What Makes a Good Dog?

What makes a good dog? This question is always relative to the experience of the handler of the dog/dogs. There are not set of rules that pertain to every house hold, however, we all do expect some basic sense of obedience but become overwhelmed by the process/processes. Do we gage our dog’s behavior based on their instinct or based on what we consider to be right from wrong? The answer to this question is 100% based on the handlers experience and rules. An example of this is one handler A may allow their dog/dogs on the furniture and handler B may not want the dog/dogs on the furniture. Is handler A wrong for allowing the dog/dogs on the furniture? Or is handler B wrong for not allowing the dog/dogs on the furniture? Neither are wrong in this case it is the rules that they have implemented based on the needs or rules for this handler. The answer to what makes a good dog is subjective to does the dog follow the rules that he/she has implemented in their house hold. This all pertains to having obedience training. If handler A wants to allow the dog/dogs on the couch but then decides she wants them to make room for company how well will the dogs come off the couch? This is based on obedience and the effectiveness of commands. What if handler B wants to use the couch as a form of place command and the dog is scared to go onto the couch because of knowing the boundaries that have been sent. The key is to train obedience I every situation because just as our lives change so may our outlook of our rules we have placed in our homes. The best opinion of having a good dog is starting with obedience training establishing the rules that you wish to have set in your home.

How do I choose a trainer?

Choosing a trainer may seem as easy as opening a web browser and typing “dogs trainers near me.” I would advise to read reviews call schedule an appointment meet various trainers prior to deciding. Not all trainers are the same you must feel the connection and understand his/her method of training. How do you feel about the trainer? Are they professional? Here is a base questionnaire you should ask your trainer during your interview? How long have you trained? What makes our training different from the others? How do you reward the dog? how do you correct the dog? Also, something to look for is how does he/she react around your dogs or if you met them at their place f business ask if they have a demo dog to show you or some work he/she can present. Remember look for a trainer you relate with and one you can afford. When choosing a trainer find someone that shares the same ideas as you for your dog and one that can not only train the dog but assist you and maintaining all the work that has been put in.

How does a dog gain true freedom?

How does a dog gain a true freedom, the key to this very question is how strong is your bond between you and your dog? Obedience training is the best way to build the bond between handler and dog/dogs. Having a specific set of rules that both the handler and the dog practice, learn, and follow build trust between the two of them and allows for a dog to gain freedom. A Handler who is unsure of how their dog/dogs will react to another dog passing may accidentally cause the dog to react in an inappropriate manner.  Same scenario versus a dog that has a bond with its owner will have the confidence, practice, and trust to know that nothing will happen even if the other dog reacts. Training a dog is the only way a dog can obtain total freedom. This is not an over the night process yet a continuous communication between handler and dog/dogs that reassures both that they can trust in each other in the real world.

Why is it my dog acts the way it does?

Why does my dog do this or do that? First, we should ask ourselves did I do anything to reinforce the behavior. As a puppy when the dog jumped up on my leg did, I always pick it up and love on him/her? Did I talk in a sweet voice? Now my dog is 80lbs and knocks me over? The behavior may have been taught from the beginning accidentally. The rule is “you get what you pet”. If you pet a dog you reinforce its behavior, if you pet a dog that is whining, they will continue to whine because they have received the attention they were trying to gain. If your dog becomes aggressive as another approaches ad you reach down to calm him, you may be accidentally reinforcing the behavior. To prevent inappropriate behavior from your dog, establish rules. Attend an obedience course and teach discipline while at the same time showing love. To understand why a dog is doing what it is, we must first look at ourselves to see what it is we have done to cause the behavior. Knowing what we have done is the first step to understanding how to reverse it.

Heath Roberg

Certified Canine Trainer

Certified Canine Behavioralist

Certified ISTA Trainer

Heath Roberg has various years of dog training experience, ranging from basic obedience, off leash obedience, narcotics detection, bomb detection, and service work. Heath is a veteran of the United States Army and has worked along side protection and detection dogs throughout his tours overseas. He has graduated from Starmark Academy in Hutto Texas as a certified canine trainer and behavioralist. He has attended and graduated as a certified ISTA trainer. Heath has 4 dogs himself, 3 children, and without his training he wouldn’t have the capacity or ability to maintain his pack and his family. He is a dedicated, hardworking, respectful, driven person who is willing to train and assist owners in maintaining and building the bond between themselves and their dogs.