Know what you’re working with: Consider your dog’s breed and what the original intended purpose was. If your herding or working dog is racing around the house all day or if your terrier is barking and chasing things, he’s doing exactly what he thinks he should be doing! Take this into consideration throughout the training process.
Exercise is a fundamental, physical need in a dog’s life. It is just as important as food and water, and it is your responsibility as a dog owner to ensure your dog has sufficient exercise. Increasing your dog’s exercise regimen can really minimize the frequency of problem behaviors.
Leadership is another fundamental need in a dog’s life. If you’d like a relaxed, happy, well-balanced dog, simply provide the leadership and structure that he needs. It can be as simple as that! Think about your dog’s perception of leadership in the following scenarios:
|Walks out the door first?
|Leads the way on walks?
|Is allowed on the furniture?
|Decides when playtime is?
|Sleeps in the bed?
Who does the dog think is in charge? If it’s not you, it has to be him. He doesn’t know any other way. Many dogs end up assuming the role of the leader accidentally, and guess what – they’re not equipped to do that successfully! Set your dog up for success by taking over the leadership role so he can relax!
Establish Rules and Boundaries. Sit down with your family and decide on household rules. Who will walk and feed the dogs? Where do dogs eat? Are they allowed table scraps? When will dogs have run of the house? When will they be crated? What happens when you leave the house? What rooms are dogs allowed in? Where does the dog sleep? What toys can the dogs play with? Are the dog allowed on furniture? Are they allowed to jump on you? On guests? If you aren’t sure about the answers to these rules, or if members of the household have different answers to these questions, your dog doesn’t have a chance of understanding the rules!
What is your dog supposed to do when people arrive? What about during meal time? What about while you’re watching movies or when children are playing in the yard? What is he supposed to do when someone walks past the house? Teaching your dog something TO DO is going to help control his behavior. In the absence of instruction, he’s left to his own devices. Chances are good his opinion will differ from yours!
Once YOU have gotten all the rules figured out…
only THEN is it time to teach your dog!
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