NO MATTER WHAT AGE, BREED, SIZE OF DOG OR BEHAVIOR ISSUE YOU ARE DEALING WITH, THE LIFE CHANGING DOG TRAINING WORKS. WE HIGHLY RECOMMEND IMPLEMENTING THESE TIPS WITH A NEWLY ADOPTED DOG THAT YOU HAVE BROUGHT INTO YOUR HOME. AND IF YOU ARE EXPERIENCING AGGRESSION ISSUES TO KEEP YOUR DOG ON LEASH WHEN THEY ARE OUT OF THEIR KENNEL AND UTILIZE A MUZZLE IF NECESSARY UNTIL YOU CAN GET IN FOR HELP.
GOD SETS RULES AND BOUNDARIES BECAUSE HE LOVES US.
God sets rules and boundaries for us because He loves us, not because He is mean God. He knows what is best for us, and these rules and boundaries need to be explained in a way we understand for it to make sense to us. Same goes for our dogs, if our dogs don't understand what the rules and boundaries are in our house, how are they supposed to live peacefully with us? We start teaching our dogs rules and boundaries by controlling space on a leash (slip lead is best) the first day they come to live with us. That way we can give them more directions, less corrections, in the same way God gives us instructions in the Bible to read because He doesn't want us to be confused. We can guide our dogs into the areas or off furniture safely this way, and we can use a crate if our dogs are kennel trained when we can't be there to implement rules and boundaries so they stay safe while we are away. We must work to communicate these rules clearly and humanely in a meaningful way our dogs understand, otherwise the rules won't work. If you need help communicating with your dog, we can help.
GOD WANTS TO KEEP US SAFE.
Dogs are den creatures by nature, and we all need a safe, secure place to spend time with God. Kennel training allows your dog to practice a state of peace and meditation, as the Bible suggests we do on all the things we learn. This is a life skill dogs will have for the rest of their lives should they ever need to be kenneled for emergencies, grooming appointments, veterinary appointments, natural disasters, etc. WE have seen kennels have dramatic effects on a dogs life, helping them to remain sane, safe and in their homes. When NEW DOGS are introduced to a home, we ALWAYS recommend kenneling them to keep the current RESIDENT dogs SAFE while you are away from home. This will keep dogs from fighting, injuring or killing each other while owners are away, and yes unfortunately that is the sad reality of what is happening in our world.
Start by picking the right size kennel, your dog should be able to get up, turn around comfortably and not hit their head on the top of the kennel. We like wire kennels for indoor stationary kennels and you can put a blanket over part of the kennel if dogs are not known chewers. Same goes for inside the kennel if dogs are not known chewers they can have cushions, blankets or pads. Many dogs panic when they are left in the kennel for the first time, so we highly recommend people practice kenneling their dogs when they are home. The only time kennel training can actually be done is when owners are there to help their dog work through it because it can be stressful, so if your dog is trying to injure themselves by breaking out of the kennel, we recommend contacting us or a dog training professional for assistance.
WALKING WITH OUR DOGS AND GOD.
Learning how to walk with our dogs in a safe way that leads to a long happy life is one of the most important things we can do for our dogs. Just like learning to walk with Jesus is THE most important thing we can do for ourselves that will lead to eternal life rather than an eternal death. There is so much information that is relayed on this walk, it's the foundation for our lives with our dogs, just like our walk with Christ is the foundation for everything else. If there are cracks in our walk with our dogs, they will find them, and if there are cracks in our walk with Christ the enemy will find those too. Our walk starts when we pick up the leash, put on our dogs and exit the door to head into the world.
THRESHOLDS are important and if our dogs are not waiting for us to tell them when it's okay to head out the door, they are not looking to us for information. Just like if we aren't looking to Jesus for when it's okay to move forward then we are not being OBEDIENT and RESPECTFUL OUR MASTER either. Dogs don't realize by pushing out the door can lead to serious injuries or even DEATH, just like humans don't realize doing things their own way and not looking to Christ can do the same.
We teach our clients how to ADVOCATE for their dogs on a walk, just like Christ died to send the Holy Spirit into the world to ADVOCATE and GUIDE us. We do not allow people to come up and pet our dogs without our permission, just like the HOLY SPIRIT needs to be INVITED into our lives, He is a gentleman and asks permission. The ENEMY sneaks into people's lives and doesn't WAIT to be invited, the Devil is not a gentleman and will do things without our permission to try and trick and manipulate us. Which is why we MUST set RULES AND BOUNDARIES for all the people and animals in our lives to keep us SAFE, remember God set rules and boundaries for us because He loves us and to keep us safe. We recommend walking with Spray Shield citronella spray for protection of loose dogs and it is our job to protect our dogs from these encounters when they have no where to run and get away from an attacker when they are on leash.
BASIC COMMANDS FOR US AND OUR DOGS.
God doesn't want us to be confused, He gives us the BIBLE that outlines a set of BASIC COMMANDS for us to follow, also the RED LETTER teachings of His Son Jesus to keep us on track and help us overcome our enemy. Even though dogs can learn hundreds of commands, the LCDT program teaches a series of BASIC COMMANDS for your dog to follow that will help keep them safe throughout their life. We try to keep it simple, so teaching your dog COME, SIT, DOWN, STAY, RELAX, HEEL, PLACE, KENNEL, OUT & LEAVE IT are the most important commands your dog will ever learn. And being able to complete these commands when their emotions are high is what we teach our clients as humans must be able to apply gentle, humane consistent pressure for compliance just like God does with us.
We recommend starting your dog off on a slip lead to help GUIDE them, just like when Jesus takes our hand and guides us. You can use treats to guide and lure them into positions, and then mark with the word after your dog has given you the behavior you are looking for. Trying not to REPEAT commands, although God will repeat Himself as many times as necessary until we get it right. The words are for us, but dogs communicate physically so the leash pressure is for them and because of this, the LCDT program works for deaf and blind dogs as well. It works for all dogs, and we don't treat dogs differently if they have a disability, we treat them as smart highly intelligent capable beings that God created them and adjust the training as necessary.
Having a SAFE PLACE we can send our dogs to they know they can just RELAX is important, just like when we don't know what else to do we can run to our FATHER and spend time with Him. Dogs also need to know they are OFF DUTY, just like we as humans need to STOP trying to do God's job letting Jesus be Jesus to handle what we can't in our human strength. It is in this SAFE place dogs can learn how to process their EMOTIONS rather than acting on them, just like we humans are not to be acting on our emotions and feelings, but taking them to Christ and asking Him what we should do about them. Teaching our dogs how to deal with stress is an important life skill, and is much of what the BIBLE teaches us humans as well. You can use a leash to teach your dog where you would like their safe, place command to be.
GOD IS ALWAYS ON TIME.
God is never early, never late but always ON TIME, however our human timing can always use some work. It is important when we are communicating with our dogs whether we are rewarding or trying to correct a behavior, good timing is essential. The best time to reward a dog is the moment or a few seconds after they give the wanted behavior. Our blessings and rewards from God don't always come like that but there is a peace that we feel when we are being obedient to God that is an joy that is unexplainable to the world. Just like with children and how God corrects us, the easiest and most effective time to correct our dogs is before they are about to make a bad decision when they are thinking about doing it. That's what God does with us, the small still voice inside before we are about to sin, the Holy Spirit convicts us and helps us make better choices.
We can usually interrupt the negative thought process with a verbal cue, leash information, spacial pressure or a clear "no." Often dog owners inadvertently reinforce their dogs negative behavior by giving their dogs lots of attention (even if it's negative) when they misbehave, which only reinforces that behavior and will likely be repeated. We believe in MORE DIRECTION, LESS CORRECTION preventing the misbehavior, but we must hold our dogs accountable just like God does for us, correcting those He LOVES. Teaching and communicating that involves CLEAR COMMUNICATION help to build the relationship between owners and dogs, just like it does with us and our GOD.
TRAINING STARTS AT HOME.
Just like with children the BIBLE tells us we should raise them up in the way they should go and when they get older they will not depart from those ways, it's the same for our dogs. How well we are teaching and holding our dogs accountable at home will determine how well they respond to us when we are out in the world. If we can't get our dogs to listen and respect us indoors, then we will struggle when we are outside and have so many distractions coming at us, some that are sent by our enemy. There is a difference between FORCING and INSISTING our kids and dogs listen to us; for example we don't 'force' our kids to go to school, we 'insist' they go to school, we don't 'force' them to do chores we 'insist' they do chores, or go to church, etc. etc. Dog trainers know any jumping, barking, demanding attention should be addressed at home before venturing out into the world.
The LCDT program recommends socializing in smaller groups with dogs and owners that you know rather than going to dog parks and unregulated social groups where there can be bullying and inappropriate behaviors with no one to correct them. Most of the time in those environments dog owners turn a blind eye and let the dogs sort it out, only to find out how dogs sort things out physically. The BIBLE tells us that bad company corrupts good character and same goes for our dogs, if they have negative experiences with other dogs they can learn to be reactive, afraid fearful or aggressive. This is why we recommend structured socialization and play groups, along with pack walks, long line work, off leash hikes, fetching balls, treadmill work, scent work, agility training for exercise.
RESPECT ON BOTH ENDS OF THE LEASH.
The LCDT program works to rebuild RESPECT and AUTHORITY in our lives with our dogs and with GOD. God does NOT FORCE us to be in relationship with HIM, He always gives us FREE WILL to make a choice whether we want to be in relationship with Him. Once we begin to RESPECT God's authority in our lives, He can begin to work on us, guiding us and shaping us into the image of CHRIST. So when we earn our dogs respect and they start looking to us for LEADERSHIP we can start working on them to mold them into the dogs God intended for them to be.
This respect is NOT EARNED by hitting, yelling, handling our dogs in a harsh manner, God is FIRM but FAIR and we should be with our animals too. God gives us the wisdom and knowledge to help our animals and each other, and there are humane ways to teach our dogs to follow our lead based on clear communication and understanding. We teach our dogs to learn to make better decisions that lead to a long happy life with dogs you do not have to micromanage, just like Jesus teaches us to make good decisions when we agree to be His Disciple. This does not mean we won't get frustrated dealing with our dogs, and we must work to control that anger since it creates an imbalance in our relationship and God wants to give us the fruits of the Spirit; JOY, PEACE, PATIENCE, KINDNESS, GOODNESS, FAITHFULNESS, GENTLENESS & SELF CONTROL.
DOGS ARE GIFTS FROM GOD.
It is easy to become frustrated when we feel like our dogs don't understand what we are asking from them, just like I am sure God feels with us at times. But thankfully He is so patient with us and asks us to be patient with the CREATURES He put us in charge of to be good stewards of until they go back home to be with our Creator, and we will hopefully see them again one day. So rather than all the things they have done WRONG, let's focus on the things they have done RIGHT just like God does with us, He forgets our past when we ask for forgiveness and erases our transgressions from His memory because that's how much He loves us. God gives us these creatures because He loves us and wants us to experience the unconditional LOVE that comes from Him as well. If we trust Him to guide us on the right path with our dogs, He will lead us to VICTORY because He is always FAITHFUL and NEVER FAILS.
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