The Three Rules to Training… - Brandon McMillan's Canine Minded
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The Three Rules to Training…

Walking dogs in the Summer heat

The Three Rules to Training…

When people tell me they can’t train their out of control dog I tell them to remember 3 words in order: Control, Train, Treat. Let’s break this down step by step…

Control: It’s very typical for a puppy or any untrained dog to be wild and out of control. It’s very frustrating to most people when they’re trying to train them and the dog is running wild all over the place. The simple solution to this is to leash them up. Done. Now I have 90% more control than I had 10 seconds ago. Now it’s time to begin training.

Train: Now we have control we start the training process. I always train in short but effective segments. I don’t ever want to overwork them in turn making them hate it. When we train it’s vital to teach the animal the correct technique with each behavior. This can and will confuse them if not done correctly and very easily could take you back a couple steps. Be sure to consult with a qualified trainer when training.

Treat: After we’ve gotten control of our animal and trained them its time to treat them. Rewarding our animals is extremely important in the training process. It’s also key to reward them right after they do the behavior you asked. Be sure their reward is something they really want. The more demanding the behavior you train, the better the reward should be. I’d recommend a clicker with some dogs as they respond much quicker.

You’ll see me use this same 3 step training strategy every week on “Lucky Dog.” It’s the rules I live and train by. Try them out on your own dog and give me feedback… Ruff.

–  Brandon

  • Denise
    Posted at 14:45h, 01 June Reply

    How to handle a high energy dog (rescue) that has magnificent potential? Biggest problem is jumping on people (out of love…snapping in the air at the same time). If pushed down and told “No,” she jumps worse. If one simply turns one’s back, she jumps worse. Rules of behavioral conditioning say that the behavior should extinguish…not happening. Spent hundreds on a dog trainer and still a problem. She should be on your show! 🙂

    • Kelly
      Posted at 19:55h, 08 November Reply

      This short article doesn’t address two important things that most out of control dogs aren’t getting enough of – movement and mental exercise. When you commit to adopting a high energy dog you are committing to meeting its needs. If a mile walk a day isn’t enough, add more until you find out what’s enough. You will know, your dog’s behavior afterward will tell you. Jog, bike or rollerblade with your dog. Dog parks are nice in theory but in practice people walk in and expect their dog to just “go play.” Walk them around the play area. Train behaviors that you’ve worked on at home in this environment if you can. But the best training happens when the mind and body are satisfied. Do your training after a session of exercise.
      Mental exercise is huge. I mostly work with herding dogs who are smart alert and hungry for knowledge. Trick training is great for puppies, classes are great as long as your practice daily. I’m a fan of this particular program but it’s not the only one.
      Bottom line – exercise their mind and body before you expect to succeed with training.

  • Jill
    Posted at 21:44h, 10 January Reply

    Help!! I am having a very hard time training our 20ish week old GSD…in all areas. I’m sure it is human error, but I’m worried that wear going to have an out of control dog. We sre committed tovthis little guy, but my kids are beginning to fear his playful jumping chewing, and rough play. I don’t seem to have a grip on any area of training. I’m worried it’s going to be too late if we don’t get this under control now!

    • Enrico
      Posted at 04:09h, 19 February Reply

      //1) தம ழ ந ட ட ல கலகம இல ல மல ஆண டத . //பத ல த ம க க ரன ம த ர ச ல ல வ ண ட யத ர க க ம இர ந த ல ம ப றக ச ல க ற ன , இப ப தல ல (இத ஒர ப ரச ச ர பத வல லவ /)//2) ரவ ட கள ஒழ த தத .//தனக க ப ட க க த ரவ ட கள மட ட ம ஒழ த தத , த ம க ப ரண ய ல ரவ ட வ ரமண ய வ த த வ ட ட இர வர க ன ற வ ட ட ப றக அவன ச ட ட தள ள ன ர கள , ரவ ட கள ஒழ ந தனர ஆன ல அத ம கவ ற க ப ட க க த ரவ ட கள மட ட ம , ப ர ந த ன ள வ த த க ள த த ய ரவ ட கள இன னம ம உள ளனர , ஆத ர ஜ ர ம , ச கர ப ப ப ன றவர கள அத ம கவ ல உள ளனர , உடன மற ற கட ச கள ன த த பட ட யல ப ட வர பவர கள க க க ஞ சம ப ற ங கள அத ம கவ ன ச தன ய க ச ன னத ரவ ட கள ஒழ ந தனர , ம ற ற கட ச த த க கள பட ட யல ட ட ல ரவ ட கள இன னம ம உள ளனர என ற த ன அர த தம …//3)த வரவ தத த ன ந ழல க ட தம ழகத த ல பட மல க க க ம தல ம (த ம க வந த ல த வ ரவ த கள ன ஆதரவ ளர கள நன ற க சம ப த ப பர )//பயங கரவ த வ க வ டன க ட ட வ த த ள ள ர ஜ யலல த , நக க ரன க ப ல , ந ட ம றன , ச ப.வ எல ல ம த வ ரவ த கள ? என னம இதற க ம ன ப ல ல ம தம ழகம க ஷ ம ர ம த ர இர ந தத கவ ம இப ப த அம த ப ப ங க வ க இர ப பத ப லவ ம ….சம ப த த த த வ ரவ த ஆதரவ ளர கள ப யர ய ம ச ல ல ங கள //4) ப ண கள க க ப த க ப ப //என னங க இத க க ம ன ன ட த ர வ ல ப ன எல ல ப ண கள க க ம ப த க ப ப ல ல த ம த ர ய ம அம ம ஆட ச ய ல ஆள க க ஒர ப ல ஸ ப த க ப ப ப ட ட ம த ர ய ம , இந த ஆட ச க க வந த ப றக ப ண கள க க எத ர ன க ற றங கள க ற ந த த க ஏத ன ம ப ள ள வ பரம இர ந த ல த ர ங கள ஒத த க ள க ற ன …//5) ஒட ட ம த த வளர ச ச ச றப ப கவ இர ப பத என ற positives பல இர க க .//ய ர ட ய வளர ச ச ங க? மன ன ர க ட க ட ம பத த ன வளர ச ச ய ? இரண ட ஆண ட ல வளர ந த MIDAS ஆ? மணல க ண ட ர க டர ஆற ம கச ச ம ய ?

  • Patrick Haggerty
    Posted at 16:14h, 11 August Reply

    Thank you Mr. Brandon McMillan for being the missing link between man and dog!

  • Michelle
    Posted at 16:25h, 11 August Reply

    I also have a high-energy rescue dog, who has a problem with jumping on people. He has scratched my legs to the point of bleeding because he jumps on me when I try to feed him. He does know how to sit, but it doesn’t last long. He’s just over a year old, and I need training in order to know how to train him! Help!

  • Lisa B
    Posted at 18:42h, 11 August Reply

    I have a 3 month old Yorkie/Pomeranian mix puppy. He doesn’t come when called and he will run away from me when I try to get him. What can I do?

  • Peter
    Posted at 15:22h, 12 August Reply

    The key to a well behaved trained dog is exercise ! A dog can not behave or train if they have too much energy. A dog with adequate exercise us an attentive, happy and calm(er) dog.

  • Elizabeth
    Posted at 05:29h, 13 August Reply

    We have been training a rescue that lived in a puppy mill situation for 3-6 years. She shows signs of being inbred both physically and mentally. However, she is the sweetest little dog I have ever had. Gracie’s initial response to the clicker was fear. I tried the click and treat…Gracie would run away then slink back for the treat. After a week of trial and error, I put the clicker in my pocket, clicked, treated. Gradually we were able to work the clicker into training. Gracie’s mind wonders as she meanders about in the yard. A click of the clicker, her head pops up, she comes running for a treat. I can try and get her to focus on the matter at hand, heather it be going potty, other training, etc. Our yard is fenced in, I go out to the middle, give a few clicks, Call “come” and Gracie comes running. I admit to being unsure of the effectiveness of the clicker after Gracie’s reaction the first week of working with it. Especially since it looked so easy on “Lucky Dog” . The lesson is, it takes persistence. You may need to find a slightly different edge to get the light bulb to go off in your dog’s head. But hang in there. It makes for a much happier dog and family in the end.

  • Sue
    Posted at 21:09h, 08 November Reply

    Hello, what type of treats do you use when training? Thank you!

  • Cari
    Posted at 18:29h, 09 November Reply

    Tony is a 2/3 year old Pit Bull rescue who is amazing he is 1,000xs better now than he was when I brought him home from the shelter. However he is jumpy and snappy. I have worked on him in every way I know how and just can not change this behavior. Any tips / help you can give me to modify this behavior I would greatly appreciate.

  • Mark Costello
    Posted at 12:51h, 14 November Reply


    I understand stand and I agree with your 7 Basic Commands,dealing with all Breeds except maybe one in particular, the Pointer.

    English Pointer
    German Short hair Pointer
    If you come accross these Breeds they are u Sally never taught the SIT command,

    Their is a command in the Field Hunters use with Pointers that confuse the Breed, it is called the Whoa Command,

    It is where the hunter tells the dog to stand and stay without moving his feet near the Upland Bird.when on point.

    Hunters don’t want the dog to be confused with sit command so he never teaches this sit command.

    Please understand stand this for future evaluation of this Breed

  • Kim Sweatt
    Posted at 01:09h, 08 March Reply

    Is there any hope for a dog that occasionally nips at people (especially children) ? My son & daughter-in-law are expecting their 1st child but feel they are going to have to give up their dog and I hate that for them. The dog did not have an easy life in the beginning until my son took him.
    His name is Koda and he is a Golden Shepard mix. He is super loving and playful but sometimes very guarding & protective. I hate for my son to have to give up his dog but I also don’t want the baby hurt. Do you have any advice?
    Thank You

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