Frequently Asked Questions

How do you introduce the concept of walking on leash to a 5 month old rescue puppy who has never walked on a leash and is living in a multi-dog home who do walk on leash?2022-06-10T11:13:07-07:00

Teaching Loose Leash Walking

You will want to start training in a low distraction environment such as your home or backyard.

First, Introduce your dog to a harness. Flat collars, choke chains and pinch collars can all cause long term damage to your dogs neck so we recommend using the 2 Hounds Design Freedom No Pull Harness.

View Truly Force Free Animal Trainings #trainerquicktip Overcoming Harness Fear here: https://youtu.be/h3i3cEKXIcQ


Once your dog is familiar and comfortable with the harness you can start practicing “Loose Leash Walking” at home.  You will need a “high value treat” such as cream cheese or peanut butter packet (you may find these at your local box store) or another treat your dog loves.

For more information on how to train your dog to walk nicely on leash check out Truly Force Free Animal Training’s Good Manners Course here: https://trulyforcefree.com/product/truly-force-free-good-manners-course/

When my dog sees a cat they will chase them and won’t listen to “stop, leave it, or come”. How can I get my dog to listen to me, and, come when called during this heightened state?2022-04-19T10:48:40-07:00

“When a person is drowning, it is not a good time to teach him to swim”. – Haim Ginott

This can be due to your dog’s Prey Drive!

So, what is prey drive? According to the dictionary, Prey drive is the instinctive inclination of a carnivore to find, pursue and capture prey. The term is chiefly used to describe and analyze habits in dog training.

So, what does this mean exactly? Your dog’s brain is preprogrammed to chase cats. This is a genetic behavior that was useful before dogs were household pets, and, also how they were able to catch their food in order to survive. So, this behavior is not because they are being “bad” but is just a natural reflex.


Why isn’t my dog listening to me?

This is because your dog is over threshold! This is when your dog crosses from one emotional state to another. If you spend time with a dog who is concerned about other dogs, you have probably witnessed the moment when he or she moves from seemingly okay into out-of-control behavior.

What can I do to help with this behavior?

There are a few things we can do to help with this behavior. You can try to prevent your dog from getting in this situation but we all know that is not always possible. In this case, we recommend the following;

  1. Start in a low distraction area such as your home. You will gradually increase distraction overtime so it is important not to rush your dog. Training is never perfect but practice is key for success. I recommend training for 5 to 10 minutes each day as to not overwhelm yourself or your dog while you are both learning.
  2. You will need a high value treat. This is something your dog really enjoys like bacon, cod or even cream cheese. It will need to be more valuable than what they’re chasing. My dogs absolutely love the Lamb RedBarn while we train together but each dog is different.
  3. Teach your dog to “look at you” by playing the Name Game. The goal is for the dog to look at you when you cue the behavior by saying your dog’s name.
    1. For example, If I say my dogs name, “Captain”, I want that word (his name) to cue him to look back at me. Eventually, we want this behavior to become an instant reflex/instinct.
  4. Once your dog has mastered this in a low distraction environment (your home), you can move into more distracting area such as your backyard.
  5. Once your dog has mastered this in your backyard, you can move into an even more distracting environment such as the park.

For more help, check out Truly Force Free Animal Training’s Foundation Behavior Course, Good Manners Course or one of our pet-related webinars! Truly Force Free Animal Training is offering a 100% OFF DISCOUNT for a Truly Force Free Webinar (purchase of your choosing) when signing up for our newsletter. Be sure to check the box next to the signup code at the bottom of the homepage in order to receive the correct discount code at www.trulyforcefree.com.

I have been using your good manners course and it’s working wonders for my boy! One thing I can’t quite figure out is how to get him to stop barking at people through the window.2022-01-14T13:20:28-08:00
  • Barking out of your window could be a sign of anxiety/ fear.
  • Your dog may be in “fight mode”.
  • Good Manners is a great course to help give you ways to communicate with your dog but it will not deal with specific behavioral issues such as anxiety, fear or aggression.
  • You can also try redirecting your dog with a high value treat.

Is it getting more intense? Try this;

  • Close the blinds
  • Put frosted tint on the window
  • Block the window
  • Keep your dog in the back room
  • You can also try to move where the mail or your packages are delivered to a location where it won’t affect your dog.
  • Play calming music throughout the day in the background.

If it continues, we recommend taking the Reactive Dog Rehabiliation program or watch the Understanding & Helping Your Reactive Dog Webinar!

I want to help my excitable/ anxious dog learn to settle, but high-value treats (and even attention) are exciting so we end up in a heightened state. Even if I try to capture a moment of chill, once I give the treat she is amped up. How can I help teach her to relax or reward relaxed behavior?2021-11-11T22:16:13-08:00

Try the following;

  1. Teach a “calm” behavior – remember “slow is fast, fast is slow”.
  2. Make sure your own energy is calm.
  3. Prepare the environment for CALM such as a quiet home.
  4. Put a lower value treat in your pocket (leave the training treat pouch out of this training session).
  5. Instead of a clicker you can use a verbal cue such as “yes” or “good” in a calm tone.
  6. If you prefer to use a clicker, try a clicker that is quiet or put the clicker in your pocket to muffle the sound.
  7. Once your home is quiet and you are calm, sit on the floor with your dog on leash and wait.
  8. Be sure not to give your dog attention (especially for unwanted behaviors such as high energy).
  9. If your dog does a calm behavior such as sitting or laying down give them a treat and calmly say “yes” or “good”.
  10. Try to avoid eye contact (you can add this into your plan later).
  11. After about 3 to 8 minutes of training end on a calm note.
  12. Practice this each day for a short period of time. Remember, consistency is key!



Filling the emotional bank account (what is it and how to use it)2021-11-11T22:06:02-08:00

How do you fill your pets EBA? Giving treats, cuddling, walks etc.

The Gottman Institute states the following;

The Emotional Bank Account

Essentially, when you turn toward your partner’s bids for connection, you are making a deposit in your Emotional Bank Account. And when you turn away from your partner, you make a withdrawal. Just like a real bank account, a zero balance is trouble, and a negative balance is the real danger zone.

An Emotional Bank Account grows when partners make more deposits than withdrawals. In a six-year follow-up study of newlywed couples, couples who remained married turned toward their partner’s bids for emotional connection 86% of the time in the lab, while those who divorced averaged 33%. The difference between happy and unhappy couples is how they manage their Emotional Bank Account.

When the Emotional Bank Account is in the red, partners tend to question each other’s intentions and feel disconnected, or even lonely.

But when the Emotional Bank Account is in the green, partners tend to give each other the benefit of the doubt during conflict. They keep their relationship in the positive perspective.

So how do you measure the balance of your Emotional Bank Account?

My Chihuahua doesn’t like to lay down on the ground – how can I fix this?2021-11-11T21:58:02-08:00

Some dogs don’t like to lay on the ground! What can you do?

  1. Start teaching your dog a “down” behavior on a bed or couch.
  2. Once your dog has this down, transfer this training to the floor (you can put a dog bed on the floor to start and slowly take it out of the training).
Is it okay to bring a puppy into the home with a senior dog?2021-11-11T21:53:47-08:00

It depends! Just like humans, dogs are very different from eachother. Some senior dogs may welcome a new puppy and are great teachers. Others can become more stressed since they may be used to being the only pet in the home. What’s most important, is for you to create bounderies between your puppy and senior dog.

Things to look for when finding the right breeder2021-10-27T17:58:13-07:00
  1. Meet the puppies parents (both mom and dad)

  2. If the puppy is out of state, have the breeder fly with them to you or fly with the puppy yourself (don’t let them travel underneath the plane in cargo)

  3. The breeder should have started exposing puppies to a variety of novel objects, people and dogs

  4. Get the parents health history

  5. Check out Puppy Culture shoppuppyculture.com
Why is my puppy biting?2021-10-27T17:56:12-07:00

Did you know that puppies need between 18 to 20 hours of sleep each day? Your puppy may be biting because they are just tired! 

  1. Think about what type of environment you like to take a nap in… set up a place that calm and quiet for your puppy to nap.
  2. DON’T use your hands and feet as toys.
  3. Specific breeds such as heelers, australian shepards, siberian huskys may need more stimulation
What if my dog is fearful of Clickers?2021-10-27T17:53:48-07:00
  1. There are a variety of clickers to choose from! If your dog is sound sensitive you can check out a clicker that’s more “quiet”.
  2. If this is still too loud, you can try clicking while the clicker is in your pocket to muffle the noise
  3. ALWAYS pair the click with a high value treat or something rewards to the dog (such as a toy)
  4. Another option: Use a verbal cue such as “good” or “yes” (instead of the click) with a high value treat

Is your pet afriad of loud sounds such as fireworks, thunder etc? This weeks #trainerquicktip is in preparation to “desensitize your dog to loud sounds”. Submit your short video to info@trulyforcefree.com!

View the #trainerquicktip Desensitization to Loud Sounds here: https://vimeo.com/410212531

How Can I Teach My Dog To Play Correctly?2021-10-27T17:50:29-07:00

There are many reasons your puppy may not be playing correctly. Let’s take a closer look!

  • Playing with dogs that play too rough: If this is the case, make sure to interupt their play as play should be equal.
  • There should be a “chaser” and a “chasee” but it MUST be reciprical.
    • Try This! If your dogs are playing but you are not sure if it is appropriate, try catching the chaser and watch their body language. If they display a relieved look on their face this may mean play is NOT reciprical.
    • If the chasee looks back like, “hey, keep chasing me” then IT IS reciprical.
  • Puppies NEED short breaks (nap time) inbetween play.
  • End of play – End play BEFORE your dog gets too tired.
Is a senior dog be too old to train?2021-06-14T21:28:09-07:00

Training an older dog can be harder or slower due to trauma or fear but IT IS possible – old dogs CAN learn new tricks! You will want to address your dogs fear or trauma before introducing a new cue or trick.

How long do you have to treat for training “recall”?2021-06-14T21:22:08-07:00

First, be sure you are teaching your dog in a quiet (non-distracting) environment. Once your dog has mastered these skills in a quiet environment you may add in distractions. Make sure to always have a “high-value” treat your dog LOVES as a reinforcer (see “What’s Your Dogs Currency” Webinar for information on what a high value treat is). Lastly, make sure to practice for at least 5 minutes everyday for 1 year before removing the “high-value” treat.

What do I do if my dog doesn’t “come” when I call them?2021-04-05T00:08:58-07:00

It sounds like you need to keep her on a leash in the situation when and continue practicing on leash until the recall behavior becomes more fluent. Also, make sure you are using a “high value” treat for “come” such as hot dogs, cheese, cooked chicken. Remember to take baby steps, if you go too fast, you could set her up for failure. Slow and steady wins the race!

Is it okay to incorporate a whistle to get my dog to “come”?2021-04-05T00:01:43-07:00

If you want to use the clicker as a cue to come you can so you can say “come” or whistle then click and treat when she comes to you.



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