Where You Ask and We Tell!

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GatorlandK9 International Trainers Ted & RJ  Hoppe will answering your questions!  

Trainer Tip #6

on Wednesday, 24 September 2014.

How do I stop my dog from chasing cats?

Those of us who have been blessed with a dog and cat household have faced this topic on many occasions!

We can laugh when it happens but it truly is a situation that needs to be handled and worked on to prevent aggressive behavior toward our other domestic animals.

dog chase cat

How do I stop my dog from chasing cats?  He chases  our cat. He also pulls me &  barks aggressively when he sees a cat whenever we are walking. 

Most people think that chasing cats or other animals is a behavior problem only.  This behavior is more of an obedience problem, best corrected when your dog is a puppy.  A young puppy needs to start behavior training as soon as he becomes a member of the family & always kept on the leash when outside, as this puppy shows you what can happen if not kept on the leash!  GatorlandK9 will help point you in the right direction by answering questions and  we are happy to help our clients.  The alternative is that your puppy will grow up as the ‘alpha’ & will not respect you as the pack leader, therefore will develop learned behavior patterns, like chewing your shoes or chasing cats.

Before you can effectively correct this problem in an adult dog, with good results, you must train your adult dog to the level of advanced obedience which will include off leash work.

With an adult  dog that has a high prey drive, you will most likely need the help of a professional trainer. 

After the dog has advanced obedience, including off leash work in heel, sit/stay, down/stay with the owner out of sight & GatorlandK9’s following command , you will add in larger & larger distractions to do what we call ‘proofing ‘ the commands.  This will include other dogs & livestock, even cats.

As with any learned behavior pattern, there is never a ‘quick fix’  The solution usually requires hard work on the part of the owner. 

In conclusion, it is always true that early training will eliminate behavior problems before they start which will be much more positive for the dog & the owner. 

With proper obedience training, this could happen..... :)


Author: Jill Pavel

Trainer Tip #5

on Tuesday, 24 June 2014.

Client Training Question

Question: I hope you and your family are well. I was having some trouble with heeling. Bella has started to move further back while heeling. Instead of her shoulder being inline with my knee she has started lining her head with my knee. I couldn't pick up on this earlier and I think I have taught her that it's okay to do that. I tried to correct her by speeding up and encouraging her to move forward but she ends up reverting back to her head in line with my knee. Thank you for your help, Arham.

Answer: I appreciate that you have contacted us for help. It shows that you are serious about keeping your dog handling skills sharp. Because there could be a number of things causing your dog to lag behind you, I highly recommend that you send me a video of you doing the obedience routine I showed you so that I can get a good perspective of whats going on. If you are not balancing properly, not praising and rewarding the dog enough/properly, the dog will lag behind. If you are working the dog when it is too hot outside, it can also cause lagging. If you are going to use a ball to motivate the dog, use it at the very end of the training and a little during your routine. If you continue to have trouble, I will have my Dad put you on his schedule so that I can give you a private lesson. Richard "RJ" Hoppe, Trainer

Click on Video/Pictures to view training techniques.

rj off leash in house


rj video


Author: Jill Pavel

Trainer Tip #4

on Friday, 13 June 2014.

Dear Trainer,

I have a five year old female Imported German Shepherd.  She is great except for one thing, when we walk on her leash she tries to chase anything that moves; cars, bikes, skateboards, runners.  We have tried to break her of this habit but have been unsuccessful. Any tip you can provide will be greatly appreciated.

Lorraine Lagana


Hi Lorraine,

We often run into this problem with high prey drive German Shepherds. When we are customozing a family protection dog or one of our special service protection dogs we like to train our dogs to become familiar with environmental distractions such as livestock, other animals or human distraction as part of our advanced obedience training.

We have included a video of our trainer Ted Hoppe working on a high prey drive dog around livestock for a client.  This is what a professional trainer will call proofing a dog.

We hope the video give you insight into some of the techniques we use to address the problem you shared with us.  We are always available for a consultation and training.

Ted Hoppe


 Author: Jill Pavel

Trainer Tip #2

on Thursday, 17 April 2014.



We recommend 4 hours for a 12 week old puppy. Many of our clients come home for a lunch break to let the puppy out if they have an 8 hour job or hire a person to let the puppy out. Doggie Day Care is also a popular choice. At 16 weeks , 4-6 hours is fine, if kept on a food/water schedule. Food & water should be picked up 2 hours before bedtime & then crating overnight is fine. If you are able to be home, the optimal time for potty training purposes is to take the puppy outside every 2 hours & always after meals. X-pens are also available for young puppies that need to be left over the 4 hours, as fresh water can be provided to eliminate possible urinary tract infections.  RJ Hoppe


Author: Jill Pavel

Trainer Tip #1

on Wednesday, 09 April 2014.

What is the Most Important Item you can recommend for training my German Shepherd Puppy?


The most important housebreaking tool is the crate. The crate provides a safe place to let the puppy rest & also to help schedule  successful trips outside to potty, as most puppies will not soil their den. You will use the crate the most in the first 2 weeks. Don't feel guilty! Always take the puppy outside to the same spot as soon as leaving the crate in the morning or during the day., especially after meals as well.  If the puppy gets distracted & does not go potty, return to the crate & let them out 15. minutes later.  Avoiding a negative behavior pattern of soiling in the house by using the crate is one of many steps to help make housebreaking successful very quickly & least stressful for puppy & owner. Always reward good behavior with a treat or just praise.    

Congratulations on your  new puppy!  RJ Hoppe

April 10th 2014:  In Response to Patricia's question, here is a piciture of a plastic airline crate


Author: Jill Pavel

Trainer Tip #3

on Thursday, 12 June 2014.

Dear Trainer,

I never had my dog on a leash but my apt. complex has mandated that all dogs must be walked on a leash now.  How close to my body should I keep my dog when walking?
Laura M, Charlotte SC
You should walk your dog in Heel position, which is for the dog to be on your left side with shoulders even with the left leg. If your dog has been used to being off leash - they might not like the controlled position. The video shows a dog with training demonstrating the Heel with automatic sit. We recommend a professional trainer to help the transition be easier for you & your dog. Once you learn Heel, there are other commands that can be used in an informal setting.  Ted Hoppe
Here is a video to help guide you.  
rj video
Author: Jill Pavel

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