Friday, September 18, 2015

Time to put your dog on a word diet!

Jeanne Perciaccanto
Ultimate Dog Training

Your dog needs to go on a diet.  What type of diet you may ask, a word diet!

If your dog could say something to you it would be, "Stop talking and show me!"

We tend to over fill our dogs with words.  Dog training has become more like a dissertation for a thesis rather than teaching a dog how to be trained.

We explain, theorize, pontificate, exaggerate and dramatize what we want of them.  Our insistence is for them understand precisely why they need to achieve our intended goals. Subsequently, we fill their brains with a deluge of continual background noise that present no concrete information.

Think of those big traditional holiday meals.
 If someone asks you to eat one more piece of pie, you will refuse, stating with confidence, "I couldn't eat one more thing!" 
Our dogs are grazing on noise that fills them up and leaves them feeling uncomfortable after the training sessions end.
Once your dog reaches verbal overfill, they won't want to hear one more word or feel comfortable training any longer.  "Sorry, can't hear one more thing!"
How many times a day do they hear their name repeated with no indication of what they are supposed to do when they hear it?   "Dog,dog,dog,dog,dog,dog,dog...!"  Then, once their is no response to their name, the next assault begins,  "come,come,come,come.  Come here, here, here, here...!"  The problem is, once the dog indicates they do not understand how to respond, filling them with more sound becomes a word feeding frenzy rather than definitive direction.

A dog hears so many non consequential words they have to filter each and every day, sound becomes  that big holiday meal to them.   Once they are full, they don't want to eat for a while.

Keep them hungry in learning.  Stuffing them with words will only cause them to say, "Sorry, can't hear one more thing!"

For more information on how to make your training a lifestyle, contact

Friday, September 11, 2015

3 things every dog owners needs!

Jeanne Perciaccanto
Ultimate Dog Training


1. A dog!


Sounds silly doesn't it.  The dog you get needs to match you.  

Your energy, temperament, personality and lifestyle can be too much or too little for your dog.
Problems arise when the two don't match. 

High energy owners do not do well with dogs whose main goal is to be a couch potato.  Strong owner personalities may make shy or submissive dogs nervous.
Active households might be too much for dogs who don't like a lot of  activity or loud sounds or make high energy dogs more reactive.

Conversely, the lower energy owner does not fair well with high drive and active dogs.
Submissive owners can be walked all over by highly confident dogs.
Dogs that need to be continually stimulated by their environment may become destructive in homes that can't meet their mental needs.

If you have not chosen your dog yet, speak with a pet professional for tips on selecting a dog.
If you already have a dog, dog trainers help to bring balance to your existing relationship.
An important note, the training has to match the dog not try and make the dog fit the training!

2. A dream!

Dream the possibilities!
When most people think of dog training, they think of problem solving. 
They make a list of the things they don't want the dog to do or stop doing such as:
  • jumping
  • barking
  • pulling
  • destructive behaviors
  • not listening
Have a dream of what you would really like to do with your dog!  Do you picture yourself walking along the beach?  How about camping or hiking off leash down a wooded path?  Maybe, traveling with your best friend or being able to visit family and friends who welcome your buddy into their home?

Training is about having the life you dream of with your dog!

3. A plan!

You have the dog and set your dream, now you need a plan. 

 A well thought out plan includes a step by step process to achieve your goals.
 Training is like putting the pieces of a puzzle together.

The puzzle pieces are; who, what, when, where, why and action specific to your dog.

  • Who are they- temperament/personality.
  • What - is their value system.
  • When - response is most needed.
  • Where - environmental distraction occur.
  • Why - they do the things they do.  Problem solving skills.
  • Action - bringing all the pieces together in a cohesive direction of learning that produces results.

Training is actually engaging the brain in such a way that helps the dog learn to self-control and think how to make the right choices for you.

Every dog does, without virtue of training, naturally know how to sit, lay down and even come to you.  Not all dogs will do these at specific or specified times such as, when you ask or need them listen.

Each dog is an individual.  A solid plan is based on how your individual dog thinks and learns, so training will vary from dog to dog.  The ultimate goal will be to bring you to the realization of your dream!

For more information on selecting or training your dog, visit us at:

Monday, December 15, 2014

The Christmas Dog
Jeanne Perciaccanto
Ultimate Dog Training NJ

This time of year always brings me back to a wonderful Christmas Eve phone call I received from a client whose dog had to re-learn how to live a normal life.

Many think that dog trainers only teach a dog to sit and stay and miss the deep abiding care and love we give to each and every dog.  A little piece of us goes with each dog.  Our hearts and souls become part of the fabric woven into the learning process.

Lucky was a 6 year old track Greyhound who lost his front right leg due to bone cancer.  The loss of his leg also took away his confidence in negotiating stairs.  Stairs he eventually would have to do upon moving to a new home in Florida.  Not just a few steps but getting onto and off a ferry. 

Climbing multiple sets of stairs into the house raised up on pilings.  Inside the house he would have to maneuver and conquer a long flight of stairs from the bottom floor to the upper level of the home.

Lucky was truly blessed with owners who sought how to make his life not only better but functional past his fears.

Much to big to carry.  No available home alterations would offer a fitting solution to change existing structure to make his life easier nor safe to navigate.

Our only potential was to eliminate his fears and re-teach how to trust in his own abilities maneuver on multiple stairs.

Having only three weeks to accomplish this, I started first with understanding how Lucky chose to adapt to his missing leg.  I attempted to find the nuance of his movements.  What was his point of balance and how did he brace to change direction.  When he sat, which of his back legs did he put the greatest pressure on.  Was it opposite his lost leg or on the same side.  Watching him in free play, were there moments of hesitation.  I used this information to build a game plan.

Lucky was not a treat or toy motivated dog but some gentle touches served to help him make choices. 
We started with simply having him place one foot on a piece of plywood laying flat on the ground.   I focused on one foot at a time.
 We moved to all four on the board, then added a slight angle, starting over again to one foot.
Increasing angles and adding greater and greater self determination, we eventually had him getting on and off a teeter board and built from there.  Each step was Lucky's to make.

Moving him up and over a kiddie bench/table play set until he did it on his own, we then moved to a few steps at a local business that very wide steps and the stirs at the beach boardwalk.  One step became two which eventually became a flight of stairs.  We found places to practice and challenge.  Finally at a friends house with a flight of front steps, Lucky climbed his Mt. Everest!

This was more than Lucky managing stairs.  This was a process of building trust in himself and his owner.  This was belief in his own decision making process and belief his owner would keep him safe.  Every small step was part of a larger self growth and creating a foundation knowledge about his interaction with the environment.  Lucky wasn't just climbing stairs but confronting those challenges in life and all the fear that held him back from advancing into a functional dog.

Our time together was complete and Lucky moved on to begin his new life.

That Christmas Eve morning I received a phone call from his owner.

"You will never guess who is standing next to me right now!" he said.

Lucky managed the ferry like a champ.  He went right up the levels of steps at his new home as though stairs were never an issue.  Due to the angle, narrow space and length, his biggest hurdle were the flight of stairs from the bottom to the top floor.  On this morning, Lucky had chosen to move his life along and accept his final challenge, the house stairs.  All by himself, he accepted the final piece of the puzzle and climbed.

We both cried a bit in the excitement of accomplishment but more for the joy Lucky would have at conquering his fears and willingness to find that point of balance.  No longer was the loss of his leg Lucky's defining moment in life.

A part of me stood at the bottom looking up and a small part of my heart climbed those steps with him.

Ultimate Dog Training

Sunday, November 09, 2014

The Calm Dog
Jeanne Perciaccanto

Dogs seek calm, but, what actually is calm and where does it come from?

Calm is information that allows the dog to relax; be patient; wait for direction; is a selected series of directional tools that let the dog know what and how to behave in any given circumstance.
Informational calm changes from setting to setting because the circumstances change from moment to moment.
Calm is an ongoing and continual resource every dog seeks determined by the immediate.

What happens when you change the walk from the routine neighborhood outing to a stroll around the park.  The dogs' information has changed as to what and how they are to interact with both you and the environment.  A calm dog follows you no matter where or what is happening around them.
Teach your dog the action of a behavior will cause them to only respond to a limited learning parameter such as: to only follow direction in the house, but, be prepared to see a completely different dog at the Vets office as the dog next to them whines and lunges.

Calm must go every where with your dog.  Calm must be available and present to assist your dog no matter where they are or what they encounter.

Calm comes from you!

Being in your presence should create calm.
Calm means your dog has learned to defer to you no matter what is going on around them.

So you must exude calm in all things.

How do you know if you create calm?

While watching TV does your dog come and lay quietly next to you on the floor or do they demand you constant attention?  Bump you with their nose, toss toys into your lap, bark in your face, these thing indicate there is no calm leadership.
Out for a walk, does your dog get invested in following their nose, not you?
Can you call you dog away from or off any distraction?

A calm leader causes their dog to follow them without telling them to do so.  The dog choose to follow the leader because dogs seek calm!

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

The Brilliant Dog
Jeanne Perciaccanto
Ultimate Dog Training

Every day, as a dog trainer, I have the privilege of helping dog owners unlock the beauty and brilliance inherent in their dog.
This brilliance is found in them as part of the nature of their species.  We as humans are gifted in possession of the only animal in nature that can live with us as companions and choose to work with us in service.

Unfortunately, in recent years, we have begun to cheat our dogs, preventing that brilliance from shining through as intended in nature.
When they hunt for food in our homes, we correct them.
Seeking activity and action outside the confined boundaries of a limited space of existence, we stop them.
Pragmatic endeavors to satisfy natural drives cause them to be crated and confined.
We have created a very confusing dichotomy within our dogs.  We love them, but, we hate for them to be dogs.

Dogs were much better off as working farm dogs.  In shared service with us as guardians, hunters and caretakers over livestock, food stores and family, they were able to utilize their own personal brilliance daily.  They thought and problem solved and made choices that impacted their livelihood and safety as well as those in their charge.

As partners and working companions our need of their help fulfilled their lives with us.
Our companions were once an artist creating a brilliant canvass of nature and nurture towards and with those they shared life.

The suburban dog of today is bored, confused and confined from the very life in which they need to participate.

There are certainly things we should never allow our dogs to do unless they are trained with the proper know how for safety.  Are we however, teaching those skills or finding it easier to never address what our dogs truly need for a complete life as a dog and companion?

Barking, biting, digging in garbage and the yard is a cry from your dog that they are bored with the life you offer.  Trying very hard to please you but unable to satisfy their own basic needs and drives cause conflict in many of our homes.

My goal is to find ways to unlock that brilliance with many different tools.

I train dogs to off leash control and safety so owners can hike and allow them off leash to think freely in nature but still maintain that connection that keeps them safe.

Bringing thought provoking games into routine training programs to enhance their learning beyond the typical basic training keep dog mentally active.  Games designed as training for hunting and scent work so dogs can use those scent drives in and around their homes.  There are many ways to teach adaptable skills but by doing so will keep them thinking and utilizing that brilliant brain and preventing boredom.

Teaching owners how to see their dogs think and learn enable them to keep building difficulty levels forward and keeping them mentally active.
This type of thought training is incorporated into the basic skills learning but it changes how our dogs learn their skills.

I don’t train dogs, I teach them to think and learn how to make the right choices.

What have you done to see your dogs’ brilliance today?