By Kevin Duggan
The first step to getting your dog to do the things you'd like is to figure out how to motivate him. Food is an easy way to motivate. Other things that can be used are access to people that he likes, access to dogs that he likes, getting to go outside and getting to sniff things on a walk. Really, if you think about every behavior that your dog does that you dislike, the thing that is causing the unwanted behavior can be used as leverage for a behavior you'd like instead.
If your dog is jumping on guests when they enter your home then your dog is motivated to greet the person. All we need to do is teach the behavior that we'd like instead and manage the situation carefully to ensure that he doesn't get any reinforcement for doing the unwanted behavior. If you're very consistent with this he will learn that sitting gets him the thing he wants instead of jumping.
If your dog is pulling on leash when out on a walk then he is motivated to go in that direction to smell what's over there, or to pee on the tree that is over there, or to greet the dog that he sees etc. This is one that gets reinforced all the time which leads to more pulling on leash. This one takes some patience but can be pretty easy to solve. We need to take what he wants and teach him that he can have it as long as the leash remains loose. The use of a front attaching harness or a head halter can make this even easier.
Everything that has been mentioned so far hasn't included the use of pain or fear. This is because you don't need to use pain or fear to get the behaviors you're looking for. Pain and fear are motivators. Our recommendation is to avoid using these types of motivators because they can hurt the dog, they're not needed and they can lead to building negative associations which can cause aggression.
By Sierra Hampl
I know everyone in Northeast Ohio is saying this, but I truly “can’t believe it’s November”! With the holiday season upon us, whether you’re traveling or not, let’s take a moment and consider how our dogs fit into the Thanksgiving plans.
Managing an excited dog and having guests over is a common conundrum for pet owners; however, it is possible to spend quality time with your guests while managing your dog’s behavior. In this post you’ll find tips to help you prepare your dog for guests, and also ways to manage your dog’s behavior after the company arrives. This is sure to help you and your dog get the most out of the holidays.
Preparing for guests: