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Jane Lefler
Jane Lefler, Animal Behaviorist
Category: Dog Training
Satisfied Customers: 19184
Experience:  Behaviorist /Trainer and Dog breeder 18+ years
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I have two 8-mo male Great Pyrenees/Akbash mixes that I have

Customer Question

I have two 8-mo male Great Pyrenees/Akbash mixes that I have had since 6-1/2 wks old. They are GREAT dogs, however, I didn't get basic training done before size became an issue. How do I train these very big, very strong-minded dogs not to jump or knock me down?
Submitted: 1 month ago.
Category: Dog Training
Expert:  Dr. Lori replied 1 month ago.

my name is***** and I can offer some advice.

How much do theses dogs weight?

Expert:  Dr. Lori replied 1 month ago.

you seem to not be responding. Ill open this up for the other professionals.

Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 1 month ago.

Hi JaCustomer,

My name is ***** ***** I’ve been involved professionally with dogs in the health and behavioral fields for over 18 years. It will be my pleasure to work with you today. I've been breeding rottweilers for 20+ years so I am familiar with larger strong willed breeds.

I recommend some long leashed walks and formal obedience training with daily practice. This will aid in curing the problem as you can command your dog to sit or lie down instead of jumping. All visitors will need to be informed that the dog is in training and is not to be petted, talked to or otherwise shown any attention until you give permission, which you will not do unless the dog is sitting for adults or laying down for children. Then they should be calm as well when showing the dog attention.

While a formal class is great, you should start at home first. Train each dog separately and once you think they have a command down, you will need to retrain them for that command together. When you have 2 dogs together, they will tend to not listen as well when back together again, so retraining has to be done but it does go quicker.

The following site is helpful in helping owners train their dog. Be sure and click on the link to the page on obedience at the bottom. and links on subsequent pages leading to detailed instructions.

http://www.schutzhund-training.com/training_theory.html

Training works best if you train at least 30 minutes a day (two 15 minute sessions). I would start making your dog work via the Nothing in life is free program (NILF). It is outlined below.

http://www.pets.ca/articles/article-dog_nilf.htm

http://www.humanesociety.org/animals/dogs/tips/training_nothing_in_life_is_free.html

Now I have a few other suggestions for you while you are training and to help stop it until they are trained. One is an anti-jump harness. See one here:

http://www.petnovate.com/jump-stop-1/

They have various kinds by different manufacturers but most are similar to each other. It can help stop some of the jumping until you get some training done. Until your dog is obedience trained, there is a method I've used for over 15 years and is very effective and not cruel for a dog that jumps on people. It cures even the most stubborn large dog. However, everyone in the family will have to be consistent until they learns it is not acceptable.

What you will be doing is putting one knee up to waist level any time you see the dog start to jump up. Put it up before the dog is close to you, so he sees it. YOU DO NOT KNEE THE DOG. Instead you put your knee up long before he reaches you and he jumps onto your knee generally hitting himself in the chest as a result. Since your knee is up and you aren't moving when it happens, he does not interpret it as something you are doing. At the same time you need to say in a low toned firm voice, NO JUMP. He'll learn that when he jumps, he ends up hitting his chest and will associate NO JUMP with that feeling and learn to not jump on people. He may still dance around on his hind legs, but they do usually learn not to touch the person. Again, I want to stress that the knee should not be used to hit the dog, but instead let the dog run into the knee. It will take a few times before you get the movement down but it is pretty effective.

Your dog may try and come at you from the side, but just shift position until he learns that he can't jump. You should also start teaching him that he will not get petted or get treats or affection or even talked to unless he is calm and he works for them by sitting or laying down.

I do suggest the no jump harness since your pups are very large. It will help at least keep them down somewhat so they can not knock you over while you are training them. Now I would use tiny hot dog slivers for treats while training. Most dogs will eagerly work and obey commands for these treats. Dogs actually end up liking obedience training and it gives them the mental stimulation they need as well as manners.

I hope this information is helpful to you. If you would like any additional information or have more questions please don’t hesitate to press the reply to expert or continue conversation button so I can address any issues you still have . If you do find this helpful, please take this opportunity to rate my answer positively so I am compensated for my time.

Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 1 month ago.

Hi Again,

I just thought I'd check in to see how things are going for you and your dog. Let me know if my answer was helpful.

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