Does your dog often misbehave, perhaps by pulling on the leash, or jumping all over you during feeding time? What about paw and whine for attention? While these behaviors are certainly not desirable, the good news is that with a little training, they’re possible to fix. Typically it involves teaching your dog better self-control, which includes a couple of key elements. First, teach them that rewards come from you when the desired behavior is performed. Show your dogs that they will only get what they want by doing the action or behavior that you want. Secondly, teach your dog how they can win these rewards. Your dog will be more fun to live with if you teach them self-control because a patient dog behaves better and is less demanding. If your dog needs help with behavior, the below tips will help improve his or her self control.
Teach your dog to look at you
The first step to increase your dog’s self-control is to make them voluntarily give you their attention. Make some kind of noise to get the attention of your dogs while holding your clicker and/or yummy treats. As soon as he’s looking at you, click, and drop him a treat.
Your dog will make his next choice after he’s got that first treat (either to look back at you or do anything else around him). When he chooses to look back at you again, click and reward him. Steadily increase the number of times your dog will have to look at you for his treat. Ignore him if he jumps up or becomes pushy to get more treats. Only click when he looks up at you gently.
Teach your dog the sit and lie down command
While your dog is in a sitting position, take a treat in your hand, then shift your hand from the nose of your dog to his chest and straight down to the floor. There are fours steps involved in this:
- Ensure your dog lies down while following the treat. Applaud and reward him immediately with the treat
- You can start saying the word “down” once your dog is easily following the treat into a lying down position
- Practice this in brief but daily sessions several times.
- Give your dog a treat while he is in a lying position- this will maximize the time your dog spends lying down.
Work for dinner
As you prepare your dog’s dinner, he may pounce on you or jump on the counter before you even put the bowl on the floor. Make your dog work for his dinner rather than allowing it to misbehave. Give your dog the “sit” or “down” while you prepare his meal. Your dog has to sit quietly until you place its meal on the floor before allowing it to eat.
Work for your attention
If you love cuddling and playing with your dog, you have to make him work for your attention. It can be not very pleasant having your dog steadily asking for your attention by prodding his head below your hand or scratching at you. Demand your dog to perform an action, like lying down or sitting before you pet or play a game with him.
Work to Go Out
If your dog loves playing off-leash in your yard, do not allow him to bolt out the door even while he’s scratching or jumping on the floor. Rather, demand the dog first to sit. If he declines to sit, go away from the door for a few minutes, then come back and try again. As soon as he’s sitting, you can then open the door and allow him outside.
Contact Argos Dog Training
When it comes to dogs’ training, it can be a difficult process, and sometimes it’s best to enlist professionals. If you’re trying to teach your dog self-control, you can count on Argos Dog Training for assistance. We offer private one-on-one training sessions to address specific behaviors, or group dog training classes. We will take a hands-on strategy together and find a way to fix the issues you have with your dog. Contact us today to set up a consultation and get started!