"If you talk to the animals, they will talk with you and you will know each other.  If you do not talk to them, you will not know them, and what you do not know, you will fear.  What one fears, one destroys." -- Chief Dan George
Amichien Bonding

Amichien Bonding was developed by Jan Fennell, a well-respected dog training in England.  Ms. Fennell has patterned the method after Monty Roberts' style of horse-training.  As some may know, Monty Roberts is The Horse Whisperer.

The Amichien Bonding process is based on the belief that the majority of canine behavior problems are a result of the dog's misplaced sense of leadership within the household.  This is most often caused by the owner unknowingly giving the dog "signals" or using body language that affirms the dog's assumption.

Even if we believe we have a good relationship
with our dog and are not experiencing any behavior problems, implementing the elements of Amichien Bonding affirms our leadership position to our dog.  These elements:

*  Are relatively easy to accomplish
*  Require no extra cost
*  In most cases, require a minimal-to-moderate amount of work or changes in routine
*  Are non-violent and non-punitive
*  Are presented in terms and actions the dog understands and to which he can relate

These same elements, however, are essential in cases where behavior problems are present, as the steps elevate our status within the "pack" and show our dogs that we are capable of leading and protecting and neither require nor desire their assistance.

In order for these elements
to have the desired results, they must be followed with dedication and commitment.  In cases where an owner is so frustrated with their dog's behavior that he is contemplating surrendering the dog, the owner's adherence to the bonding method may be the only thing that saves the dog from being removed from the home.  This, of course, assumes the owner cares enough for the dog to give the bonding method a chance to work.  Generally, a mininum of two weeks is required.  Cases of deeply ingrained behaviors may take longer.

The four elements of  Amichien Bonding are:

When the pack reunites - WHO IS IN CHARGE NOW?

When the pack eats food - WHAT ORDER TO THEY EAT IN?

When the pack is under attack or there is a fear of danger - WHO IS GOING TO PROTECT US?

When the pack goes on a hunt - WHO IS GOING TO LEAD US?
Each of these elements speaks to a very integral part of the dog's social structure which has its roots in the wild.  Incorporating the elements into your day-to-day life with your dog will show your dog:
YOU are in charge, at all times; this is demonstrated by your ATTITUDE when leaving and returning.

YOU eat before your dog; the leader eats first.  Your dog will think you are eating the same food he is, and will be required to wait until you have "had your fill" before he gets to eat. 

YOU will protect the "pack" (your dog, your family, etc.) by greeting guests and strangers who come to your door, rather than your dog being in front of you at the door.

YOU will lead on the "hunt" (the walk) and if "danger" approaches (person, dog, vehicle, etc.) YOU will protect the pack (you and your dog) by removing yourself from the perceived danger.
To learn more about Jan Fennell, the creator of Amichien Bonding, please visit her website at:

In St. Louis, Missouri, to learn how to incoporate this method into your relationship with your dog, contact: Chris Vassonei, House Calls Dog Training, www.housecallsdogtraining.com