Train Your Dog With God Bombs


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The concept of correcting your dog can create a contest of willpower between you and your pet. Anyone who has ever lived with even a slightly naughty dog can tell you that such critters thrive on contests of willpower. A four year old child whining in Walmart for a candy bar still hasn’t got the reserve of willpower held by the average dog.

For example, if you’ve ever corrected your dog from getting up on the couch or eating off a counter, he knows you don’t like him doing it. Does he stop? Heck no. He simply does the behavior when you’re not looking. Or maybe he even does it in front of you with a look that says, go ahead, try and stop me.

That’s because Fido knows what you want. But he just knows he has the option of doing it anyway because maybe, just maybe, today is the day when mom or dad doesn’t have the strength to deal with me.

The answer is NOT to yell at or correct your dog more or harder. That’s a hard lesson to learn for most pet owners. But as you may have found by now, correcting more and more simply makes for an enjoyable challenge for the dog. He thinks, “Go ahead, make my day, because I feel lucky today, punk. "

Let’s take luck out of the training process!

Here is a set of simple instructions to follow to stop your dog from doing an indoor behavior such as getting on the couch, snarfing food off counters, eating the trash, etc.

1. Do not reprimand the dog. You’ll only teach him to wait till you’re not around if you do so.

2. Instead, keep a supply of empty plastic milk jugs handy all over your house.

3. Into each empty ½ gallon or gallon jug, place a couple handfuls of dried beans and replace the cap.

4. When you find the dog on the sofa—or better yet eyeballing it with intent—loft a jug so that it lands on or near your dog, depending on his size or temperament.

5. When you throw the jug, DO NOT look at or even say anything to your dog, and do not pick up the jug again in your dog’s presence.

6. Your dog will think, “Hmmm, God drops a loud bomb on my head every time I even look at the couch. "

This process will not harm your dog as it certainly does not hurt. In fact, it won’t even hurt his feelings because you haven’t yelled at him. However, it will make the behavior a great deal less fun than it was before.

You may only have to do the above once or twice to make the couch (trash, or whatever) a “bad place" for Fido. But what you have removed from the contest is YOURSELF. You have made the contest between Fido and God, and believe me, God always wins.

Marc Goldberg is a dog trainer specializing in the rehabilitation of difficult dogs and improving relationships. He is Vice President of the International Association of Canine Professionals (IACP) and Editor of SafeHands Journal. The author also educates professional dog trainers in his techniques. Visit him on the web at or


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