Ask Seth: Dog Training

Hi Seth, My husband has Cane Corso named Smooth and he's almost a 1 1/2.  He's a loving dog and he is in desperate need of training.  I've been told that it’s a waste of time to send him to training because he won't remember what he's been taught, based on research done by another family member.  Smooth continuously jumps on everyone that comes near him and he still chews on everything.  He won't obey commands and he also suffers from canine separation anxiety when my husband leaves.  My question is: can training help him?  He is a loving dog and I love to rub and play with him, but because of his size, he is too heavy for me to control without assistance.  Thank you, Donna Thompson

Donna, every dog can be trained with much success.  Big strong dogs are not more difficult to train in any way, but consistency is key.  Because of the separation anxiety, I would recommend first speaking with your veterinarian and see if he recommends a dog trainer or even a behaviorist.  Your family member that says they are not trainable because he will not remember is completely wrong.  Dogs were domesticated to work with and please the owner.

There are a few things that you can try until you locate a trainer that can assist you.

The first thing I always recommend is to make sure that you tire out the dog at least once a day and as many as 2-3 times a day.  This will stimulate him both mentally and physically.  Many problems are created from boredom.

To discourage the jumping on people, I recommend when someone is coming over to place the leash on him prior to the people arriving and when he begins to jump, you tug firmly on the lead and give him a dominate “NO”.  Do not get frustrated if he doesn't listen initially and have him sit.  This will train him to greet people on your terms, not his.

The final and possibly the most important thing you can do is understand that this animal is a dog and should not sleep on your bed.  This strengthens his pack mentality and makes him think he is the top dog.  You and your husband need to be the dominate controller of the pack.  I recommend he NEVER sleeps in your bed.  In addition, I suggest you make him earn each meal and treat by making him sit and stay.  When feeding him, place the food in the bowl and begin by having him sit.  When he completes that, place the bowl on the floor and continue to have him sit and stay.  When he has “earned” the food, allow him to eat.

Did you have any success with training a difficult dog? Share your tips and ideas in the comment section!

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3 Responses

  1. Donna says:


    Thank you for your suggestions. We have enrolled him with a trainer. He at times remembers his commands I pray it doesnt take forever for him to learn.

    Thank you,

  2. David says:

    Hi Seth,

    Good advice given here.
    You are right on target.
    If the dog is the pack leader, he will not conform to anyone's training or commands.
    I am not an expert, but the suggestions you made, I use constantly.
    Especially the jumping on people, and how I serve my dogs food.
    Thanks for the enews letter.
    I enjoy the tips and information you folks provide us.
    Take Care,
    C.David Cowan

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