How to Better Train Your Dog and Improve Their Behavior
Dogs give us unconditional love and companionship, and in return, we owe them a lifetime of belly rubs, playdates at the dog park, and optimal mental and physical health. Cultivating good manners in your dog can enrich the relationship you have with him and help him interact appropriately with the world around him.
Try these useful strategies for promoting positive dog behavior from the team at Blue Valley Animal Hospital!
Commands like “stay” or “come” may not seem connected to unwanted behavior like barking or jumping, but the bottom line is, dogs that have undergone positive, reward-based training have learned to associate your commands with good things! Whether you train your dog yourself or use a professional trainer, making time for age-appropriate dog training will help your dog gain confidence and will make the time you spend with your pet more rewarding and fulfilling for you both.
Praise the Good
Behavioral modification can take place anytime, not just during formal training sessions. Make positive reinforcement part of your routine, and reward your dog with words of praise or a loving pat anytime he is well-mannered, such as when he is walking beside you on the leash or sitting quietly when a delivery arrives.
Dogs need adequate exercise, or that pent up energy may get converted into destructive behavior, like chewing your slippers or scratching the woodwork. Lack of physical activity can even lead to anxiety or aggression. Establish a daily routine that includes plenty of constructive play, an evening walk around the neighborhood, or a trip to the dog park. Younger puppies typically have more energy than older dogs, so keep this in mind when choosing your activities.
You can save yourself a lot of frustration (not to mention, money) if you put away objects that your dog is likely to chew, such as shoes, slippers, and baby toys. And if you catch your dog in the act of chewing one of your belongings, take the item away immediately (even if it’s already ruined) and exchange it with a dog toy.
Seek Help for Sudden Behavioral Changes
If your dog is suddenly not acting like himself, particularly if he becomes aggressive or, conversely, extremely withdrawn, it could signal illness or pain. Please make an appointment so that we can help identify and treat the problem.
For more ways to help your canine companion develop good manners, please contact the team at Blue Valley Animal Hospital.