Secrets To Dog Training Review

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Secrets to Dog Training is a comprehensive guide to owning, rearing, and training your dog. The course provides you with a step-by-step instruction manual and self-help guide on how to recognize and resolve problem behaviors with maximum efficiency and a surprisingly quick turnaround time. Written by the renowned Daniel Stevens, an experienced dog trainer, the book covers all aspects of dog ownership, offering tried-and-true training methods as well as effective techniques for both preventing and dealing with problem behavior.

What's Covered?

I was pleasantly surprised at just how much information's been covered. Secrets to Dog Training starts at the very basics - things to consider before adopting a dog, choosing the right breed and dog for you, puppy-proofing your home, dealing with breeders, basic training; and then moves on at a comfortable pace through intermediate and advanced obedience training and 'tricks', the mindset of a dog, attaining and maintaining alpha status, aggression in all shapes and forms, biting, both preventing and handling destructive behavior like digging, chewing and barking, anxiety, coprophagia (poop eating), dog whispering, and even understanding how your dog thinks.

How It Works

Daniel Stevens recognizes that a great deal of the cause for problematic behaviors in dogs stems from a general lack of communication with the owner. The dog most likely is not misbehaving deliberately; it simply doesn't understand what you want. Secrets to Dog Training understands that owners need training, too, and clearly demonstrates how dogs communicate, what your dog is thinking, how you can clearly and effectively communicate with your dog, and - most importantly - how to put this knowledge to excellent use when training and handling your dog. Knowledge really is power, and your relationship with your dog will benefit dramatically from it

Things I Really Liked

It's a common viewpoint among the dog trainers of the world that an old dog can't learn new tricks. I really like the fact that Secrets to Dog Training refuses to acknowledge this ridiculous viewpoint, and supplies you with hands-on, clearly demonstrated step-by-step instructions on how to train your dog, handle problem behavior, even resolve ongoing aggression - no matter how old your dog is!

I also like the way the book doesn't just focus on one or two aspects of dog ownership: the manual deals with all common problem behaviors, and the clear, step-by-step approach tells you exactly what to do and when to do it. Furthermore, all of the tips and advice come directly from the author's real-life experience, so you know they work!

Another particular benefit is the individualized consultation with the Secrets to Dog Training team. If you've got any issues with your dog that you'd like some personal assistance with, just fire off an email to the team: they'll do whatever they can to make sure your questions and problems are resolved to your complete satisfaction.

Something for Nothing

There are a lot of "fix your dog - today!" guides out there. The question is, how to choose the right one for you?

In case you're wondering whether your dog can benefit from the training techniques and information included in the Secrets to Dog Training package, there's a free six-day course for you and your dog to work through together. Covering the basics of issues like aggression and housetraining, this mini-course is an excellent way to sample and review the fare and decide for yourself whether you like what you see.

In addition to the manual itself, you also get several handy freebies. There are four bonus mini-books, which deal with advanced house-training (including the crate and paper-training method), an in-depth look at resolving aggression, the most effective grooming techniques, and valuable information on security-training your dog.

A Thumbnail Sketch Of Secrets to Dog Training

Altogether, I'm impressed. The material covered is extensive, detailed, thorough, and - above all - effective (I've taught my own 4-month old puppy to crawl, shake hands, and roll over in just three weeks since reading the book!).

You don't need to have a 'problem dog' for this book to be of use: there's a lot of information included which could be of help to any owner/dog relationship. If you own a dog, are considering adopting one, I'd highly recommend taking a look at Secrets to Dog Training.

Why Do Dogs Bark?

Dogs bark for three main reasons:

These reasons beg several questions: Are you doing enough to relieve your dog's boredom, stress, and anxiety? Does your dog get enough exercise and mental stimulation? And finally, do you cause the barking yourself with loud noises and even physical or verbal threats? Each question must be both answered and addressed honestly if you truly wish to stop your dog barking.

Good barking

Generally, dogs bark to let you know that someone or something strange is in the area. This can be good, as we rely on dogs to inform us of intruders or dangers. Even a small breed such as a Pekingese or a Toy Poodle can be a watchdog, and they are usually very good at it.

The key for this kind of barking is to have it controlled. Most owners would like their dog to bark in a dangerous situation, but would also like them to stop on command (especially if the neighbors start complaining!). If dogs understand that the humans in the house are in control, they will usually respect this request. This is where Alpha Dog Training is crucial. If the dog does not trust the human, or thinks that they are in control, they will often bark long after the owner as commanded them to stop. This is embarrassing and frustrating for the owner, and is the cause of many people giving up their pets.

Training your dog to stop barking on command requires patience and a good relationship between dog and owner. The dog can be allowed to bark once or twice, and then commanded to stop. If it doesn't stop try providing a distraction such as a light misting with water or a empty can filled with pebbles shaken near the dog. As soon as the dog stops, a treat and praise can be provided. The dog is then being rewarded for both barking and stopping, and is likely to continue the behavior.

As with most training activities this command is learned quicker and easier when the dog is young. Never allow the dog to bark in play for excessive amounts of time or it will start to associate barking with play, rather than with protection. Click here for more on how to stop dog barking.

Attention seeking barking

Puppies quickly learn that barking, whining and howling are sure ways to get human attention. They can also learn to bark for food, water or other treats. This behavior is learned from the owner's reaction to barking. If the humans run to the barking puppy and pick it up and cuddle it, the puppy learns that this is the best way to get attention. This carries on into adulthood, where barking is not desirable at all. Rather than giving into your puppy whining or barking, make it clear to your dog that YOU are the boss, and will reward him with attention or food only when you see fit. This will make life a lot easier for both you and your dog!

Dogs also bark to get the attention of other dogs. If you find your dog barking at the dog down the street try changing the location of the kennel or building a privacy fence that limits the dog visual range. Providing toys, activities and attention for the dog throughout the day will also help distract him or her from barking at other animals.

For more great information on this topic, click here for more great tips on how to stop dog barking.

Stop Barking Advice

"Let the sleeping dogs lie..."

Most of us would like to complete this phrase by adding: "or else they will bark!!" Barking is a very common trait of dogs and one we cannot get rid of it. But, we CAN control the barking. Here is some priceless stop barking advice that will solve you and your neighbors' annoyance with a dog that never stops barking!

Consistency in disciplining your dog is, as always, the key to success. If you consistently make it clear to your dog, using language he or she will understand, when barking is unacceptable and when it is not, you should be able to control your dog's barking.

Inconsistency, on the other hand, will lead to failure and more annoyance for you, your family, and neighbors!

Dog Barking Solutions

Stop Dog Barking
Put an end to your Dog's excessive Barking, Howling, Aggression and more

All dogs make some form of noise, whether it's barking, whining, or - in the case of some breeds - screaming and yowling. They might be trying to tell you something, trying to initiate play, trying to scare off a potential intruder, alerting you to the presence of - well, just about anything. It's all part of owning a dog.

Having said that, though, there's reasonable barking and then there's just unnecessary barking. If your dog is barking too much, you'll need to take steps to both find out WHY, and to treat the cause.

Toys and Exercise

One of the main causes of excessive barking is frustration and pent-up energy. Remember, dogs are active creatures who NEED at least one long walk of at least one hour every day. Ideally, your dog should be walked three times a day, of which two walks should be long. If they don't get this basic requirement, they become anxious, moody, hyperactive, and frustrated - which they'll express through barking.

Citronella Collars

"Anti-bark" collars are available, which spray a fine mist of citronella spray into your dog's face whenever it barks. This is an effective way of stopping your dog barking: citronella is HIGHLY offensive to dogs, and being sprayed at such a close range is hard on their delicate, super-alert noses.

It's worth considering this from your dog's point of view, howeveer. Stopping a dog from barking without finding out why he was barking in the first place isn't a particularly humane way of exercising control over your dog. There WILL be a reason; more often than not, excessive barking is signalling intense frustration and excess energy.

Changing the environment

If your dog can see through the fence - for example, if it's chain-link or slatted wood - then he can see everyone that walks past. This will generally trigger territorial instincts (particularly if dogs walk by) like loud, repetitive barking.

Whenever someone passes by,it reinforces your dog's impression that he's doing a job: in this case, scaring off potential intruders. Someone walks along, the barks, the person soon vanishes from sight - the dog thinks, "I just scared that person off" and continues barking at everyone who comes along.

Ideally, your yard should be highly fenced with a material that your dog can't see through. This can have a dramatically quietening effect upon the most confirmed barkers.

Provide a Distraction

Before you do anything for your dog, he has to do something for you first. Sometimes, dogs test the boundaries by attempting to make YOU do things for THEM. Barking to 'get things' - attention, pats, a toy, a meal - isn't acceptable behavior: he's trying to dominate you. You dole out affection on YOUR terms, not his. As soon as he's quiet again, though, feel free to show him as much attention as you like, especially if you get him to do something for you first: for example, before he gets fed, he has to sit on command.

You can also try aversion tactic: every time your dog barks repetitively, you can spray him with water from a water-pistol, or shake a can filled with pebbles.

Make sure he's not aware that you're the cause of the noise. If he knows it's you, it will begin to erode the trust between the two of you; and, he will probably still bark whenever you're not around.

Timing is very important when using this technique; you have to spray him/shake the can AS SOON AS he starts to bark. If you're even a little bit off, he'll get confused and the message won't get through .

A lot of people see barking as something to be gotten rid of, not a symptom of something else. It's important that you realize that, by barking, your dog is attempting to communicate something important to you; don't just regard it as a nuisance to be silenced at all costs.

Solutions To Stop Dogs Digging

Dog digging can be amusing to some and a cause of embarrassment and irritation for others. However, there is nothing funny about dogs digging up your fields, gardens or in mud. This is a problem faced by dog owners. This strange habit of a dog can be seriously destructive and requires corrective action.

Before finding out solutions for dog-digging you must try to understand the root cause of the problem - "Why do dogs dig?"

Dogs usually dig out of boredom, to find out inhabited prey, to get warmth in cold and cool environment in hot weather or to keep their food safe from other predators. However, this may not be the case with most of the dogs today since dogs have become much domesticated as compared to their ancestors. They might dig holes to escape when they feel frustrated or when they are lonely and feel boredom.

You must check out with an experienced vet and ask him/ her to recommend some mood-altering drugs for the extreme cases to stabilize their emotions.

Another way out is to communicate with your dog. Explain your dog that a new place has been explored for it to dig.

Avoid scolding & try to praise your dog whenever it adheres to an order that is put forward to it. Your Dog would rather go by praise than listen to what you don't want them to do.

Try to socialize your dog and spend more time with him. By doing so, your dog will not get bored easily. This would also ultimately result in preventing your dog from digging. Keep an eye on your dog proper diet. Your Dog will also dig and eat the soil if he is not getting proper nutrients in his diet. You must pay some attention to whether your dog is having a proper diet. Make sure that your dog gets a multi supplement. This would provide your dog, the nutrients that are necessary to nourish it.

You can make out if your dog is eating the dirt (called pica) or not by their nose being covered with dirt. Usually, the underlying case is anemia, but make sure that your dog is properly checked by a veterinarian.

Digging may also prove harmful for your dog. Your dog can get serious bacterial infections from dirt. The digging and constant abrasions to their nose can result in to cancer over a period of time.

Keeping your dog cool is one best way to prevent them from digging. By keeping him cool, he will not need to bother with the earth as their next choice.

You must try to understand your dog's intention to dig.

The best measure is to adopt, to stop your dog from digging is to practice building a digging pit exclusively for your dog. This would prove to be the most effective way of focusing your dog's digging habit.

Follow the above-mentioned methods to stop your dog from digging. Most importantly, socialize with your dog, follow obedience training, talk with it and never scold it if it happens to disobey. Cultivate a habit to praise your dog, when he obeys the order put forward to it.

Stop Digging

Stopping troublesome dog behaviors is often a matter of understanding what is contributing to the behavior in the first place. Are you at the point of screaming at your dog to stop digging? Do you reprimand your dog for digging hours after the crime has been committed?

Learning how to stop a dog from digging involves understanding why your dog has dug in the first place. Dogs dig to relieve boredom, to create shelter, to bury leftover food, and to escape. All of these motives are preventable and should be limited as much as possible by the responsible dog owner.

It is important to remember that digging is a normal dog behavior, and is more deeply engrained in some breeds than others. The most troublesome breed is, to no surprise, the Terrier Group, whose name actually comes from the Latin for "put to earth." This should tell you something about this kind of dog! They can be very rascally and, rather than seeking to stop their behavior altogether, you should only aim for a compromise.

Thus, you need to meet your dog's digging instincts halfway and provide an area where it is acceptable for your dog to dig. Use sand or loose earth, and encourage the dog to dig only in that spot by burying treats for it to discover. Reward its efforts with praise for digging there, and use a consistent command to stop digging in other areas. To distract your dog from digging in unsuitable areas, show him a toy and lead him to the proper digging area. Once he begins to dig in the correct area, PRAISE HIM IMMEDIATELY.

If a dog is digging to create shelter from the cold, look at providing an insulated doghouse, or a pet door that is always accessible for getting in and out of the house. When the weather is hot, make sure adequate drinking water is always available to help your pet regulate their body heat. Digging is likely a shelter issue if you see them lying in the holes they have dug out. This is a natural behavior for dogs that comes from their days in the wild, so accommodate the behavior by removing the need for them to dig shelters in the first place. Provide a small wading pool for the dog to cool down in, or a special shaded area.

Boredom is another common reason for digging. Dogs need stimulation and activity, and will do what they can to entertain themselves if you do not provide adequate opportunities. Make sure your pet gets taken for walks regularly, arranging for someone else to take them if you are not available. Engage them in games, with a ball or Frisbee. AVOID aggressive games like tug of war or wrestling, which encourage chewing and biting.

While you shouldn't spoil your dog with affection unless he behaves well, make sure you do give it enough attention so he doesn't feel the need to engage in attention-seeking behaviors. If they do develop annoying or destructive habits, remember that even negative attention from you is still attention, and this may be what they are craving.

Therefore, prevent chewing before it becomes an issue simply by showing your dog some love, spending quality time with him, and exercising and mentally challenging him. Finally, remember to discipline him correctly. Physical or verbal punishment is rarely an effective strategy to stop your dog from digging, and should be avoided. Instead, make it clear what is and isn't acceptable, and be consistent in reminding your dog of this.

Puppy Digging Case Study


Rosie was a bright Jack Russell Terrier who enjoyed digging holes in Danny and Debbie's lawn and garden. In fact, it was her favorite activity of all. Rosie had two other doggy companions, so she wasn't bored or lacking in any way. Like other terriers, whose name means "put to earth," she simply loved to dig!

Naturally, Danny and Debbie did not care to put a lot of time and effort into their lawn and garden, owning three dogs and all. However, they wanted to keep the yard tidy and well-maintained, which meant, preferably, hole free.

Unfortunately, Rosie the puppy had other plans!

She would regularly dig holes wherever she could find, and being an intelligent dog, would get around her owners' efforts to fill previously dug holes with dog poop, simply by digging holes elsewhere in the yard!

Danny and Debbie clearly faced a problem. How would they stop their puppy from digging holes in their precious backyard?


With an intelligent dog like Rosie (or any Terrier for that matter), it is crucial that the dog gets plenty of physical exercise and mental stimulation. Obedience training is an excellent form of mental stimulation, and when combined with regular walks (2 a day, ideally) should tire out high-energy dogs such as pit bull terriers. Plenty of puzzles, such as the Kong or Buster cube toys, will also go a long way towards improving your dog's behavior.

As for stopping the puppy from digging, Danny and Debbie tried a few things until they found what worked well for Rosie.

First, they tried filling some of their pup's holes with balloons, burying them over with soil and watching what happened when she dug them up. Unfortunately, the explosions didn't startle Rosie the way Debbie and Danny expected, and she was soon right back to digging up holes.

They also tried sprinkling cayenne pepper in the holes Rosie had previously dug. But this didn't put her off making new holes, especially since Danny and Debbie had a rather large back yard!

Danny and Debbie finally realized that they couldn't stop their dog entirely from digging. What they had to do, was meet their Terrier halfway.

Danny finally built a special sand pit just for Rosie's digging habit. Debbie buried a few of Rosie's favorite toys in there to encourage him to use it. Rosie ended up using the special pit a lot, but he liked a change of texture now and again and would go back to the family garden occasionally. He only seemed to do that when Danny and Debbie weren't looking, as he was a rascally and very sharp dog.

Here is Danny's solution to this problem: he proceeded to lay down chicken wire mesh underneath a few inches of top soil in the areas where Rosie most dug holes. Rosie, of course, didn't not like the feel of her claws striking the sharp chicken wire, so she resigned herself to her special sand pit, where she could dig--and be rewarded!--to her heart's content!

Controlling a Digging Puppy

The way some dogs dig up holes in a yard, you'd think they were professional gravediggers. Unfortunately, while this may be amusing for guests, for the dog owner, it is an immensely frustrating problem that demands immediate solutions.

Why do pups dig?

While the behavior may be frustrating, your puppy will most likely dig out of his natural instincts. In the wild, dogs would dig holes to store leftovers. They'd also make dens in the earth in which to sleep and raise pups. So in a way, your puppy is instinctively expecting this treatment, and learning to dig for its own perceived reasons of survival. They somehow sensed that burying food could keep it safe from other predators.

One possible solution to this problem is to limit your puppy's access to scraps of food and bones. If he has nothing to bury, he won't dig so much in the first place. Additionally, make it clear to your pup where he can and cannot dig. You could section off a part of your yard, and teach your pupthat it is only acceptable to dig there. Bury toys in the dirt to encourage her. If you see her digging in the wrong section of the yard, reprimand her, then lead her to the correct spot and praise her. She will eventually learn where she can dig, and where she can't.

If your puppy persists, try putting some chili powder in a watering can with water, and wet the patches you would like her to avoid. This acts as an excellent deterrent, as dogs do not like the smell of Chili. Ground red pepper and aversive substances like bitter apple will also do the job.

Additionally, in the summer months, digging dens provides puppies with a cool environment in hot weather, and warmth in cold weather. So it is your job, as a responsible dog owner, to combat this need by providing your dog with plenty of warmth or coolness, depending on the season. In the cold months, provide your dog with a comfortable dog house or shelter he can stay warm in. In the summer, provide a cool, shaded area, and if you have the space and money, a small wading pool. Pups love the feel of water on their backs, so if you give them an easy way to cool off, they will reward you by limiting the digging they need to do to stay cool.

How to Stop Puppies from Digging: More Solutions

Practice building a digging pit exclusively for the puppy. This would prove to be the most effective way of focusing puppy's digging habit. A pit of around 3ft with a depth of around 18-24" would solve the purpose. Look for an area that does not welcome direct sunlight and cold winds. Building a frame from railway sleepers would be ideal. Rest the frame level on the ground and dig out about 8-10" of soil. This provides a pit of the required depth. Fill this pit with sand. Mix the sand with the soil, if the soil is fairly loose. This also saves the task of having to remove so much soil. Let your puppy watch the pit being dug so he understands it is his digging area. If your puppy happens to dig elsewhere, kindly redirect it to the correct location. Always praise your pup when she digs in the correct area.

How To Stop A Dog From Digging

Got An Annoying Digging Problem?
Learn to be the dominant figure and take control of your Dog's Digging behavior today.

Learning how to stop a dog from digging essentially requires an observation of your dog's behavior, and an understanding of the underlying motives. It is important to remember that digging is a natural behavior for dogs, so you are going to have to work with your dog to achieve a mutually satisfying outcome to the problem. If your dog is digging primarily out of instinct, the best solution is to give him a space where it is okay to dig. Encourage him to dig there, teaching the commands "okay" and "no," to distinguish between acceptable and non-acceptable digging. Try hiding some toys or treats in the designated dig zone, and repeat this daily until this behavior becomes established.

Other motives you need to understand in order to stop a dog from digging, include mental factors: stress, anxiety, boredom, loneliness, seeking comfort or shelter, or trying to escape. All are common reasons for digging, depending on the dog's breed, temperament and lifestyle. Terrier dogs, whose name means "to bury into," are especially prone to digging. One of the reasons punishment is not recommended as a strategy to stop behaviors like digging is that increased anxiety can just increase unwanted behaviors in your dog, as a kind of coping mechanism. Remember that dogs are very much like children, in that reckless punishment without explanation, will only make them more rebellious than before. It is much better to understand the reasons for behavior issues, and work from there.

If a pet is bored or lonely, they are not getting enough stimulation and you need to provide more activities for them. Dogs require regular interaction with their people, and sometimes with other dogs as well. Make sure you are spending time with your dog, and getting enough exercise to keep you both happy and healthy. Take your dog for plenty of walks, and socialize him with other dogs at a trainings school or dog park. This should diminish digging for reasons of both boredom and escape.

A dog may dig herself a shelter if she needs a retreat from the heat or cold, or out of a nesting instinct. The best way to dissuade this kind of digging is to make sure your pet has access to a comfortable environment, either in an insulated doghouse, or a shaded area where it can get relief from the sun. Even better, provide a small kiddy pool your dog can bathe in to cool down. Most dogs love water, so by providing a small pool you are both cooling it down and giving it some mental enjoyment. Make sure their shelter is protected both from direct sun and wind and that they always have fresh drinking water available.

Figuring out how to stop a dog from digging doesn't have to have you pulling out your hair! There are plenty of resources available, and most advocate the development of good communication between you and your dog, which will yield unending positive results in your life together. Be patient as you and your dog find ways to accommodate one another and enjoy the experience.

How to Get Your Dog to Dig Where It Is Allowed

Stop Dog Digging
Put an end to your Dog Digging up your lawn Right Now!

Dogs dig out of boredom. They dig because they're trying to escape - either to find their owner (if they are the co-dependent type) or to find a mate (if they are the un-neutered type). They dig because they are too hot and need some cool bedding. And they dig because they've got a high value item and they want to afford it safe-keeping.

Don't bother throwing a fit or bringing the dog back to the scene of the crime and conveying your anger. Punishment after the fact is widely known as the least effective form of dog training, not only completely pointless but also potentially damaging to your relationship with your pooch.

Instead, ask yourself a few questions: Are the holes near or along the fence line? If so this points to an escape attempt, either from boredom, roaming instinct, separation anxiety, or possibly they are being provoked by something on the other side of the fence. Are there bones or toys in the holes? If so, there's your answer. You get the point. Solutions Your Dog Will Totally Dig! Designate a special area where she can dig. Set some time aside to try to encourage her to dig in that areas. If she does, administer praise. If she digs elsewhere, interrupt the behavior with a verbal command - "uh uh" or simply "no." Even better, try to make a sand pit for your dog. Place the pit in an area that is cool in summer and warm in winter. Encourage your dog to dig in the pit and administer praise.

Repeat process, adding patience whenever necessary. Dog digging is a behavioral problem and that means that a solution requires behavioral training. It is difficult especially because it will most likely happen when you are not there - or even because your are not there. But you should try to orchestrate situations where you can encourage the behavior only in so far as you can intervene to correct it.

Above all, if this is a boredom or anxiety related problem, more EXERCISE almost always is the first and best solution to try. If you can't get home at lunch, try to arrange some sort of mid day activity with someone else. Consider getting your dog a another dog friend. Of course, without any other training on your part this solution alone may only get you get twice as many holes.