Many dog owners at one time or another become frustrated with their dog due to its behavior. There may be many reasons for this. It could be that the dog is destroying things through constant scratching and gnawing, or that it is going to the toilet in the house. It may be that it is violent, or threatening, to other dogs and pets or to humans. In any case where a dog’s behavior is giving you reason for concern, you should always be ready to intercede and find a way to stop the behavior becoming a long-term problem.
Problem behavior in dogs is something that can make an owner feel very pressured. We all love our pets, and when they misbehave all that we want is for them to understand that it upsets us. We really would prefer that they would behave themselves all the time, but if they are going to step over the line occasionally we would at least hope that they desist the first time we request it. If they continue it, this is when it becomes “problem behavior”. This is something that we all want to avoid.
If problem behavior becomes a major issue for you with your pet, you should sit down and consider why it is happening. Is your dog getting the right amount and kind of exercise? Does it get enough human interaction? Is there something in its diet which might be causing it to behave in a strange way? All of these issues need to be considered, as that allows us to address problem behavior.
A dog will respond to training, if the person training it has the knowledge and perseverance to make it happen. This kind of perseverance can be hard to come by, and it can be difficult to be patient. There is a lot of training that can be done simply by what nature has furnished us with, such as our voice and our hands. However, to make the job easier there are numerous tools that we can buy. Dogs are, deep down, obedient animals by nature – but it is a matter of what they obey, and finding this can be a process of trial and error.
Dogs are known to respond to what their ears tell them. They are well known for having an excellent sense of hearing in combination with their excellent sense of smell. This means that certain noises which are insignificant to humans will draw a reaction from a dog. Many trainers find that, where all else fails, it can be beneficial to use a whistle or a clicker. If a dog is misbehaving, making a short, sharp noise will get its attention like nothing else. Sometimes the wrong noise can hurt a dog’s ears – so you should research the product that you are buying to ensure that it is humane.
Other tools can play on the other senses that a dog has. Although dogs cannot see as clearly as humans, they are responsive to motion. Holding one of the dog’s toys to teach it to show restraint can be very beneficial in this respect.
In our society, there is a tendency to have a political response to most things. Many people are of the opinion that criminals transgress due to an unhappy home life or a poor upbringing. Comfort and discomfort are a major part of the influence that affects a person’s life, whether you are of the opinion that some people are “just bad” or otherwise. By the same token, dogs are liable to react to their circumstances, and it is well-known that a more content dog will behave in a more respectful manner.
When it comes to training a dog, you will get results if you motivate by fear. However, these results may not be satisfactory to you because although the dog will respond to commands, it will do so tentatively, conscious as it is of the fact that getting it wrong will lead to punishment. If a dog is trained in a happy atmosphere with an owner who is prone to reward good behavior, then it will react to the correct stimuli in the correct way. It will behave in a way which makes you feel proud, rather than simply satisfied.
If you have concerns about being too “soft” with your dog, simply remember that a dog will react in kind to the way it is treated. If you let it be lazy, then it will take the opportunity – simply because that is what it knows. If you encourage activity, however, it will reward you with the behavior that you want from it.