There’s no worse public humiliation than your dog dragging you down the street in pursuit of another animal or jumping up on the dinner table trying to snatch some food. With these helpful tips you and your furry friend will be able to take on the world as a classy, and much less embarrassing, duo.
Start Training Young
Take yourself back to the first day you brought your pet home. While it’s one of the most exciting times, it’s likely things didn’t go as smoothly as you would have hoped. Were there accidents on the carpet? Chewed up furniture? Pantries broken into? All of the above? More than likely as a pet owner you’ve experienced at least one of these (and, you are not alone.)
Owning a pet is both a learning process and a lot of work. Most people don’t consider this when they lock eyes and fall in love with “the one” in the pet shop. However, if you start training your pup early on, there will be much less work in the future for the both of you. A great way to do so is to enroll your pup in training classes once it is safe for them to interact with other animals.
Choosing to participate in group training classes helps your pup become comfortable around other dogs and mimic the positive behavior that they see being rewarded. In addition, it teaches you as an owner how to properly train, reward, and correct your dog’s manners. Though some older dogs may have behavioral problems due to lack of structure in their puppy days, senior dogs are still loveable and trainable companions.
There’s nothing more heartbreaking than the way your dog looks at you after they know they messed up. And while it is easy to get fooled by those puppy dog eyes, it’s important that you don’t give in when your dog misbehaves.
Dogs are highly intelligent creatures and are able recognize fluctuations in pitch. Therefore, you must use an assertive tone and repeat similar phrases, such as ‘no’ or ‘bad dog.’ It is important to speak to your dog in a similar fashion each time so they consistently recognize when you are disappointed in their behavior.
Reward the Good
On the flip side, be sure to reward your pup and use higher and more positive diction when they behave well. Just as dogs can interpret assertive tones, they can also understand when you are satisfied with their behavior. You can do this by petting, raising your pitch, or giving your pet treats.
Designate a Place for Your Pet to Go
Another way to improve your dog’s manners is to train them to have a place to go when they are anxious or being disruptive. Whether it is their dog bed, a particular room, or a place outside, giving your pet his own space will not only calm your pet, but also keep them out of the way of the chaos.
If you train your pet to go to this place at an early age, they are more likely to listen and remember this space in the future. Try to keep the place consistent if you can, otherwise you’ll have to start the training process all over again.
Teach Your Dog that it’s Okay to be Alone
Oftentimes when you leave your pet alone, they simply don’t know what to do with themselves, which might result in mischievous behavior. This is why it’s important to teach your dog that it’s okay to be alone in order to reduce their anxiety when you’re away.
You can do practice this by leaving your pet alone in a room for a short period of time and then rewarding them when they behave well. If you practice this enough your pet will be comfortable when they are left alone, even for an extended period of time. As a result, less of your shoes will be destroyed and your couch cushions are more likely stay intact.
At the end of the day, your pet is going to be your partner in crime no matter how well they behave. Make sure your pet is well rested, be patient, and understand that while your pet might not have perfect manners in the beginning, part of training is rewarding their progress.