your dog is for him to chill out and stay out of trouble. But he already does this, at least some of the time. The problem is that you ignore him when he’s doing it. He only gets attention when he misbehaves.

Think about it.

You’re going about your day. Fido is lying on the floor, maybe chewing a dog toy or just watching the goings-on. Good dog! This is EXACTLY what you want him to be doing! But you are busy doing other things, so you don’t really notice him.

An hour later, Fido gets bored. He goes and looks for something to do, like stealing food off the counter, or barking at the neighbors, or jumping on the kids. Now he suddenly has your full and complete attention!

Any behavior that gets rewarded is likely to be repeated. Don’t wait until your dog is misbehaving to give him attention. Make an effort to notice those times when he is “doing nothing,” like sitting on the floor chilling out. Reward him with a treat, petting, or a toy.

2. Ditch the food bowl
I mentioned this in my last video as a good way to provide your dog with a job to do. Everyone always tells you that if you have a hyper dog, you have to exercise him. But they don’t think about the fact that dogs also need mental exercise. A very simple way to provide your dog with mental exercise is to have him work for his food. So in the morning, ration out a day’s worth of Fido’s food. Instead of dumping it in his bowl at meals, use it for short training sessions spread throughout the day. Also use it to reward him for doing nothing.

Whatever you don’t use for training should be put into treat dispensing toys.

3. Mischief Management
Management is about keeping your dog under control and out of trouble through the use of tools like crates, baby gates, and closed doors. Management is not training, but it is complementary to training. By preventing your dog from doing something wrong, you set him up for success when you do start training him.

To stop your dog from pulling on leash, you would teach her to walk nicely at your side. In the meantime, you’d use management tools to keep her from pulling. My favorite anti-pull tool is the front clip harness. It’s similar to a regular harness, but it clips at the dog’s chest. When she pulls, it redirects that forward motion to the side. With a front-clip there is no risk of injury like there is with a prong collar or Gentle Leader.

Give Your Dog a Brain
So this is where I talk a little about the thing I’m selling. “Give Your Dog a Brain” is a training course inspired by the countless number of hyperactive and out-of-control dogs that I have worked with in my years of animal shelter volunteering. It’s for:

-Dogs who get anxious or overexcited in distracting environments
-Dogs who freak out when the doorbell rings or when you put his leash on
-Dogs who pull on leash
-Dogs who can’t focus and seem to “blow you off” when you tell them to do something

The program contains an ebook and a bunch of video tutorials. If you’re interested, check out Give Your Dog a Brain

If this sounds like something you could use, great! If not, great! I still love you and I will continue to create free content for 3LostDogs.com.