Dog Training Alternate Behaviors.
This entails teaching and reinforcing excellent manners in daily circumstances rather than devoting a lot of time to specific dog training sessions. It all comes down to this: don’t give the dog anything for free.
Do not open the door or toss the ball simply because the dog barks at you. Ask the dog to say “please” first by doing anything like sitting patiently for those and countless more advantages.
This method has several advantages. For one reason, rather than being something the dog is expected to perform exclusively in particular training circumstances, excellent manners become part of daily routines.
Your dog will also develop some impulse control. He recognizes that instead of acting on instinct, he might benefit by pausing to explore other possibilities. In the dog’s mind, training becomes linked to all of his favorite activities:
he will sit for his leash to be put on for a walk, he will comply with a request before being invited onto the couch, he will have to look at you before getting his breakfast or a chew toy, and he will release the ball before tossing it again and playing fetch with you.
When all pleasant things must be preceded by your dog reacting to a command, he rapidly learns to be courteous.
The aim is to educate your dog to say “please,” not to get the ideal obedient reaction to “sit” or “stay.” The objector’s attention will be given if the dog places his bottom on the floor. It soon becomes second nature, and instead of leaping or pawing at you, your dog may revert to a “sit” habit. You may then choose whether or not to request another action, such as “down” or “look.”
This is also a safety precaution:
if your dog defaults to a sitting posture whenever you prepare to open the vehicle door, he will not leap out and perhaps injure himself. He will not run about and you will not have to pursue him if he sits to have his leash put on.
This makes walking the dog a joy rather than a chore.
Before throwing a ball, Frisbee, or another toy; handing over a toy; putting the food bowl down; giving a treat or chew toy; opening a door; clipping on a leash for a walk; taking off a leash at the park or beach; giving a belly rub or a good ear scratch; allowing the dog into or out of the car, use a “please” action.
Solutions for Training Puppies
When it comes to annoying habits, the key is to teach and encourage an opposing or competitive behavior. Rowdy, for example, cannot jump on Anna while seated to welcome her. He can’t bark at guests or beg at the dinner table if he’s in a down-stay on his bed, and he can’t tug on his leash if he’s at Anna’s side establishing eye contact every five seconds. Consider anything that would prevent the dog from participating in that irritating activity, then teach that behavior regularly.
Patience and consistency are essential while teaching any new habit, particularly to replace an established nuisance behavior. It may take some time for the dog to abandon techniques that have consistently worked for him, but if he is no longer rewarded for them and instead is regularly rewarded for alternative actions, he will eventually pick that new answer every time.
Maintain your focus.
Because the unpleasant action previously succeeded, your dog will most likely attempt it again, but this time more forcefully, before giving up. An “extinction burst” is the term for this.
It’s a resurgence of a habit that had been waning since you stopped reinforcing it. “Was she really serious about that?” your dog could ask. Don’t give up; stick to your strategy and you’ll reap the benefits.
I’m really excited to go there…
Will and Kristi just had one gripe about Bo, their Shepherd-Collie mix. Bo was a good dog, nice to humans and pets, and easy to live with, but he was a constant puller. The sled-dog imitation would commence as soon as they snapped on the leash and opened the front door to walk to the park.
Bo was walked on a flexible (extendable/retractable) leash by Kristi and their two children, ages twelve and fifteen. Will walked Bo on a conventional fixed-length leash to get better control.
They moved to a choke collar to relieve their weary shoulders, but it didn’t stop Bo from tugging; he merely wheezed louder and continued going. Fortunately, after an hour of collecting Frisbees and playing chase with other dogs at the park, Bo would pull much less on the walk home.
Why didn’t Bo realize that pulling was unwelcome? Was he the boss?
Is it possible that “showing him who’s boss” would have solved the problem? No! Bo was tugging for one simple reason: he was looking forward to seeing the park, and the quicker he went, the sooner he’d be there.
Bo probably pulled when he was a puppy or a young dog, but Will and Kristi didn’t think it was an issue worth worrying about or training a different reaction to at the time. As a result, Bo was rewarded from the start for tugging on his leash: it brought him where he wanted to go three times a day.
A flexible leash gave the family little control or capacity to halt Bo from tugging, and it may have even encouraged him to keep going since the leash extended freely for a short time when he pulls. The choke collar was unpleasant, but not enough to overshadow Bo’s enthusiasm for the park and the final result: arriving at the park—the ultimate prize!
How to Get Rid of Leash Pulling
Use a conventional leash, not a flexible leash, with a head collar or front buckle harness
Teach the dog to walk off-leash.
Stop walking or turn and go in the other way if the dog pulls (the leash becomes tight). The dog must learn that if he pulls, he will not go anywhere, or worse, we will return.
Restart walking when the leash is slack.
Reward the dog with food and praise whenever he walks without dragging, particularly when he stays close to you.
Walk quickly enough that the dog does not get bored and begins sniffing and peeing every few minutes.
Stop and let your dog do his business when you allow him to smell and go pee, possibly indicating with a word like “Go sniff” or “Go potty.” “Let’s go!” when you’re ready to walk again.
The dog will recognize when it’s safe to smell and when he should resume walking.
Do not extend out your arm to change the length of the leash.
Maintain consistency. The same rules, cues, and equipment should be used by everyone in the family. Never allow the dog to pull.
Stimulation, both physical and mental
Physical activity is essential for both dogs and people to maintain excellent health. We all know that living a couch potato lifestyle leads to a slew of health issues. However, in dogs, a lack of movement may lead to unwanted behaviors.
Not only the herding and hunting breeds but the majority of dogs were created with a functional purpose in mind. The Yorkshire Terrier, for example, was designed specifically for rat hunting. Giving dogs intensive, everyday exercise has a significant impact on their behavior. When left alone, tired dogs chew less, barkless, sleep more, and are more inclined to relax.
Regular play sessions with other dogs and a decent daily workout are both excellent methods to exercise a dog. Time spent socializing with his owners is also important, whether it’s playing hide-and-seek in the yard or visiting the workplace.
If a dog receives hours of exercise every day and still rips through the garbage or disembowels the bedroom pillows, like Anna’s Rowdy, it’s logical to infer he’s lacking cerebral stimulation. Crossword puzzles, novels, chess games, and other brain-stimulating hobbies are popular among individuals who like mental gymnastics. Dogs, on the other hand, must solve doggy difficulties.
For starters, dogs are bred to work hard for their food. Nobody merely gave them a dish of chow while they were out in the wild. Dogs are natural problem solvers and hunters, thus the more we can emulate this process, the less bothersome the dog will be to live with.
Many nuisance habits may be alleviated by placing all of the dog’s meals in a stuffed Kong or treat ball, in food-dispensing devices, or in a game like hide-and-seek or food puzzle toys.
Interesting dog toys are another excellent approach to keep a dog’s mind occupied. When it comes to toys, dogs have specific tastes, so it’s worth performing some detective work to discover out what piques their interest. Some people are never happier than when they get to dissect a plush animal, while others can occupy themselves for hours with a rope toy.
Get a variety and rotate them every day to keep the dog from becoming bored. Of course, you’ll want to make sure you’re using safe toys so your dog doesn’t eat the pieces. A range of Kong toys, Jolly Balls, Buster FoodCubes, and the Tug-a-Jug are among the toughest toys available.