The Myth of Low-Level Stim E-collar Training

Lately, I’ve been noticing that the training industry has gotten  e-collar happy. I’ve been seeing a big influx of dogs that were started on e-collars. Their owners come to Nitro K-9 for a variety of reasons. Many dogs are fine off leash, but end up leash reactive. Others have become so desensitized to the e-collar…

So, You Think You Want a Protection Dog?

Day in and day out, I see what happens when people get dogs for protection and aren’t prepared for the realities of living with working dogs. Unfortunately, it’s a growing trend, particularly in a day and age when everyone is looking for something new, exciting, and different. When they get into trouble with the dogs—which they almost…

Relationship: The Ultimate Dog Motivator

I don’t use food or toys when training foundational obedience. Don’t get me wrong. I am not averse to using either when it is appropriate. For instance, there’s nothing wrong with starting off using food with very young puppies. Using food can be useful for gaining trust with new, shy dogs. And when it comes…

Dominance Deniers Are Killing Our Dogs

**This article was hacked and almost destroyed. Suppressing information is never the way.** Dominance Deniers are Killing Dogs I’ve been thinking about an article about dominance for a long time. I keep seeing all this nonsense about how dominance doesn’t exist and how dogs aren’t pack animals.  I was originally going to write an article…

Harnesses, Drive, and Playing with Fire

A huge number of people end up at Nitro K-9 because their dogs won’t stop pulling. The vast majority of them have their dogs in harnesses. And of those, most also have their dogs in NO-PULL harnesses. You all know I loathe Gentle Leaders—but I’m pretty down on harnesses too. If you want the truth,…

Kibble is killing our dogs

I don’t talk about it as much as I should, but nutrition is one of the cornerstones of my training philosophy. Just as people don’t function as they should when they’re eating poor diets, the same is true of our dogs. The reality is that kibble is not healthy for our dogs in the best…

How to fail your dog: don’t practice

For all of my truly wonderful clients and their dogs who work their tails off—which is the majority of you—this post isn’t directed at you. You guys are great. And you know who you are. Do you know the number one reason dog trainers get burned out? Here’s a hint: it’s not the dogs. The…

How to manage on-leash dog greetings

Worried about how to manage on-leash greetings? Chances are, you’ve searched online how to do it, and I’d be willing to bet the farm that you’ve come across a whole bunch of articles saying that dogs should never meet each other while they’re on a leash. This is ridiculous. It’s just another example of the…

In Defense of Balanced Dog Training

There’s a balanced training bashing article that’s been making the rounds lately. It’s just one example of a growing number of blog posts and articles put out by the purely positive movement. For the most part, these pieces are stuffed full of misinformation and misinterpretation of data, which is why I wanted to take a…

Off Leash Dog Park Survival

Dog Parks. I have mixed feelings about dog parks. On the one hand, they’re often the only place people in the city have to let their dogs really run. But on the other hand, they can be cesspits of disease (giardia, anyone?), dog maulings waiting to happen, and insane asylums for crazy dogs and their…

The Healing POWER Of Heel For Your Dog

Heel to Heal “Heel” is the single most under-taught, under-practiced, and underused command in existence. Most clicker training people don’t do it. Pet training organizations ignore it. But it is the foundation of everything we do here at Nitro K9 and it’s the cornerstone of any real dog training program. One thing that almost every…

Dog Aggression and Anxiety

Dog Aggression and Anxiety I have focused the vast majority of my career toward the betterment of aggressive and anxious dogs. Over the years, I have diagnosed, trained, or worked with literally thousands of them. On an average day, I see anywhere from eight to ten aggressive or anxious dogs through consultation or as we’re…

Let’s talk about your dogs tail

A wagging tail means a happy dog, right? Well, sometimes. I was training a Bernese Mountain dog at the park the other day—a first session with a new client—when a woman came up to me and said, “Can’t you see that dog’s tail is going down whenever you walk it? Don’t you know that means…