Training an XXL dog.

Updated: Dec 18, 2020

Do you have an XXL dog? Do you want to know how to train them with no previous experience? You're in the right place!!


I'll tell you what I did right, what I did wrong, and how I made corrections along the way. I will cover the training in several post’s as I want to make sure I cover everything. My goal is to help you create a bond with your dog so they listen to you at home and in public.


Training is a verb which means: to teach a particular skill or type of behavior through practice and instruction over a period of time. If you cannot spend dedicated time, especially with an XXL dog, then please don't get one. To the general public they are very intimidating and can hurt someone if proper training is not put into place.


I've trained many dogs over the years from little dogs to my bird dog and now my first Mastiff, Harley. First, let me give you some info on Harley and I.


I'm a guy who fell in love with Harley as a pup. I knew he was going to be big but I didn't know he was going to be BIG!! Over 200 pounds big.


I've seen other people struggle controlling large dogs. I was not going to be that guy, so I educated myself with knowledge and training tools. Knowledge is paramount.


Before getting any dog, knowledge can save you a lot of heartache. We have all seen and/or heard of a young child getting a dog as a gift and no plans of training. Or they go to the shelter, get a family dog and again, have no plans for training. It's not fair for the two legged or the four legged and usually ends up badly for the four legged.


Did you know: According to Dogster.com 75% of dogs in the US never receive training. With more than 83 million dogs in the US, 62 million of them don't receive training. Additionally, millions are dying in shelters and being killed because they have bitten someone. Primarily because the dogs were never trained.


Before you get a dog do some homework. There are many XXL breeds. You want to make sure their temperament coincides with your family. Obviously pups integrate well because your family is all they know. Getting an older dog is not an issue although you want to know the dog's history. Rescues are a great place for an adult dog because they usually know the history. Shelters are also a great place to get a dog but the history is not as well known. I’ll be writing another post discussing dog rescues and shelters so be sure to stay tuned.


So whether you are looking to get a puppy (Christmas is coming), or a rescue, or just want to train the dog you already have, it's all done the same way. Harley was a pup when I got him and we did the basic commands: sit, lay, fetch..... Which he learned well, but we lived on a 300 acre farm, so there were not many distractions. However, when we moved to a suburban area, things changed.


Not long after we’d moved, Harley - being the social butterfly that he is - saw a man walking by across the road. So, here goes Harley, into the middle of the main road to say hello to the man, who was quite taken back by a 205 pound dog barreling his way! Harley just wanted to say hello. Thank goodness no cars were coming.


Additional training was definitely needed for Harley's new atmosphere. I simply went back to Harley's basic training and simply added the necessary changes. By going back to the basics and affirming to Harley what he already knew made him more receptive to learning new things.


Harley did great! He learned how to stay away from the main road, even when the other side looks very tempting. Now he just sits in the yard and watches people go by. Like breeds generally have similar behavioral traits. Their personal behavioral traits vary widely depending upon their surroundings, training, human and animal interaction. I've made it a point from pup to now (4 years old) to socialize Harley.


I think I've bent your ear enough for now. In the next post, we’ll get into basic training and I’ll share some of the tools I started with.


I hope this was helpful. I hope you have lots of questions as I love interacting with my readers. If I don't have the answer, we'll find it together.


Looking forward to your comments,

Joe.


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