Getting rid of problem behaviors is one issue that most dog owners usually have to address sooner or later. Here are a couple of the most common behaviors that will come up in a dog owners life.
Jumping on people
One of the most common behaviors with dogs is jumping up on people. This is one of those behaviors that is often not knowingly encouraged by good intending owners. It is adorable and cute when that little 8 pound pup jumps on you, your friends or family members.
Many people reward the puppies behavior with treats, kisses and hugs. This is the big mistake. That little puppy will soon be full grown dog who may weigh upwards of 100 pounds or more. All of the sudden that cute behavior is no longer quite so desired and cute.
Jumping on people can be a dangerous thing as well as annoying. A heavy dog jumping excitedly, can easily push over a child or senior adult. In today’s frivolous lawsuit society, such an act could easily make get you, the the dog’s owner, sued in court over your dog’s actions.
The perfect time to train your dog that jumping on people is not acceptable behavior is when they are you and impressionable. Also it will be easier to hold your dog down when they aren’t over 50 lbs. Trying to train your older dog can be done but it will be harder to handle as well as confusing for the dog since this is something he has done for a while.
When the puppy tries to jump on you or another member of your family, gently but firmly place the puppy’s feet back on the floor. After the puppy is standing firmly on the floor, be sure to reward and praise him. It is important for every member of the family, as well as frequently visiting friends, to understand this rule and follow it religiously.
If one member of the family reprimands the dog for jumping and another praises him, the dog will be understandably confused. As with other dog training issues, consistency is the key to teaching the dog that jumping is always inappropriate.
When praising and rewarding the dog for staying down, it is important for the trainer to get down on the dog’s level. Giving affection and praise at eye level with the puppy is a great way to reinforce the lesson.
Tugging and Pulling on the leash.
Pulling on the leash is another problem trait that many puppies pick up. Unfortunately, this behavior is also one that is sometimes encouraged by well meaning owners. Playing games like tug of war with the leash, or even with a rope (that can look like the leash to the dog) can unwittingly encourage a problem behavior.
The use of a quality body harness can be a big help when training a puppy not to pull, or retraining a dog that has picked up the habit of pulling on the leash. Try training the puppy to accept the body harness the same way it accepts the regular buckle collar.
When walking with your dog, try using a lure or toy to encourage the dog to remain at your side. A training collar, when properly used, can also be a good training tool for a problem dog. When using a training collar or choke chain, however, it is very important to fit it correctly, and to use a size that is neither too big nor too small for your dog.
When walking with your puppy, it is important to keep the leash loose at all times. If the puppy begins to pull ahead, the handler should quickly change directions so that the puppy fast finds itself falling behind. It is important to reverse directions before the puppy has reached the end of the leash.
The leash should stay loose except for the split second it takes the handler to reverse direction. It is important to use a quick tug, followed by an immediate slackening of the leash.
When training a puppy, it is important to never let the puppy pull you around. Training the puppy to walk properly while he or she is still small enough to handle is absolutely vital, especially when dealing with a large breed of dog. If your 150 pound Great Dane hasn’t learned to walk properly while he or she is still a 20 pound puppy, chances are it never will.
It is important not to yank or pull on the puppy’s neck when correcting him. A gentle, steady pressure will work much better than a hard yank. The best strategy is to use the least amount of pressure possible to achieve the desired result.