doggie dude ranch & training center


doggie dude ranch & training center


To Be Loved or To Lead: What’s Your Goal?

Many women come to me for help with their dogs.  When we broach the inevitable subject of discipline, most women start to shy away.  They want better control, but they don’t want to discipline their dogs as a means of getting that control.  As I probe to find out why, I find a recurrent answer.  “I’m afraid he won’t like me”, they say.

Have you ever known a woman whose only goal was to be loved by a man?  When their sole goal is to be loved, women do stupid things. They come across as needy, clingy and weak.  Decent men hate needy, weak women and so do dogs!  If being loved by your dog is your only goal, I’m here to say you may never achieve it.

The irony is that to be loved, one must first be strong.  Only when you take control of your dog and his behavior will he truly love and respect you.  Just as good men are attracted to women with principles, confidence and standards, so are dogs.  Nature loves strength; it hates weakness.

Instead of trying to get your dog to love you, try being a stronger leader. Stop accommodating his every whim.  Set your boundaries and your rules.  Enforce them quietly, but consistently.  Give where you must; take where you can.  Don’t be a doormat, be a Diva.

THAT’S how you get a dog to love you!


Four Keys to Power, Influence and Success

Photo of Key to Success

Take a moment and list your life heroes.  Whom do you most admire or have been your mentors?  What figures have most influenced your life?  What bosses or professors or teachers taught you the most?  The qualities in each of these people will probably be similar, and they are the qualities of true leaders:

  1. They are concise, not wordy or chatty.
  2. They are principled, holding themselves and others to a clear standard while maintaining a kind and fair demeanor.
  3. They are focused on their goals, consistent and unflappable – not scattered, flighty nor prone to emotional displays of anger or frustration, however slight.
  4. They believe in their own ability.

This is a good list.  What is most interesting about it, however, is that these same leadership qualities play a role in all social animal groups as they sort out their leaders and followers.  The “leaders” in groups of animals also exhibit these four qualities.  Whether you’re talking people, cows, horses … or dogs!  Isn’t that fascinating?  The same focus, follow-through and self-assurance that I observed in the queen of our herd, Piggy the Cow, I saw in my mother and father.  I’ve seen it in the dogs through the years that have quietly but effectively taken control in our family pack.  I saw these qualities in Mrs. A, my high school English teacher, who taught me more about how to focus, meet deadlines, think deeply and work hard than any other person in my life.  If we follow a faith, we will also see these personal attributes in the spiritual leaders that we worship or follow.

Ponder this.  Then develop these four skills in yourself and watch your own power and influence begin to grow.   You will have more success with your dog, and with others…without ever raising your voice.

Hyperactive Dog? Drive the Bus!

photo of bus

I see so many dogs in my business that owners describe as “hyper” or “overactive”.  These dogs are hard to live with because they never seem to settle in and relax.  They jump, bark, pull on the leash, bounce off the walls and generally ignore commands.   And yet, after just several minutes with me quietly yet clearly taking charge and communicating what I expect of them – a miraculous transformation occurs. The dog is calm, polite, and relaxed.   Owners are gob-smacked and incredulous.  They can’t believe it’s the same dog that arrived as a whirling dervish just minutes earlier.  I explain that I simply showed the dog that I was driving the bus, and that their seat assignment was somewhere behind me – not fighting over the steering wheel.

It’s all about rank.  Rank is good.  Rank is necessary.  Clear rank and order puts a dog at peace.  I am fond of saying that dogs only want to know two things:

Read moreHyperactive Dog? Drive the Bus!