Dog obedience training Motley’s Way

Dog obedience training Motley’s Way

Dog obedience training


I cant stand the term. I prefer dog skill training. I am also not a fan of training puppies or inexperienced dogs and/or people in groups. Training puppies to socialize in a group is very different then trying to teach puppies obedience in a group. The two are not taught together. Learning to be social is not the same as learning basic skills often referred to as obedience. Social skill is really a set of skills all its own and is very important so, learn social skills first. Your training should follow these core principles once you have acquired your new teammate.


  1. Proper bonding and attachment
  2. Social Skill Set
  3. Basic Skills (obedience)
  4. Specialized training

Most “trainers” start with obedience and then have to move back to socialization only to realize that the bonding and attachment is not there and so, go back to bonding and after all this you may end up with a fairly well trained dog.

The sad truth is that the description above is one of the “Good” dog “trainers” the bad ones just shrug and blame you and/or your dog.


Typically, you get a puppy, find a trainer and then drag poor puppy into one of the worst learning environments you could possibly conceive of and expect the poor lil guy to learn ? and to be Obedient…. oh wow!

Dogs are just like people, could you imagine trying to learn anything in the middle of a strange place filled with excitement and chaos? Kind of like going to a raging party and trying to concentrate.  Another tidbit about training classes. Classes are good for EARLY Dog Socialization. If you have a dog that is deemed less then social….. DO NOT… I repeat… DO NOT .. take the dog to a class or let them lose in the dog park full of dogs. Email Motley !!!!  These strategies along with having strangers give the dog treats often leads to various types of aggression and anxiety. Then you will email Motley so, go ahead and get in front of the problem. Again dogs are a lot like people and pups are a lot like small children. At Motley Dog we will work up to dog obedience in exciting environment but, it is a process of small victories.. often called shaping. We dont call it shaping because we have many other tools beyond the normal dog training stuff.

What do I detest the term Obedience training … gives you the false impression that if you can teach your dog to sit, stay and heel they are obedient. This idea is up there with typical bonding practices. It is not about your dog liking you, there is far more to it.. read Evolution Zero to get and Idea of how Motley handles this.  One of the most common things we hear from new clients is that my dog and I are bonded.. they like me, we spend all our time together they sit, stay, heal but, only when they want and sometimes they wont listen to me at all. Obedience is based on earning trust and respect by being a predicable, reliable and credible leader. We teach that. All canines come with the programming to sit, stay, heel and down. Don’t worry if you need work on heel, if you watch a Momma Wolf lead her cubs there is always one or two who need further instruction. They may have a few more inbreed behaviors but, we can’t know everything.  This is why it is really not to amazing that you can just stand and be silent with treats or a reward and your dog will. by nature, start offering behaviors. This is often how things like jumping up on everyone starts.

Here at Motley we know that reward systems are really not as simple as, good and bad or positive and negative. We teach this so, don’t panic. Here is an example I often see at dog parks, Guy has his dog and his dog is there being quite and patient but, the guy is on his phone and talking with people and ignoring the dog. Dogs are not stupid, so the dog starts to make trouble and pick fights with other dogs. Yep, the guy runs to the dog, yells and drags the dog around and gives it a good talking to .. then back to the phone and people. What behavior is the guy rewarding ? I see various forms of this all the time. We also realize that in obedience training what you are really learning is how to communicate with your dog and your dog is learning how you will try to communicate with them. You are not teaching the dog to sit. You are trying to teach the dog how you will ask for sit and how you want them to sit. So, knowing that obedience is really communication and how your dog perceives you this process begins in our Evolution Zero and continues throughout the training process.

Motley understands that obedience is a process that is earned by building a secure attachment, founded in mutual trust and respect. You have to be a credible leader and a team.   Obedience will not happen if you do not have these things.


We start with exercises that are simple and fun. Your dogs job is to offer things and your job is to tell them yes that is what I want with a reward. Remember we want a quite place where you are paying total attention to the dog and the dog you. We teach things for those people and dogs that have difficulties with attention, excitement or performance anxiety. Just a Motley Dog Tip… the more challenging the environment the more attention you have got to pay. We also teach you how to be a credible leader so, that the lil guy will take you seriously when they need to. Most trainers do not, I have even read a number of reviews on-line indicating that the poor person and dog where asked to leave a group do to perfectly normal dog behavior under these conditions. Just a funny observation, we have breed dogs to bark yet, when they do we seem to think it is a problem. We can train your dog to bark or not to bark but, this takes commitment and  patience on your part. The point is that the principle is the same… do not punish a person or a dog for doing something that is totally predictable based on the environment you have placed them in.

So, as you can see the Motley Dog Dog Training Model is very different then most. Most dog training programs and groups are not designed for dogs and how they learn or what they need. Weird no… ? Not to worry, you know Motley and we work hard to base our ideas off of what is best and most natural for the dog. Everyone enjoys Wolf Theory but, in this case be like Momma Wolf, find a safe quite den and let those pups explore and reward them when they do what you want and protect them. We will worry about corrections and higher level stuff as we go. We are also going to start training you to be an assertive, predictable, reliable trusted and respected leader. Believe it or not, how you lead is far more important then what your dog “knows”.

A few Motley Dog Dog Training Principles that are worth repeating:

Aggression is almost never a dominance thing… it is never solved by using force.. old crusty ideas that have seen their day !

Aggression and Anxiety are often made worse by seriously poor attempts at gradual exposure therapy, Dog trainers do not understand or leave out the gradual part. Also, bad socialization techniques are also the cause of worsening these conditions.

Training dogs in classes is not designed for you and your dog. They are designed so that the trainer can make more money per hour. Just saying. I recently learned that one trainer even has a “good dog group” and a “barky dog group” this is a little like school detention and we all know how effective it is to put all the trouble makers in a small room together and try to teach them something.

Group training is only good for:

Early socialization

Advanced dogs and handlers

Special Training (which would be a class of advanced dogs and handlers)

So, if you succeed in a training class, most of the credit goes to you and your dog! Great job. This goes for online training especially. Also, realize that many who say that they “succeeded” in a group environment have shall we say… altered their expectations.  My favorite reason dogs succeed in training classes is because your dog is just damn smart ! so, say thank you to the lil Guy !

Remember if you really want something you will find a way to succeed even under poor training conditions so, good job you. Our job is to do it better and make your journey easier.

Very important for those that confuse confidence leadership with aggressive leadership and those who still think little Fluffy is trying to DOMINATE them 🙁

Some stats indicate that less then 1% of domestic dogs have what it takes to be a Military Working Dog or Police Dog so, how many of our family pets fit into this idea of Alpha Dominate ? According to a recent documentary only 50% of the dogs breed by the Military complete training. So, as you can see dominance and natural aggression are rare and are not even selected for in the Military. Believe it or not.

The Military knows just like Motley knows that a great dog is a confident dog.. we teach that from day one. Confidence is not the same as dominant or aggressive. Confidence in each other is a secure attachment. funny no. Building a secure attachment is not as simple as getting your dog to like you.

Believe it or not confidence begins with making the dog feel safe and secure. Taught in Motley Dog Dog Training Evolution Zero. You never, try to run out and “expose” the dog try to “socialize” the dog or use any of the creative collars that are on the market. If anyone suggests this, even if they claim to be the worlds greatest dog trainer ….. RUN !

Remember in the Military dogs are breed and selected and can be kicked out at anytime. We know that you can not just kick Fluffy out nor do you want to so, lets make you and Fluffy the best team you can be.


Till next time



Check out : confidence training at Motley Dog Dog Training.