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Take Control, But Don't Lose Control: Help for People With Dogs That Are Excellent Human Trainers

Take Control, But Don't Lose Control: Help for People With Dogs That Are Excellent Human Trainers

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Take Control, But Don't Lose Control: Help for People With Dogs That Are Excellent Human Trainers

115 pages
1 heure
May 2, 2014


This book is for the person who feels that perhaps their dog has trained the family, rather than the family training the dog. Common behavior problems, like stealing, mouthing, and other attention-seeking behaviors are covered. Positive reinforcement-based methodology. Author is a Certified Canine Behavior Consultant with over 20 years of experience as a professional dog trainer.
May 2, 2014

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Take Control, But Don't Lose Control - Michele Godlevski, ACDBC, CBCC-KA, CC, CPDT-KA

Take Control, But Don't Lose Control: Help for People With Dogs That Are Excellent Human Trainers

Take Control But Don't Lose Control:

Help for People With Dogs

That Are Excellent Human Trainers


Michele Godlevski, ACDBC, CBCC-KA, CC, CPDT-KA

Copyright © 2014, Michele Godlevski

All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced, stored, or transmitted by any means—whether auditory, graphic, mechanical, or electronic—without written permission of both publisher and author. Unauthorized reproduction of any part of this work is illegal and is punishable by law.

ISBN: 978-1-304-89662-9


I consider myself fortunate to have set up my business of 13 years in Raleigh, North Carolina. The demographic of the area consists of well-educated, affluent people who often adopt a rescue or shelter dog. Many times, I find that these folks want only to give their dog a great life – and provide ample time, attention, and resources.  However, sometimes these kind souls find themselves the victims of a dog who is a masterful human trainer.  Their well-intended desire to make up for a dog’s time in an animal shelter or an unfortunate puppyhood sometimes turns into resentment as the well-meaning person begins to feel taken advantage of by their dog.

Unfortunately, there is a lot of misinformation out there. It is simply not true that in order to gain control of your dog that you need to dominate your dog.  You don’t need to be bigger or stronger than your dog.  You simply need to be smarter.  You don’t need to become aggressive; you need to remain calm and be matter-of-fact, without letting your emotions get the best of you. You don’t need to force your dog into a submissive position; you need to set your environment up for success and stay one step ahead of your dog.  The best leaders are the ones we respect, not the ones we fear. Your dog should be able to trust that you are fair and kind, but respect that you are extremely smart and not a pushover.

The aim of this book is not to judge you, it is to help you understand your dog. It is a people empowerment book designed to help you take control of your relationship with your dog in a positive, humane manner, without losing your self-control, or more importantly, your dog’s trust and respect.

At the end of this book, it is my goal that you will

* Recognize and eliminate the ineffective human behaviors that are not helping you succeed with your goals for your dog

* Recognize and modify parts of the dog’s environment that are not setting your dog up for success

* Understand the actual motivation behind your dog’s behaviors

* Anticipate your dog’s manipulative actions before they occur

* Understand the concept of making your relationship with your dog win-win or no deal


Many thanks to the people who have inspired me over the years:

Jean Donaldson and the SFSPCA Academy

Sue Sternberg – Roundout Valley Kennel Academy

Bob Bailey and Marian Breland Bailey – Thank you for 4 great conditioning camps in Arkansas

Dr. Erich Klinghammer and Pat Goodman of Wolf Park

Pat Miller – Peaceable Paws Academy

Dolphin Research Center – Dolphin Trainer’s Academy for Dog Trainers

Patricia McConnell – Thank you for so many wonderful books!

Dr. Karen Overall – Thank you for your unparalleled manual on behavior and your inspiring lectures

Thanks also to my colleagues and reviewers:

Mike Wallace, CDBC, CC

John Visconti, CPDT-KA

Credit for photos goes to:

Diane Lewis Photography

Theresa Jay Photography

Shutter Paws Imaging

Dottie Clements

And thank you to the dogs in my life who have inspired me:

Cheyenne, Lakota, Aztec, Inca, Micmac, Navajo, and Seneca….the dogs who taught me the most about behavior modification.

Apache, Choctaw, Cree, and Zuni….the dogs who helped keep my life in balance and set my bar high for ideal temperament standards.

The dogs of the Doggie Dayschool program and the InBoard program at Teamworks – who give me empathy for frustrated dog owners and real-life experience, living with just about every dog behavior problem in the book.

And final thanks to my husband Greg, who willingly helps out with a houseful of adolescent InBoard dogs as well as our own pack of seven energetic and bright dogs.


First, the good news: if you are reading this book you probably have a very smart dog.  For some reason, there is a commonly believed myth that if you get a smart dog, the dog will practically train itself. Another common misconception is that if a dog doesn’t listen to the owner, that it is not very smart.  The hard dose of reality is that the smarter your dog is, the smarter you have to be as a dog trainer, because smart dogs train their people very quickly and efficiently. 

To begin with, dogs are masters of predictive relationships.  The classic example is the sentence Do you want to go for a walk?  If you say this each and every time you take your dog for a walk, and your dog loves walks, you will notice that when you start the sentence and get to the phrase go for a, the dog is already excited.  Eventually, your dog will start leaping around when you say do you want to. Many dogs can also predict a walk by what shoes you put on or what clothes you wear, if you are consistent each time.  So, dogs are pretty good at putting things together.  They do spend time observing us, and figuring us out.  They can predict when you are about to leave the house and make a beeline under the deck in the backyard just in time to make you late for work that day, as you strive to get your dog to come inside. 

Another advantage dogs have is that they connect with us on an emotional level.  While it is obvious that

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