Dog Training: Well-trained dogs are dear to their owners. However, even the best-behaved dogs can sometimes develop unwanted behaviors such as continuously digging the ground, scratching the floor mat, begging for food when you are at the dining table, barking excessively, and refusing to come when you call it over. It is even more embarrassing when the dog pounces on guests and jumps on the coaches in the house. You can propose to change some unwanted habits by training your dog to adopt desirable behavior.
Training your dog to change unwanted behaviors requires a systematic process particular to your dog’s needs because such conduct can differ from one dog to another. Here some general guidelines to train your dog to overcome unwanted behaviors.
Even if your neighbor has a dog like yours, that does not mean that the behaviors should mirror each other. Your dog is in a certain environment and receives unique treatment. Knowing your dog will help you understand its needs. Dogs behave and respond differently to their environmental stimuli depending on their age and health. A puppy might need frequent breaks to relieve itself and might not have the patience of a grown-up dog. If you deny it the frequent breaks, it might pee on the floor mat. Understanding your dog will also provide signals to you that indicate what works well with it and what doesn’t, so you can improve training habits to have it follow the behavior you desire.
Dogs exhibit different unwanted behaviors, so the first step is to recognize them in your dog. Since such behaviors are often strange and unusual, it should be easy for you to observe and identify them.
Some of the most common unwanted behaviors could include begging for food when you are dining, barking excessively when visitors come to your home, too much rolling on the ground, or chasing objects and people. Your pet could also start running after other dogs and cats, or chasing fellow dogs during mealtime and eating their meals, scratching the carpet, refusing to come when called, and refusing to heed warnings when it is doing something messy.
Once you identify the unwanted behavior in your dog, the next step is to identify the potential triggers for that behavior. For instance, if your dog is used to begging, it could be because either you or another person regularly gives it treats when it is staring at them while eating. Other triggers could result from common dog health issues. If the dog is chewing excessively it could be because it is a puppy and is teething, or it could also be out of anxiety. Use the age of the dog, its history, and the immediate environment to identify the causes of unwanted behaviors quickly.
Nothing might work out if you keep shouting at your dog when it is engaging in unwanted behavior. Training your dog should involve bonding where you create a good relationship as you instill the new behavior. Follow the fundamental dog training rule of thumb that suggests the repetition of good behavior for your dog, coupled with appropriate rewards. Some of the common rewards you could use may include verbally praising the dog, awarding it a play toy, or giving it reasonable treats when it displays good behavior. Shun punishing your dog for an unwanted behavior because that might make your pet more reactive, and it is likely to repeat the unwanted behavior after a while.
Your dog naturally matters a lot to you. So set aside a budget to purchase some behavior and training aids to help fast-track the new behavior training process. You can get aids for specific behaviors you want to change in your dog. Some of these aids can help you train your dog to avoid jumping onto guests and learning potty etiquette. The fantastic thing is training aids might come with manuals and instructions on how to use them and a tentative schedule to achieve the behavior change goal.
Devise a training plan and stick with it if it bears fruits. The most common strategy is to use prevention, lift the trigger, and teach alternative behavior. You can always tweak your plan according to the results it produces.
Prevention involves managing your dog so that you deny it the opportunity to engage in the unwanted behavior. Whatever behavior the dog may be practicing, your objective is to ensure your dog does not engage in it until you give your pet an alternative and train it to abide by that new behavior. You can get the best dog toys to help with this behavior management stage.
If your dog chases after a neighbor’s dog when the neighbor visits the house, you can create an obstruction. The dog may see the neighbor’s dog, but it should not have the chance to chase it. Whatever the behavior of your dog, ensure you devise a habit containment mechanism.
Lifting the trigger is an essential step in changing unwanted behavior because this is where you identify the cause of the behavior. It could be a normal pet behavior, in which case you should think of an alternative. Find out the motivation for the behavior, be it excessive chewing, scratching the floor mat, or begging for food. Once you identify the trigger, you are then set for the third step of changing the behavior.
Suppressing the trigger may make it more difficult for your dog and yourself to change the behavior. Acknowledge it, and give your dog an alternative by offering a replacement of the behavior you identified. If the unwanted behavior is begging for food, you can provide an alternative such as letting it relax on a rest mat inside or outside the house. Remember, it takes repetition to familiarize your dog and have it adapt to the newly suggested alternative conduct.
You can successfully change the unwanted behavior of your dog if you understand it well. Identify unwanted behavior and find out the triggers. Train your dog positively using training aids where necessary by working with a plan for successful behavior change training.