Dog training introduction
If you own a dog, you will have to do more than just feed him and give him toys to play with. Just about every dog, no matter what breed, will have some bad habits and behaviors that you will need to break.
There are different ways to deal with each of the unacceptable behaviors from your dog. Whatever you do, make sure that it is something that will be effective in order for your dog to change his ways. Some behavioral problems stem from the genetics of the breed of your dog.
You must teach your dog from the beginning what is acceptable or not. Leaving it to a later stage will be harder for you and harder for him to learn as he will be much more set in his ways.
Your dog is a member of your family and your best friend so having an obedient and well-behaved pet is crucial.
Here are some things that you will read about in this guide:
- How to stop your dog from biting
- How to stop them from howling and barking and what could happen if you don‘t
- How to stop them from being aggressive
A happy dog means a happy owner and once they get attached to you, there is no turning back. Your dog will be your best friend and companion for life.
A dog can be your protector from hurt, harm and danger. They will easily and readily come to your defense when they need to. However, in order to do that, they have to be trained properly and the most important thing is to get rid of any bad behaviors they may have so that they can be more efficient and dependable and this requires patience on your part.
Chapter 1 : Unacceptable Behavior
There are certain unacceptable behaviors that your dog may have such as chewing and biting, pulling on a leash and jumping up on people. These behaviors must be corrected early on so as to instill into your dog what is right and what is wrong. No-one likes a badly behaved dog so stopping this type of behavior is essential in order for your dog to be more sociable with others.
Even though biting is considered as normal behavior, you should also keep in mind that later on, it could pose a serious risk to others, including yourself. It may be cute in the puppy stage, but not as your dog gets older. In order to stop your dog from biting, you will need to teach them early on.
As a puppy, biting is a behavior that is taught by their mother and additional litter. While still in the puppy stage, allow the puppy to play with other puppies as they like to interact with each other and sometimes that will include biting. As they do this, they can learn to control themselves.
If there is one puppy that is overly aggressive, the others will get after the aggressive puppy for being too rough. As they continue to play with each other, the more aggressive puppy will learn to calm down.
Here are some tips that you can take to get an advantage:
Let the puppy know that you hurt when they bite you. You can be stern and say ―no‖ or ―ouch‖ to let the puppy know that they have gone too far and they will think about what they‘ve done.
Slowly take your hand away. Doing this too fast can cause more damage.
If they bite you again, repeat your verbal reaction. Step away from the puppy for a while. They will realize that you don‘t appreciate what they did and will figure out that you don‘t want to be around them.
Give them a toy to chew on.
Reward the puppy when they are good and not biting you.
Be consistent when you are training them to stop biting. Continue to let the puppy know that bites are not acceptable.
Your puppy should take an obedience class and this way, he can interact with other dogs as he gets older. He will learn about limits with humans and other dogs.
As your puppy gets older and grows into a dog, he needs lots of physical activity, including regular exercise. Give him a chance to play outside so that he can get some fresh air and make sure he gets to walk and play fetch as this can help him to forget about biting.
Keep them on a schedule with their physical activities. They will get used to doing things and will come to enjoy doing them.
Keep young children out of harm‘s way by not leaving them alone with the puppy. The puppy may still be in the learning stage and may bite the child.
Refrain from aggressive behavior with your puppy as that can influence them to continue biting.
If they continue to bite despite your best efforts, contact your veterinarian or a dog trainer for assistance.
Problems with Chewing
Chewing is natural, starting from puppies all the way to a dog, however, it is not necessarily correct. If you notice that your dog has problems with chewing, you will need to correct this as soon as you notice it.
There are some dogs that will chew anything in sight which include shoes, clothes and furniture. Of course, these are things that you would rather them keep away from as it will become very expensive to have to keep buying replacements.
One of the easiest solutions to this problem is to get your dog a variety of dog toys that they can chew on as using these toys can teach them what they can and cannot chew. Also, having a variety of dog toys for them to chew on will keep them occupied and keep their teeth and gums healthy. Some of the better choices for dog toys to chew on are ones that are scented or flavored. Consistently encourage your dog to play with the toys.
While you are training them, also teach them not to chew on items that they are not supposed to be chewing on. It is also important that the area where the dog plays is kept free of clutter. For your part, make sure that there are no shoes or other items that they can start chewing on.
If the dog should happen to get something that they‘re not suppose to have, get their attention and remove it, then replace it with a dog toy. Each time they do that, applaud them for doing the right thing. You can also prevent them from not chewing your items by applying something that will make them step away from it, such as Tabasco sauce and other non-toxic items that they won‘t like the taste of.
Pulling and Tugging on a Leash
Another behavioral problem that dogs have starting from their puppy days is pulling and tugging on a leash. When you play games with the dog, such as tug of war, it makes the dog feel like they can continue to do the pull and tugging bit. This can start a bad habit that can be difficult to break.
If you have a body harness, it can be used when you are training your dog not to pull and tug. Work with the dog so that they can accept and use the harness the same way it would use a collar on their neck. If you are walking the dog, get a toy for them so that you can make them stay at your side. You can also use a training collar if you are having problems training them.
Even if you use a choke chain, you can train them in the same way. Regardless of which type of collar you use, make sure that it fits correctly around their neck. It‘s important that it‘s not too big or too tight for them. As you are walking with your dog, the leash should remain loose. If they pull ahead of you, change directions so that they will end up behind you. Do not allow the puppy or dog to pull you as while they are still young, they need to learn how to walk the right way.
As they get older and larger, it‘s crucial that they are walking correctly. As you correct your dog, do not yank or pull on their neck, just make a gentle movement and they will respond as using too much force can cause the dog to become agitated.
Jumping On People
Dogs like to jump up on people and there are some dog owners who actually encourage this kind of behavior. This is wrong as they should keep in mind that not everyone likes dogs and that their dog should not jump up on everyone that they encounter. Even though they are cute when they are still puppies, it can really pose a problem as they become full grown dogs.
The problem with this is as the dog gets older, they weigh more. The more the dogs weigh, the more dangerous jumping on people can be. Since there are lots of people that don‘t like dogs, they will not appreciate one jumping on them and possibly knocking them down.
If it‘s a small child, it‘s even worse. The child could be seriously injured due to the weight of the dog. Also, the dog owner could be in serious trouble, regardless if it‘s their child or not that got hurt. Whether it‘s an adult or a child, you could find yourself with a lawsuit if you have not trained your dog properly.
The best time to teach him not to jump on other people is when the dog is still young and in the puppy stage as it‘s easier to train them and you won‘t have the trouble that you would if the dog were older. Once you allow them to jump on other people, it becomes a habit that can be difficult to break when the dog gets older as their behavior pattern is already set. The way to do this is when they try to jump on someone, put their feet back on the floor in a gentle and firm manner. You can reward and encourage them as they continue to obey you. As you are encouraging your pet, you must be at eye level with them. The dog will take you seriously when they see that you are providing direct contact at their level. You can continue to reinforce this as much as you need to.
Some dogs have a habit of begging but this is an easy behavior to curb. You must be consistent when you are trying to break them out of it and it‘s important that if there are other people in your house, they have to follow suit by being consistent as well.
Get something that your dog dislikes. You can try fruits such as grapes that are sour or apples that are bitter and you can get these from pet stores that sell supplies. Also, try using tabasco sauce combined with vinegar. Give your dog a sample to see whether he likes it or not and use other foods that you think the dog may not eat.
When your dog starts to beg, give him some of the food that he dislikes. He will soon associate begging with nasty food and will stop. It is also important that you feed him regular meals so that he won‘t go hungry and start begging.