November 04, 2019
Do you find yourself grabbing a handful of treats just to get your beloved dog to move? Are you puzzled by your pets inability to act on command while kicking old habits? Humans have great difficulty understanding how dogs view the world. Unfortunately, do to this misunderstanding we tend to find ourselves rewarding unwanted behaviors. Sure, he’s your best friend. But even your best friend has some habits you could live without. You try to get him to stop, but your efforts may encourage your dog’s bad behavior, not curb it. We get frustrated at times, but don’t understand that we are the cause of the problem. Before you contact that expensive trainer, read this.
Before we talk about how people teach bad habits without realizing it, we must understand how and why this happens. If you understand how dogs learn, it gives you the ability to teach your dog how to fit harmoniously into your life. A dog learns from the consequences of his actions. Whether the action pays off for the dog or whether it doesn’t, something will still be learned. This education will occur regardless of our involvement! Like humans they learn from experiences. If you were getting yelled at by a gentleman speaking in a different language you would not understand the content of his speech, but had the idea that he was upset. There is a massive language and culture barrier between you and the dog. Simple overlooked things can be significant to your dog.
What Goes On In Their Head?
We’ve all had that embarrassing moment when our dog jumps all over a stranger with their dirty paws. They are filled with excitement, eager to say hello, and get adored. Dogs don’t see why this is a bad thing. Think about it, you’ve been rewarding this behavior every single time they greeted you after a long day of work. You’ve had a rough day at the office to later return home with a puppy that’s eager to greet you in the most enthusiastic way possible. When is the last time you said “bad dog” after their jumped to say hello? Disciplining them for an allowed behavior will only confuse the dog. If you want them to stop jumping on people you must make it a new rule for everyone, including you.
How To Address Jumping:
Can you imagine being rewarded for something at work and penalized financially for the same thing? That’s exactly how your dog feels when your yell his/her name when misbehaving. Dog owners say their dogs names so often and for so many different reasons that dogs can become uncertain what to do when they hear their names. Some dogs start ignoring their names entirely. Keep in mind that dogs learn through experiences that they file in the back of their little heads. If you yell at your dog with their name in the same sentence like a child, they will begin to attribute that sound (name) with being punished even when we are praising them.
Why Is This Bad?
Dogs are social pack animals. They protect babies because they have an instinctual desire to protect the pack, which is the family taking care of them. Think of it like this. Wolves in the wild will work together to protect the pups. We have taken one of these wolves and put it into a family, where it recognizes that the people are its pack. When the baby is born, it recognizes that this is a new addition to the pack. Unfortunately, some overprotective dogs will display clear signs of aggression towards strangers. All of our attention is focused on the newborn and simply do not understand the damaging behaviors we are promoting.
Are You Promoting Aggression?
Introducing Your Dog To Your Baby:
Playing tug of war is some of the most fun we can have with our dogs. Played by the rules, tug will strengthen your dog’s self-control and teach her to respond to you even when she’s amped. Have you ever found yourself trying to retrieve your shoes back from your dog? You grab the shoe while your puppy pulls the other way. Most of us would say “Bad Dog” or “Stop” but don’t understand that in their mind it’s play time. Every time you let go of the item your dog feels victorious. You should never engage in the game with personal belongings as this will lead to more permission to destroy personal belongings. You can yell all you want, but in the dogs eyes you’re just having fun.
How To Play Tug of War:
I fell victim to this trap. Sasha loves to bark in our apartment when the neighbor’s dogs pass in the hallway. We live in a small apartment so this happens quite often. She’s not an aggressive dog, but she does view that the hallway is part of her territory (we were the first tenants). The minute one of the dogs were in the hallway Sasha would charge to the door and bark like a maniac. Because I was tired and fed up with this loud behavior, I’d make her fetch a tennis ball across the house (her favorite thing in the world). Without realizing it I was rewarding this obnoxious behavior with every ball that I threw. Sasha’s barking got louder and louder each month and turned vicious towards the other dogs.
How Do I Stop It?
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November 04, 2019
November 04, 2019
While scrolling through depths of the internet and social media, you’ve probably encountered articles relating to certain dog breeds being more aggressive than others.
November 04, 2019
The first thing a dog needs to learn is the basic discipline and respect that is totally defined by the energy and basic directions the owner gives to his dog.