If your beloved Fido’s guilty of bad dog behavior, you need to look long and hard at one of the biggest reasons: you.
Yes, you. No, this isn’t meant to blame you or anyone for Fido being a disobedient dog. Rather, this is a reminder that your pet’s behavior is largely dependent on their furparent.
And there’s the clue: furparent. YOU. Your dog looks up to you as its secondary parent. To him or her, you are the world, the Alpha Human.
This means it copies its behavior from whatever dog training habits – or lack thereof – that you enforce around your home.
If you’ve got a naughty dog on your hands, consider that maybe it’s because you unknowingly allow it to happen. Or maybe you’re demonstrating some unconscious behaviors that it picks up.
For instance, you’re short-tempered, anxious, or nervous around your dog. In turn, Fido responds accordingly, and is likely to end up exhibiting bad dog behavior around you.
But if you make a conscious and active effort to stay relaxed and pleasant regardless of how you’re actually feeling, your misbehaving dog will also relax enough to respond well to your commands.
Your Keys to Corrective Dog Discipline
Good dog discipline begins with your own.
Dogs adopt a ‘look-and-learn’ approach, the same way children do. So if you wish to establish rules that your misbehaving dog will abide by, you need to model those rules first.
If you want Fido to be quiet, you need to show – not just tell – what quiet is.
So to lay the foundation for good dog training, you’ll need to start by maintaining a disciplined attitude. Try to remember the following pointers:
- Bad dog behavior isn’t deliberate. Chances are, it’s a cry for attention or help.
- A disobedient dog doesn’t mean it to spite you. It just means your pet doesn’t know how to respond to you yet.
- If you reframe the way you look at your pet as your best friend to help, instead of just a naughty dog to punish, you have already made the fist step towards good dog discipline.
This also doesn’t mean you need to spend time with your furry best friend only when you’re in a good mood. It’s about showing your dog that you are capable of positive behavior even when you’re feeling negative.
This way, your misbehaving dog will pick up on your cues that you are in full control of your own actions, and that you are in full control of whatever situation you’re in.
This provides reassurance that you are its authority and shouldn’t be messed with.
A good dog training routine requires careful planning. It begins with the specific positive outcome you wish to see from your initially disobedient dog.
Let’s say preparing Fido for a walk gets him excessively excited. You tell him to wait, but at the same time you’re shaking his leash urgently.
Naturally, he’ll respond to what you do, not what you say, so he runs around in circles instead of calmly staying in place.
If you want to curb Fido’s naughty dog behavior, you need to plan which good dog discipline strategies will help him relax.
Those step-by-step dog training techniques must be centered around accomplishing your specific endpoint: for Fido to wait calmly when you open the door before a walk.
Without a detailed and realistic plan, correcting a misbehaving dog’s habits will be a hit-or-miss project.
With a corrective plan in place, you need to practice consistency in enforcing good dog discipline in your best buddy.
It’s said that you need at least 21 consecutive days of practice in order to form any habit.
The point is to repeat a certain behavior regularly enough for it to become embedded in your routine. This principle also applies to helping your misbehaving dog behave better.
When your dog training program is regularly and consistently practiced, it teaches Fido that X behavior is the naturally correct response to X command.
This in turn helps him form habitual responses to commands that will effectively stamp out previous bad dog behavior.
Remember: You have the power to positively influence your dog’s behavior.
Instilling proper habits to correct a naughty dog is simple, but rarely easy. After all, it begins with correcting your own actions and attitude to serve as a concrete example for your pet’s training.
Your guide, of course, will be the kind of positive behaviors you wish to see from Fido.
When embarking on a corrective dog training program, you’ll need to be patient with yourself and your dog.
While it’s necessary to be firm with your own dog-friendly habits, being unreasonably rigid will only make you anxious and impatient – and this attitude will only sabotage all your best efforts.
Don’t forget the value of positive reinforcement in teaching your misbehaving dog better skills.
Just as the promise of good dog behavior would encourage you to improve your relationship with your furry little buddy, rewarding Fido with treats and praise for responding well to your commands will motivate him to do his best.
Perseverance is also key. It takes time and practice to reform bad dog behavior, and expect to run into several speed bumps along the way.
That’s okay, since this specific dog training routine involves actively training yourself as well.
What matters is that with every mistake, you stop, review what went wrong and why, then keep trying with a different approach until you find out which techniques will work best for you and your dog.
It helps to ask for advice and help from a good dog training professional too – it’s much easier to form new habits than to undo bad ones, and some persistent behaviors may need expert help.
So don’t be afraid to ask for it when needed.
All in all, it pays to remember that retraining your naughty dog must always be an act of love, not punishment.
Since this mainly involves correcting your previous actions, you must give Fido the same amount of consideration you’d extend to yourself while you’re learning.
Knowing that you’re teaching from a place of care helps man’s best friend become much more receptive to assimilating new habits, which is highly rewarding to you both.