Fido is barking loudly each time a neighbor comes to the door. Rex is urinating on the carpet just after being let indoors. Scamper is still jumping up onto forbidden furniture after having been corrected multiple times. Sometimes, training your canine may feel impossible, or, at the very least, time-consuming. Truths regarding all dogs should be common knowledge.
Common problems, or problems which affect you the most directly, should be dealt with by changing your own behavior.
Excessive barking can be caused by many things, including nervousness, an excitable atmosphere, and loud noises. It is recommended to remain calm and unexcited as often as possible. Don’t rile up the dog by rolling around on the floor with it, poking it with sharp objects or talking in high-pitched, excited tones. Don’t give the dog immediate attention when you come home. The dog will get used to being first priority and demand it when you want to do something else. Yelling in the house can escalate things to a canine. Also, be sure to give the dog plenty of positive physical attention in addition to punishment. If the only touch received is negative, then the dog will associate your touch with punishment. Give your dog lots of positive physical touch, encouraging words and a calm atmosphere.
Urination outside of designated “potty areas” can be problematic. Remove the scent to take away the desire to urinate in that place again by soaking and scrubbing with vinegar and dish soap, alternately. Vinegar will remove the urine and scent, while dish soap will “lift” it off of the surface and diffuse the vinegar smell. If the dog is just coming from a designated potty area and immediately urinates in a forbidden zone, then a different problem is occurring. This is a signal given by the dog that something is wrong. Illness, improper treatment of the animal or loneliness are the most common factors. Take your dog to the vet, make sure children are not inadvertently abusing it and let it lay at your feet when you are home. This gives your canine a sense of home and being a part of your family.
Biting, chewing and getting on forbidden furniture can make it difficult to leave your animal at home when you are away. Many dogs have a basic need to use and sharpen their teeth. A shoulder bone from your local butcher, or a soup bone, is a good way for your dog to spend time and to exercise teeth and jaws. Frequently, an excitable or playful dog will spend hours working on a good bone. Give reward by rubbing your dog and talking in positive tones while it is chewing. Keep your dog off of forbidden furniture, not by swatting or playing tug-of-war (both ways for your dog to get attention), but by taking its collar and gently pulling it over to an appropriate place for it to be. Don’t yank. Doing this repeatedly, coupled with a few gentle strokes when it is in the proper area, will do wonders for your dogs teachability. Remember to exercise him frequently, even by running him beside your bike, so that he stays in good physical condition and is more peaceful when in your home.
All canines need gentle care, soft voices and plenty of exercise, not only for their bodies, but also for their teeth and jaws. Many owners make the mistake of getting angry or excited at their dog, instead of showing proper demeanor, thereby teaching the dog proper demeanor. A dog is a blank slate, except for what you write on it. Remember to write only positive behavior by showing a positive attitude. Don’t associate human emotions or “ulterior motive” in your animal. He is only reflecting your actions and attitude.