SDOS Episode 55 – The Five Dog Keepers Rules

This is Episode 55 of the Superhero Dog Owners Show and the very last episode but we are going out with a BANG!

Today Dom share the five dog keepers rules that every pet dog owner needs to be aware of…

Make sure you check out Dom’s brand new book ‘Worry Free Walks’ which is available from Amazon now. Click here to get the kindle book NOW for just 99p!

Full Transcript;

Dom:     Hello, me bonny bairns, and welcome to episode 55 of The Superhero Dog Owner Show. This is the show that helps you have more fun and less stress with your pet dog. I’m joined for the 55th time by my very good friend, Alex the video guy.

Alex:      Hello.

Dom:     Hello, my friend. How are you doing?

Alex:      I’m pretty good. How is you?

Dom:     I’m good, yeah. We’re talking about the tease today.

Alex:      Yeah we are, we are a little bit.

Dom:     Because today is the last episode of The Superhero Dog Owner Show.

Alex:      Ah damn.

Dom:     It’s been a hell of a ride.

Alex:      It has.

Dom:     We’ve rank a milkshake on route. We’ve met lots of lovely dog trainers from all over the world.

Alex:      All over yeah, definitely.

Dom:     From as far as Australia all the way over to California and India and everywhere in between.

Alex:      Yup, yup.

Dom:     Hopefully we’ve shared some top tips and some great actionable dog training advice that’s helped to have more fun with their dogs. Certainly the feedback that I’m getting Alex over the last year and a bit has certainly been that. People have … they’ve enjoyed it, they’ve found it entertaining and it’s helped them have more fun with their dogs generally.

Alex:      Good yeah, no I would hope so. I think we’ve covered all manner of topics really haven’t we, with all the guests that we’ve had on and stuff.

Dom:     Yeah.

Alex:      Yeah I’d like to think we’ve helped quite a few people out, I hops so anyway.

Dom:     Let’s hope so, let’s hope so. So if you haven’t yet you should share this podcast because it’s a tremendous resource. So please tag a friend in it, share it with a friend, get it watched on iTunes. There’s 55 episodes for you to go back if this is the first time that you’ve tuned in. And you can see it on, you can get all the episodes there as well, and you can also read the transcripts there too. And I thought Alex, by way of finishing off, I’m going to cover the five dog keepers rules.

Alex:      Okay. Yeah cool.

Dom:     These are the … I’ve distilled down all of my dog training experience, my dog owning experience and all the little nice tidbits and bits of advice that I’ve gotten off all the different dog trainers and I’ve distilled them down into five dog keepers rules.

Alex:      Cool. Like it.

Dom:     Do you want to hear them?

Alex:      I do want to hear them yes, what is number one?

Dom:     Number one is a social dog doesn’t need a social life.

Alex:      Okay, yeah.

Dom:     A bit cryptic.

Alex:      Yeah a little bit.

Dom:     But this harks back to what we talked about in episode nine of the podcast, back in 2016.

Alex:      Wow.

Dom:     So this week we’re going to be talking about an S word.

Alex:      What?

Dom:     No not that one, not that one no. We’re talking about socialisation. Most get it wrong. Most pet dog owners unintentionally, inadvertently create a bit of a rod for their own back by thinking that their dog needs to have a social life with other dogs. That he needs to have lots of doggy friends, that he needs to play with other dogs and they basically teach their puppies, teach their dogs when they’re just puppy age, that other dogs are great to play with. They’re fantastic fun and usually playing with another dog is the most fun thing that you’ll do at the beach or at the park or wherever it is that you’re taking your dog. Which is, that’s what the dog learns to do. So a puppy learns that other puppies are for playing with, other dogs are for playing with and what happens is, this makes it really difficult for you to actually enjoy walking your dog. Because if your puppies learn that the best thing to do at the beach, or the park or the woods is to play with another dog, then it makes it really difficult to exercise your dog off late.

You’re constantly going to be looking for other dogs to play with, he’ll be running away to go and see other dogs, and as we know, not all dogs like other dogs coming up to them. Not all owners do, I don’t, I hate it. I don’t mind seeing dogs, I love dogs but I don’t people to think that my dog is a play thing for their dog or an excuse for their dog to get rid of some exercise. So we can make life much easier for ourselves by just teaching our dogs that another dog is just as interesting as, or just as boring as a lamppost or lollipop lady or a bus or a bin or a kid with a kite, or whatever it is. You wouldn’t want your dog particularly running off to see [inaudible 00:04:51] or to run off to see lollipop ladies and all this kind of thing. And if a lollipop lady shoved a hotdog in your dog’s mouth every time that you walked past her then that’s what the dog would do wouldn’t he, and it would make it really difficult to walk him. So yeah if you want your dog to be social, just teach him that you’re the most interesting thing at the beach or the park or the woods.

Alex:      Makes sense to me, I mean yeah I think it’s probably one of them things isn’t it that like a lot of people have the best intentions and think, my dog … dogs are meant to play together and lark about and the all the rest of it. But really they don’t need to do they.

Dom:     Yeah and I’m by no means perfect but I’ve been there as well. That was my point of view for a long time. It was, I can remember saying that, that the easiest way to wear a dog out is for him to play with another dog. And that probably is one of the easiest ways to wear a dog out, but it’s also one of the easiest ways to lose control of the dog and teach that, like what we said before, that other dogs to play with and it just makes it really really difficult to give your dog any kind of freedom and have any kind of control over your dog when he’s of lead. So yeah, but definitely made that mistake myself. Put it right with my own dog and with the adventure dogs that we walk every day. Quite able to have a nice long walk along the beach with five or six dogs and they’re all just revolving around us in a circle playing with us. I appreciate this point of view isn’t for everybody, some people believe that dogs should have doggy friends. But this is the show that helps you have more fun with your dog and less stress, and if you want less stress with your dog, if you’re currently stressing out letting your dog of lead then maybe it’s time for a new philosophy, a new way of thinking about your dog, which brings us nicely onto point number two.

Alex:      Okay, which is?

Dom:     Which is your dog only needs one friend. Yeah. This carries on nicely from the last one and we talked about this in episode 29. This is a bit of a hairy one, some people aren’t going to like what I’m going to say here.

Alex:      Okay.

Dom:     I don’t care, for starters. And you’ve got to speak the truth you know?

Alex:      Yeah yeah.

Dom:     And I’m talking about, the problems of owning more than one dog. The problems of owning two or more dogs, common problems that people have and why your dog really if you have a dog, why he doesn’t and shouldn’t really need any other dogs. Again this is a point of view that certainly not many dog trainers are going to be a fan of. The dog trainers are looking at things from a slightly different point of view than the dog owner. The dog trainer already does lots of things with their dog. They have a fantastic relationship, they do training every day, they might work on clicker training or scent work and all these different kind of things. So they already do lots of things with their dog. The dog trainers dog is going to be probably better socialised. So the dog trainer because of all the knowledge that they have, their dog’s going to be fairly easy to control even around other dogs. The pet dog owner doesn’t have all those things going on. They’ve got to go to work, they’ve got to take their kids to school, they’ve got all these jobs to do and the short time that they’ve got to spend with the dog, really doesn’t want to be wasted allowing the dog to do any of these things that you don’t want them to do.

Alex:      Yeah.

Dom:     So thinking of yourself as being your dog’s number one friend is the only thing that he needs. This is something that I learned from Dave Davies, my dog trainer and mentor. That you can be everything to your dog. You can provide all the fun, all the entertainment, everything that that dog needs. All the excitement in his life, everything can come from you. The beautiful thing is that when you do that, you hae a dog who looks to you like you’re his world. You literally are his world because you provide everything for him. All of the games, all of the excitement, everything comes from you the owner. When you have a dog like that, it makes it really easy to exercise him off lead and just do everything because, the dog is … he’s not interested in that bird or that squirrel of that pile of fox poo over there. The fun stuff happens with the owner.

Alex:      Yeah it’s just about sort of almost making the dog aware isn’t it, that you are super fun. And that you are more fun than everything else, if you haven’t sort of demonstrated that to your dog, then he’s not going to know any different is he? He’s going to seek out these things that stimulating and interesting. So ultimately it’s you who needs to be the more interesting.

Dom:     Yeah and we’ll come onto that one in just a moment. How interesting do you have to be. This is something that Dave Davies used to tell me, he said essentially a recall problem is the fact that your dog is overly interested in something else. It’s not the fact that he’s … well the fact that he’s not coming back is an issue, but the fact that he wants to go over there and see that thing that’s more interesting than you, that’s a bigger issue. And you can prevent the recall problem from even occurring by being more interesting to the dog, do you know that I mean? Again, I’m going to mention I’m you know not frightened about upsetting people on this show, and there will be dog trainers how will quite strongly and passionately disagree with what I’m saying, but I don’t care. Because I’m just interested in helping the pet dog owner.

And yeah, we can … we want to give the dog as many things as we can, we want to give the dog as many experiences as we can but ultimately we want to keep the dog safe. We want to keep the dog near us. We want to keep the dog, we want to be able to give the dog the exercise that he need sin a way that keeps him safe and keeps him near us otherwise, the dog will be doing things we don’t want him to do. He’ll be difficult to look after, he’ll become out of control, then we’ll feel out of control and that’s why get given up.

Alex:      Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Dom:     Dogs are given up because people can’t control them. And that brings us on to point number three Alex, which is you’ve got to give the dog what he needs and not what he wants.

Alex:      Mm-hmm (affirmative), okay.

Dom:     Because it’s hard sometimes when you … don’t get me wrong, sometimes I think to myself, be a nice easy walk if I just let me dog do what he wants. Or I’ll just let my dog play together and stuff. But ultimately if you … if you give the dog what he wants, what he wants isn’t going to be conducive with you having a nice easy life, or a nice easy walk with him.

Alex:      No, very unlikely.

Dom:     Yeah. So the dog might want to run off and chase pheasants or chase pigeons from one end of the beach to the next. He might want to run off and play with every dog that he sees. These are things that he wants, but they’re the things that he can live without, for sure. And you can provide that fun with a tuggy game, with a retrieve game, with a find it game. These are all things that you can … you might not have 100% the same kind of fun that he would have doing the other naughty things, but he’ll have 95% or 99% if you work hard enough at it. And he’ll be happy enough. And that’s what we’re interested in isn’t it? We’re not after like perfection, we’re never going to get it. And this might require you to change how you feel about your dog and how you feel about what you think he needs. What does he really need, what does he want and what does he need. Just give him what he needs. He needs a nice warm bed, he needs some decent food, he needs some play in his life. He needs some challenge. And he needs some training obviously. Those things aren’t difficult to provide.

Alex:      No definitely, and I think like you said, with the games you play with them and stuff, you just happen into that like in it desire that he’s got to play and to chew things and whatever, depends on the type of dog that he is and stuff. You still … it’s just providing an outlet isn’t it? It’s tapping into that thing that he wants, [inaudible 00:12:55] providing it in a way that is more acceptable.

Dom:     Yeah definitely.

Alex:      And less destructive maybe or whatever.

Dom:     It requires effort, it requires effort for you to … I remember the first time after I did the John Rodgerson course ad I went out with my group of adventure dogs and I had a backpack full of toys. It was hard work, I do a lot of waiving the toys around, a lot of squeaky voices, a lot of playing and energetic just me trying to make myself more interesting. Just to get these dogs to start looking at me rather than looking at each other. But it’s possible, it’s possible and it’s actually quite enjoyable as well once you get into it.

Alex:      Yeah, once you get over yourself a little bit.

Dom:     Yeah yeah get over that little fear barrier.

Alex:      Yeah, definitely.

Dom:     As you discovered when you did the challenge.

Alex:      That’s right, yeah totally. I pretty much just thought, right I’m going to just try and be a bit more Dom here and a bit more interesting and like you say lots of energy and stuff. And it worked, it wasn’t hard, it worked.

Dom:     Yeah, well be more Dom yes and be more Dom. I’m saying be more fucking interesting. That’s what the big message is in my book, How To Be Your Dog’s Superhero. This book doesn’t just teach your dog a sit or a stare, it teaches you those things as well, but it’s more about how do you do all these things. How do you go from being just an average owner who your dog looks to for, to fill up his food bowl and who is the person that takes him to the park to play with the other dogs, to being the person who provides everything that the dog needs. The food, the excitement, the fun, everything. My story of when I did everything wrong with my dog, this is all here in How To Be Your Dog’s Superhero, and this will show you that anybody can actually do this. So definitely we’ve got to try and BMFI, be more fucking interesting.

Alex:      Definitely, yeah yeah. Simple but not easy maybe, but yeah make it worth it and doesn’t really take that much does it, just little steps every day you could do something-

Dom:     Definitely

Alex:      To be a bit more interesting. Then after a short period of time, you’ve got a situation like you said where like little looks to me like no one else really to be honest.

Dom:     Yeah and you’ve said your folks, your family think oh what’s this special power that you’ve got now, what have you done, what have you bribed him with? Really you’ve just shown him a different side to you haven’t you?

Alex:      Exactly. That’s all it is.

Dom:     You were just more interesting-

Alex:      Basically, yeah.

Dom:     More interesting than everybody else in the family. They’re not watching this are they Alex? And the fifth and final dog keepers rule is to give your dog a job.

Alex:      Mm-hmm (affirmative), okay, makes sense.

Dom:     We don’t want any dogs on the door. Because dogs on the door are nuisance. Dogs on the door tend to find their own entertainment. And it’s often going to be something that you didn’t want him to do. You want to give that dog a job, you want to give him an outlet. This doesn’t mean, he doesn’t have to be an assistance dog. He doesn’t have to be detecting cancer in people and all this kind of thing. Giving a dog a job is something as simple as having his [inaudible 00:16:03], that’s going to be enough of a job for some dogs to keep them entertained. Retrieving a toy, finding some food in a garden that you’ve hidden in a container. Any of these things that you do, giving your dog some kind of challenge. Giving him an outlet for his breed characteristics, which are going to differ from dog to dog. But it’s really not that hard, it takes minimal effort, it takes minimal training sometimes. Simple as retrieving a toy that you’ve chucked, with a chuckit and a ball and whatever it is, some thing.

Find something the dog likes doing and make a job of it, make him work for it. Make him sit for it, make him look at you. Make him do a trick, whatever the hell it is just give him some kind of job and your dog, he’ll be your friend for life. You’re giving him like a purpose. We have so many pedigree dogs these days, and working dogs, and herding dogs and guarding dogs, and [inaudible 00:17:07] dogs and stuff that they’re bred to do something and if we don’t provide this is how we end up with so many destructive behaviours, separation anxiety. It can come out in the form of aggression and stuff. This is why dogs are getting given up in like huge huge numbers.

Alex:      Yeah it’s Just like not fair is it because like you said, so many types of dogs are being bred to do specific things and to not give them some outlet at least, it doesn’t have to be the thing, you don’t have to let your Jack Russell go and chase rats and stuff, unless you want to. Just giving them something that kind of emulates or comes close to that sort of, that activity for them it’s like you said, it’s just going to make them look at you in a totally different way. It’s going to make them, they’re going to get tired out quicker, they’re going to feel like they’ve got more of a purpose. Yeah it’s just like all the knock on effects, it’s all positive really isn’t it, it just takes a bit of effort that’s all.

Dom:     Bit of effort again, that’s all this stuff is and I hope I’ve simplified dog training. I’ve probably simplified it too much if it’s possible, but we’re trying to make it easy for people. Yeah so that’s the five dog keepers rules.

Alex:      I like it.

Dom:     That wraps up the Superhero Dog Owners show.

Alex:      Yeah.

Dom:     It’s been emotional.

Alex:      It has. End of an era. But as you said, we’re moving onto new things-

Dom:     We are indeed, yes because we actually start in the Poodle To Pitbull Pet Business podcast, that’s going to be starting, well it’ll probably be started now. Yeah so you should get subscribed because if you’re a dog walker, a dog trainer, or a dog groomer and you want to learn how to grow your pet business, then you need to check out that show. It will be Alex and me, it’s an audio podcast this time, so you might get a few video snippets cropping up here and there but it’s an audio podcast. So you can listen to our dulcet tones.

Alex:      Yes while you’re driving around in the van.

Dom:     So yeah, please check out the Poodle To Pitbull Pet Business podcast. So that’s it Alex.

Alex:      That’s it. End of an era.

Dom:     It’s goodbye from me.

Alex:      It’s goodbye from him.

Dom:     And for the final time Alex could I ask you to press that button?

Alex:      I will indeed. Goodbye everyone.

To get Dom’s bestselling dog training book How to Be Your Dog’s Superhero click here now to go straight to amazon!

To get Dom’s brand new book Worry Free Walks click here now to go straight to Amazon


If you are a dog trainer, a dog walker or a dog groomer then you need to check out our new ‘Poodle to Pitbull Pet Business Podcast’ for loads of great marketing and pet business advice.

Meet the Author

Dom Hodgson