Dog trainer Brandon McMillan explains how to give your dog ‘what he needs, not what you think he needs’ [Exclusive]
Record number of rescue and shelter dogs have been adopted during the pandemic, as CBS dog trainer Brandon McMillan lucky dog and author of “Your Dog’s Story” said it was great news.
The bad news is that some people have realized they’ve adopted a dog that doesn’t fit their lifestyle. “I wish [potential dog owners] including race,” McMillan told Showbiz Cheat Sheet. “You have to understand your lifestyle and understand your dog’s genetics. So first and foremost I always say understand the breed of the dog, understand the genetics and the origins of the dog. You cannot change these things. Domestic dogs have been around for 15,000 years, as we know.
“Essentially they go back even further than that when you talk about wolves, but the genetics of domestic dogs is 15,000 years old. That’s a lot of generations. So basically they’re more of a work animal than a companion animal,” he said. Adding, “But a lot of people have dogs that aren’t designed for their lifestyle.”
Brandon McMillan said some people adopted dogs that didn’t fit their lifestyle
“During the pandemic, we’ve seen a record number of adoptions,” the famous dog trainer said. “It was a good thing and a bad thing. The good thing is the dog was adopted. The bad part was a lot of those adoptions, they were impulse buys. So a lot of people just got a dog because they’re like, ‘Oh, I’m home all day, well, I’m just going to have a dog.’ The problem is, they didn’t do the math and say, ‘In a year and a half, I’m going back to work. And now my dog is going to be sitting on my couch for eight hours a day.'”
“So a big part of the book, ‘Your Dog’s Story,’ is about understanding the dog you have, not the dog you want to have. In other words, if you have a border collie, it’s is a sheepdog. No matter how you slice it, you can’t change the sheepdog’s genetics. You can’t change the energy. You can’t change their need to constantly herd. is in their genetics, and there are some things about animals and especially dogs that you can’t change.
Dog Trainer Said Give Your Dog What He Needs (Not What You Think He Needs)
“So that’s what it’s all about,” he continued. “And I really tried to warn people, during the pandemic, I said, ‘Get a dog that actually fits your lifestyle before and after the pandemic.’ And so what a lot of people have done is they’ve been like, ‘OK, I’m going to get a high energy dog and I live in an apartment.’ I’m actually a homebody and I barely go out myself. So now you’re stuck with this dog. He’s a dog full of energy. And what are you going to do?”
“So that tended to be the problem during the pandemic,” McMillan explained. “The good news is that everything is fixable. The point of the book is for you to read about your dog and give your dog exactly what he needs, not what you think he needs.
“Unfortunately, we are starting to see a lot of [people returning dogs] now because they were largely impulse adoptions. And so people realized that every time they went back to work, it was the wrong dog. So, unfortunately, that’s one of the repercussions of the mass adoptions that happened a year and a half ago. But like I said, the good news is that adoption is more popular now than ever. It’s actually more popular than going to a breeder.
What can dog owners do to meet their dog’s needs? Dog training tools can help. McMillan recently partnered with Link Smart Pet Wearablewhich is the only GPS pet tracking system with remote tone and vibration training tools for positive reinforcement.
“So it comes with, basically, a tone and a vibe. The tone is like a short beep and the vibration is like how your phone vibrates. Once a dog is trained in it, you can use a tone as a reminder,” he described. “So let’s say your dog is at the beach or in a park and the dog is running a few hundred yards. It’s very difficult, even if your dog has good recall, you can’t scream all over the park because there are so many elements [get in the way] the dog may not be able to hear you.
But, “The dog wears the collar, you just press the tone and the dog is trained to come back to you. So it’s like a reminder without you yelling through the park,” he said. Plus, the tracking feature lets pet owners know where their dog is at all times.
McMillan says training your dog for a few minutes throughout the day will make you and your dog happier. He suggests a few 15-minute workouts a day to boost engagement and overall happiness.