I have been working hard to teach Max that he’s not the leader of this pack.

I’ve been reading a lot of Cesar Millan, watching Dog Whisperer and At the End of My Leash. I wish Max’s previous owners had enforced a few more rules and expectations for good behavior!

We had our previous schnauzer from puppyhood so we were responsible for her bad habits, which were few. She didn’t like to go out in the rain… I can’t recall other problems. We trained her to only relieve herself in a particular area, which keeps the rest of the yard clean and limits the time spent looking for poop to scoop.
We also helped her to love her kennel as a den, a safe place for her to relax. This made it so much easier to take her along almost anywhere.

We got Max just before his first birthday. Until then, he was walked on a long retractable leash, and was apparently allowed to roam to its ends. He is now impossible to walk enjoyably; he just pulls at the leash.  I’ve been working with him on this but so far have only seen a 15% improvement. Once outdoors on a leash, he seems completely unaware that there’s a human at the other end of the line, a human who he is supposed to be following! I’ve now begun leash training inside, where he’s always been very focused on us, and walks beside me all the time. After a while I will try to transfer this behavior to being on the leash in the yard. I am concerned that he’s not getting enough exercise because we can’t walk him.
He is completely distracted outside, by birds and dogs and scents and people and cars. He doesn’t look to me as he should.

Previously his only kennel experience was during housebreaking, so we are very happy that he’s taken so well to his kennel. The first few days I had to put him into it, but not with force. Now he goes willingly when directed. He has even voluntarily napped in his kennel a few times.

His habit of jumping up is about 50% better. We are trying to be very consistent and never allow jumping up against people or objects (i.e. kitchen cabinets).

“Sit” was the only command he knew. Even with that, he doesn’t remain in a sit until released. I am working on “stay.”  We taught him to respond to his name, which we changed when we brought him home because he didn’t respond to his former name anyway and we weren’t fond of it.

We’re also working to control his barking at the window (birds & rabbits & passing dogs all set it off), and not allowing him on the couch unless specifically invited.

A big challenge in training Max is that he really doesn’t like treats. His kibble is the only thing he gets excited about eating. So I have to use kibble for food rewards, and that stuff is stinky!

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