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Dog Training/Dog REALLY Testing Me


Dear Jeff,

We have a 6 month old Dobie mix.  Rosie has become quite a handful in that she definitely has a mind of her own and she sticks to it.  When she gets underfoot; which happens quite often, I will send her back in order to give me some space.  I just tell her "back" and hold up my hand like a stop sign.  She will sit nicely and look a me but, the minute I turn and walk away she's right back under foot.  This is generally her nature about everything.  I'm concerned that when she weighs 70-80 pounds, this will not be a good behavior.  She's very loving, but BULLHEADED.  We do not yell at here.  We've been good at remaining *calm and assertive*  What are we doing wrong?

I am truly very appreciative of any advice you have to offer.


Hi Janet,
Start working on general obedience such as sit, down, stay and "Go to bed" to teach her to go lie down in certain locations. This will give her behavior options that she can do at any given time.

Also, you can simply shape the absence of the behavior by 'clicking' or saying, "yes!" and giving her a treat for anything but being underfoot. Eventually she will learn the best way to get things is to make choices besides being underfoot.

Good luck.  

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Jeff Millman


I studied with Jean Donaldson in San Francisco in 2002. She is one of the foremost dog trainers anywhere and I sought her out and traveled from Chicago to work with her. I am expert in all phases of dog development in regards to training. I can offer advice from young puppies through adult including aggression, separation anxiety and barking. While aggression is often handled best in person by a skilled positive reinforcement trainer, a lot of advice can be spread in this forum. I have written EBooks on separation anxiety and barking and am currently writing a book about dog aggression.


I have been working as a full-time professional dog trainer since 2002. I only use positive reinforcement techniques and am well-versed in using the clicker. My clients do not have to use a clicker to have success using my techniques. I started teaching 14 classes a week for the first two years while I was building up my private practice, Chicago Paws. Since 2004 I have worked exclusively as a private trainer in the Chicago area. On January 1, 2007 I launched an online version of my business that can be viewed at Watch and Train. At you will find streaming videos for purchase that play directly on your computer and cover a variety of specific topics including house training, jumping, come when called, counter surfing and leash walking.

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Dog training: I graduated with honors from Jean Donaldson's Academy for Dog Trainers in San Francisco, CA. I attended Karen Pryor;s Clicker Expo in Chicago, IL. I attended week-long APDT conferences in Portland Oregon, Orlando, Florida and Oakland, California. I attended a Pat Miller seminar in Chicago, IL. Previous education: Journalism and Fine Arts degree from Indiana University.

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