Of course you’ve got the best dog in the world…but even very good dogs slip up every once in a while. Dog trainers and behavior experts will tell you that there are a handful of very common canine behavior problems that can be solved with just a little bit of training combined with positive reinforcement. We’ve gathered some of the best expert advice on solving those everyday behavior issues most dogs (especially young ones) display every now and then.
Jumping on people: This can occur when your dog is greeting people, is overly-excited, or just wants attention or whatever you happen to be holding in your hand (like food!). What’s the solution? The experts at PetMD recommend teaching your dog to sit on command, avoid games and play that encourage jumping, getting your dog’s attention with a loud noise after a jump, and the use of a head halter for restraint.
Door darting: According to Modern Dog, your dog’s habit of running out the front door is not only annoying, it could also be dangerous if she gets lost or hit by a car. To stop this habit, make sure your dog’s bed is placed far from the door, but where she can still see it. Teach your dog the down-stay command at her bed. Then teach the “go to your bed” command and make sure your dog stays at her bed until you release her. Practice sending your dog to her bed while you are standing at the door. Continue with the “go to your bed” training while you have your hand on the doorknob. Your dog will learn to go to her bed whenever you open the door to go outside or let visitors in.
Begging for food: Begging for food is a natural behavior in puppies. Dog’s Best Life notes that crying and whimpering is a common way they tell mom they want to nurse. In older pups, dominant littermates will often gobble the food and submissive ones will resort to crying to make sure their humans give them food. As dogs grow up, begging, especially begging at the table for human food, becomes one annoying habit.
Here are some tips to end begging: Feed your dog before you sit down at the table to eat. Tell everyone who comes to your house that feeding the dog is forbidden…no excuses! Keep the dog away from the table during mealtimes, especially with young children who drop food on the floor. If you do treat your dog to people food, train him to wait until you’re done, and then place the food in his dish…but don’t do this if your dog begs while you eat! Don’t feel guilty about ignoring a begging dog. One last trick to deter begging…offer a food you know your dog doesn’t like, like a piece of lemon. Your dog will learn there’s no tasty reward for begging.
Leash pulling: Does your dog pull too hard on walks? Rover.com has a few common-sense tips to help stop leash pulling. Train your dog to sit and stay at certain times during the walk; you can also have your dog follow you as you make some quick turns. Change up the speed to keep your dog looking to you for guidance: walk slowly, then fast, and make abrupt stops. Make walks unpredictable by changing routes and destinations. Your dog will let you lead her on new adventures rather than drag you along the same old route.
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