Episode-1797- Training Dogs to Fit in on the Homestead

Max is a loyal friend, a family member and a well behaved dog.

Max is a loyal friend, a family member and a well behaved dog.

While I will be covering a lot on dog training today specific to homestead environments, such as interaction with livestock, this show should benefit anyone wanting a better relationship with their canine friends.

I do want to make clear, I am not talking about LGDs, today, that would be livestock guardian dogs.  While my dogs provide some protection to my animals they are not LGDs by a long shot.  That is a highly specialized dog niche, requiring a very unique approach.

I will instead today be talking about how to turn your dog into a good member of your family.  One that doesn’t eat your birds, go into the trash, pee in the house, hurt visitors or let in strangers unchallenged.  I mean no other family member would be expected to behave this way.

Join Me Today To Hear About….

  • Dog psychology 101
    • Dogs live in the now, 2 seconds ago, and 2 seconds from now
    • Disciplining a dog 5 minutes or 5 hours after he does something is abusive
    • Discipline is a means to training it is not training
    • Dogs want to please you, they need to be shown how
    • Dogs communicate 99% with body language not sounds
    • You are the pack leader, unless you ruin that, don’t ruin it
  • The basic training
    • House training – the easy way
    • Sit, stay, come, leave it, take it in one week max
    • Tricks – the good, the bad, the ugly
    • Leash training – it is so about the energy you emit
    • Socializing in public places
  • Training dogs to work with and around stock
    • The best idea is to start with a pup or a docile adult
    • The electric training collar – technique and tactics
    • The message is any and all aggression against stock is not acceptable
  • Where it really all stems from
    • A command is not a request
    • Being phyical does not require pain to be effective
    • You have to expect that the animal will respond to you

Resources for today’s show…

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24 Responses to Episode-1797- Training Dogs to Fit in on the Homestead

  1. I recently sat in a seminar given by dog trainer Jennifer Broome regarding raising puppies into adult dogs. She said that a good rule of thumb is that a puppy will usually get the urge to urinate after 10 min per month of age when active. So if you have a 4 month old puppy, after 40 minutes of running around or play time they’ll likely need to urinate … so that’s when you take them outside if indoors or if outside take them to their bathroom spot and encourage them to do their business. She also said that puppies usually go poo 15 minutes after eating. In her view, a dog less than 12 months old is a puppy; a dog 12 to 24 months old is an adolescent; and an adult past 2 years of age. Of course every dog is still an individual any your mileage may vary. 8^)

  2. About the kennel, get one that is just over the length of the dog when it is an adult and leave the door open when the dog is not in it. It won’t take long before he will think of it as his den. Our lab will regularly go get in “his box” just to take a nap.

    I think that it is a bad plan to repeat commands THAT THE DOG UNDERSTANDS AND HEARS without a swift correction. All you are doing is telling the dog that you didn’t mean it the first time

    To me stay is a worthless command. If you tell him sit or down, train him to not get up until called.

    The Dogtra collar is a quality piece. Mine is 6 years old and is used every day. It has also been in salt water many times. DO NOT BUY A CHEAP E-COLLAR, if the relay sticks closed it can ruin a good dog. When our lab gets worked, mostly play to him, the collar goes on every time. It means 2 things to him. First, that he is about to have some fun and second that he is on the clock. If I tell him to get his collar he will run over to pick it up and bring it too me. Last thing is that you need to learn to read the excitement level of the dog to know the needed setting and not all dogs work in the same range. For mine that range is from about 30 to 80. I can’t feel it below about 15.

    Don’t feed your dog people food. It is hard on their digestive system and it is very nice being able to set a ribeye steak on the coffee table and walk into the kitchen to get a bottle of wine and know that it is safe with the dog 2 feet away.

    • Modern Survival

      Stay is a worthless command. Wow, just wow. The stay command can be given at any time, not just when the dog is sitting. Perhaps I want the dog to stay but I also want him up and alert, because we are dealing with a predator or hunting or dealing with an intruder.

      And this,

      “I think that it is a bad plan to repeat commands THAT THE DOG UNDERSTANDS AND HEARS without a swift correction. All you are doing is telling the dog that you didn’t mean it the first time ”

      That doesn’t even make any sense nor does it seem to apply to anything I said. I guess what you are saying is if you say sit and the dog doesn’t sit, don’t say it again, give the animal correction? The raised voice, repeated command with greater authority IS CORRECTION if you know how to handle dogs and if your dog is properly trained. If the animal complies of course the command is not repeated.

    • Modern Survival

      Oh and this,

      “Don’t feed your dog people food. It is hard on their digestive system and it is very nice being able to set a ribeye steak on the coffee table and walk into the kitchen to get a bottle of wine and know that it is safe with the dog 2 feet away.”

      A steak is more accurately “dog food” than the crap in bags most people feed their dogs.

      Canines are not designed to eat corn, wheat, rice, etc. They are carnivores.

      There is no such thing as “people food” there is only food and some food is fine for people and not for dogs but some is fine for both. My dogs are often fed raw meat and the occasional table scrap as well.

      They are fed raw eggs daily, they are also fed at times cooked eggs. That is “people food” but it is also damn fine dog food. You sound like my vet that recommended carrots as dog treats. Should of seen her face when I said and where would a dog get a carrot in the wild? Do coyotes and wolves eat carrots? Blank stare!

      Our dogs eat many of the things we eat and that doesn’t mean they will take food off the table. Or even off the ottoman if you are eating on the couch and walk back to the kitchen to get a drink.

      I guess we have radically different opinions and well that is okay.

    • What do you think dogs ate before kibble was widely available? Dogs ate scraps. People food that people didn’t finish or didn’t want.

      My dogs eat people food all the time. They eat raw meat, organ, bone as their main source of food and eat leftovers from my fridge whenever we have them. Their digestive systems are fine, never had a problem. Most kibble on the market is actually bad for their digestive system.

  3. Back in the day when I walked to school in the snow, uphill both ways, dogs that got into livestock took a mesquite log or a 22 behind the head—whether caught in the act or not. The rest usually got the hint. In those days, dogs were not family or pets but tools for a purpose. The dynamic between owner, livestock, and dogs was that dogs got fed and in return they guarded livestock. The neighboring shepherds fed dogs corn bread soaked in goat’s milk and latched pups to goats to build a strong bond. As a child I once visited a shepherd a couple of kilometers away from our ranch. He was burning the remains of 3 coyotes that had been killed by his two mongrel dogs the night before. The yote’s had jumped into the goat’s pen unsuspecting that the dogs slept among the goats. Guard dogs ambush predators and seldom bark.

    Our dogs, which were used more to handle cattle, formed their own pack hierarchy. Some trainers would say this is bad. It is what it was. One night I heard two fight for hours. In the morning the alpha had been killed by a younger challenger. Many times before we had broken the fight, but that night at 03:00 grandpa said, it has to happen. Golo —the 13 yr. alpha — is never stepping down.

  4. Thank you Jack Spirko for mentioning my business Sustainable Business Planning on today’s show. And thank you for being the driving force behind this awesome community of #GSD# folks. Anyone who is starting a new farm business (or wants to learn more about managing the financial side of an existing business, we offer a 15% discount for members of the TSP community. You can find the discount code at http://www.thesurvivalpodcast.com/…/sustainable…

  5. Ok, folks this is what it can look like when a Texas redneck ENTJ and a Florida redneck INTP post on something they are passionate about. Gotta love it.

    I’ll try to clarify; TO ME “stay” is worthless. In 25 years of working with Labs, prior to that another 25 with Setters, Pointers, and Walker Hounds, I have never needed that command. That is not to say that other people don’t have a need for it. I do however need “over,” “back,” “in,” “dead bird,” “drop it,” and “load up” among others, all of which you might see as worthless for your situation. But… the show WAS about training for a homestead, not retrieving birds or running deer. I could see “stay” as being useful for a herding dog or a police/MP dog and for your purposes it may be very useful. However 99.9% of the time I see the stay command used, it is used in conjunction with sit or down and I just don’t see the point of adding a command that just means keep doing what I told you to do.

    You are absolutely correct, a raised voice with greater authority IS a correction and I do that regularly. What I am referring to is when my sister, as a common example, tells her dog to “sit sit sit sit sit.” As soon as she starts repeating herself without a correction, she is “asking” the dog to do something, NOT giving it a command. Needless to say her dog never sits for her anymore. Now that I put it that way, I remember that you did make that point late in the show.

    By my definition “people food” is every edible thing in the house with the exception of his food. His food is the “Nutro” dog food that goes in his bowl and his PUP a RONI treats given to him piece by piece by hand in bed. Yes, our 80 pound Lab sleeps in the bed. If I had a bunch of duck eggs around, I might crack an egg on top of his bowl everyday. Good raw red meat is also great. But. by feeding him a consistent diet, he knows what his food smells like, where it will be and that it is his. Everything else is off limits. I don’t feed him the other half of a sandwich, the rest of a sausage biscuit, french fries or anything other than his high quality food. They just tend to do better with a consistent diet free from most of the crap that most people eat. My wife will give him a couple raw green bean tips every now and then. That’s just a battle I’m not willing to fight.

    That reminds me, I need to order another couple of bags of Nutro from amazon. Using TSPAZ of coarse.

    • Modern Survival

      Hey I think I may get what prompted the repeated command thing. I was saying how I train a dog with at times saying stay, stay, stay, but this is when a dog doesn’t yet know the command. You did clarify that but likely just hearing me say it brought up the issue.

      Funny that I teach a lot of the same commands when working with a hunting dog, they were left out because this was about homestead use.

      Doesn’t make sense though about stay to me, one command most hunters use is hold, that is just another word for stay. Of course you have a lab and they are a bit different in their use than a pointing breed. I worked mostly with Britney Spaniels as a hunting breed.

      Amazing dogs, originally bred as a do it all dog by French poachers when hunting the King’s land could get you killed. I often used the command hold or stay with my dogs. Yea two commands for the same thing is dumb but I had damn good dogs for a teen that self taught.

      IDK this may be due to the very nature of the breed, dogs tend to be flushers, pointers or retrievers as a dominant trait. Brits do it all, and tend to want to flush at times when you need them to stay locked.

      Load up, never needed that one, my dogs love vehicles all have. Open the door, they just know to get in, if they are not sure a hand gesture is all they need.

      There is more than one way to skin a cat and more than one way to train a dog.

  6. All dogs should be taught to stay. Stay is not the same as not moving from another position. Commands such as Down, Sit, Stand, are often, but not always, followed up with another command. Stay is just another one of those other commands. Depending on your dog’s activities, they might be expecting a follow up command more often than not.

    Not feeding dogs “human food” is an age old battle in the canine world. I’ve had dogs for 36 of my 42 years. All ate a quality kibble, supplemented with plenty of meat–beef, chicken, salmon–and organic raw eggs (I live in a suburban area and organic has historically been easier than local up until a few years ago).

    I can see the merits in creating consistency in their diets, if for no other reason than it keeps their bowel movements more predictable and less messy–in the breeds I’ve owned. That said, I’ve often deviated from the traditional treat bin and given them everything from an occasional dish of ice cream to a buttered bagel (my German Short Haired pointer loved butter..lol). Life is too short to get your panties in a twist over an occasional “human treat.” In my experience if your dog is active, it doesn’t affect them at all.

  7. Great show on dog training, realy enjoyed it, does anyone know how to tame a wild adult dog which was reared wild in the forest and wsd not around people, it accepts food but I can not get nearer than about 2 metres. Rabies is not a worry, we do not have rabies over here.

  8. A neighbour of mine has s dog which appears to ‘read’ newspapers. He flicks the pages ovrr one at a time from start to finish and swings his head and back while looking at the print, even paused to look at pictures, then sometimes flicks the pages back again as though he is revising s detail. Our only theory is that he is copying the actions of his master and doesn’t have a clue what he is doing, but his facial expressions do really look like he is processing information and thinking, maybe a stuoid question but is there even the slightest posibility that the dog has figured out some basic reading ability? obviously the dog does not speak english! but he is overall a fairly smart labador compared to my dogs, he does things like carries his feading bowl in his mouth to befed, my own dogs are quite stupid.

  9. My 1 year old dog figured out how to jump over the kennel fence (5 and a half feet) when the snow was high in winter. Now the snow is gone, she can still jump out when highly motivated. She climbs the corners – super smart, stubborn and agile. Any suggestions? Thinking of the shock collar. Also, how can you restrict a dog’s roaming nature? We have 3 dogs, yes I realize that they are a pack, and this is not ideal state for training the one year old… We live in the forest, and they don’t get in too much trouble, but is there a way to have them loose and staying home? We have 160 acres, and one neighbour

    • Modern Survival

      That is another thing about training if you want something to restrict a dog never let them have an opportunity to break the restriction. Once they do, well you know the rest.

    • How about putting a roof on the kennel?

  10. Sam Williams

    Breed must have lots to do with seperation anxiety. My pit bull mix is about a nine on anxiety my boxer mix hardly even registers. Same kennel size same kennel training. I leave the boxer mix kennel open. The pitbull rips carpet and chews the door. I have a door knob with a tooth hole in it. Routine is something I learned the hard way. Put the leash on and walk pitbull to kennel, walk right in. Grab collar put in comes rigbt back out knocking me over.
    Breed has different fence manners pitbull ignores fence, boxer honors fence. Even though they both clear it if they want to.
    Both understand words like possum, coon, rabbit, and squirrel. Horse, cow, goat, and sheep are expected to be unmolested.

    • Modern Survival

      More individual than breed. Charlie will generally be in our bed knocked out like a light if we forget to close the door.

  11. I was going to ask about dog breeds too, for a house with kids. How much to expect from a dog in terms of “security alarm/house protection” type work? Also do you believe in having multiple dogs in a smaller household? (Listened halfway through, we also love Caesar Milan.)

  12. Great timing with this post. I have a renewed interest in striking a more balanced leadership position with my dog. I particularly like the way you praise for the ‘alert’, but teach you pup to stand down after you’ve been made aware. I will investigate your shock collar recommendation. My belief is that responsible use is humane. We have a perimeter fence and I know the shock from that hurts much less than the bumper of a moving car.

    I’d welcome any recommendations for continued reading.

  13. What are the pros and cons of male/female dogs? I am in the process of looking to get a GSD.

  14. I’m late to the party, but I didn’t see any other answers.
    Old #7 was the name of the mule owned by Old Mad Jack on the Life and Times of Grizzly Adams show.

    • Modern Survival

      Indeed! It also refers to Jack Daniels whiskey but there is nothing stubborn about that stuff, way to easy to drink!

  15. Anarchy Andrew

    Thank you, Jack! Your 2009 show on dogs was essential for my wife and I raising our first dog as adults, a German Shepherd. We have a very well behaved, good tempered, affectionate family member as a result. Thank you again!

  16. I just got a puppy 3 months old. Teaching her to sit and stay and potty. She knows the words go potty. But she still poops in the house at least once a day.
    Trying sit with a treat every time???
    Any suggestions. Please help.