Lee Trains Owners and Their Dogs
Redondo Beach dog trainer and behaviorist Brian Lee believes in positive reinforcement; however his methods go beyond basic obedience training to focus on behavior modification. And this applies to dog and owner alike. “I believe in educating the dog’s owner on how to raise and develop the most mentally healthy, happy, relaxed, grounded and stable dog possible”, says Lee.
The crux of Lee’s method, honed through 25 years of experience and having worked with over 10,000 dogs and their owners, is his five step program. According to Lee, the first step is basic needs. Two of the basic needs account for 50% of all problems.
Basic Need: Access to the Pack – Unlike cats, dogs are social pack animals, sharing an evolutionary branch with wolves. Lee instructs that like wolves, dogs must have “access to the pack”. In the case of the family dog, the pack is the family. According to Lee any of the following three ingredients may be missing from the basic need of “access to the pack”:
- Access to the bedroom at night
- Access to indoors 24 hours of the day
- 5 hour rule (dogs should not be left alone for more than 5 uninterrupted hours)
Basic Need: Exercise – dogs need regular exercise. Lee explains that dogs go through energy cycles. Think of it as a scale from 1 to 10 with 1 being a calm, quiet animal and 10 is one that’s bouncing off the walls. Further, a dog’s energy level tends to peak several times a day—around 6-7 am, 3-4 pm and 7-8 pm. Lee suggests maintaining the dog’s energy level at 5 or below. This means it is most advantageous to exercise the dog around his or her peak times. However, if you can only exercise your dog once a day, it is most critical to do so in the evening hours.
Regarding the importance exercise plays in maintaining a healthy, happy and well-mannered dog, Lee has two mottos. The first is “the amount of exercise in your dog’s life will equal the amount of happiness in yours”. The second is “exercise is the panacea to all problems”.
Brian Lee is owner and founder of Way of the Dog. He has appeared on Animal Planet shows “Untamed and Uncut” and “Eukanuba’s Tournament of Champions” as well as helped create A & E’s “America’s Top Dog”. You can reach Brian at 310-543-0375 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or you can visit wayofthedog.com.