This is a partnered post.
Dogs can be a wonderful addition to the family; a great friend for kids, and a constant source of affection, companionship and entertainment for you. However, it can be extremely hard to appreciate your four-legged friend all the time when their behavior is out of control. Unfortunately, a lot of dog owners take the wrong approach to dog obedience. Here are some common behavioral issues in dogs, and some advice on dealing with them.
Constant Whining and Barking
If your dog goes crazy whenever they see a squirrel or some other critter in the back yard, it can get very annoying very quickly. The most common mistake here is letting them out to chase after whatever it is they’re barking at, rather than ignoring this behavior. Over time, this will teach them that when they bark, they get let out. From here on, try to teach them that the only thing that will get you to open the door is silence and patience. If this means dealing with half an hour of unbroken barking and whining, then put some music on or wear earplugs. If you wait long enough for them to calm down, they’ll do it. If the barking gets more intense before they finally simmer down, then you know it’s working!
Terrorizing Other Dogs
It’s always unpleasant when you can’t let your dog play with other canines because you’re not sure what they’re going to do. This is an issue that sends many concerned owners to dog boarding and school services. The one thing you don’t want to do when approaching this issue is taking your dog on fewer walks, hoping to avoid the issue, rather than confronting it head-on. Many dogs, possibly including yours, will be full of beans, and will need an outlet for all that energy. Walk them as much as is recommended for their breed and age, and try to expose them carefully to other dogs. Keep the leash short if they’re exhibiting aggressive behavior, and eventually they’ll learn good manners. You may want to take walks with a friend or relative who also owns a dog, but keep some distance between the two dogs. If your dog starts yelping and barking at the other, turn around and start walking home. When they calm down, turn back and resume the walk, teaching them to play nice.
Stealing your Food
When dogs jump up at the table to steal your food, it’s sometimes just too cute to get mad at them. However, this is another disobedient behavior you’ll need to work on. If they eat the wrong thing, you may need to get up in the middle of dinner and rush them to the vet! Teach them the command â€œleave itâ€. Do this by holding a treat in each hand, and letting them try to dislodge one with their mouth, while saying â€œleave itâ€ clearly and repeatedly. When they lose interest, give them the treat in the other hand. It can take some practice to get them to obey this every time, but it’s certainly worth the effort!