Does your dog currently know how to use its nose when asked? Why would this be of any importance? When a dog uses its nose it provides mental stimulation for the dog. It's said that 10 minutes of mental stimulation is equivalent to roughly 30 minutes of physical exercise. That's a pretty good trade off if you ask me. The game below is a fun way to drain your dog's battery without taking up much of your time. It only takes a minute to set up, and can take your dog 10-15 minutes to complete. That's a lot of mental stimulation! Check out the video below to see what I'm talking about!
It's easy to blame the dog. I mean, he's the one that jumped onto the counter and stole your new pair of sunglasses. He's the one that ran around in circles while you chased him trying to get those sunglasses back. It's him, not you. Right? See how easy that was? Just blame it on the dog!
Sometimes the easiest thing isn't the correct thing. While it is easy to blame it on the dog, that doesn't mean that doing so is correct. For it to be the dog that did the "wrong" thing, it would mean that the dog is capable of making decisions based on "right and wrong." Currently what we know is that dogs are not capable of making decisions based on right and wrong. The decisions that dogs make are based on two things; Safe/Beneficial, and Unsafe/Not beneficial.
With all that being said, it can't be the dog's fault. Dogs will do what dogs do. If the behavior that the dog does leads to something the dog likes, he will do that behavior again. If a guest walks in and the dog joyfully jumps all over the guest, the next time a guest comes in the dog will try to do the same thing because of the enjoyment that came from it in the past.
Some examples of things dogs get blamed for and why it's the human's fault:
Dog gets into things when left home alone - Human's fault. Should have properly secured dog or objects
Dog chews human's things - Human's fault. Dog should be supervised or properly secured (crate, playpen)
Dog eliminates in the kitchen - Human's fault. Dog should be taught where to go, dog should be supervised, etc.
Dog jumps on human as it enters - Human's fault. Dog needs to be taught how to greet a human
Dog barks outside incessantly - Human's fault. Dog shouldn't be outside unsupervised
Can you see the trend? These are just some common examples of when the dog is blamed for its "wrongdoing." Ultimately though as I have shown above, it really stems down to human error. This human error can happen due to lack of knowledge, laziness, lack of time, and other reasons. Whatever the reason though, it's important to acknowledge it as your fault, and not your dog's.
As soon as the human starts taking responsibility for the incorrect things that happen progress can start to be made. I think they say that the first step is admitting you have a problem. With this, the first step is admitting that it isn't the dog's fault. Remember that dogs do what makes sense to them and what benefits them.
To successfully achieve what you're looking for out of your dog, you need to ensure that he gets absolutely zero enjoyment out of doing the "wrong" things. Additionally, it is a must that you give lots of reinforcement when the "correct" things happen. Remember to stay patient, give your dog physical and mental stimulation, clearly communicate, manage/prevent the unwanted things from happening, and to reinforce the wanted behaviors. By doing these you are setting your dog and yourself up for a long happy life together.
A lot of dogs tend to get overexcited once they realize someone as at the door. This often times leads to excessive jumping and other behaviors. Here is a fun thing to practice to help your dog remain calm when a guest arrives. It takes a little bit of work to get to the final product but it's a lot of fun to do.
No one signs up to work with dogs to put them to sleep. Veterinarians don't want to get into their line of work to euthanize dogs. People that run and volunteer at shelters don't sign up to euthanize dogs. So far this all seems pretty obvious right?
Millions of dogs are euthanized each year. The main reason is because there simply isn't enough room for all these dogs. Currently there is just way too many dogs reproducing which is resulting in this overpopulation. A breeding pair is going to have upwards of 8 puppies. Each of those 8 puppies could potentially create 8 puppies of their own one day and it just spirals out of control. Before you know it there are way too many dogs, and no where for them to go. (which is our current situation.)
So how is it decided which ones get a chance and which ones do not?
Firstly, in a perfect world every dog would get a chance. But this isn't a perfect world and the over population problem is real. This means that it is the best interest of shelters and rescues to try to adopt out the dogs with little to no problems. These dogs will get adopted quicker which will open up a space for another dog.
This leaves the dogs with more serious issues left. These more serious issues typically come in the form of some sort of aggression. (e.g. towards people or other dogs.) If a dog is showing signs of aggression towards people, a shelter can not adopt that dog out in that current state because it's a ticking time bomb waiting to happen and someone is going to get hurt. This means there are a couple options for these dogs. One option is to do some behavior modification. The problem is that true behavior modification takes months and months. (It took me nearly a year to get my dog over his issues with other dogs.) If it is going to take months and months to rehab a dog to get him adopted, this is going to result in that dog taking a spot that many dogs could have used to be adopted. It goes back to the dogs with "no issues." A dog with "no issues" is going to be adopted out quicker. Within the time that the dog with issues needs for its rehab 10 + dogs could be adopted. If the dog with issues is taking that spot for that long, it's going to result in 10 + dogs being euthanized because there is no room for them. It really is crappy situation. Another option is for a rescue to take in a dog with these issues and keep him in a cage for the rest of his life. (Is this fair?) And finally, the other option is euthanasia. Once again, no one gets into this line of work to put dogs to sleep. But the reality of the situation is that there simply isn't enough room for all the dogs in this country and this is going to be the end result for many of them.
It is my goal by writing this to help people understand that no one wants to put a dog to sleep. No one signs up for this job to kill dogs. People that work with dogs do it because they love dogs. There simply isn't enough time, room, or resources to save every dog. Additionally, not every dog with behavioral issues can be, "fixed." The general public has been mislead in regards to what is possible with behavior modification. Dogs are living, breathing animals that can't just be changed by snapping ones fingers.