With how the world is today, you’re probably spending more time with your pet than you’ve ever had in the past; that could mean you are noticing behaviors and tendencies you might not have before. It could also be that you just welcomed a new dog into the family. Whatever your reason may be, odds are, you’re here seeking dog training tips and guidance.
Training is vital to a dog’s life. Not only does it make home life easier for you, but it also allows you to build a better relationship with your dog. It helps them communicate their needs as well as being more active and sociable. Thus, resulting in your pet living a happier life.
One thing to bear in mind throughout the dog training journey is that getting tired and frustrated is part of it. It’s normal. It requires a lot of patience because it will not be the easiest thing to do. As well as taking up a good chunk of your time. But just keep on going and the results will be very much worth it.
Here are ways on how to break common unpleasant dog habits:
1. Excessive Barking
Dogs use barking as their way of communicating. There are various reasons as to why they might be barking excessively. If it’s not a health concern, it could be that they’re being territorial, bored, or seeking attention. This usually happens when they want to go out or play, as well as when there’s a foreign element in their environment like a new person or loud sounds.
- Try to figure out why they are barking. You won’t always be 100% sure, but it’s best to try.
- Make sure you remain calm. You can train them to understand when you say “QUIET” by saying it when they’re barking and praising them when they stop. It’s best to have a dedicated word for that command.
- If that doesn’t work, try ignoring the barking and only give them attention when they stop.
- Bring them out for walks or dedicate time to play with them. Tiring them out with enough exercise helps them behave more at home because they get to use up their energy.
- Yelling at your dog will only make them think that you are playing and joining them. It will result in them barking even more.
2. Pooping or Peeing on Your Furniture
Dogs tend to be territorial and need to assert dominance in foreign spaces or objects. They usually do this to mark what they think belongs to them. This can also be because they are new to the space and do not yet accept it to be part of their home. In rare situations, it’s a sign of stress. Best to figure out why.
- Bring them out for regular walks. It makes them aware that there is a set time for them to poop and pee.
- Be clear about which surfaces they’re allowed on, and which ones they’re not.
- Thoroughly clean objects and areas — make sure to remove their scent. You can use dog-safe sprays for this (lemon juice and other citruses work really well too).
- Putting a diaper on them and only removing it when you go out for a walk.
- Don’t allow them to get on sofas or beds, while they’re still in training.
- Rub their nose into the furniture. (They will not understand why you’re doing that.)
- Note: Another way to help is spaying or neutering your pet.
3. Chewing on Your Belongings
The major reason for this is that either they are bored or they are teething (only for puppies). It is also possible that your dog cannot differentiate what’s his and what’s yours because of the number of toys that they have. This could also be another sign of stress. More often than not, they don’t know that what they’re doing is wrong.
- Make sure that your dog has only one to two toys that they can always play with. If they have more, make sure that not all of their toys are lying around.
- Regular exercise or walks will help them release pent-up energy.
- Yelling and hitting them won’t help, because they won’t associate the punishment with the unwanted behavior.
- Keeping valuables within your dog’s reach is not a good idea.
4. Aggression Towards Strangers
If you sometimes feel cautious or scared when dealing with strangers, odds are your dog isn’t that different. Dogs aren’t naturally aggressive animals. They usually display aggression as a means of confronting a possible threat. And the only way to make them stop is to desensitize them and make them realize that most people, and dogs, aren’t going to harm them in any way.
- Allow your dog to socialize! Bringing them out for walks to meet other dogs will help them get used to being around other dogs and humans. Just make sure that the other owners you are approaching are comfortable with you coming up to them.
- Ask a friend or a relative with a dog to help you. Carry treats with you. Start by having the other dog stand far away and as they come closer give your dog a treat. Stop when they are out of sight.
- Use a harness when walking or socializing them, so that you can pull them upwards (not backward) to let them know that they shouldn’t behave that way.
- Don’t force them to be around a lot of humans and other dogs when they’re not used to it. Ease them to it.
- Don’t tolerate the behavior and let your dog think that it’s okay to do.
5. Ignoring their food/Not eating on time
Some dogs have a hearty appetite and aren’t really hard to feed at certain times. But there are other dogs that tend to ignore their food and only eat when they want. There are various reasons for this, if it’s not a medical concern, it could be that either they’re tired of their usual meals or they think that they can eat whenever they want because the food is always there.
- Slowly introduce the concept of scheduled eating. An hour before feeding time, set your dog’s bowl down and make sure they see it. Whether they eat it or not, take it away after two minutes. Then during the actual time of eating, set the bowl down for 15 minutes. Take the bowl away or empty it after even if they don’t eat it or don’t finish it. If your dog refuses to eat at the set time, you must remove the food and not allow access to it again until the set time, no matter how much your dog might beg and demand later when they get hungry.
- Mix up your dog’s meals! It could also be that they’re just tired of their usual meals.
- Get mad at them for not finishing or eating their food. They’ll associate it with eating and might be even more difficult to get them to eat.
- Fill their bowls up to the brim, it’ll make them think that they can come back to it. Try slowly easing them with small portions and just adding when they finish it and seem to want more.
Dog training is not the simplest of tasks, but as a responsible dog parent, it is really a must for you to do so. It is not just about the number of tricks you can teach your dog, it’s also the discipline. It will really make your life a lot easier.
Research will be your best friend throughout this entire process. As you know, some dog breeds are quicker and faster to pick up on these dog training tips, while some are a bit slower or a kind of stubborn. There are different temperaments and personalities. There isn’t a one-size-fits-all technique in training dogs, it’s a trial and error process.
We hope that this helped you, please share this with your fellow dog owners that are starting their dog training journey!
Please be patient with your buddy and trust the process.