Ty the Dog Guy on the Daily
About This Show
Ty the Dog Guy on the Daily is a 5 day per week podcast with celebrity dog trainer Ty Brown. Ty takes your questions, teaches about dog training topics, and sometimes even goes on rants to teach you the ins and outs of dog behavior and raising puppies.
Most Recent Episode
One and Only: My Most Useful Principle
4 days ago
Someone asked me an interesting question recently, and I wanted to share it with you. The question was this: “You have over 20 years of experience working with dogs, so you’ve seen a lot of things. Given that, if your experience and knowledge was erased, but if you were able to keep mastery of one dog training concept, what would it be?”
I thought this was an intriguing question when it came up, but it actually didn’t take me very long at all to determine exactly what that one concept would be. For me, it’s the ability to create focus.
Focus oftentimes is looking at the owner. Now, I’m not talking about the kind of focus that is created when your dog looks at a treat you’re holding. Rather, I’m talking about a level of focus where the dog is engaged with you, trusts you, and defers to you. That focus, the more I think about it, is at the root of solving 99% of the problems we deal with. Aggression, anxiety, bad manners, lack of obedience, destruction—so much of this either goes away entirely on its own or goes away much more easily if you’ve established focus.
I’d like you to do a little thought exercise with the next five or ten dogs you see, whether it’s a dog you come across walking down the street with its owner or a friend’s dog that you meet at their house. Which dogs you encounter have focus on their owners? How many of them pay attention to their owner rather than pulling ahead to sniff at every bush? How many of them defer to their owner when someone is coming through the door, rather than going to jump up or attack the newcomer?
When people walk into our shop for the first time, their dogs’ minds are everywhere: they’re jumping up on the counter, they’re backing away from people because it’s scared or lunging because it’s aggressive. I can only think of two or three times in my whole career as a dog trainer when I’ve met a dog for the first time who was attentive to its owner. Of course, that makes sense—why would anyone be hiring me if they already had that?
But at the root of fixing anything you might hope to fix at any point in your dog’s life is getting your dog to focus on you or your commands. You might ask your dog to focus on lying down in a particular place, heeling by your side, or coming toward you. That level of focus impacts everything! You’ll have a closer relationship with your dog. Your dog will be a thousand times calmer. It’s at the root of everything.