P.R.I.M.E. your dog

PRIME Your Dog ... Best Buddy Dog Training Blog

P.R.I.M.E. your dog

I get lots of questions about the PRIME system ... specifically, what is it? So here it is in a nutshell:

PRIME is an acronym for Proximity, Resources, Interactions, Movement, and Elevation.

  1. Proximity: The distance and space between you and the dog. This is later expanded to be the distance between the dog and anything you choose. The most important factor is who chooses that distance. The proper understanding and control of Proximity is the key to getting your dog to stay, come when called, and to 'follow' 3 to 6 feet behind you on command - on or off leash.
  2. Resources:  Anything that can be possessed, consumed, occupied, or guarded. This includes things like food and toys, passageways, and even the dog's owner.
  3. Interactions: This includes petting and touching, and also includes things like eye contact, vocalization, and (importantly) body language.
  4. Movement: Self explanatory. Commands like 'place' and 'stay' as well as 'heel' and 'follow' and 'go on' are covered in this concept.
  5. Elevation:  Also self explanatory. Who controls the 'high ground'?

Properly applied, these five elements (or concepts) promote trust and are used to shape the dog's behavior. Our training method is based on their creative and responsive use and control. This allows you to train your dog to be peaceful, calm, respectful and obedient without the use of e-collars, clickers and treats, and prong collars. Using this method promotes a very personal and individual approach which respects the dog's intelligence and willingness to cooperate as a pack member - with you as the leader. The concepts often overlap; for example, Proximity, Movement and Elevation might all be involved in 'down/stay'.

This is also the foundation we use before beginning work on more 'formal' obedience such as seen in obedience trials and competitions. Done correctly, this will eliminate the need to 'dominate' the dog by being harsh or bullying the dog. It will also eliminate the need to use any rewards other than your genuine approval and affection. Corrections are initially done with the leash and collar - and soon thereafter with only your voice and body language. Affection is given freely and enthusiastically as appropriate.

Who you are to your dog is everything ...

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It's NOT the dog …

Much of 'modern' popular dog behavioral training seems to be focused on changing, redirecting or struggling to understand why dogs develop behavior issues, and treating the symptoms of those issues. In my opinion, far too much of the emphasis is then placed on changing the dog and not enough on changing the way the human owner relates to and behaves around the dog. In my experience, the most common behavioral issues tend to be created or exacerbated by the humans' input or lack thereof. For better or worse. The posts in this blog share my views on the human-dog relationship and how to effect it in a way that creates balance, calmness, fulfillment and obedience.

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