Basic Obedience Tips for Dog Owners
Every dog needs training. Does every dog need to attend classes, boot camps, or specialized lessons? Probably not, but each still needs to be trained.
With an older dog, a fostered dog, or a newly adopted dog, you may see signs of disobedience that need to be addressed. Even if trained well as a puppy, a new environment, life change, or a large gap in reinforcing boundaries can impact and negatively influence a dog’s behavior.
A few of the most common behavior problems dog owners complain about include:
- Excessive Barking
- Jumping on People
- Trash Eating/Food Stealing
- Separation Anxiety
- Over-Excited Actions (peeing, etc)
It takes strict boundaries to break your dog of bad habits like these. You must be the Alpha in your house, and you must lay the rules out. This can be done with positive reinforcement and lots of practice.
Basic Training Tips
Catch Him in the Act
Punishing your dog after he has misbehaved does nothing. You need to catch him in the act of his bad habit and be firm with your words and offer redirection.
Have Treats Ready
Dogs respond best to positive reinforcement - love and treats. You need to be able to grab some at any time without waking across the entire house to the one cabinet they are stored in. If possible, keep a treat bag in any room that you spend time in throughout the day.
Create a Place
Your dog should never be the first one to the door, giving him the ability to bolt, bark, or jump on a guest. A dog bed, mat, or crate should be known as his ‘place.’ Work with him to immediately sit on his place at the sound of the doorbell. Utilize treats and positive reinforcement to do so - it will take time, but keeping this boundary in place will teach him that you are the Alpha; it will also help keep your home a calmer and more inviting environment.
Pick Up Your Things
Your dog loves you and your smell. Your shoes, your tissues, and your laundry are all fair game if they are left on his level and he is not trained. Put your shoes away, keep the trash out of reach, and pick up anything you don’t want your dog to get a hold of. You can provide chew toys, antlers, and treat mazes to entertain and satisfy his need to chew.
Define Your Space
Keep your dog from stealing food by creating a boundary at meal time. Do not allow your dog to enter the kitchen or dining room when food is being prepared or consumed. This can be time for him to be in his crate or sitting on his place. Keep the counters and table clean so that your dog does not even associate the area with stealing food.
No matter what issues you are having with your dog, know that it will take consistency, patience, time, and love to help him become more obedient.