Thursday, March 7, 2013

The TPD's New Columnist Is "The Canine Consultant" - Let's Talk Training!

Introducing the Canine Consultant Q&A

“The 5 C’s to Becoming the Pack Leader”

Do you ever find yourself saying; ‘my dog will not listen to me!’ or ‘walking my dog is work…isn’t this supposed to be peaceful?’ ‘I am a prisoner in my own house, if I leave my dog alone at home he/she will be destructive!’ Relax, you are not alone- in fact you are in the majority…..

My name is Matthew Belvedere- aka the Canine Consultant. I am the owner and operator of Barks n’Rec, the canine clubhouse in Mississauga Ontario. Barks n’ Rec is a 5000 square foot dog facility, where we host training courses, seminars, and special events, in addition to dog daycare six days a week.

This is the first of an ongoing series of articles to help you cope and redirect your dog’s unwanted
behavior. I am your Canine Consultant, here to answer your questions, queries and guide you through
your persisting troubles and ongoing dog related issues.

Dog Training 101……..

It seems that every ‘dog trainer’ has a method or theory, the funny thing is that theirs is the “only way.” Let’s look at two very famous trainers, Cesar Milan and Brad Pattison: both seem to be very successful, both seem to be the pack leader…..These gentlemen use two completely different methods!? Wait, what? The truth is, in reality lots of theories and methods are successful when training a dog! However, take a deeper look at any ‘training seminar’ in North America and there is a common thread. Be it a positivity based course or a course with no verbal commands, even in police/guard dog training the common thread remains: What’s the common thread? Technically it’s nothing more than common sense, but I describe it to my pupils as “the 5 C’s, common sense dog training”. Simply put, no method you employ will be successful unless you remain CALM at all times. You must be CLEAR and CONSISTENT with your COMMANDS, also you must always remain in CONTROL. On the flip side most of any theories you try will work if you follow the 5 C’s…… The 5 C’s are, clear consistent commands, while remaining calm and in control.

We as humans expect things to happen right away. “I went to a dog training course for 6 weeks, my
dog is trained!” Do we raise our children for 6 years and expect them to be ‘trained’? I think not. It
is a lifelong process with ups and downs, good experiences and bad along the way. Sometimes we
have to explain things more than once before they understand what is, and what’s not acceptable
behavior. The same goes for our dogs, and with the 5 C’s to guide you, it is a simple process. From
puppy to senior dog, as long as you’re calm and use clear commands with consistency you will always be in control. The next time you find yourself saying ‘Why won’t you listen Fido?’ or are yelling ‘No heel, NOOOOOOOOOOOO’ while running after Fifi, who’s chased the neighborhood cat down the block, stop and ask yourself; am I CALM right now? Have I been CLEAR with my COMMAND? Is this a CONSISTENT COMMAND? And am I in CONTROL right now? Most likely you will answer no on at least 3 of the 4 questions every time you find your dog doing something you dislike (Hence Fifi’s block and a half unscheduled excursion). So the next time you find yourself pulling out your hair in frustration: Stop, take a breath and employ the 5 C’s be calm, be clear with your command, always be consistent and take control. Lastly, pat yourself on the back, because you are now on your way to becoming the Pack Leader.

Forward your questions and queries we are your Canine Consultants, looking forward to serving your
needs, one step at a time, be it 2 legs or 4.


  1. Matthew,

    I implemented the suggestions you gave me last week and what a difference.  As always your insight is bang-on.  Thank you for taking the time to walk me through the steps, I know we're all enjoying Charlie (our furry family member) much more.

    I look forward to the next training course.

    Curtis Clan

  2.  However, it shouldn't be extremely powerful to conquer your furry friend. You need to slowly move the dog so it will become familiar with the way to switch off this gadget.

    dog commands