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Training and Behavior Tips

Info Training Title Pic2 Kim and gang

If you are a first-time visitor to training and behavior tips, please read the introductory material below. If you are returning to training and behavior tips, you may, if desire, click here to jump to the menu of TRAINING & BEHAVIOR PAMPHLETS.

Setting You Up for Success

  • Eskies are sometimes referred to as a “dominant” or "assertive" type of dog – that means they NEED TRAINING! If they aren’t told that you are the boss and the provider of all good things, then they will try to take over the household and assume it is their role! Eskies are not well suited for that job. It is your responsibility as a dog owner to provide for the care, feeding and shelter of your new family member. Part of caring for your Eskie is training him properly -- this helps you develop a way to communicate with your Eskie so that he knows what you expect from him.
  • At the very least, your Eskie should learn basic manners ("sit", "down", "heel/walking nicely on leash", "stay" and "come"). With a basic set of manners you can divert unwanted behaviors simply by re-focusing your Eskie on one of these other tasks. It is hard for an Eskie to jump on strangers entering the home when he is performing a "down/stay" command well; it is crucial to have your Eskie recall to you before bolting out the door by getting him to "come" on command. These are the cornerstones of basic training. You can enroll in classes or teach the dog yourself. The advantage of classes is that it gives you the additional opportunity to socialize with other dogs and owners and trade stories, tips and problem-solving. It can also be a lot of fun!
  • If you decide to add an Eskie puppy to your family, you should be prepared for puppy socialization classes to introduce your puppy to other dogs, people, and places and start the process of building a positive way for you to communicate with your dog. If you do not have access to socialization classes in your area, there are plenty of resource books in your local library that will help you get started on how to socialize your puppy properly.
  • If you adopt an adult Eskie, we urge you to consider dog obedience classes or working with your dog one-on-one yourself if you are comfortable with training techniques. An untrained Eskie will lead to all sorts of mischief and trouble. “Willful” and “obstinate” are words often used to describe an untrained Eskie. Unfortunately, many Eskies that end up in shelters fall in this category. At ERU, we recommend an excellent training program to supplement basic obedience, it is called "Nothing in Life is Free" (NILIF). This is a simple program to follow -- you are basically teaching your dog to say "please" and earn privileges. This reinforces the dog's place in your family "pack" and it is a very useful program to help address many behavior problems.

Training and Behavior Methods

  • There are many philosophies on dog training, from pack theory to positive reinforcement and clicker training. As rescuers, we prefer not to enter the debate on training styles except to suggest that you look for a training program that focuses on developing a positive relationship with your dog.
  • Selecting the right dog obedience trainer or class may require a little homework but your preparation will pay off for you and your dog. Investigate the classes in your area and inquire if you can observe a class. Ask the Dog Trainer what methods they use and if you observe or hear something you do not feel comfortable with, find another class or trainer. Watch for inappropriate use of correction collars -- lifting a dog off the ground, choking, hitting, slapping, excessive use of confinement, or isolation indicates a trainer whose primary focus is punishment. A Trainer who is familiar with a variety of approaches and understands how dogs learn will utilize methods that focus primarily on reinforcing good behaviors and will use 'corrective' techniques sparingly.
  • A good Dog Trainer will help you train your dog in basic obedience and help you develop a positive way to communicate with your dog. A Dog Trainer is not a Behaviorist or a Veterinarian. If your dog is developing disturbing behavior, first check with your veterinarian to rule out any underlying medical cause. Explore the pamphlets below if the behavior isn't serious and you feel you can address it at home. If the behavior is serious (e.g. aggression) it is best to seek out the help of a Certified Animal Behaviorist who has received the appropriate specialized academic and field certification.
  • DISCLAIMER: The information and downloadable pamphlets provided here are intended to inform and educate; they do not replace the advice of professionals -- we are a rescue organization, we are not professional trainers, behaviorists, or veterinarians. Please consult the appropriate professional if your Eskie is displaying worrisome behavior issues like aggression. If you are serious about working with your pet and seek out information and the appropriate people to help you, your dog has a very good chance of overcoming his training or behavioral problem. The following downloads are provided courtesy of the the Dumb Friends League:.