A survey of 100 dogs that visited a veterinary clinic found that 82.0% of dogs exhibited behavioral problems.
The most common problems were destructive behavior, barking, and aggression. Dogs with behavioral problems are more likely to be relinquished to shelters, and less likely to find new homes.
As a result, it is important for pet owners to be aware of the signs of common behavioral problems, and to know a few simple tips and tricks to help put an end to them.
How To Correct Dog Behavior
If you find yourself at your wit’s end with your furry friend’s bad behavior, don’t give up hope just yet. Try out these seven tips to help curb your dog’s unwanted behaviors.
1. Set Clear Rules And Consistently Enforce Them
Dogs are social creatures that thrive on structure and guidance.
Without clear rules, they can quickly become confused and stressed, leading to unwanted behaviors such as barking, chewing, and jumping.
Therefore, the first thing you need to do to prevent these problems is to set clear rules from the very beginning and then consistently enforce them.
For example, if you don’t want your dog to jump on visitors, make sure to never allow it, even in moments of excitement.
If you give in just once, your dog will learn that the rule is flexible and continue to jump whenever it pleases. The same goes for other rules, such as chewing or barking.
Consistency is key when it comes to training dogs, so be sure to stick to your rules no matter what.
2. Training Is Key
In addition to setting rules, it is also important to provide your dog with basic obedience training.
This will teach them the commands they need to know to follow your rules, such as “sit,” “stay,” and “lie down.”
Although it may not seem related, obedience training can actually help reduce or prevent a number of unwanted behaviors, such as barking, chewing, and jumping.
Every time you train your dog, you’re teaching them that good things happen when he does what you ask. This is a valuable lesson that will help them to trust and obey you in all kinds of situations.
Obedience training can be done at home with the help of online resources or books, or you can sign up for classes at a local pet store or obedience school.
3. Socialize Your Dog Early And Often
One of the best ways to curb unwanted dog behaviors is through socialization.
Socialization simply means exposing your dog to a variety of people, places, and experiences in a positive way. This can help them to become more comfortable and confident in new situations, and less likely to bark, lunge, or display other unwanted behaviors.
It’s important to start socializing your dog early, ideally before they are 4 months old. However, it’s never too late to start, and even older dogs can benefit from socialization.
There are a number of different ways to socialize your dog.
- Take them for walks in different neighborhoods
- Sign them up for dog-friendly classes or activities
- Invite friends and family over to meet your furry friend
You could even go on one of these dog-friendly date ideas.
Bringing up your dog around kids is also good for socialization with proper supervision.
4. Give Them Plenty of Exercise
Dogs are full of energy, and without the outlet of regular exercise, this energy can quickly become pent-up and lead to unwanted dog behaviors.
This is why one of the most effective ways to curb unwanted dog behaviors is to make sure they are getting plenty of exercise.
How much exercise your dog needs will depend on their:
- Overall health
But a good rule of thumb is at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise per day.
There are a number of different ways to provide your dog with the exercise they need. One of the most effective is to simply provide them with plenty of opportunities to run and play.
A long walk or run is a great way to start the day, and if possible, you should try to fit in at least one additional outing during the day. Using a dog bike lead and going for a ride is sure to tire them out.
Playing fetch or Frisbee is also a great way to wear out an energetic dog. If you have a yard, set aside some time each day for your dog to explore and play.
5. Avoid Punishment
When dogs exhibit unwanted behaviors, it’s important to avoid punishment.
This includes physical punishment, such as hitting or spanking, as well as verbal punishment, such as yelling or scolding.
Punishment can actually make unwanted behaviors worse, and it can also damage the bond between you and your dog.
If you need to correct your dog’s behavior, it’s important to do so in a positive and constructive way.
This might include using positive reinforcement, such as treats or praise, to encourage good behavior, or using gentle guidance to redirect your dog’s attention.
6. Prevent Your Dog From Learning Bad Habits
One of the best ways to prevent unwanted dog behaviors is to never allow them to learn bad habits in the first place as it’s much easier to prevent bad habits from being learned than it is to correct them.
The key to preventing these bad habits is to puppy-proof your house and supervise your dog closely, especially when they are young.
Baby gates can be used to block off rooms or areas that you don’t want your pup to access.
Crates can provide a safe space for your pup to retreat to when they need a break from the action.
Window blocks will prevent your pup from getting excited and leaping out the window.
And finally, leashes can be used to keep your pup close by when you’re busy cooking or cleaning.
By puppy-proofing your house and supervising your dog, you can help them learn the rules of the household and avoid developing bad habits.
Keep in mind some people’s bad habits are another person’s desirable behavior – like having a dog sleep in the bed with you. While most people do not want that, some do!
7. Work With A Trainer
If you have tried all of the above tips and you’re still struggling with your dog’s behavior, it might be time to seek professional help.
A qualified trainer can help you to understand why your dog is exhibiting certain behaviors and how to correct them.
They can also teach you how to effectively communicate with your dog so that they know what you expect from them.
With the help of a trainer, you can learn how to better manage your dog’s behavior and create a more harmonious household.
How To Find A Good Trainer?
As any dog owner knows, training is an essential part of responsible pet ownership. A well-trained dog is a joy to live with, but a poorly trained dog can be a nuisance at best and a danger at worst.
So how can you find a good dog trainer?
One place to start is by asking your veterinarian for recommendations. Another option is to check out local obedience classes and meet the trainers in person.
Once you’ve narrowed down your choices, be sure to observe a few training sessions before making your final decision.
Pay attention to the trainer’s methods and priorities, as well as the overall atmosphere of the class. And of course, make sure that your own dog responds positively to the trainer.
How To Correct A Dog
By following these seven tips, you can help your dog learn to curb unwanted behaviors.
Consistency is key, so be sure to praise or reward your dog whenever they display the desired behavior.
With patience and positive reinforcement, you can help your dog become a well-behaved member of the family.
If you’re asking ‘why does my dog sit on me?‘ The answer might just be that you haven’t trained him out of it yet!