Dog Training

Train your dog like a pro with our expert behavioral tips and tricks.

Slide into your rightful place as pack leader with help from our dog training section, your one-stop shop for information and advice on common behavior problems and primers on basic commands and dog training techniques. Learn about common aggression triggers in dogs, the importance of socialization and how to deal with everything from excessive barking and separation anxiety to housebreaking a puppy. Get expert advice from our resident dog trainer, Casey Lomonaco, read about how other dog owners have dealt with dog training and behavior issues of their own, and use our Dogster Local search box to find a dog trainer near you.

Talk About Behavior & Training

How to Tell if a Service Dog is Real or Fake

I think most people would agree a 'fake' service dog is a pet that the owner claims service dog status for so that the dog has public access. They have no task training or other skills that make SDs special. Also, the owner isn't disabled. Pretty much the same answer for 'fake Service Dogs in Training' If you have a SDIT, no one expects their behavior to be as good as an actual SD, and SDs are usually 18 months old or older. If you have a new puppy you want to take to the mall, he would be difficult to pass off as a SD! A 'fake' SDIT isn't much different then a 'fake' SD. Neither is trained (or being trained) as a service dog. I would think if one needed to ask if they were disabled, they weren't. A disability is supposed to impact life activities, such as eating, bathing, dressing, breathing. You can always ask you doctor. In my opinion, pretty much everyone qualifies as disabled by ADA standards. These standards weren't developed with SDs in mind. They were written the way they were to stop discrimination in the job market, housing, physical access of public places, etc. There are three parts to the definition of disability in the ADA. I don't know anyone who doesn't meet at least one of those parts. I'm especially fond of the 'history of a disability' one myself. If you have a history of deafness - just as an example - but have surgery to correct it and can now hear, you are still considered disabled under the ADA.

Karen H., owner of a Labrador Retriever

Managing Your Dog's Fear of Strangers

If your dog is afraid of strangers, then socialize him even heavier in public. Do NOT let him stand between you & the stranger as he feels it is his responsibility to guard you. Let him know you are in control by stepping out in front of him and placing yourself between him and the stranger. Make sure not to make a big deal out of his dislike of strangers but do not ignore any attitude towards them! If he is food motivated then you can try giving treats when he just sits there appropriately in the presence of a stranger. Or, if he will accept them and the stranger will cooperate, then have the stranger give him treats. The period between 1 and 2 years is a tricky time as your dog is coming into himself. Some of the most major changes in personality you will ever see will be between these ages, and by the age of 3 their personality and fears are pretty much cemented.

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