A Case For Dog Training
By Toni Drugmand and Fred Hassen
Editorís Note: We had the pleasure of watching Toni Drugmand
and her group of happy, well-trained dogs at the Arizonaís recent RV
show at the Civic Plaza. It occurred to us how much more pleasurable
it is for boaters, RVers, and anglers to have well-mannered dogs as
their "Good Company" on outings around the state. Consequently, we
at AZBW decided to share a bit about DOG-GONE-IT with our
Dogs give so much to us and touch us so deeply. They bring us
such comfort and joy; they deserve to have the best we can give them
in terms of happiness and freedom and safety and security.
Dogs show happiness when we come home, when we say nice things to
them, and especially when we spend time with them. They seem to
express sadness when we are gone or get upset, and they even seem to
sense when we are not feeling well.
It is hard to imagine that they really donít know how to behave
in our world of circumstances. Nevertheless, their world of
communication, though it shares similar virtues, is very different
The training decisions you make of course are your personal
choice, and you have the freedom to select what makes the most sense
to you. The outdoor recreational lifestyle that hikers, campers,
horseback riders, boaters, anglers, and RVers love to enjoy are only
enhanced when the family pet is able to be apart of the experience.
Having a well-mannered pet ensures the pleasure and enjoyment
that both dog and owner get to experience together.
Dogs Are Social Critters
Because dogs are naturally social beings, they want to be with
us. Often referred to as pack animals, dogs have an instinctive need
to be part of a pack or group of other dogs.
To ensure survival, dogs in the wild have a very strong need to
have order and boundaries. If they donít, their ability to survive
This innate ingredient makes them easily trainable. It also
provides us with a strong case for training because having order and
structure is something the dog naturally needs.
The dog we are talking about is a canine wonder, but no one told
him the mail carrier shouldnít be chased down the block, or Granny
should be treated with gentleness and not jumped upon with love, the
lovely garden that mother just planted needs to stay earthed, and
the sprinklers are not something to be killed.
So there you are with your dog at your side. To get anywhere, you
have to step past the plethora of theories and methods, each of
which claim to be the Holy Grail.
Your dog, with all his/her creative exploration of behavior
options like the counter surfing, chasing cars, chewing your
favorite leather shoes and so on, is really just looking for a job,
and if he/she doesnít find one is sure to create one.
He is looking for someone to show him about how things are, to
keep him safe, to prepare his meals and most importantly, someone to
spend time with. All he really wants to know is what the boundaries
and rules are.
If he canít find them from your direction, then he might just
have to invent them! Dogs of all types, temperaments, and breeds
fall into this category.
Training your dog gives your canine friend a job and helps him
understand what his boundaries are. It provides him with a sense of
safety and security, and it allows both of you freedom and the
enjoyment of your companionship because of it.
Our Training here at DOG-ON-IT Training! uses the No Limitations
system of dog training developed by Fred Hassen. This dog-training
approach utilizes a remote training collar (www.sitmeanssit.com).
This allows us to train our dogs in a very effective, quick, and
gentle manner because of the instant communication we are able to
share with our dog. Our clients all receive a free training
demonstration so they can see the initial response of their dogs
first hand in the face of distractions and make their decisions
based on what they see first hand. We call this real world training.
We ask our clients to feel the collar. Many clients express that
the pulse feels like a Tens Unit they have experienced or like other
electronic pulse treatments used by physical therapists,
chiropractors, and other medical professionals. In fact, recently in
a conversation with a Tens Unit Sales representative, I was told
that our remote dog training collars were not as strong as the feel
of the portable Tens Unit he was selling.
Innovation has always brought about controversy, and the idea of
using a collar that promotes an electronic pulse can be an
emotionally loaded and controversial subject for some. The
controversy however, should pale, in comparison, to the results our
training is known for.
Much of the opposition to this method is based on a genuine lack
of education and the assumption that the training collar is harsh
punishment. Innovation usually faces unfounded criticism.
After all, the bicycle was deemed an instrument of the devil, for
example. The airplane was thought to surely stop your heart, and the
automobile had as many concerns as well. Today we all know those
criticisms are absurd.
Making The Right Training Decision
One of the first questions a person new to dog training asks is
"Where do I start?" It can be overwhelming.
There are as many "experts" in the field as there are breeds of
dogs. All you have to do is pick up one of the dozens of
If you really do some homework, you will check out the Internet
and all other obvious sources for information. It can be
overwhelming, a bit confusing, and full of contradictions.
When someone represents themselves to you as an "expert" in the
field, it can mean that they have years of quality training
experience, or they might have recently put up a sign that reads
"dog trainer," or "animal behavior specialist," without much
experience at all.
Titles and certifications for trainers are not standardized. You
may also find that everyone you know, friend or acquaintance, has an
Equipment, more varied than ever, has also become the subject of
heated controversy. Some people love head halters ó others think
they are crutches. Some swear by clickers; some swear against them.
Some people hate pinch collars, or any collar at all, and insist on
There are "no- pull" harnesses, pulling harnesses, soft muzzles,
basket muzzles, martingales, British slip leashes, Flexis, leashes
that emit a noise when the dog pulls, leashes made of Bungee cord,
and the list goes on and on. If you use food in training, you might
be told that you must have the right treats, and be vigilant
in your quest to find them.
Your toy better be motivating, or you need to buy another one and
try again. You could also be told that in order to motivate your dog
to do what you need of him, you must withhold food from him until he
gets hungry enough to listen.
Eventually ó if he wants to eat ó he will work for his food.
Someone else might tell you this is a mean thing to do to your dog.
The language that defines exactly what dog training is can
be as slippery as it is emotionally loaded. Moreover, it still does
not define the art of talking to your dog in a way that he learns
what you want him to know.
Not surprisingly, the multitude of approaches and of tools has
led to as many cautionary tales as success stories. How can a
beginner get anything done when so many people are telling you so
many contrary things?
Remember the safety and security of training your dog will go
along way to help ensure a memorable and relaxing time on your
If you are interested in a free training demonstration at
DOG-ON-IT Training! or in simply receiving more information, call
(602) 992-8743 or visit either
And, A Related Event: Compassion With Fashion
This is not just another fashion show. And, itís more than a dog
show. Saturday, April 29, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at The Phoenician,
a luncheon and a fashion show will generate funds to help animals in
Classy canines and their beloved people dressed in costume will
strut their stuff on the runway to compete for the coveted title of
"Best in Show 2006." Not-to-be-missed, adoptable dogs will be
featured on the catwalk, hoping to impress potential adopters.
Loveable felines will also be available for adoption.
Attendees can enter to win a beautiful, white-gold-and-diamond
"Circle of Life" necklace donated by E.D. Marshall, valued at
$1,200. Entries are just $25. Hereís just a sampling of the
spectacular silent auction items for pets and pet lovers that will
- Pet accessories
- Custom portrait of your pet
- Two nights at the Montage Resort at Laguna Beach
- A trip to Aspen in a private plane
- Five nights in Austria for two
- Three nights stay with round of golf at El Dorado Ranch in San
Individual tickets start at $80. Tables range from $800-$10,000.
For more information, please call the AHS Events Hotline at (602)
997-7586. ext. 1303.