Knowing how to train your dog is one of the best ways to get rid of bad behavior. We all love our pets, but sometimes it can be difficult to understand why your pet is behaving badly. Every dog has his or her own temperament, background, and emotional makeup. Sometimes, your pet dog that was once a cuddly puppy has turned into an adult that constantly barks, is too excitable, and shows aggression to other dogs.
What can you do to train your dog if he is behaving badly? In this article, you will find out the causes of behavioral problems in dogs and what you can do about them. If you have a cat behaving badly, then find out how to train a badly behaved cat.
Causes of Dogs Behaving Badly
Modern life causes a lot of strain for dogs as it does for us humans. The pressures of life can mean that we have less time to interact with our pets and they spend a lot of time on their own at home or in the backyard.
Some owners also frown on what is normal and acceptable doggy behavior, like barking, chewing, and digging.
When the needs of a dog aren’t met, the end result can be aggression towards other animals and humans, destructive behavior, jumping up, and excessive barking.
Top Tips to Train Badly Behaved Dogs
It will take time and patience to train dogs to behave well. This short guide to dog training looks at some of the basic principles on how to assist dogs that don’t act appropriately.
Understand your dog
First of all, it’s important to look beyond the bad behavior to see what is triggering it. Most behavioral patterns are learned in some way or another.
Try to observe what triggers the bad behavior. Is it dogs in general or a specific type of dog? The more you observe your dog, the more you will understand his body language to help identify what sets him off.
Change behavior through positive reinforcement
Usually, when a dog misbehaves, it is when they receive the most attention from us. So, if your dog constantly jumps into your lap and you push him away, you are inadvertently “rewarding” bad behavior.
When your pet dog shows undesirable behavior traits, you can do one of 3 things to practice positive reinforcement and retrain the behavior:
- redirect him
- ignore him
- give him a time-out (i.e. restrict his freedom for a time)
Retrain bad behavior
One of the best ways to get your dog to “change his ways” is to redirect bad behavior. First of all, you should have a consistent signal that something is bad. This could be just saying “NO!” However, you need to redirect his energy after this. So, immediately engage him in some game or get him to play with his toy.
When he stops the bad behavior and starts engaging in the new task you have given him, now is the time to reward good behavior with a treat or plenty of praise.
Prevent bad behavior
You can also try to improve your dog’s bad behavior by preventing it in the first place. One of the best ways to do this is to give your dog plenty of stimulus through attention, games, and walking.
Of course, you local vet can also check for other underlying health problems that could be causing your dog to behave badly.