DOG TRAINING 101
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 youdon‘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 couldposeaseriousrisktoothers,includingyourself.Itmaybecuteinthepuppystage,butnotas yourdoggetsolder. Inordertostopyourdog frombiting,youwillneed toteach themearlyon.
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 otherdogs.
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 shouldnotjumpuponeveryonethattheyencounter.Eventhoughtheyarecutewhentheyarestill puppies, it can really pose a problem as they become full growndogs.
Theproblemwiththisisasthedoggetsolder,theyweighmore.Themorethedogsweigh,themore 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 themdown.
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.
Somedogshaveahabitofbeggingbutthisisaneasybehaviortocurb.Youmustbeconsistentwhen 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 aswell.
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.
Chapter 2 : Inappropriate Urination
Inappropriateurinationcan beveryembarrassingforadogownerbutbeforeyoucanmakechanges, you have to get to the root of the problem. There could be different reasons why some dogs cannot control their bladders and once you find out the root of the cause, then you can move on from there.
There are two types of inappropriate urination - excitement and submissive. This guide is going to describe both types.
When dogs get excited, they tend to release control of their bladder and urinate. It can even happen when they get excited about seeing you. Even though excitement urination is normal, it is not a pretty sight and it‘s even more embarrassing when you have someone with you. For a lot of older dogs, it can pose a really big problem.
Excitement urination usually starts when they are still a puppy as since they are still small, they tend to not control their bladder. In fact, they may not even realize what‘s happening. The one thing that you don‘t want to do is get angry with them as that just makes it worse for them and for you. They will also continue to urinate because you have upset them.
What you can do is prevent him from getting excited about certain things by continually exposing him to whatever it is that is making him excited and urinating. The more that you do it, the less excited they will get, which in turn, will stop the urination.
As they get older and grow bigger, they will be able to control their bladder more.
Submissive urination happens amongst packs of dogs. The submissive dog lowers itself and starts to urinate and the other dogs in the pack see what the leader is doing and then they follow suit. When dogs exhibit this kind of behavior, they are usually insecure and have previously been abused by someone else. These dogs need to be shown that there are more appropriate ways to express their submissive status, such as shaking hands or licking the owner‘s hand. You can also teach the dog to lift their paw, command them to sit down, along with other commands of obedience. Doing this will get the respect of your dog.
It is not an easy task to deal with urination issues; however, you still need to be consistent and when they are making progress, you should always reward them.
Do not punish the dog for inappropriate urination because it will only make the situation worse for both of you.
Chapter 3 : Disobeying Commands
It is important for dog owners to realize how vital it is for their dog to come to them when called to do so. If a dog is active and does not come when called, they can run into traffic and get hit by a car, also causing chaos for other traffic on the road.
Unfortunately, there are some careless dog owners who allow their dogs to roam free without a leash which is not a good idea. The owner should always have their dog on a leash which in fact is required in many urban areas and failure to do so can result in the owner facing a fine.
Not Heeding the Owner’s Call
You must train your dog to respond when you say ―come here or heel and other commands as this is in the best interest for you, your dog, other animals and other people. Make sure that when you use the command that your dog does not connect it with a bad experience. Your dog will always be in the learning stage and it is important that each process of teaching and training is something that is positive. That way, they won‘t hesitate to do whatever it is you want them to do.
Each time you command the dog to come, give him a reward. It does not have to be elaborate. Encouraging the dog can include scratching behind their ears or patting them on the head. You can also provide them with dog treats if you wish. Just as long as it‘s something that makes them feel good. As you do this, you must be consistent with it.
Chasing People, Objects and Other Things
Dogs are known to chase after moving objects, whether they are human or not. A prime example is the mailman delivering the mail, a common target for dogs. Another thing that dogs chase after are wheels on a car as the car is moving. This can be dangerous for the dog as well as the driver of the car. You must train your dog not to chase people and other things and the sooner you start, the better chance you have of getting the dog to obey you.
Depending on the breed of your dog, some are easier to train and those that are used for hunting or herdingpurposesaremorelikelytocontinuechasingpeopleandobjects.It‘snotagoodideatoleta dog run free if they have not been trained and even if they have, they still need to remain on a leash inpublic.
When you are training your dog, do it in a safe area that is built-in. An ideal place would be your backyard thatisfenced inand thisway thedogwillbeabletoconcentrateon whatyouareteaching him. You should also train the dog in your home as this is another way of teaching the dog in a controlled environment. Place a leash on the dog. You and your dog will stand at one end of the hallwayorroom.Getasmallballandwaveitinfrontofthembutdon‘tletthedogtouchtheball.
Roll the ball to the other end of the room and use the command ―stay . This command lets the dog know that they are not to chase after the ball. However, if they start to go after it, say the command
―stay again and gently and firmly tug the leash.
Itisimportantthatthedognottouchtheballatall.Ifyouallowhimtodoso,thenhe willthinkthat the command ―stay means that they can touch it. Do this several times or until the dog has learned what the command means. After the dog has gotten the message, give him a treat as a reward for learning thatcommand.
Try the same thing but go to another room. Repeat the process again in more rooms of your home. After you feel that your dog has mastered the training, you can do it without the leash. Keep in mind you must remain in a controlled area. It may take a while for your dog to get the hang of this – just be patient until you are confident that he has learned to stop chasing.
Do a test to see if your dog has actually learned from your training. Get someone to act as a walker or a jogger. The dog should not notice them. In fact, the person that you choose should be a stranger to the dog, but not to you.
Keep the dog on the leash and allow the person to walk or jog several times. During this time, you will do the ―stay command. See if the dog will remain still or try and chase the person. If he tries to run, gently and firmly tug on the leash. If he stays put, you can give him a treat.
Escaping and Roaming
You should never allow your dog to escape your home and roam in the neighborhood. That is irresponsible on your part and can also pose a danger to your dog and the residents in the area.
Some dogs will work an escape plan by themselves and once they get out, they will go after anything in sight including humans, cars or anything that makes a movement. Working to prevent this from happening is easier than trying to get your dog back once they have gotten out.
One of the things that you can do is eliminate anything that will provoke your dog to get away. You must keep your dog busy because if they are bored, they will want to get away and will scheme to do it. If they have plenty of toys, along with water and sleeping arrangements, they won‘t think about getting away as they will be too busy playing and getting their rest.
If you have a dog that has a lot of pent up energy, they will want to escape. They are not using their energy and it makes them bored and anxious to get out. Allow the dog to work off the energy that has built up inside of them to ensure that they do not try to run away.
Make sure that the fencing in your garden is sufficient enough that your dog will stay in the controlled environment and will not be able to get out. If you have a dog that has a habit of digging, you may have to place metal stakes in the ground. You may also have to make the fence higher if your dog has a habit of jumping. All in all, you must do everything possible to ensure that your dog cannot get out and roam the streets.
Chapter 4 : Aggressive Behavior
It can be quite a scary situation if you have a dog that has an aggressive behavior because you don‘t know when they will attack. In order to burn off some steam, it‘s a good idea to take him to the park, however, try to keep him away from other dogs and people so as to prevent an attack on them.
Out and About
Here are a few pointers on how you can deal with aggressive behavior when you are out and about:
Make your dog pay attention to you so that he can be distracted from seeing other dogs.
If another dog is approaching you , do not pull the leash straight as you are giving your dog control; pull sideways on the leash to ensure that you have control of the situation.
If you dog starts to act up, try to distract him by making noises that he would respond to or a command such as ‗leave!‘ - don‘t scream or yell.
Give your dog a treat every time he learns to control his aggressive behavior.
A good idea is to get together with another dog owner so that your two dogs can meet. Keep your dog on his leash and find a place that your dog is not familiar with as your dog will become territorial in familiar places and may feel threatened by the other dog.
Watch how your dog reacts when meeting another dog. If he starts to growl, pulls on the leash or stiffens then it shows that he is not happy and you should move on.
If your dog still has aggressive tendencies, get him in a dog obedience school. There are specialized dog trainers that can work with your dog in a group. Most of the time a group setting can be better therapy forthem.
Here are some other things to do and notice about your aggressive dog:
Consider neutering your dog if it's a male, then they won‘t feel as dominant or possess such aggressive behavior.
Aggressive dogs should not be punished in a physical manner as this only escalates the problem.
Use a leash that is retractable as this can help when you are meeting other dogs. Your dog will not feel restricted and you can still control his movements.
Just because your dog wags its tail does not mean that they are interested in being friendly with the other dog.
It‘s important that you continue to consistently maintain control over the situation, regardless of whether you are at the park, at home or wherever you meet up with other canines.
It‘s important that your dog is kept under control in the event that they meet up with another dog. Your dog may not be an instigator when it comes to fighting, but the other dog may be. Make sure that you have trained your dog to be obedient, obeying all of your commands. Here are some ways that you can prevent your dog from fighting:
Make sure that your dog's collar is fitted properly. It should not be too loose or too tight.
Carry an umbrella for protection.
if an aggressive dog comes in your path, have your dog sit and look away from the aggressor. Have your umbrella available.
Neither you nor your dog should run as this just escalates the situation.
Put the umbrella between the dogs so that it will open.
Put your foot in front and say - stay!, then open the umbrella.
As long as your dog is trained properly they will do what you say and not egg on a fight with other dogs.
If the umbrella trick does not work, you and your dog must back away slowly.
Avoid making eye contact with the aggressor as it will make him more prone to attack, whether it's you or your dog.
If the other dog is extremely aggressive, they may still try to attack. You may have to seek additional help.
Chapter 5 : Bad Behavior at Home
Bad behavior from your dog at home is unacceptable as this can cause a lot of stress for you and the rest of the family. Having to clean up after your dog means more work for you and having to replace items that your dog has ruined can leave a dent in your Bank balance. However, there is a solution to correcting bad behavior from your dog in the home environment, through teaching commands, discipline and changing a few things on your part too.
Keeping Your Dog Out of the Garbage
Dogs are attracted to garbage. They like how it smells and figure that they can find some leftovers that they can eat. Sometimes they just like to rummage through trash to combat their boredom. You can break your dog from this habit and here are some ways that you can do that:
If you find your dog trying to go through the trash, tell him to - leave! Tell your dog he is naughty and to ―sit and ―stay . Impose discipline on your dog and make him stay in the same spot for a little while.
Continue to repeat and reinforce your stand on your dog not going in the garbage. Eventually through your consistency and repetition, they will learn to stop.
Make sure that you are doing your part by blocking every opportunity for your dog to get in the garbage.
Take out the trash. If you don't have a garbage can that has a lid that only operates with your foot, you should get one. Make sure that your garbage can stays closed.
If you have trash to be thrown out, do it as soon as possible. Allowing it to lie around will only attract your dog to rummage through your trash.
Be patient when trying to get your dog to stop going through your trash.
A gently, but firm response will resonate with your dog instead of a forceful one.
As long as you are consistently making an effort, your dog will eventually get the message. attract your dog to rummage through.
Digging Up Holes in the Yard
Some dogs have a tendency to dig holes in your garden or yard. Obviously this can be very unsightly and can cost money and energy on your part to straighten it out. Actually, dogs are not really thinking when they are doing this. They may be getting tired of playing with their toys so they get up to something else.
Don‘t impose a punishment to get them to stop otherwise your dog may rebel against you. What you do need to do is to find the root of the cause then you will be able to work from there to make the necessary changes in your dog to stop him from digging those unsightly holes.
Here are some things that you can try in order to keep your dog from digging holes in your garden or yard:
Place barriers in the areas where you dog likes to dig holes in order to keep you dog out. Once they realize that their favorite areas are blocked, they will stop trying to gain access to them.
You may want to have a sprinkler that will spray water on your dog. Dogs are not too keen about having water sprayed on them and this can deter them from digging in that particular area.
Make sure that your dog gets plenty of exercise as this can help them stop thinking about wanting to dig holes in your yard. One of the main reasons that they do it is because they get bored.
Make time to play with your dog and spend quality time with him. When they know that youare investing time with them, they will be less likely to think about messing up your yard to gain attention.
Your dog should have plenty of toys to keep them busy and make sure they have a variety so that they won‘t get bored easily.
If playing with them and taking them out for regular exercise is not enough, you may want to get your dog a sandbox or you can section off a portion of your yard where they are allowed to dig. You can also allow them to have toys and treats in that area. Once they get accustomed to it, they will not see the need to dig holes anywhere else in your yard.
Dogs don't like the heat, so they will dig holes and use the dirt to keep them cool. Make sure you have a place where there is shade for them to go and provide them with plenty of water.
Chapter 6 : Obsessive Compulsive Disorder(OCD)
ObsessiveCompulsiveDisorderiswhenpeopledo thingsoverandoveragainand theydon‘tknow why. It is an odd behavior and there are many people who suffer from it. However, did you ever think that dogs could suffer from obsessive compulsive disorder(OCD)?
The Cause of OCD
Dogs gets obsessive compulsive disorder when they are suffering from stress or boredom. They can also experience it when they are dealing with anxiety. For a dog owner, dealing with OCD can be a big problem. Dogs can act out in a variety of ways, including damaging things, messing up yards, being aggressive toward others and barking for the sake of doing it. Once these become repetitive, the dog has entered into the world of obsessive compulsive disorder.
The only way your dog can show their frustration is to do repetitive actions until you take notice so if your dog behaves in this way, spend more time playing and talking with them and generally interacting with them more.
If you see that your dog is bored, you will have to find more activities for him to do or spend more time with him doing the activities that he is already engaged in. Dogs are like children and love it when you spend quality time with them.
If your dog is stressed, consult with your veterinarian. Once your dog gets in that mode, he can become aggressive and put others in danger, including himself. Your veterinarian can provide your dog with medication to calm him down. Depending on what kind of breed you have, they may be genetically linked to OCD. There are certain ones, such as English Bull Terriers and German Shepherds that are known to have OCD linked to their genetic history. Whatever the case, once you find out your dog has OCD, it‘s important to get them help immediately so that they can live a normal life.
Whining, Howling and Excessive Barking
There are times when whining, howling and barking are normal for your dog. However, if you have a dog that constantly whines, howls or barks, it can become a problem. Not only can it become a problem for you, it can also become a problem for your neighbors if you live in an apartment or a subdivision and you may get constant complaints from them if the problem is not resolved.
Here are some ways that you can deal with a dog that is constantly creating havoc:
Find out why the dog is whining, howling or barking so much. They may be hungry, thirsty or both so make sure that the dog is always fed and always has water. Don‘t forget about supplying the dog with toys to keep their mind occupied.
Some dogs do not like being by themselves and get upset when no one is around which creates anxiety for them. In addition to being lonely, they get stressed out and start making all kinds of annoying noises. If you are going to be out of the house for a while during the day, think about leaving a radio on low to give your dog some‗company‘.
Try not to make a habit of always catering to them when they whine. If you do, they will expect you to come every time and you‘ll have a difficult time breaking the habit.
Sometimes a dog will make noises because they need to use the bathroom. The three times that you need to know to take them is after they eat, after an activity and after a nap or when they are waking up in the morning. There will be other times, but once the dog gets trained, you will be able to figure it all out.
After you have provided food, water and toys for the dog, they should be quiet. However, if they are not, don‘t be afraid to let them know that their behavior is not acceptable.
You can help your dog change their bad behavior by consistently working with them. Be consistent and stick to your rules, not allowing anyone else that comes into contact with the dog to deviate from what you have taught. Once your strategies and training is etched in stone, your dog will start to get used to them and eventually will behave better. You will be less stressed once your dog is at ease and is obeying your commands; you will feel more comfortable and at ease about taking them out for their daily exercise.
Dogs are like children—you have to keep nurturing them and providing them with love and support. At the same time, they must realize that they have to accept correction in order to be a productive member of your family.