Are you the leader of your pack?  

Becoming the leader of your pack is not about being mean to your dog or being a rough handler.  Nor does it mean you can’t play & cuddle your pooch.

Dogs need balance.  Teaching them trust, mutual respect along with a strong bond are the key ingredients for being a fair pack leader.

Do you find your dog ignoring you when you give him the ‘come’ command? 


When you say come, does he/she just turn her head or walk away?  Maybe he acts like he can’t hear you?

So you get more stern, COME!! Now your dog may even walk or run away even faster.  This can be extremely frustrating!  This could be dominance however more likely your dog isn’t clear on the command.

It becomes a pattern and your dog has done this for so long it’s actually what the ‘come’ command has become to him/her.

Here is one tip that’s worth trying…Dogs use body language and growling sounds, different pitches growls mean different things to them.

The first thing to do, lower your body height, squat down, bending may not be enough at first. Use a high pitch tone when you call him/ her.

Don’t act mad at him. As soon as your dog looks at you, start encouraging and praising him. Don’t wait for him to get to you, start praising as soon as he looks at you and keep it going till he gets to you. Encourage & Praise! 

Setting the scene with a long 20 to 30‘ leash at first is a great way to start! Using a treat with the more difficult dog is a good idea. Keep in mind you don’t want to use a treat all the time, its a reward not a bribe, when using treats make it random.   check out my website for other leadership information 

Are you considering adopting a dog or puppy?  Or maybe you’re thinking of going to a dog breeder? Not sure which dog breed you should choose based on your family and lifestyle?

Here are some dog training tips to help you:

  • Research the best  breed for your family’s lifestyle and Tucson area first
  • A good source for breed info is

Keep in mind If your family isn’t active then a lab isn’t a good fit. Maybe a pug is better. But if you like to hike with your dog, a Pug or French Bulldog is not going to be a good fit. The point is to take your time and look for a breed will best with your lifestyle.

best dog breeds for a family

Choosing a breed may in fact be the easy part. Learning about dogs temperament is another very important part of deciding on a dog or puppy. 

What types of temperament are there? Here are a few and how to decide on what’s best for your family.

  • Nervous
  • Timid
  • Confident
  • Middle of the Pack

Nervous dogs tend to be the bottom of the pack type of dogs, they bark at strangers or may growl at new people. They may need lots of guidance and leadership training.

Timid dogs are also lower in the pack and can become a very loyal and quick learner once leadership is in place. If not trained properly they can get worse.

Confident to dominate dogs are the type that walk up to strangers and stand their ground. Maybe even challenge their owners at times. Having experience or getting help with dogs like this is a good idea.

Middle of The Pack dogs want to please and want to learn. This temperament plays well with other dogs and people.

All temperament dogs can make great family dogs as long as you take the time to train them. Getting the breed that best fits is no guarantee and that’s mainly because of temperament. I see many of the so called safe breeds that have over dominate issues or that are extremely timid or nervous. if left untreated it could get worse. If you have or get a dog or puppy that’s showing signs of fear or aggression, seek help. It can save your dogs life later. I’m not being over dramatic either, every day dogs that started out with slight issues were left to figure it out by themselves and now they are being put down because of biting someone. There are great resources available, utilize them and have fun with it.

Training should be fun but we all know at times it could be stressful. Go slow and take your time using short sessions with lots of praise! Remember keep it simple, make it easy for your dog to succeed and step it up slowly.

Choosing Dog Breed and Temperament  Click here to Learn About Dog Temperaments 

 I hope this helps, feel free to contact me any time for help.


Lily is 4 moths old and is a Cocker Spaniel and is on the timid side. she is doing great!


shock dog trainingTraining Dogs in Tucson

I receive many inquiries  from customers looking for dog training. One of the most common questions I receive is “do you use e collars” to train.  Of course my answer is no.

Have you ever noticed how they don’t call them shock collars anymore? Now they are called  static collars or E collars, remote training collars, Zap collars, or electronic collars. But never shock collars.

“Do I think shock collars are bad for training dogs?”   First, I do not use them in my training, nor does any Home Dog Training trainer.

Let me say this, I can’t count the amount of dogs I have worked with because the shock collar was used in the first place. Most of the dogs will be very submissive or outright fearful when the collar is on. But once the collar is taken off the dog, the dog will revert back to the unwanted behavior.

Because our method is based on how dogs train each other, I like to make the point (tongue in cheek)  that  we never see one dog shock another dog when they are teaching each other.

Another point I always make is simple, we want to address the root cause of the unwanted behavior. In most cases relying on correction alone will only band-aid the problem and at best temporally  fix this issue. In my experience the unwanted behavior tends to manifest itself in other areas. We never want to hurt our dogs for any reason, its all about communicating in a way they want to follow and understand.

Our dog training uses the ingredients of any healthy relationship, bond, trust & mutual respect. Dogs do in fact have feelings, such as fear. If your dog fears you it will only put a damper on your relationship. Our goal is to build on your dogs natural instinct to follow it’s pack leader. Being your dogs pack leader is truly simplistic.   Heck, even a dog can do it!

Dog Trainer Gerard Raneri with In Home Dog  Tucson discusses how to keep your dog safe this Holiday Season. The dos and don’ts of dog training offering helpful advice. KVOA TV news  goes to local dog trainer Gerard Raneri for these dog training safety tips to help any local citizens that expect to have company for the holidays.

Some quick tips from the video:

  1. Practice with your dogs before your family, relatives, or expected guests come over.
  2. Avoid plants, mistletoes or tinsel all of which can make dogs sick
  3. Tell guests your rules for the dogs before they come over (not feeding them table food ect…)

Enjoy the video and share it with anyone you think it can help this holiday season!

Dog Training in Tucson, AZ- In Home Dog Training

Gerard Raneri
3849 E. Broadway suite 105
Tucson, AZ 85716

As a Tucson Dog Trainer I receive so many calls regarding Barking Dogs!

People will call me very frustrated and feel they are at their wits end with the  their dog barking issues. Often it’s not even their own dog, it’s the next door neighbors dog! They will ask me what can I do to get that darn dog to stop barking all the time. They can’t even walk in their own back yard without the neighbors dog barking at them. Our yards should be a place to relax and find peace, not a bark fest. Well, that’s what we wish anyway.

Most of the time the people calling already tried and purchased all the quick fixes, such as the sonic dog sound that only dogs can hear.  It might work for a day or two but thats it.  Or they tried blowing a loud horn, some try spraying the dog with a hose.

Other calls come form the dog owners themselves and they also have tried all the store tricks that don’t work. In fact many have paid for the Debarking surgery only to have the dog keep barking. At first its a softer bark but over time the tissue grows back and The Bark is Back!

So… What to do?  Unless you address the root of the issues, the behavior will never change. Barking is truly a symptom of an underlying problem. So all the Bark Collars or sound devices will only be a temporary fix.

You must get to the root, then with consistency and proper redirection your dog will learn to not bark at every little thing.

I will give one example, a client called me about a barking Labradoodle. This dog barked at EVERYTHING! front door, voices, phone ringing… They tried  everything even a shock collar. After meeting the family / Pack it was very obvious to me that this dog was fearful. Realizing we had to first get the dog over the fear before the barking would truly stop, I focused all attention on teaching the owners, how to be the leader this dog needed. They were treating this dog like every other dog they had, except he was different.

Every dog is an individual, yes they are all canines but they have unique temperaments and matching the training to the temperament is very important. Finding the root of the problem and then customizing your training to fit that dogs needs are much of the battle. Now you have to be consistant. How long can this take? Well in the case of this Labradoodle, by my 2nd vist (8days later)  my client was so thrilled! Even after the first lesson they had positive results. The reason for the quick results was because we saw the root issue right away and zoomed in on it.

So if you have a barking dog, save your money and don’t buy into the quick fix. Find a Dog Behavior  Therapist /Dog Trainer and get to the root of the behavior. Remember if we don’t change our behavior, we can’t change our dogs behavior.

Gerard Raneri, Dog Training Tucson, Home Dog Training



“Come when called” is one of the most important commands. It can save your dogs life! The mistake many people make is they get frustrated when the dog will not come, so when he/she finally comes they are mad and express that anger to their dog. This is a big mistake as that is what your dog will remember when you call him next time. Always praise your dog no matter how long it takes for him to come.

Start out with lots of leash work, start with a 6 ft leash and move to a 20-30 foot leash. Many times we move to a light  line , this can really help with the dogs that are resisting the come command. ALways when you call you dog start praising as soon as your dog looks at you. Don’t wait till she’s at your feet, as she may get distracted half way there. It’s key to always praise when your dog comes, even if your mad or frustrated. When starting out especially The  Come Command should be associated with praise. For more information, just ask! Dog Training in Tucson can be really tricky with our hot weather, dogs get hot fast and lose focus. So keep the training short, especially puppies.

Ya know I have to say it; I’m a very lucky man! I get to help people with one of their most important relationships, the relationship with their dog(s). Our dogs play such a big roll in our lives so when we are having an issue with our dog, it may be hard to be objective. Sometimes we can’t see the issue because we are too close to it. We become very emotionally involved with our pooches. I’m no exception, I’m human and I love my dogs too. It’s human nature to not see whats right in front of us sometimes. So being a Tucson dog trainer is about helping people see their own behavior. Lets face it, our dog’s behavior will not change unless our behavior changes first.                              

Side Note: Providing we are all talking about “Relationship Based Dog Training”. Using the bond, trust and mutual respect to influence or educating your dog in a way that involves no pain or bribes. We adopt the canines methodology (as best we can for humans) so the dog understands and learns quicker and naturally. Our training is about getting to the root of the behavior. For example, a dog bites someone and no one knows why. I hear this one a lot “it came out of nowhere, my dog just bit her with no warning.”

Then when I visit the home I notice the dog’s tail is tucked and very fearful. In a short time it’s obvious the dog was fear biting, the root issue is fear. Now we can work on the fear issue in a safe way and avoid the dog bitting again. Being reactive is all we have sometimes. However, when we are trying to reeducate a dog and help a dog get over fear, we want to be proactive as often as we can.

I started out by saying how lucky I am to be able to help people and their dogs. To be trusted by both people and their dogs, to see the turn around of unwanted behavior that had the owners ready to give the dog up, is truly the highlight of my business. It’s very hard to change our behavior but because of the bond we have with our dogs, we all do what we have to so the relationship of over 15,000 years keeps growing strong.





I always get asked about cost for dog training all the time. Many times I get comments such as,  you’re not as expensive as the other trainer, or wow you’re expensive! I hear both sides of the coin.

Here’s the thing, most people aren’t comparing apples to apples. We must comparer each dog training service based on the services offered. In other words, compare In Home Dog Training to In Home Dog Training or Doggie Boot Camp to Doogie Boot Camp.  If you compare Petsmart Training to Dog Training Mobile it’s not the same or even close. In fact all we have in common is we both like dogs. If you compare Shock Collar Training (Punishment Based) to Petsmart or any positive reinforcement training, you’re not comparing service to service. So yes, you will see very big price differences between different dog training companies.

The range can be from $135.00 for Petsmart (Positive Reinforcement) clicker treat training, you go to them once a week type service. To $2,000.00 if you send your dog away to any style trainer that trains your dog for you and hands over a semi polished trained dog. That’s by far the most expensive service.Then you still have to go back and teach the owner how to be this dogs leader, in many cases that was the issue from the beginning.

The most affordable can be the services you purchase on TV or read from a book. About 75% of most dog trainers  clients went that route first. It’s also one of the least effective ways to train your dog. Protection training can cost north of $ 10,000.00 range.

My point is the cost is the cost, first settle on  method you feel good about. Research how dogs learn when in their own dog pack. Research what’s natural for your dog and what you will feel good about. If you feel okay with bribing your dog with treats all the time or  shocking your dog, then put that type of training on your research list. Our methods are never harsh, we of course customize our method around your dogs temperament as well as the owners personality. It’s a team effort and we work together!  I like to keep dogs in their own environment in most cases and teach the owner how to become the dogs leader. Becoming the pack leader is not about alpha rolling or man handling your dog. It’s not about being a bully to your dog, it’s about building on your bond, trust and mutual respect.

That’s the people training side of my service. Oh yes, dog training is about training people to change their behavior too!  So when you’re shopping dog trainers remember,  if you’re not willing to change your behavior, your dogs behavior is not going to change.

The hardest part of dog training for most trainers is re-educating people to react in a different way when their dog reverts to the unwanted behavior we are trying to change. We are all creatures of habit!

Some Tips for keeping your dog safe in the Tucson heat.

Yesterday UMC had it’s first Human Snake bit reported for the season. Thats my cue that snakes are in full force and it’s time to start really paying attention for our dogs. While Training your dog is a great start, it’s also key to get your dog snake trained. I use and recommend Desert WIldlife. here is a link to my local resource page, they are on my list.  I do not personally offer snake avoidance Training because I do not want to handle snakes. Desert Wildlife offers this service in your own back yard or in a group class.

In my experience it;s key to also train your dog, so when you say come, your dog comes. Always start any training with no distractions. After your dog gets good with no distractions, add low level distractions and go up the distraction ladder. Go slow, small wins for your dog will equals big victories over time. In my training we do not use treat after treat, in fact most of the dogs I work with are so glad to please us, no treats are needed at all. Sure with some dogs I may use a few treat. But it’s not about bribery.