How to Raise a Normal Dog – or retrain your problematic one

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I am the local go-to person for the complicated or problematic dogs.  This is my niche,and has allowed me to spot some handling errors that all with problematic dogs make. While none of my owner’s created their complicated canines, they are maintaining their behaviour with these things.  Here are some clues about how to change your problematic dog into the normal one that you had hoped for!


1)    If you treat your dog like a tiger, he will become one

What I mean by this is if you are fearful that he will eat the postman, your body language and handling will tell him that you are scared of the postman, and  cue him to do exactly what you are fearing.  Instead, treat your dog like a normal dog, but be ready if he decides to be naughty.


2)    Testing should only happen in real life, and not be set up by you!

Often our dogs do something undesirable and you can’t believe they really did it.  So we set up the scenario again to see if they will repeat it.  And unluckily for us, they do.  Why do we set up scenarios for our dog’s to fail?  Why do we wave a scary flag in their face to see if they will bolt away from it?  Instead, why don’t we make the flag appealing so that they grab it and want to play with it instead?  Your dog does need to become bombproof by constant success.  Every test ingrains that bad behaviour that you are trying to remove.  Don’t test- instead help him give you the right answer.


3)    Our dog’s make us change our behaviour

If your dog makes you change your behaviour, realize it, and put the necessary training in place so that you can go back to normal.  For example, if your have always cut your dog’s toe-nails, and one day your dog challenged you so you gave up – realize that you need to get the help so that your dog trusts you to handle him again.  Or if you used to enjoy Saturday morning walks when everyone was out, but now you only find yourself walking during supper-hour or when it is pouring rain (so you can avoid other people) realize that your dog has made you change your pattern and get the help that you need.


4)    The word ‘no’ is not only welcomed, but necessary for a normal dog

I’m not quite sure how it happened, but somewhere, somehow, people thought that it was wrong to tell their dog’s “No”.  It is not folks.  Please do tell them.  Not everything is allowed.  For example, it is not okay to bite me.  If your dog is biting you, or me, please don’t console him and tell him “It’s Okay” in an attempt to comfort him.  Tell him point-blank “No”.  Biting humans is not allowed and if you do it again I might be forced by authorities to euthanize you.

By never saying “no” we are denying our dog’s the chance to learn several important lessons, that they will have to pay the penalty for.


5)      The Saddest Conclusion:  The Dog Always Pays.

For all of the above lessons, I have many owners who change their lives to manage their dogs.  But, they end up with a child, with a new spouse, without an old spouse, with a health change – or something.  Their life is changed, and suddenly there is no more room for the dog.  The dog now needs a new home, because they didn’t want to stress him earlier in his life and instead treated him like a tiger, continually testing his responses, changing their behaviour to suit their tiger, and never wanted to stress him by saying “No”.  So now the dog gets dumped on some unsuspecting owner, or rescue agency, or worse yet, gets a needle, all because they felt uncomfortable asking more from him.

The shocking part is the dogs that find themselves in this scenario are always the ones you never imagined it would happen to.  It is the most loving, tolerant owners who one day, can tolerate their tigers no more.

So I ask, please, please look at your dog, and follow my first four rules, so that your dog can spend his lifetime in your home, loving you and adoring you, as your dog deserves, and as you deserve!

New Years resolutions will be soon upon us.  Please vow to retrain your problematic dog, just incase your life scenario changes.

Happy Training Everyone,

Monique and Neville, after having won High in Trial in their one and only competition before Neville’s retiring back injury.

Monique Anstee


1633 Kangaroo Road, Victoria, BC V9C 4C6


The Naughty Dogge is a dog training school located in Victoria, BC. We truly are dog-trainers and competitors, bringing out the best in any dog, regardless of breed and issues. That means we teach competitive agility, Competition Obedience, Retrain Dog Aggressive Dogs, Teach Puppy Classes and Pet Dogs to be perfect citizens, and work with behaviour problems. There is probably not an issue that we haven”t retrained! This newsletter is copyright to Monique Anstee, May 2011 and may be reprinted with full credit given to Monique Anstee at

You can contact us at 250.590.2664

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