Answers to MOST POPULAR Questions
Q1: WHICH COLLAR SIZE?:
I am not sure what size Command Collar® to order for my dog. Can you please help me? If I order the small Command Collar® and my dog grows a lot, does that mean I will have to get a larger size too?
A: Below are the maximum and minimum dimensions for both the small and large Command Collars®. Please compare these dimensions with the current size of your dog’s neck, taking into consideration estimated growth of your dog (if he is still developing), and also taking into account your training goals (refer to the “Training Goals” information below).
SUMMARY OF COLLAR SIZING:
Small breed dogs – puppies and adults: Small Command Collar®
Large breed dogs – adults: Large Command Collar®
Large breed dogs – brand new puppies: Small Command Collar®, until dog grows out of it.
If you are diligent in applying Don Sullivan’s training System, then
your large breed puppy may be fully trained by the time he has
outgrown the small Command Collar®. But, if you would like to go at a
slower pace, then you may need to purchase a large Command Collar®
from the Accessories page as well as the Complete System – SMALL.
Medium breed dogs – puppies and adults: The small Command Collar® should be sufficient for most medium breed dogs. However, if you have an adult dog, please compare the measurement of your dog’s neck with the collar dimensions. If you believe that a small Command Collar® will not be long enough, then order the large Command Collar®.
Small Command Collar®
Maximum length (with all extra links added) = 18 ½” (469.9 millimeters)
Minimum length (with maximum number of existing links removed) = 5 ½” (139.7 millimeters)
Suitable for tiny dogs such as the Chihuahua, Yorkshire Terrier and Toy Poodle, to medium size breeds such as the Cocker Spaniel, Jack Russell Terrier, and Beagle. It is also useful for brand new larger breed puppies, for the first weeks of their training. Note: Despite the minimum size of the small Command Collar™, this collar should still fit dogs/puppies with smaller necks; the collar will be a little looser than normal, but it will still be very effective.
Large Command Collar®
- Maximum length (with all extra links added) = 24” (609 millimeters)
- Minimum length (with maximum number of existing links removed) = 7” (177.7 millimeters)
Suitable for large to extra large breeds (older puppies and adult age) such as the Labrador Retriever, German Shepherd, Rottweiler and Great Dane.
TRAINING GOALS & COLLAR SIZING:
Before deciding on the size of collar to purchase, it is important to remember that the training aides are temporary tools only; they are not to be used for the rest of your dog’s life. The aim of Don Sullivan’s training System is to empower you to train your dog to a level of off-leash responsiveness within a short period of time, approximately 4 to 8 weeks. It is at this stage of obedience that you will no longer need to use the equipment on a regular basis.
Many people are able to reach their goals within a much shorter period of time (even within a few weeks) and no longer need to use the collar or lines; or they at least use the Command Collar® and shortest Freedom Training Line as a safety precaution and for occasional “maintenance corrections” for a few more weeks after overcoming the major behavioral issues. Others, however, deliberately decide to apply the information within the DVDs at a slower pace, and so end up using the training equipment for a longer period of time.
If your dog is a brand new large breed puppy and a) you plan to begin training your dog immediately, and b) you believe you will be diligent in applying Don’s training techniques in order to achieve the goal of off-leash responsiveness, then a small Command Collar® should be sufficient for the entirety of the training period. However, if your puppy has already grown somewhat and/or you believe that you will take longer in the application of the program, then you may want to consider purchasing the Complete System – SMALL (which includes the small Command Collar®) for the initial training weeks, plus a separate large Command Collar® for later (refer to Accessories page). Alternatively, if you are unsure, you can just see how it goes and, if you realize at some stage that you need to upgrade to a large collar, you can return to this website and order the large Command Collar® separately from the Accessories page. (You can also call the customer service number and order via telephone).
A large Command Collar® will be too big for a brand new (e.g. 8 to 9 weeks old) puppy, even for extra large breed dogs. (This is in terms of the size of the links. It might fit the dog’s neck, when the number of links is adjusted down, but the effectiveness of the collar will be reduced, which is very important). A small Command Collar® is effective for both small breed dogs (puppies and adults), as well as brand new large breed puppies, because the links are smaller in overall size. The number of links can be minimized to make a tiny collar, or maximized (the extra links added) to make quite a long collar.
For medium sized adult dogs, simply measure your dog’s neck and compare with the dimensions listed above. Most people choose to use a small Command Collar®, with some or all of the extra links added, for their medium sized dogs; and this works even more effectively than the large collar because the smaller links cover a greater surface area. (Don Sullivan’s dog, Judah, a “smallish” German Short-Haired Pointer, comfortably fits a small Command Collar® with some extra links; although he is now fully off-leash trained and no longer needs any training equipment). However, if in doubt, order the large Command Collar® and you can always remove some links to suit the size of your dog’s neck.
The Perfect Dog® infomercial guarantees that you will begin to witness certain positive changes in your dog’s behavior (no matter the breed, age, size, personality, instincts, intelligence, past training, or past experiences of your dog; and no matter the type or intensity of your dog’s problem behavior) within minutes of applying Don Sullivan’s techniques; and you will, if you apply the information correctly and thoroughly, as instructed. Ultimately, your dog will be happier as he grows in devotion to you as his leader, and especially as he gains your trust and receives more freedom in life as a reward.
Don Sullivan put every ounce of effort into thoroughly covering all problem dog behavior in his training DVDs. The answer to any behavioral problem lies in carefully applying all of the training techniques. Don Sullivan’s training tools are certainly designed to empower you to successfully deal with any situation with your dog, but it is the knowledge and skills that Don shares with you in his training DVDs that will be the biggest key to your success.
Q2: EQUIPMENT & TRAINING TIPS FOR MORE THAN ONE DOG:
I have more than one dog. Do I have to order complete kits for all of them, or can I order extra equipment separately? If so, how do I do this? My dogs are very different. Should I train my dogs together, or can I train them separately?
A:If you have more than one dog that needs training, you will need to order:
- One Complete System, which includes the two training DVDs, one Command Collar® (your choice of size, depending on which dog you are ordering it for), and one set of 3 Freedom Training Lines (one size for all dogs).
- One extra Command Collar® (your choice of small or large) for each of your other dogs that need training.
- One set of 3 Freedom Training Lines for each of your other dogs that need training.
The extra equipment, in numbers 2 & 3, has been combined for your convenience into an “Extra Equipment Set,” which is offered at a discount rate. You will be given the opportunity to order Extra Equipment Sets (your choice of large and small) once you add a Complete System to your cart, or once you place an order for a Complete System with a telephone customer service representative. However, if you forget and need to order extra equipment at a later stage, you can return to this website and order accessories via the “Accessories” page; or you can call the customer service number and order via telephone.
The Command Collar® and Freedom Training Lines are used together throughout the entirety of the training process (all three lines are used for different situations). You cannot apply Don Sullivan’s training techniques with the Command Collar® alone, and it will not work to share one set of lines between your dogs. This is why you will need a full set of training equipment (Command Collar® and 3 Freedom Training Lines) for each of your dogs that need training. One of the keys to success with Don Sullivan’s System is ensuring that each of your dogs wears a Command Collar® and appropriate length of Freedom Training Line at all times (while supervised), until you have reached your goals.
Don Sullivan strongly recommends that you train all of your dogs simultaneously. However, your initial approach should be, as far as the foundational commands are concerned, to work each dog individually for the first week. This will obviously require a little more time compared to someone with just one dog, but as you enter into the second week and find each of your dogs becoming more responsive to you, you can then begin to work the dogs together, which will then save you time. This approach will give you a more solid result with all of your dogs.
If you do not begin the same training process with each of your dogs simultaneously, then the untrained dogs can negatively influence the dogs that you are working with, and this will undermine your training success. Even though your dogs may be very different in terms of personality, age, or problematic behavior, the core of Don’s training program is consistent for all dogs, no matter the breed, age, size, personality, instincts, intelligence, past training or past experiences of your dogs; and no matter the type or intensity of your dogs’ problem behaviors. The only difference will be the level at which you will need to deal with your individual dogs.
If you cannot afford an Extra Equipment Set (Command Collar® and Freedom Training Lines Set) for each of your dogs, and you have both small and large dogs, then make sure that you at least purchase two different sized collars. For example, order the small Complete System, and a large Extra Equipment Set. Or, alternatively, order the large Complete System, and a small Extra Equipment Set. You will be limited in what you will be able to achieve (because a key to success with Don’s System is the presence of a collar and line on each of your dogs at all times, while supervised), but you will be able to make some progress over a longer period of time.
Q3: WILL THE PERFECT DOG® SYSTEM WORK WITH MY BREED/MY DOG’S PROBLEM BEHAVIOR?:
This question is for those who would like to know if The Perfect Dog® System will work for their breed, age, or personality etc. of dog; or if Don Sullivan’s methods will help them solve a certain problematic behavior, despite many failed training attempts.
A:For those interested in knowing if The Perfect Dog® System teaches you how to resolve a certain problem behavior, please read Question 4 (Q4) for a complete list (with descriptions) of the topics covered in the DVDs. Don Sullivan has put every effort into ensuring that his DVDs cover all the commands that you and your dog need to know (and more!), as well as all the common problem behaviors.
Don teaches dog owners a variety of techniques to deal with a vast number of real life situations with their dogs. Some techniques are specific to a particular behavior, command, or skill (e.g. establishing boundary lines around your home); whilst others are more general and can be applied in a number of different situations (e.g. the technique used to encourage your dog to drop the ball can also be used to stop your dog from chewing on the Freedom Training Lines). Thus, if your dog has a problem behavior that you cannot see is covered directly in the DVDs, very likely you will learn skills and techniques in one or more of the segments that you will be able to apply to successfully resolve the issue. Please also see the rest of the Frequently Asked Questions on this page, the How it Works page, and the Dog Myths page. These are very thorough; they cover most common questions that dog owners might have about their dogs or The Perfect Dog® System.
If this is not enough reassurance, please be encouraged by one happy customer who wrote to Don personally:
“When I was waiting for your disks to arrive in the mail, I saw a posted rate of $125 per hour for phone consulting on your site. I thought, “That’s good to know. If there are any gaps or special problems, I may have to pay, but I can get real, accurate answers. It’s not just, ‘good luck with your DVD’s.’ ” Then after I got and watched the DVDs, I thought, “Wow! I can’t think of a single thing he left out or that I would ask. This guy has done a GREAT job of putting things together! It’s all there.” I almost went ahead and booked a phone consultation just to say thanks personally.” (Larry B., Tampa, FL)
Don Sullivan’s System is truly set apart from all other training available today, as explained more fully in many of the FAQs, and also on the “How it Works” page of this website. So, despite the struggles and failed attempts that you may have experienced thus far, and despite your belief that the situation with yourparticular dog is unique and unsolvable, Don guarantees that you will begin to see a positive change in your dog’s behavior within minutes of properly applying his techniques. The 30 day money back guarantee (full purchase price less shipping and handling; no questions asked) demonstrates the confidence that Don has in his program. Our Customer Feedback page includes many testimonies of dog owners who were shocked and thrilled to be able to finally resolve intense problem behavior that they believed was impossible to fix.
Sullivan’s training methods will work for you and your dog, no matter
how unique you might perceive the situation with your dog to be. This
1) Breeds: including cat-like breeds, hunting breeds, show dogs, and working dogs,
2) Ages: 9 week old puppies to the old family dog,
3) Sizes: miniature to giant dogs,
5) Body types: hairless dogs to thick, woolly dogs
6) Personalities: timid to hyperactive dogs, stubborn to even aggressive dogs; even most obsessive compulsive disorders,
7) Instincts: from the drive to roam to the drive to hunt,
8) Intelligence levels: Don’s says that all dogs are as intelligent as we need them to be,
9) Past training: from none at all to “treat obsessed”, and
10) Past experiences of your dog: from utterly spoiled to sadly abused.
Physiologically, dogs can be very different, yet psychologically there are some key elements which connect them all. Don Sullivan recognizes these connecting elements and he uses them as a foundation for effective communication with all dogs. Even owners of deaf dogs can successfully apply Don’s training methods. This is covered in more detail in Question 13 (Q13) of the FAQs.
Q4: DO THE TRAINING DVDS COVER MY DOG’S PARTICULAR PROBLEM BEHAVIOR?
Read a detailed explanation of all the topics covered in Don Sullivan’s two disc training DVD set.
A: Don Sullivan’s DVD training set is fully comprehensive. From a theoretical point of view, the DVDs give you a thorough understanding of the philosophy behind Don’s training System. On the practical side, the DVDs cover everything from basic and advanced commands, dealing with a host of problem behaviors, creating boundary line safety, to even teaching your dog how to swim!
A: The Command Collar® is NOT an electronic collar, shock collar, or noise emitting collar. It is manually operated and it is simply designed to emulate a mother dog's natural corrective process. It is safe to use, lightweight, attractive, and effective.
More specifically, the Command Collar® (when used in conjunction with the 3 Freedom Training Lines and the training DVDs ) allows you to establish consistent control over your dog in all real life situations, by gaining the focus of your dog, and discouraging him from repeating any undesirable behavior.
In addition to the use of the Command Collar® and the 3 Freedom Training Lines, Don Sullivan uses a combination of hand and voice commands; with praise, play, affection, and freedom being the rewards for good behavior.
In his DVDs, Don Sullivan discusses the key differences between the Command Collar® and other collars. He also explains, with demonstrations, how to operate the Command Collar®, how to initially size it comfortably to your dog’s neck by adding or removing links, and how to attach and remove it easily from that point forward using the quick release snap. For more information on the theory behind how the Command Collar® works, please read the “How it Works” page on this website.
Q6: HOUSEBREAKING/POTTY TRAINING:
Does The Perfect Dog® System include a section on housebreaking? Will it help me potty train my dog?
A: Yes. Potty training or “housebreaking” is covered thoroughly in the training DVDs. You will find it under the “Getting Started” section of DVD one. Don Sullivan has a very successful routine that you can follow to train your dog to consistently and happily go to the bathroom where you want him to.
The following is the Housebreaking segment description, from Question #4:
Housebreaking: A step-by-step process to teaching your dog (whether a brand new puppy or an older dog with bad habits) to relieve himself where YOU would like him to. How to achieve success no matter what you have experienced with your dog so far, including learning to be “in tune” with your dog’s signals for needing to “go potty” outside. Note: The techniques taught in this segment, in combination with those in other segments, will help to correct the issue of “excited peeing.”
Q7: EXCITED PEEING:
Will this System help me to solve my dog’s problem of “excited peeing”?
A: The techniques taught in the “housebreaking” segment (DVD one), in combination with the techniques in the other key segments, will help to correct the issue of “excited peeing.”
As you apply Don Sullivan’s methods, and as your dog learns to rely upon you as his pack leader, his emotional stability will increase and he will begin to control his bladder, as opposed to urinating out of overexcitement or hyperactivity.
A: The ideal age to start training your dog is when you first bring your dog home, whether he is a 9 week old puppy from a breeder or an older dog from a shelter. In his DVDs, Don Sullivan explains his philosophy behind the importance of initiating training on your first day together.
a young puppy may be small and goofy, he is well capable of grasping
all of the concepts within the training DVDs. Don Sullivan reassures dog
owners that a puppy may be immature physically, but he is mentally
mature enough to understand and respond to your commands and
instructions. In each lesson, Don shows you how to first get your dog
to comprehend what you expect. He then shows you how to motivate him
to respond to your instruction, even in highly distracting or tempting
If your dog is already an established member of your family, then it is not too late. Using Don’s System you can easily create a new and exceedingly better future with your dog the very day that the System arrives at your door; no matter how old he is, and no matter how seemingly well entrenched his bad habits are.
Don Sullivan says that the old statement, “You can't teach an old dog new tricks,” is an unfortunate myth that has lead many people to believe that their dogs are too old to train, even when the dogs are as young as 2 years!
The truth is that a dog never stops thinking in the same way, regarding pack relationships and order, from birth to death. So, if an effective training System is used, then an older dog will train just as well as a younger dog.
The “old dog” myth has arisen only because people have found that their dogs have become resistant to ineffective training methods. Don Sullivan says that a 12 year old dog is not diminished in his ability to understand what is requested of him, and he will obey if he respects the leadership of the person giving the instruction. The Perfect Dog® System is a proven success, and Don Sullivan shows you how to quickly become your dog’s respected leader.
A: The Fun Fetch Ball is sold separately from The Perfect Dog® System. You will be given the option to add the Fun Fetch Ball to your order once you add the Complete System to your cart, or you can order it on its own by going to “Accessories.”
Note: Due to the fast paced nature of the "Secrets to Training the Perfect Dog" infomercial, some people have mistakenly assumed that the Fun Fetch Ball is offered as a free gift with the System. However, the infomercial states, "When you call, ask the operator how you can get the Fun Fetch Ball; the perfect tool for teaching your dog to retrieve." We apologize for any confusion. The Fun Fetch Ball is a great value product and is certainly worth adding to your purchase. For more information on the Fun Fetch Ball, please refer to Question 80 (Q80).
A: Yes. If you are unhappy with The Perfect Dog System for any reason whatsoever, simply return it within 30 days and you will receive a full refund, less shipping and handling costs; no questions asked.
A: You can simply go to the “Accessories” page of this website and add the accessories that you desire to your cart, or you can call a customer service representative and s/he will help you.
A: The Company is currently working on adding “Extra Links – SMALL” and “Extra Links – LARGE” to the Accessories options. Please keep checking back with us. They should be available soon.
A: Yes. You will need to combine the hand signals that Don Sullivan teaches in his DVDs, with the use of the Command Collar® (supplied in The Perfect Dog® Complete System) AND the use of an electronic vibration alert collar. (Electronic collars with a vibration mode are widely available, from pet stores and via the internet). If you do this, you will be able to achieve very surprising results when working with your deaf dog. Don Sullivan discusses equipment, such as the use of the vibration mode on an electronic collar, on his training DVDs.
More specifically, you will be able to apply a large majority of Don Sullivan’s training methods using the equipment provided in The Perfect Dog® System (Command Collar® and 3 Freedom Training Lines), in conjunction with the hand signals and specific correction techniques instructed on the DVDs. However, there will be situations where you will also need to implement the aid of the vibration collar to attract the attention of your dog before you issue a command or instruction.
A: The Company is looking into this, but it will be a while before DVDs with closed captioning are available. Please keep checking back with us.
A: Depending on the personality and physical strength of your dog, you may find situations that will require assistance from another person. However, this will mostly occur during the first couple of weeks when you begin to work with your dog. As you gain your dog’s respect, he will become easier to handle on your own.
A: Yes, however you will need to limit the degree of off-leash freedom that you eventually give her, to ensure her safety. You will not be able to use the hand signals that Don teaches you, but that will not be an issue as long as your dog can hear your voice commands and instructions.
A:The Freedom Training Line Set includes: 1 x 10 foot line, 1 x 3 foot line, and 1 x 6 inch line. The three different lines are used for different locations and training exercises e.g. whether inside or outside the house; and whether working on boundary line training or the “Down” command. Each line also represents a different stage in the training process and assists in reaching the goal of the “Trust Zone.” The “Trust Zone” is the point at which an owner can trust his dog to “behave,” regardless of distractions and temptations, without needing to be restrained by a leash or collar.
Note: Do you have more than one dog? You will need to order an Extra Equipment Set (which includes a Command Collar®, your choice of small or large size; and a Set of 3 Freedom Training Lines, one size suits all dogs) for each additional dog that needs training. You will be given the option to add Extra Equipment Sets to your order once you add the Complete System to your cart.
A: Your success will be dependent on all elements of Don Sullivan’s System. To be able to properly implement Don Sullivan’s training techniques, you need to use the Command Collar® in conjunction with the Freedom Training Lines Set; and you need to watch the training DVDs thoroughly in order know how to use the equipment to communicate with your dog and motivate him to follow your lead. Don Sullivan’s DVDs are jammed packed full of information such that you will not only learn how to effectively use the training equipment, you will also learn to be “in tune” with your dog so that you can begin to relate to each other on a different, more productive, harmonious, joyful and rewarding level.
A: The Command Collar® and Freedom Training Lines are temporary devices to aid in the effective training of your dog. Most people are able to reach the point of the “Trust Zone” within 4 to 8 weeks (though many people achieve their goals in shorter periods of time). The “Trust Zone” is the point at which an owner can trust his dog to “behave,” regardless of distractions and temptations, without needing to be restrained by a leash or collar. If your goal of using Don’s System is to simply solve a few errant behavioral problems, then you will most likely need the equipment for a shorter period of time.
The Perfect Dog® System includes a detailed explanation of the process by which you can transition from using all the training equipment, to none at all, at a pace that you are comfortable with. Don Sullivan also clearly instructs you when your dog should wear the training equipment, and when it should be removed.
A: The Perfect Dog® System comes with a Quick Start Guide. This is ESSENTIAL reading BEFORE doing any training with your dog. It contains very important information regarding the training equipment, the training DVDs, and the key points to remember. The Quick Start Guide lists the foundational segments to watch first and it tells you what steps to take from there.
It is not necessary to watch both DVDs in their entirety before beginning any training with your dog. However, those who try to absorb as much information as possible, as their first step, generally obtain the best results.
A: There are many common statements to do with dog breed instincts such as, 1) “You can never trust a Beagle off of a leash because once he gets on a scent, he won’t come back,” 2) “Sight dogs will always chase after prey,” 3) “Cat-like breeds don’t respond to dog training,” and 4) “Certain breeds are born with dominant or protective tendencies and you can’t change it.”
Although certain instincts within various breeds are a reality and can be encouraged and enhanced for specific purposes (such as hunting or rescue work), it does not mean that these dogs are incapable of overriding their behavior. Once a dog learns to respect (and not just understand) his owner’s commands, he will begin to exercise self-restraint according to his owner’s expectations. Using Don Sullivan’s System, you will learn to “read” your dog, anticipate his urges, and also reprogram his “mind-set” towards your wishes, for his happiness and safety.
Dog breed instincts are like natural born skills, but dogs do not have to act upon them in order to be happy or fulfilled in their lives. The contentment they received from following their instincts can be sufficiently replaced by other activities such as retrieving, off-leash play, and general freedom to accompany you in your day-to-day life.
Q22: HUNTING DOGS, SHOW DOGS, AND SEARCH & RESCUE DOGS:
I have a dog that is a confirmation show dog, as well as a hunting dog. Will this method conflict with hunting training methods or in the show ring? Also, we train and use Search and Rescue dogs. After using this program, will our dogs and puppies still bark when they find their victim, or in case of our HRD dogs, will they still dig to indicate?
A: Don Sullivan teaches you how to establish boundaries with your dogs so that they are aware of, and obey, the rules that you set for them. You need to decide what you will allow and what you will not. Don then empowers you to communicate this to your dogs and train them to discipline themselves i.e. to respect your wishes. So, you can teach your dog never to dig at home, but still dig to indicate. You can teach your dog not to bark at home, but still bark when he finds a victim. And, you can teach your dog to never chase after the ducks at the local park, but still hunt in the field.
The Perfect Dog® System will help you to gain a more attentive and respectful dog in general, so that he performs better in the field or show ring. You will be able to choose which commands you desire to teach your dog, once you have watched through the DVDs and determined what will work best in your particular situation.
Q23: TRAINING BY MORE THAN ONE PERSON AND NON-FAMILY MEMBERS:
Can Don Sullivan’s System be easily used by all family members, and how this will impact on the “pack leadership” situation? What about non-family members such as our housekeeper who spends a lot of time with the dog?
A: Don Sullivan’s System can be easily implemented by any family member, as long as the person is old enough to comprehend the concept of Don’s training method. In fact, Don recommends that every member of the household should be involved in the training process, to maximize the results. (Please exercise caution when young children are in the presence of your untrained dog, most particularly if your dog has aggressive tendencies). Don recommends that the adults begin the training process and then gradually involve the children at the parent’s discretion.
Dogs operate on a hierarchy where each dog has a place in the pack. Though there is one ultimate leader, all the subordinates will have established a place for themselves on the "social ladder". All family members (even the housekeeper and gardener) will be able to be leaders of the dog, as long as everyone follows the same methodology, properly and thoroughly, as instructed on the DVDs. Even if one person spends the most time with the dog, it is still important for all members to work with the dog during the training process. One person can always lead the way, taking the first few days to effect some positive changes in the dog’s behavior. Then, others can step in, either simultaneously or in stages. This will make it easier for them because the dog will already be accepting of a new order of things within the family.
The goal of each family member should be to gain the respect of the dog so that the dog will follow their lead and obey their instructions without challenge. It does not matter which person ultimately arises as the overall “pack leader.” As long as all members effectively reposition themselves to be above the dog, the dog will be attentive to them all. Importantly, each person must be actively involved in rewarding the dog, as an integral part of the training process; offering praise, affection, play and, ultimately freedom, to the dog (but NEVER any treats!).
Q24: TIMID/FEARFUL DOGS:
I have a very timid, fearful dog. He gets traumatized easily by so many different things, and he often urinates when he feels overwhelmed or scared. Will your System help him gain confidence and a sense of stability?
A: Many dogs can be born lacking confidence. Others develop this behavior as a result of their experiences. These dogs may react (with simple shyness to extreme fear, and even aggression) to a number of situations such as the way certain people dress, young children, moving objects, loud noises, lightning, and fireworks etc. To best help a dog that lacks confidence, we must establish ourselves as a solid leader in the dog’s mind; someone he can consistently turn to and rely upon when situations arise that cause him to be fearful.
Often, timidity can be exacerbated when a dog’s fears are unwittingly reinforced by the people he lives with, as they deal with him in a passive, submissive manner. The dog ends up adopting the leadership role by default. Having no one to put complete trust and confidence in, and being incapable of dealing with things effectively on his own, he becomes ever more fearful. Interestingly, in his natural environment, this dog would not have arisen as leader within his dog pack.
In some cases, if not handled properly, a timid dog can also develop what is referred to as “fear aggression.” Fear aggression occurs when the “fight or flight” mechanism within a timid dog is stimulated. If the dog is not able to flee from the source of its fear, it can resort to the use of aggression to attempt to drive away whatever it is afraid of.
In many cases, rescue dogs are adopted into loving homes where much care is given to them, but because of a lack of understanding on the part of the new owners, most of the “baggage” that the dogs come with never leaves them. This is an unfortunate situation because this means that the dogs, although in new and better environments, will still suffer throughout the balance of their lives due to these unresolved issues.
Interestingly, if a dog was to be “rescued” from a traumatic environment and placed to live solely with a pack of dogs, with no further human intervention, the established leader of that pack would not give any consideration to the new arrival’s history. The new dog would be quickly indoctrinated into the pack and expected to comply with all pack rules, as reinforced by the dominant leader. Upon acceptance of these rules, the new dog would find stability, comfort, and contentment in his new environment.
Don Sullivan’s “Secrets to Training the Perfect Dog” System will give you all the information and tools you need to become your dog’s trusted leader, so that he can relax and defer to you in all situations. Depending upon the dog and the source of fear, results can vary from dramatic overnight and complete cures, to an increase in the dog’s overall confidence level in a particular situation over a period of time.
My Red bone Coonhound that has become very aggressive towards my neutered Lab/Dalmatian mix. It has gotten to the point where all my mix has to do is walk past the Coonhound and the Coonhound attacks. He is also starting to growl at my family members and myself, even when I'm just trying to put hi s leash on him. Would this System be of any help, or are things past the point of being able to help him?
A: Aggression is covered in-depth on Don Sullivan's training DVDs. Dogs can become increasingly more aggressive in environments where they have been allowed to express their dominance without it being EFFECTIVELY corrected. Don explains that aggression is not removed solely by correcting the actual act of aggression, but also by establishing leadership over the dog first in other non-aggression related training issues.
Most dogs' aggression is correctable, often in a surprisingly short time period, providing an owner follows the instructions and applies Don's techniques consistently and at an appropriate level for his individual dog. Don shows you the safest way to handle aggressive dogs so that results can be achieved with the least degree of stress.
Q26: INVISIBLE FENCING:
We are currently using an invisible fence to keep our two dogs from leaving the yard. Will the Command Collars® interfere with the invisible fencing system, or do they need to be used separately?
A: You can still use invisible fencing in conjunction with The Perfect Dog® System. Because the Command Collar® is not electronic (it is manually operated, using the Freedom Training Lines), it will not interfere with the operation of the electronic invisible fence. However, The Perfect Dog ® System does include thorough segments on boundary line training. Don Sullivan uses a very successful method to teach your dog to remain within the perimeters that you set around your home (and to stay away from any other “out of bounds” areas). You might like to try this as well.
A: Don Sullivan’s System is not a magical wand. All of your dog’s problems will not suddenly disappear overnight. However, we guarantee that you will begin to witness positive changes in your dog’s behavior as soon as you start using The Perfect Dog® System, as long as you apply the techniques as instructed.
Once you have watched the training DVDs thoroughly, and once you understand the “essence” of Don’s training method, you will be empowered to effectively implement the various techniques, stage by stage. As you start training, you will immediately begin seeing positive changes in your dog’s behavior, and his good behavior will grow exponentially as you progress through the DVD segments.
Q28: WILL IT CHANGE MY DOG’S PERSONALITY?
Will using this System change my dog’s personality? I still want him to be the same "goofy" dog, only better, and sometimes it is his mischievousness that makes him so endearing.
A: Your dog will be just as playful, energetic, and "goofy," but with an element of maturity, respecting what is allowed and what is not. Sometimes it takes a short while for dogs to adjust to the new boundaries that have been set, but once he clearly understands the new rules, he will relax, and his personality will shine. More importantly, he will be happier; more content and fulfilled, as you begin to trust in his good behavior and reward him with the freedom that he needs and deserves!
Note: It must be understood that there is a difference between a playful personality and mischievousness. A dog can be playful and still obedient. A dog that is mischievous is one that, knowing the rules, chooses to test and defy. This is not acceptable and should not be desired as an endearing trait; otherwise it will negatively affect the dog’s overall attitude and responsiveness toward your attempt at leadership.
Q29: GUARD DOGS:
We want our dogs to be good security dogs. If they become very obedient after the training, do you think they will still be protective and territorial?
A: Don covers this well in the segment, "Guard dogs," on his training DVDs. You will be able to train your dogs so that they discern between what is allowed and what is not, and also to obediently "switch" off the barking as soon as you tell them to.
Many people who get a dog hope that their dog will become a good protector of home and family. Unfortunately, they allow their dog to develop protective traits without having control over the will of their dog, and they end up living with a dog that grows increasingly more threatening to even welcomed guests. Having obedient dogs will allow you to have control over the decision making process of how much protective behavior you allow.
Don Sullivan's System will show you how to have an “off switch” that will allow you, your guests, and friendly strangers to interact comfortably with your dogs. Your dogs will learn to be more discerning when it comes to situations that may be perceived as warranting protective behavior so that you (and your neighbors) don't have to live with unbridled, unnecessary barking, or other aggressive behavior.
A: Socializing is an issue that can be frustrating to deal with because most people hope that they are going to have a dog that happily fits in with their lives and is friendly with the people they meet. Many dogs are simply born lacking confidence. Unfortunately, much of the methodology that is currently being used by many in an attempt to deal with this issue can often be responsible for making the problem even worse. Any discomfort that a dog is experiencing around people must be addressed for the mental peace of the dog as well as the safety of any person that may come into contact with the dog.
Don Sullivan's System will show you how to effectively and safely help your dog to become socially comfortable with people. On the training DVDs, Don Sullivan specifically shares with you his unique thoughts on this subject and offers a demonstration of how to practically apply his techniques.
Answers to Questions BY TOPIC
Q31: TRIED EVERYTHING; WHY WILL THIS WORK?:
I have tried practically every dog training method that is on the market and I am still experiencing problems with my dog. I have wasted a lot of money on useless training equipment, treats, classes and books, and nothing has worked. How can you guarantee successful results using Don Sullivan’s “Secrets to Training the Perfect Dog” System?
A: Don Sullivan: “A dog never fails training; it is the training that fails the dog! It is a shame that there are a multitude of training devices and information on the market that are useless or, at the most, achieve very limited results. There are a lot of frustrated dog owners out there who have honestly exhausted their efforts and emptied their wallets; they genuinely believe that they have tried it all.
My System will bridge the gap between wherever you are currently at with your dog and where you truly want to be. It is not simply another “run of the mill,” “sit” and “stay” course where your dog learns a series of commands in a controlled environment. Rather, it teaches a way of life with your dog; one based on a sound foundation of understanding and respect, with the rewards of praise and freedom. My System will not fail your dog. I have helped countless dog owners, worldwide, achieve results with their dogs that they never dreamed possible. The amazing testimonies in my “Secrets to Training the Perfect Dog” show are typical of what the average dog owner can expect to achieve using my System, within minutes! My System is a proven success.”
A: Think of Don’s System as the operator’s manual for your dog. Don Sullivan has designed his System to impart his years of knowledge, skills and experience on to you so that you can achieve the very same results that he personally achieves with his own dogs. Even when Don works with clients on a personal level, Don’s primary goal is to teach the owners how to “do what he does,” thereby empowering them to achieve the same level of response from their dogs. All of the information in Don’s training DVDs is logically laid out for the average dog owner to achieve maximum results in the shortest period of time.
A: Absolutely. All the testimonies in the “Secrets to Training the Perfect Dog” show are real dog owners achieving real results, in minutes! Even the members of the film crew were astounded to see dog owners realizing amazing results, virtually immediately after learning what to do.
A: Absolutely. Using Don’s System, you will learn how to effectively communicate with your dog on his individual level and, as long as you continue to operate in this way that he understands and respects, not only will the results be maintained, your relationship with your dog will flourish. The beauty of Don’s System is that once you have established the foundation of communication, minimal effort is required as the relationship and bond with your dog grows stronger.
A: Don Sullivan's training methods are easy to implement, no matter how many people are in the household, and no matter their ages. In fact, having young children is an opportunity to add distractions and temptations into the training program on a daily basis, which actually places you at an advantage, in terms of the potential results that you can achieve. Of course, please exercise caution to keep your children safe at all times, most particularly if your dog has shown signs of aggression in the past. Don's DVDs cover how to successfully incorporate children into the training process.
Note: Please discipline your young children to not touch the Freedom Training Line and Command Collar® while they are attached to the dog. If your child plays with or tugs on the equipment, it can confuse your dog in terms of what is expected of him. It can also provoke the dog, which can be dangerous, particularly if your dog has aggressive tendencies.
Q36: FOSTER DOGS:
I foster dogs. I have one dog of my own, and usually 1 or 2 foster dogs at a time (I have 2 right now). If I start the System with the three I have now, and one or both of the foster dogs are adopted, will the training transfer to the new owner? Also, when I get a new foster dog, how will it affect the dog(s) already in training, or trained, at my house?
A: The new owners of any foster dogs that you have trained using Don Sullivan's System will also need to watch both training DVDs thoroughly so that they can continue to deal with the dogs effectively. If they do not do this, then the dogs will immediately sense weaker leadership from the new owners, and the dogs will very likely revert to their previous ways of behaving.
As soon as you bring a new foster dog into your home, you will need to immediately relate to it in the same way that you have learned from Don Sullivan's System. You will need to train this dog using the same process so that its negative behaviors do not undermine the positive changes that you have achieved with your own dogs.
Nevertheless, when new dogs come into your home, you will be very skilled at that stage to more rapidly change their behavior, using your previous experience and success with The Perfect Dog® System. By properly and thoroughly applying Don Sullivan's techniques with your own dogs, you will gain a strong understanding of how to immediately present yourself (and gain respect as) the pack leader; with any dog.
As long as you are completely consistent, at the appropriate level for each individual dog (every dog is different and will need to be dealt with on a different level than the others), you will not only maintain a great relationship with your own dogs, you will also very quickly establish control with any new foster dogs.
A: Although perimeter training is thoroughly addressed in the training DVDs, and although you will certainly gain more devoted dogs through applying Don Sullivan’s techniques, you must be the one to judge how well you have worked with your dogs and what degree of trust you will bestow upon them. You never want to leave your dogs in a situation where they could be harmed in any way.
Boundary line training is one of Don Sullivan’s advanced techniques, so caution must be exercised to maintain safety; and the technique must be properly and thoroughly implemented, using two or more people if necessary. If you do this then the results can be astounding!
Q38: WHAT IF I TALK TO MY DOG IN ANOTHER LANGUAGE?:
Can anyone tell me if The Perfect Dog® System will work with another language? I have two dogs and since they were little I have always talked to them in Spanish. If I use this System, I don't know if they're going to understand.
A: Yes, Don Sullivan’s System will work for you, no matter what language you like to use to speak to your dogs. When you watch the training DVDs, you can simply take note of the commands and other key words that Don uses and then translate them into the language that you wish to use. However, even if you have always spoken in Spanish to your dogs, your dogs are more than intelligent enough to respond to any new commands, and any other key words that you begin to introduce, no matter the language used. Successful training is not dependent upon words specifically; it is dependent upon supporting your words with action, as well as tone of voice.
Will The Perfect Dog® System help me with…?
Q39: CHASES/HUNTS LIVING CREATURES:
My dogs have a high drive to hunt and chase most living creatures, from rabbits to lizards. With Don Sullivan’s training System, will I be able to control them off leash?
A: Don Sullivan's "Secrets to Training the Perfect Dog" System is directly focused on bridging the gap between having a dog that simply understands commands, and one that will respond as requested under any amount of distraction without the need to be leashed. Within the 5 hours of instruction that Don has included in his DVDs you will find the answers to almost any variable that may arise with your dogs. As you begin to follow and apply Don's techniques you will see your dogs becoming more attentive and responsive each day. Don explains how to start training your dogs with minimal distractions and how to transition to greater distractions. There are also suggestions on how to fine tune any remaining off-leash issues you may have if you have a very stubborn dog.
A: Don Sullivan: “As long as you follow and apply my techniques as instructed, you will see a major change in your dog within a short period of time. I cannot absolutely guarantee that your dog will be accepted as a Therapy dog, but I know that you will have the greatest potential to achieve this goal using my System than by using any other method.
Age is not an issue, because dogs are genetically programmed to, for the most part, think the same way throughout their lives. When you change the way you deal with your dog, you will quickly see positive changes in his behavior. To be a Therapy dog, you need him to be calm, mature, and able to operate well under distraction and around temptations. My training is directed towards these requirements.”
A: Don Sullivan's System will certainly help with this problem. There are certain things that people do unwittingly that cause and/or reinforce this kind of behavior in their dogs. You will learn how to relate to your dog in a manner that will help to reverse this inconvenient trend. As you apply Don’s techniques, and as your dog learns to trust you as his pack leader, his coverall confidence level and emotional stability will increase and he will begin to control his bladder, as opposed to urinating out of anxiety.
A: This behavioral issue is often labeled as "separation" anxiety. Don Sullivan's training DVDs cover this issue thoroughly. You will learn how to transformation your dog so that he has a sense of peace and confidence in all situations, and so that he is accepting and trusting in those situations where you need to leave him alone for a time.
A: Yes. Once your dog has been properly trained using The Perfect Dog® System, she will tend to behave more appropriately in the company of anyone who understands the most basic elements of control and order. Unfortunately, dogs are intelligent enough to recognize, very quickly, when they have been left in the control of a very passive, enabling person, and your dog will tend to take advantage of them. Given this, you should try to speak to all grooming staff, advising them of the new training direction that you are undertaking, and request that they not spoil your dog in any way while in their presence e.g. offering treats.
A: The behavior you are explaining could be either dominance or fear related. Fortunately, Don Sullivan’s DVDs will show you how to become your dog’s trusted leader, so that he will be able to rely upon your guidance in any situation where he may have otherwise acted in an inappropriate manner. Don instructs you how to deal safely with any situation where your dog needs to learn to act in a non-aggressive manner. By addressing these issues and removing any potential aggression from your dog, you will be responsible for helping him to live a more mentally peaceful life.
A: Yes. Cats are simply one of a number of distractions and temptations that dogs can potentially react to. Using Don’s System, you will learn how to teach your dog to act maturely and responsibly, according to the rules that you set for him. Don’t be surprised, after training your dog for only a few weeks, if your dog and cat become close friends! This often happens.
A: Although Don Sullivan has trained a few cats, using similar principles to his Perfect Dog System, his System does not specifically address the details of cat training.
Will Don Sullivan’s training methods help me to stop my dog from eating his own feces?
A: Yes, it will. Although the issue of a dog eating its own feces is not directly dealt with in The Perfect Dog® training DVDs, you can use the same techniques taught in the “Counter Surfing” segment to correct this problem. Within the 5 hours of instruction that Don Sullivan has included in his DVDs, you will find the answers to almost any variable that may arise with your dog.
My dog is great; she does all kinds of tricks and more. But can I do more with her?
A:It is wonderful that you have a dog that you are enjoying and that she is able to do tricks.
The goal of Don Sullivan's training system is to help you train your dog to respond to you without the need for a leash under distracting environments. Don desires this for people and their dogs, for safety, health and pleasure. The majority of dogs spend their days in frustration as they watch life pass them by, restricted to the end of a 3 foot leash. When you can trust your dog off-leash, under distraction, you will not only enjoy the benefits of safety (knowing that your dog is not going to run out of an open door or out into a street), but you will feel joy in your heart as you witness your dog enjoying freedom; to run and play in situations you may not have been able to trust her previously. The mental and physical satisfaction that accompanies true freedom can also lead to a healthier dog. Being able to give your dog true freedom is the best gift that you can ever give yourself and your dog; better than teaching her any new trick!
Note: There is a “Tricks & Fun Things” segment on Don Sullivan’s DVDs.
A: Don Sullivan teaches you how to set boundaries with your dogs so that they are aware of, and obey, the rules that you set for them. You need to decide what you will allow and what you will not. Don then empowers you to communicate this to your dogs and train them to discipline themselves i.e. to respect your wishes. So, you can teach your dogs to follow you as their leader, and behave with one another as expected outside, even though you are not always in their presence.
A: Yes. Don Sullivan’s training method will help you to channel your dog’s thinking and to redirect his energies toward more productive activities. In most cases, you will quickly notice an improvement in his emotional stability.
A: Using Don Sullivan’s System you will effectively communicate commands and instructions to your dog and motivate him to obey them. Once your dog has shown an acceptable response to a command, he has indicated that he understands what you expect. From that point forward, if your dog does not respond to you, then it is not because he has forgotten; there has simply been a weakening in your leadership and he is taking advantage of this. Don Sullivan empowers you to be aware of your own self and the way that you are dealing with your dog, so that you can recognize and reverse any weaknesses that may emerge.
A: If you size the Command Collar® according to the detailed instructions given in DVD one, there will be no way for your dog to free himself from the Command Collar®. The Command Collar®, whether the large or small, can be adjusted down in length quite significantly by removing links (without it being too tight on the dog’s neck).
A: Don Sullivan’s DVDs contain 5 hours of instruction which include individual sections that cover various types of aggression. There are clearly laid out examples of how to safely train an aggressive dog. By following this advice closely you should begin to see your dog becoming more respectful towards you within the first week. A dog that bites when challenged will only continue to do so if no one else has established themselves as an obvious leader in the dog’s mind. In a dog pack, the leader will never be threatened by a subordinate. Don Sullivan will show you the safest and most effective way to achieve respect and responsiveness from your dog.
Q54: WON’T WALK:
For some reason my dog won't go for walks anymore. He used to love going on walks. Now, he gets to the front of our house, then sits down and won't go any farther. He seems scared of everything outside his comfort zone.
A: Dogs can experience fears in life, just as humans do. Unfortunately for the dogs, the humans in their lives will often unwittingly allow the dogs to constantly reinforce their fears, to the point where the fears become immobilizing. Human emotion can many times be the catalyst that derails the hope of a dog overcoming his fears, and actually becomes the instigating element that cements the fears into the dog’s mind.
The average dog owner, seeing that his dog is afraid of something, will generally become sympathetic and seek to protect and shelter his dog from the object of the dog’s fear. Though well intentioned, this sheltering of the dog from whatever it fears simply causes the dog to become increasingly nervous. Don Sullivan explains and demonstrates how to teach your dog to trust your leadership, and how to help him face his fears so that he can enjoy a more peaceful future.
Q55: OBSESSED WITH ROCKS:
I have a miniature dachshund that thinks rocks are toys. He is like a kid with a new toy every time he goes out. He carries a rock around, and then tries to cover it with grass. I can try to throw the rock away, but he goes after it and brings it back. He has even eaten smaller rocks. Is there anything I can do to break him of this habit?
A: Many times odd behavior like this has been encouraged along the way in the dog's past. Someone may have enticed the dog with a rock as entertainment, throwing stones into the water or into the bush to tease or exercise the dog. Chewing rocks will most likely cause teeth problems, so this is something that should be changed for the health of the dog.
By applying Don Sullivan’s training methods, you will help to focus the dog’s attention towards more beneficial things. In many cases, odd behavior of various sorts will actually disappear on their own, once a person begins training their dog using Don's System. If, after you have gained respect from your dog in terms of off-leash obedience, your problem still persists, then you should directly correct the rock issue; at that stage you will have more certainty that your dog will heed your desire. You will be able to use one or more techniques taught by Don Sullivan in his DVDs to correct the problem.
A:Yes. The “How it Works” page on this website thoroughly explains the theory behind Don Sullivan’s method of training. CLICK HERE to read this article
A: Don Sullivan: “Any dog in training must first be taught never to pull his owner when on leash. This is an imperative step in the process toward confident off-leash control, under distraction. If this type of activity is something that you would like to pursue, this will be acceptable once your dog is fully trained. You can then teach your dog(s) to discern the difference between the various rules and boundaries that you have set for individual activities. (Note: This type of activity is the ONLY time I would suggest that you use a body harness instead of my Command Collar®).”
A: You will never use treats; ever. Treats are not only unnecessary, but they can actually be detrimental to the training process for a number of reasons which are explained in Don Sullivan’s training DVDs. There is absolutely no correlation between the new-age method of treat training and the way dogs deal with each other in their own world. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. By using Don’s System, your relationship with your dog will be based on true love and respect, with the rewards of praise and freedom. You will no longer have to attempt to “buy” your dog’s attention or affection. For more information, CLICK HERE to read Don’s training philosophy.
A: From day one a dog learns to respect firm leadership as his mother applies physical discipline to keep each of her puppies in line. This discipline is in the form of growls, barks and nipping corrections. It is only used when necessary, and it is administered at varying levels of intensity according to the strength of will of her individual pups. The rewards of compliance are acceptance, harmony, order, physical love, affection and the freedom to live safely, confidently and contentedly within the established boundaries. Their lives are fully satisfying and complete. It is the innate, natural process within the created animal, and it works beautifully.
Don’s System teaches you how to successfully imitate, and enjoy the benefits of, the natural bond that a mother dog develops with each of her pups. In conjunction with the Command Collar® and the 3 Freedom Training Lines, Don Sullivan uses a combination of hand and voice commands; with praise, play, affection, and freedom being the rewards for good behavior.
Q60: TREATS FOR TRICKS?:
I know Don Sullivan is not an advocate of using treats to curb behavioral problems, but how does he feel about teaching dogs cute pet tricks, like shake hands, wave, and twirl etc.?
A: Don Sullivan has taught his dogs many interesting and unique tricks over the years, and never once has he used a piece of food to bait them to perform. Don explains that once a dog has learned to respect you, it becomes very easy to teach him new tricks because the dog is then naturally more attentive to you and more willing to learn and attempt new things. By not falling into the trap of thinking that food is needed to motivate a dog to perform tricks, it helps to maintain the rule that a dog should not think of human hands as dispensers for dog food (which can lead to begging, stealing food, and aggression related issues; and it can also create a generally selfish and shallow attitude in a dog).
Note: There is a “Tricks & Fun Things” segment on Don Sullivan’s DVDs.
A: No, successful training is not all about consistency and it is not about endless repetition.
Dogs are far more intelligent than many people give them credit for. Most dogs only need to be shown a new command or instruction a few times before they “get the idea.” Any lack of response from that point forward is not due to a lack of understanding, but, rather, a lack of respect from the dog for the person. Repeating a command simply conveys to the dog that you do not expect him to listen to and obey you the first time.
Regarding consistency, you can be consistent all you like, but if you consistently deal with your dog at a level that he does not respect then you will never see a change in his behavior. It is important that you consistently position yourself as the head of your dog’s pack, otherwise he will sense gaps in your leadership, and he will take advantage of this. He will only respond when he feels like it, hence the very common statement, “My dog has a mind of his own.”
A: Don Sullivan: "Although I encourage off leash freedom as the ultimate goal and reward for any dog, the fact is that leash laws do exist. However, even though you may be required to have your dog leashed in certain public environments, this in no way diminishes the importance of training your dog to be trustworthy off a leash, especially when there are lots of distractions and temptations. This “Trust Zone” will not only ensure the safety of your dog whenever there is an opportunity to give him freedom and proper exercise, it will also let you rest in confidence knowing that your dog will not cause any disruption or destruction.
Due to previous unsettling experiences, there are many dog owners who would never even think to allow their dog to be off a leash, unless in a very controlled environment. However, the reality of life is that circumstances are bound to arise beyond a dog owner’s direct control, such as a door or gate accidentally left open. Even these especially cautious dog owners need to recognize the value of the “Trust Zone” for the sake of their dog’s life and their own peace of mind. These owners also need to recognize the value of sufficient off leash exercise for the health and emotional well-being of their dogs."
A: Don Sullivan: “There is a vast difference between a dog that is off a leash and a dog that is trained to be off a leash. Once my dogs are trained, I have control over their will so that I can be a custodian of their safety. This is an important point to understand. My dogs don’t just understand what I expect from them, they respect what I want, for their own good. Properly trained dogs can be trusted not to respond unexpectedly or erratically under distraction because they have learned to respect their boundaries in all real life situations. Dogs can be taught to understand their surroundings and control their urges and instincts, just as human beings can.”
A: No; not at all. Don Sullivan’s “Secrets to Training the Perfect Dog” System is designed to be easily incorporated into your daily life with your dog. Endless hours of frustrating repetition are NOT required, as with other training methods. Using Don’s System, it only takes minutes to introduce each new concept to your dog. At that point you can then simply reinforce the things your dog has learned as you go about your normal routine together. Whether you are vacuuming the house, mowing the lawn, making dinner, or even watching TV, you can easily apply Don’s System without having to add dog training to your already lengthy “to do” list.
Q65: TRAINING USING DIFFERENT METHODS:
My husband and I have a sheltie puppy. She listens to my husband much better than she listens to me, although she doesn't always obey him. If I get the program, I will be the one training her using Don Sullivan’s System. My husband wants to keep on training her his way. Will your System work even though she would be trained using two different "systems"?
A: For the best results and for the benefit of your dog, it is imperative that all family members adopt the same method of training, as taught by Don Sullivan in his DVDs. Any other method used will be contrary to Don’s unique System and will undermine the results. Of course, if you implement The Perfect Dog® System yourself, it will help you to improve your personal relationship with her greatly, but you will not realize the same degree of results that others have.
Q66: WILL THERE BE BOUNDARY LINE CONFUSION?:
I noticed that Don Sullivan’s DVDs include a lot of boundary line training. Won’t a dog be confused by setting a boundary, and then allowing the dog to cross that boundary?
A: No. Don Sullivan empowers you to teach your dog to respect the boundary lines and perimeters that you choose to establish. Your dog can learn that he has the right to remain at the edge of these boundary lines, without crossing over, and that he should not cross unless you invite him to accompany you.
It is up to you whether you ever allow your dog to go beyond any of these boundary lines. For example, you may incorporate a release command at the back doorway, but perhaps never at the front doorway. Or, when going for walks you may prefer to invite him to exit the house perimeter at the front gate, but never at the driveway.
Boundary line training is one of Don Sullivan’s advanced techniques, so caution must be exercised to maintain safety; and the technique must be properly and thoroughly implemented, using two or more people if necessary. If you do this then the results can be astounding!
A: You can certainly change a dog’s name. It is not his name that is important; it is the way that you communicate with him. It is not imperative to change an adopted dog’s name when you bring him into a new home environment. He will not associate any of his past experiences with his name, because it is the different way that you deal with him that he senses and reacts to.
A: When you own multiple dogs, your initial approach should be, as far as the commands are concerned, to work each dog individually for the first week. This will obviously require a little more time, but as you enter into the second week and find each of your dogs becoming more responsive to you, you can then begin to work the dogs together which will then save you time. This approach will give you a more solid result.
Many times, if you try to begin training multiple dogs together, they will unite, using their pre-established relationship, to challenge you more than if you took them aside to work them individually.
Regarding other general behavioral issues, all dogs can be worked simultaneously from day one as issues arise. Some dogs will be more problematic than others, but as each situation is dealt with, overall harmony will begin to be established within your household.
You will only need to purchase one full System (which includes the two training DVDs, a Command Collar® and Freedom Training Lines set for one of your dogs, and the Quick Start Guide). You will also need to purchase an extra Command Collar® and an extra set of Freedom Training Lines for each of your other dogs (either large or small, depending on the sizes of your dogs). Once you add the full System to your cart, you will be given the option to order this extra equipment.
Q69: WILL MY DOG STILL BE PLAYFUL?:
After using The Perfect Dog® System, will my dog still have the “will” to play with his toys without direction from me? I want him to able to enjoy “doggy time” too. Also, if on a walk without a leash, will he only walk next to me, or will he be able to go off and investigate what he wants to, but still come back when called?
A: Using The Perfect Dog® System, your dog will actually enjoy “doggy” time more. And, your dog will have the freedom to roam and enjoy the elements of life, while staying within an acceptable distance and always returning to you when called.
The goal of Don Sullivan’s training System is to empower a dog owner to firstly gain control over his dog's "will," so that the dog will respond to the owner's instruction over his own personal desire in any given situation. This results in negative behavior being removed, allowing more time for the dog to emit positive behavior. Playfulness and even puppy “goofiness” (if you have a puppy) will be maintained, but with a focus on a more mature overall attitude. There is a difference between being playful and being wild and unbridled.
Don Sullivan is focused on helping people to achieve the maximum freedom possible for their dogs. Once you have confidence that your dog is respecting your commands, under distraction, Don would encourage you to allow your dog to roam on a walk (wherever possible); to allow your dog to enjoy the extra exercise and life experiences as he moves freely.
Overall, you and your dog will enjoy a richer relationship together when you are confidently in control of your dog, in every situation.
A: This is something that you can decide for yourself according to your own preferences. Don Sullivan does tell people that if this is their choice, to allow their dogs to sleep with them, then they should allow this only once their dog is trained, and it should be by invitation only. Basically, the dog should not be allowed to own the bed (or any other item of furniture for that matter). Happy snuggling!
Questions Specific to Your Type of Dog
A: Yes. No matter what type of dog you have; no matter his age, breed, size, intelligence, personality, instinct, or past history, you can achieve amazing success.
Physiologically, dogs can be very different, yet psychologically there are some key elements which connect them all. Don’s System recognizes these connecting elements and uses them as a foundation for effective communication.
There are many fallacies regarding the training of dogs. For example, it is a common belief that you cannot begin in-depth training with a puppy until he is 6 months old. Puppies as young as 9 weeks old, whilst they may be physically underdeveloped, are intellectually capable of understanding and responding to Don’s System.
It is also a fallacy that, “You cannot teach an old dog new tricks.” Yet, using Don’s System, even stubborn old dogs, seemingly well set in their ways, can be trained to a level that you would expect from a much younger dog.
Don’s System exposes the error of many typical dog training myths.
A: Don Sullivan: Every dog is an individual. Some dogs are born with more compliant natures. With limited instruction, these dogs will be generally obedient to the average person, yet they will not necessarily reach the point where they can be fully trusted in all situations e.g. off of a leash and under distraction, unless an effective training System is used. Therefore, my question to you is, “Could you have taken your previous dog to a park, removed his leash, told him to lie down and stay, and walked away to hide, trusting that he would remain there while other dogs, people and squirrels wandered by?” This is a good test of true obedience. Basically, would your dog have obeyed when he would have rather not? Most people answer, “No,” to this question and then realize that their previous dog was not as obedient as they thought.
Your new dog is proving to be more difficult because he has a more willful personality. It did not take him long to determine that he could rule over you without being seriously challenged. Nevertheless, using my System, you will be empowered to take control and quickly establish order and harmony within your household.
A: It is extremely rare that a dog would actually be un-trainable, but unfortunately it is far too common that dogs have been deemed un-trainable after having gone to typical obedience school. Shockingly, many people have shared stories of how they were kicked out of their dog training classes because their dogs were TOO UNRULY! Most dogs that have been labeled as unable to be trained simply do not respect the attempted training method. You will achieve amazing results, quickly, if you use Don’s System, the method that dogs are born to understand and respect.
Q74: IS MY DOG TOO DUMB TO TRAIN? DO DOGS REMEMBER WHEN THEY HAVE DONE SOMETHING WRONG?:
Is it possible that my dog is not “smart” enough to learn Don’s System? If my dog does something (e.g. chews the couch) while I am gone, will he remember what he has done when I get home?
A: All dogs, even 9 week old puppies, are intelligent enough to be trained using Don Sullivan’s “Secrets to Training the Perfect Dog” System. And they all have a great memory; they certainly remember when they have done something against the “rules,” even if you discover it days later!
Using Don’s System, all dogs are capable of learning to respond to their owners; even when off of a leash, and even when there are lots of distractions and temptations. A dog that is perceived to be lacking intelligence or memory is simply a dog that has learned that it does not have to respond to human instruction.
Don Sullivan: Don’t be misled by studies that try to determine the smartest breed. These studies give the false impression that certain breeds are easier to train. I always tell people, “Find me the world’s supposed dumbest dog and I’ll show you an intelligent dog, within minutes!” I can’t number the times that people have said to me, “Oh, but you haven’t met our dog,” yet minutes later they are astounded when I quickly reveal their dog’s true potential!
A: One of the first things that Don Sullivan will teach you is how to break the habits of a food driven dog. The wolf operates in, essentially, the same nature of a pack hierarchy as the domesticated dog. Don Sullivan's System will give you the knowledge and tools to have your hybrid dog/wolf respecting you in a short period of time.
A: Don Sullivan: “Let me begin by saying that over the years I have trained many Pit Bulls and other dogs that would be classified by others as “dangerous breeds,” and I thoroughly enjoyed these dogs once they completed their training. Whilst we can find very passive and submissive dogs within any litter of pups, including breeds that have been singled out by general society as “dangerous,”many dogs, of varying pure breeds and mixes, both small and large, are born with more dominant natures and have the potential to be aggressive toward human beings and/or other dogs. However, it is how these dogs are dealt with by their owners, and the others within their home pack environment, that determines whether these dogs will eventually outwardly display aggressive behavior or not.
It is obvious that, in general, the more powerful the physical structure of the dog, the more damage it can potentially cause. This is why certain breeds have appeared more prominently in the news over the years. However, this gives society a false impression that it is only these types of dogs that are potentially aggressive. There are more than 4.7 million reporteddog bites annually in the United States, however the majorityof dog bites are never reported to local authorities. Many of the bites are caused by smaller dog breeds and are not reported because the damage they cause is less significant. (Although, this in no way diminishes the importance of training smaller dogs to control their behavior).
The above is explained more thoroughly in the article on the "How it Works" page of this website.
The statement that appears on the screen that you referred to was added to protect those who may own or come into contact with dogs with extreme dominant natures, that have not been properly dealt with.
There is also the sad reality that certain dog breeds are deliberately bred and trained to be fighting dogs, Pit Bulls being one of them. Some of these dogs are fortunate enough to be rescued from their horrific circumstances, yet many of the well meaning people who help these dogs do not know how to effectively reprogram them and the dogs end up being a potential danger to those they come into contact with. This is another important reason for the disclaimer.
There is a similar, more in-depth disclaimer at the end of this frequently asked questions section.
My System provides all the information and tools one needs to effectively resolve most aggression issues in most dogs, as long asmy instructions are followed thoroughly. Nevertheless, there are cases to be found where a dog’s training has been so neglected, or where a dog’s aggressive nature has been so provoked, or where a dog has been born with psychological instabilities, such that my training methods will subdue the dog but will not completely reprogram the dog. Whilst these cases are very much the minority, it is still necessary to warn people of their existence.
There is only a limited amount of space and time that can be allotted to various disclaimers. Also, we do not want to discourage dog owners by unduly exaggerating the potential risks, so certain disclaimers are kept to a minimum. Our disclaimers are not intended to single out or discriminate against any particular dog breed, but rather convey the essence of an important message within a brief period of time.”
About Don Sullivan’s “Secrets to Training the Perfect Dog” System
A: Each of the two DVDs runs for about 2.5 hours, so you will receive 5 hours total of comprehensive instruction. However, each of the topics can be viewed separately. Don’s System comes with a Quick Start Guide which lists a number of foundational topics that should be viewed prior to beginning any training. Following this, you can choose to watch the segments, and apply the instruction therein, that are most relevant to you and your dog.
A:The Perfect Dog® System comes with a Quick Start Guide. This is ESSENTIAL reading BEFORE doing any training with your dog. It contains very important information regarding the training equipment, the training DVDs, and the key points to remember. The Quick Start Guide lists the foundational segments to watch first and it tells you what steps to take from there.
It is not necessary to watch both DVDs in their entirety before beginning any training with your dog. However, those who try to absorb as much information as possible, as their first step, generally obtain the best results.
A: There is only one type of training DVD set available. Both the large and small Complete System include the same set of training DVDs. The two disc DVD set will give you all you need to know to successfully train your dogs, regardless of size.
Training Equipment and Accessories
A: The Fun Fetch Ball, personally designed and used by Don Sullivan, is a great tool for those who want to teach their dog how to fetch a ball or toy, and bring it back each time, without playing “keep away” or other frustrating games. The Fun Fetch Ball will also help you teach your dog to drop the ball or toy immediately in your hand instead of playing “tug of war.”
Retrieving is one of the best forms of exercise that we can give our dogs; better than a one or even two hour leash walk! If you teach your dog to properly retrieve, you will also save yourself so much time and grief, because in just 15 minutes you can tire your dog out and allow him to expend the excess energy that he might otherwise have released in destructive, chaotic ways.
Furthermore, the Fun Fetch Ball is one step away from teaching your dog how to place the ball on a racket. Once your dog learns how to do this, you can give your arms a break by hitting the ball with a racket instead of having to throwing it all the time. The ball goes farther with a racket, so your dog will run harder and faster. Both you and your dog will be more satisfied! Don’s System shows you how to use the Fun Fetch Ball and also how to progress to using a racket.
Note: Also refer to Question 9 (Q9) for more information on the Fun Fetch Ball.
A: You cannot make two collars from one collar by dividing the links. There are more integral working parts to the Command Collar® than just the links.
A: The Command Collar® is made from an extremely durable plastic/nylon mix. It is very lightweight and an attractive color. There is also a quick attach/release metal clip, to make it easy to put on/take off your dog's neck once you have initially sized it up. You can adjust the size of the collar to suit the size of your dog’s neck by adding or removing links.
Q83: DIFFERENT SIZED LINKS OR JUST DIFFERENT NUMBER OF LINKS?:
Is the size of the links the same on the “small” and the “large” Command Collar®? Is the only difference between the two packages the number of links supplied?
A: No, the size of the links varies between the small and large Command Collar®. The links on the large collar are wider and slightly longer, and designed more specifically to suit a larger breed of dog, whereas the small links are more compact, intended for smaller breeds. Please note that either of these collars can be made much smaller by removing as many links as you need to, or they can be made larger by adding the extra links provided in the Complete System. The large Command Collar® fits neck sizes 7” – 24”, and the small Command Collar® fits neck sizes 5 ½” – 18 ½”.
Q84: NUMBER OF LINKS FOR TINY DOGS:
I have a very tiny dog, and when I sized the small Command Collar® to fit his neck, there were only three links left within the collar. Will the collar still be effective?
A: The Command Collar® works exceptionally well, even with as little as one link for extremely tiny dogs.
A: All Command Collars® come with extra links, and the existing links can also be removed. The small Command Collar® can be made as small as approximately 5 ½” long. Once the collar, with the minimum number of links, is clipped together, it is about the size of an average bracelet. Note: Despite the minimum size of the small Command Collar®, this collar should still fit dogs/puppies with smaller necks; the collar will be a little looser than normal, but it will still be very effective.
A: The DVD training set includes a number of segments which thoroughly address the problem behavior of “chewing.” Under the topic of “Retrieving,” you will also find instruction on how to get your dog to drop the ball or toy. This technique is also useful; very quickly he will be discouraged from ever chewing on the lines or picking them up in his mouth.
Q87: HOW SNUG SHOULD COLLAR BE?:
We just received your program. We have a Norfolk Terrier and we had to remove quite a few links from the Command Collar®. Just how snug should the collar be? The way it is now, I can put a finger between the collar and the dog's neck. If I remove another link, it seems it would be too snug around his neck.
A: It's fine the way you have it now, with a small amount of room underneath. Don't remove another link. Also watch the "Equipment" section again, on training DVD one. Don Sullivan demonstrates exactly how the Command Collar® should sit on a dog's neck.
Disclaimer:Don Sullivan’s “Secrets to Training the Perfect Dog” System explains in-depth how to correct aggressive behavior. Some dogs have reached a level of aggressiveness that is very intense. Great care and caution must be used in dealing with this problem. Although the success rate of correcting aggressive behavior is very high when following Don’s methods, unfortunately not all dogs can be tamed to the point of complete trust, despite the fact that overall improvement will be experienced. Don encourages everyone dealing with aggressive dogs to exercise extreme care, especially when working around children or other dogs. Owners may not be able to correct the behavior of certain dogs that have been specifically bred or trained to be aggressive e.g. attack dogs.
* Your results may vary.