Dogs make incredible companions. They can make us feel less lonely, help alleviate stress, and aid with symptoms of anxiety. These furry animals are good for our hearts. Having them around can lower our blood pressure, making us live long and healthy lives. Research has even found that having a dog can significantly reduce the symptoms of PTSD.
Since dogs are highly active and social, they encourage their owners to move more and even strike up conversations with others. Having a dog is a blessing for many reasons. However, it does get challenging when they exhibit undesirable behaviours. This is why we have come up with an easy guide to weaning your dog of bad habits.
Strategies To Consider
#1. Train Your Dog
You may think that training your dog to sit, come to you, or lie down may not help fix your dog’s chewing or barking issues. However, teaching your dog using a positive reward-based system teaches them that when they listen to you, they receive good things in return. Not only that, but positive reward systems can help boost the bond that you have with your dog, as well as mentally stimulate it.
Dogs need as much mental exercise as they need an active lifestyle. Mental stimulation will also make it more tired, making it less likely to misbehave. Always use easy-to-understand and follow words when you’re teaching them. For instance, replace “stop jumping” with “sit” or “stop.” Praise them using phrases like “good dog/ boy/ girl” whenever they do something right.
#2. Keep Them Active
Do you know someone who tires their toddler out throughout the day, so they can be less hyperactive and go to bed early? It’s time to do the same with your dogs. The chances are that you’re busy for the majority of your day. However, taking your dog out for a 10-minute walk is not enough. Your dog needs a lot more exercise than that. This is why they may channel their energy into jumping around or chewing your furniture. The younger your dog is, the more exercise they need. You should also keep in mind that some breeds are more active than others.
#3. Prevent Them From Learning Bad Behaviour
If you have a puppy, it’s easy to keep them from learning bad behaviour than teaching them that it’s wrong later on. It’s best if you keep houseplants and shoes off the floor. You should also put anything that they may chew on away. Try to always keep your puppy supervised, so you can catch their mistakes early on.
#4. Stay Consistent
Make sure that all family members avoid the temptation to slip them treats. Everyone needs to be consistent until your dog learns the rules, otherwise, they will get confused.
Common Bad Behaviours
When you come back home, make sure to calmly greet your dog, so they don’t get over-excited. Avoid giving attention whenever they jump to discourage the behaviour. Stand still or give them your back until they stop.
You can also use the “sit” command and then kneel down and give them their desired attention. By doing this, you’ll find that your pup will eventually stop jumping.
#2. Multiple Pet Issues
If you have a cat, then you must already be aware of the challenge this creates. The chances are that your dog won’t stop eating cat poop, as disgusting as it sounds. This behaviour is often due to boredom, frustration, or even curiosity. One easy way to put a stop to this behaviour is through deterrence. You can also use methods like behaviour training or keep your cat’s litter box somewhere out of the dog’s reach.
Chewing is a very normal behaviour among dogs, particularly when teething. You should keep your belongings out of the dog’s reach and offer it objects it can chew on. Make sure they’re suitable for their size and age.
#4. Weaning Treats
Many people think that they need to cut off treats entirely whenever their dog is behaving badly. You should never hold off the treats until your dog learns to behave well. Keep in mind that learning is a long process. Instead, make sure to reward your dog with treats whenever they behave well or listen to you, and avoid doing it for no reason.
Correcting your dog’s behaviour is not an easy task. Even though it can get very tiring, it can be a very rewarding and teaching experience for both of you. Your bond with your dog will strengthen immensely, and you will ensure that your dog remains mentally and physically healthy.