Dogs become a part of our families from the instant that we fall in love with those furry faces. Unfortunately, dogs can come with a variety of bad behaviors that threaten to destroy the sanctity of the home. If you are tired of your dog’s behavior problems, there are things you as your dog’s owner can do to help restore the peace in your home.
Changing your dog’s behavior is a process. Things simply do not change overnight or even after a few training sessions. Dogs will learn better behavior through socializing, practice and positive reinforcement. You can teach your dog better behavior with patience, love, and a healthy stack of dog treats.
The first key is to target the bad behavior you wish to change. Counter bad behavior by distracting from the behavior itself or providing a negative response to your dog. This does not mean yelling at or threatening your dog in any form. These types of actions serve only to destroy the bond between you and the dog. It will not change the dog’s behavior in anyway, in fact it could make the situation worse than it already is.
Distracting your dog requires constant supervision. Every time you see your dog start to engage in inappropriate behavior, you make a loud noise with your hands, and give a quick, sharp no. Once distracted, provide your dog with an acceptable alternative. Praise him liberally and reward with a treat when your dog is behaving properly. Keep repeating your actions until your dog associates the bad behavior with negative responses and the good behavior with treats and rewards.
Providing a negative response simply means that you do not reward your dog for doing something it shouldn’t. For example, if your dog jumps up on you don’t pet him, instead turn your attention away from him. Instead of pulling your dog in your lap when he jumps on the couch, gently push him off instead. Such actions tell the dog that you are not interested in giving him your attention when he does such things.
Reward and praising good behavior is very important in changing your dog’s behavior. Dogs naturally like to please their owners. It is a part of their nature. Giving positive reinforcement in the form of treats or healthy chewables such as heartguard plus for dogs or even pleasant sounds encourages your dog to continue his good behavior. Be generous in the giving of praise to your dog especially in the very beginning of the process.
Practicing good behavior is key to keeping it ingrained in your dog. You don’t have to constantly reward with treats but keep up your praise. Even if your dog has learned his lessons thoroughly, it helps to remind him every once in awhile to keep the lessons fresh. Don’t forget to praise him when he follows orders correctly.
It is also perfectly understandable if you feel overwhelmed and decide to enroll your dog in obedience courses. Such courses assist both you and your dog in building the bond between the two of you. By building this trust, your dog will listen to and respond to your commands. Not only does this lead to better behavior, but it establishes very clearly who is in charge. You can also consider a dog crate from Selected Best.
If you are tired of your dog’s behavior, you don’t have to accept it. But clearly, it is up to you to take action to change it. Keeping harmony in your household requires effort on both your parts, but as the dominant one in the pair, it is up to you to take charge and do something about it.
Check out Your Dog Advisor for more tips on dog behavior problems.