How To Train Service Dogs

If you want your dog to listen to you off-leash, you need to consider its proximity and postioning.

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How to train dogs using The Canine Spatial Relationship

Dogs have a Spatial Relationship with others.

The first thing you need to understand about this is:

1. The proximity of one dog to another,

2. who is higher or lower, 

3. who is in front or in back,

often determines who is the more “Dominant” dog.

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4. Dogs control other dogs by getting them to “Come,” “Stay,” “Go Away,” leaving something alone (“Leave It”) making other dogs lay down, making dogs get up, and making other dogs get behind them (“Heel”).

If you could make your dog do all these things, your dog would be good for you, you would not need a dog trainer, and your dog would do what you say and respect you.

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My whole dog training system is based on having the right kind of Spatial Relationship with your dog, not corrections, positive and negative reinforcement, or domination. 

The dogs “Come” when called and don’t run away.

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The dog can “Stay” even with Mimi Huun and Kiki Puun teasing  him.

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The dogs “Go On” away from you and disengage.

This is useful if you are eating dinner or running a chain saw and need your dog away from you.

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If you can’t make your dog go away from you a minimum of ten feet and get it to disengage and leave you alone, you are wasting your time.  

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Either you can make your dog go ten feet away from you and stay away from you, or you cannot.  There is no in-between.  You can do that or you can’t.


When given the “Go On” command, the dog needs to accelerate away from you in the direction you say.  

You dog running down the street away from you is not “Go On.” It is your dog running away from you.

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You should be able to get your dog to leave things alone like people dancing at street festivals.

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“Mister Puppy” the Tibetan Mastiff was only 17 weeks old in these photos.

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We use the “Leave It” command to get dogs to leave things alone.

method lecture training campYOU DON’T NEED A GERMAN SHEPHERD

You can get a Chihuahua and teach it all the same things, except most people are not afraid of Chihuahuas.

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If your dog will not “Heel” it is not subordinate to you. Dogs walk single file with the leader in front.  

You can forget about any kind of meaningful obedience, behavioral problem solving, or off-leash obedience if you cannot make your dog walk behind you.  

Having the dog walk at your side is a totally inadequate substitute for being able to make your dog walk behind you.  Dogs pretty much walk singe-file with the leader in front.

Once you get your dog trained, you can make your dog walk in front, in back, at your side, or wherever you want.

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We train dogs psychologically with the minimum amount of force so we have a consistent message about who is in charge.

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If you can’t get your dog to walk behind you six feet as a training exercise, you are just pretending to go through the motions of training your dog.

Remember, Dog training is controlling where the dog is at.

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Dogs untrained fight over who is in front. Your dog has little, or no, respect for you if it demands or insists on walking in front of you.  

If you allow your dog to walk in front of you, you are giving the dog mixed signals about who is in charge.

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Leadership is the only thing we know of that works to control a dog’s instinct and genetics.

There won’t be any Leadership unless:

1) The dog will go 6 to 10 feet away from you and disengage contact,

2) The dog will hold a “Down-Stay” for 30 minutes to an hour, and

3) “Heel” with the nose behind your leg and will even walk 3 to 6 feet back if asked.

There is not going to be significant Obedience or behavior problem solving if your dog won’t do three things. There is no in-between, either the dog does these or not.

*To accomplish the mandatory obedience benchmarks mentioned typically takes about three private lessons.

If you are not winning psychologically, then all you are left with is force, coercion and/or bribing with food and toys.

David Baron Dog Trainer

I hope you enjoyed my article on how to train dogs and the Canine Spatial Relationship.

You definitely want to hire me.  I will go everything I can to help you and your dog. You get me for your money doing my best for you.  

Call me if you are looking for something where the dog trainer blows your mind in the first lesson. The training is actually many times better than this web site makes it seem.

Service Dog School of America