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Dogs are a joy to have in our lives, but if they start exhibiting behavioral issues, it can be a real challenge to live with them. Lets discuss some tips for avoiding future behavioral issues and creating a problem-free relationship with your dog.
First and foremost, it is crucial to take a proactive approach in actively engaging and participating in your dog’s life. By being involved and attentive, you can ensure their well-being, address their needs, and create a strong bond built on trust and companionship.
Remember, your dog relies on you for love, care, and guidance, so being proactive is key to providing them with a happy and fulfilling life.By managing them and combining their motivation language along basic communication skills, you can avoid many potential behavioral issues down the road.
It is crucial to take time to establish clear boundaries with your dog from the start; let them know what behaviors are acceptable and what isn’t before they have to figure it out themselves.
Positive reinforcement; treats, petting, affection, play, toys, etc. is a great way to encourage your dog to continue behaving well. You can set boundaries by rewarding your dog for the alternate behaviors you prefer instead of the ones they will chose when bored !
Don’t forget to provide plenty of physical and mental exercises along with playtime for your dog. Alternating between different exercises is a great way to keep your pet physically and mentally healthy, which will help keep them from becoming bored and getting your attention by misbehaving.
By following these tips, you can ensure that you have a healthy and happy relationship with your dog! If you’re ever uncertain about how to best interact with your pup, it’s always a good idea to consult a dog specialist and take time to understand and build on the fundamentals.
These tips are just the beginning of what it takes to ensure a strong relationship between you and your pup – have fun and enjoy your dog, Building a strong team takes time!
Working as a Team
There are many different approaches to training a dog. None of them are wrong; the goal is to find what works for you and your dog and commit to it. Keep your expectations and goals realistic. Consider the dog’s personality and level of understanding.
The first few months must be spent following the specified guidelines, structure, and usage of commands. It might take many (hundreds) repetitions to retrain a dog to a new behavior (especially when other people are involved in the dog’s life).
If the dog gets away with unwanted behaviors, those things have to get reconditioned with more positive reinforcement or stricter corrections later. Be considerate that some people living with or meeting your dog might not be able to do what you want from them, if so manage your dog appropriately.
Set both people and the dogs up for success, and have kibble, treats, toys, and leashes available for when your dogs need directions and guidance.
Daily Task to Avoid Problems:
Dogs find stability and happiness via Boundaries, Exercise, and Life rewards (in that order.)
Dogs will get into things they aren’t supposed to and create things to amuse themselves when their needs haven’t been met. The purpose of this is not to go into detail about training, but rather to simply highlight the essential needs that every dog has daily to avoid future problems.
Of course, there is no guarantee that your dog will never have any problems regardless of how well you meet their needs. However, by being proactive and establishing a good routine from the start you can avoid lots of trouble and heartache.
To have a dog that is relaxed, well-mannered, and happy starts with the dog’s owner being proactive. The dog needs rules they can understand and follow, daily physical activity, and life rewards such as treats, petting/affection, and playtime. By providing these things for your dog every day you will lay a solid foundation that will make dog training much easier and future behavioral issues less likely.
It is important to establish clear boundaries with your dog from the start. Let them know what behaviors are acceptable and what are not. Dogs are much more likely to behave if they know what is expected of them.
- You promote what you permit
- Fulfills intellect and discipline
- Creates respect and awareness
Daily exercise is crucial for a dog’s physical and mental health. A tired dog stays out of trouble! A dog that has plenty of daily exercise is less likely to exhibit problem behaviors such as chewing, digging, or excessive barking.
- Mental and Physical: Tug, fetch, chase, hide and seek, tag, obstacle course
- Active: Structured walks, running, and hikes. The more you ask the less trouble they get in
- Passive: people watching, freedom to explore smells, feeding enrichment
Reward all the good behavior! Positive reinforcement; treats, praise, affection, play, toys, etc. is a great way to encourage your dog to continue behaving well. Dogs that are frequently rewarded for good behavior are more likely to continue displaying desirable behaviors.
Dogs love praise and attention, so be sure to give them plenty of both when they deserve it! This will help create a problem-free relationship with your dog.
- Great for teaching new commands: treats and praise
- Maintaining behaviors and commands: treats, affection, praise, and freedom to explore
- Changing dogs feeling toward something: treats, toys, and playtime
- If dealing with daily separation anxiety, pushiness, aggression, or resource guarding; Avoid giving unearned attention (refer to the “how to use rewards” page)
Do you feel like a Broken Record:
If nothing appears to be changing while you’re repeating yourself, it’s time to assess what we need from your time. Below is a list of what to focus on and the percentage of time to focus on each. Let’s cover management, training, and the timing of discipline.
Management- Spend 60% of your time fulfilling their needs and setting them up for success by managing their time.
- Give them the mental and physical exercise they need to discover their serenity.
- Use leashes, crates, elevated beds, and baby gates to keep your dog from getting into dangerous situations or rehearsing behavior you want to reduce.
Training/Guidance– Spend 35%– reward everything we want more of. The more you guide and reward your dog for desirable behaviors, the more likely they are to repeat them.
- Use reward markers “yes” and “good” to show your dog they are doing the right thing.
- Start with easy commands such as sit, down, and come here before asking for new things.
- Add more difficult distractions as you and your dog become more confident.
- Remember to keep training sessions short and always end on a good note.
Discipline/Corrections- Spending more than 5% of your time trying to stop unwanted behaviors means that you have to go backward. Dogs live in the moment, they can only understand how you feel about something if you provide feedback at the moment that they do the behavior. They won’t understand a correction for misbehaviors that happened hours or even minutes ago.
If you find yourself having to discipline your dog frequently, go back and increase the management and training criteria.
- Be consistent with the criteria for each command.
- Use a calm voice when correcting your dog, and give binary feedback.
- Choose one person to be the primary trainer so that your dog isn’t getting mixed signals during the learning phases.
- Dogs that are frequently rewarded for good behavior are more likely to continue displaying desirable behaviors.
Proper communication and management are key to a successful relationship with your dog. Establishing boundaries and rewarding good behavior are essential components of this process.
Be proactive in your dog’s life, and you will be rewarded with a well-behaved pet!