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Preventing Bad Behavior

with 2 comments

In positive reinforcement training, we teach, acknowledge, and reward good behavior.  But what about the bad behavior dog owners face daily from their best friend? Unwanted behavior should be prevented, ignored or redirected.  That’s a simple answer but incorporating the answer in every day life is a little more complicated.  In this issue I will discuss the prevention portion of this strategy.

When I ask my clients about their goals with their dogs, they usually respond with a list of unwanted behaviors.  Some of the more popular complaints are jumping up, running away, leash pulling, stealing, trash surfing, chewing, and house soiling.  Here are some tips on how to prevent bad behavior.

1. Get organized.  A puppy or adolescent dog can get into anything.  Even the dog trainer’s adult dog gets curious when she leaves the nightstand drawer open.  Evidently pumice stones are irresistible to dogs – along with receipts and various foot lotions.  Dog proof your house.  Put away valuables like your cell phone, shoes, remote control, glasses, or anything else you value.  Also put away items that could be dangerous to your dog like medicine, alcohol, cleaners, etc.  Once you have everything put away keep the drawers and closet doors closed.
2. Use tools.  Leashes prevent running away and jumping up.  Crates prevent house soiling and chewing.  Special head harnesses like the Gentle Leader prevent leash pulling.  Dog trainers also like to use tools that are not specifically designed for dog training.  Bedroom and bathroom doors and baby gates prevent dogs from doing bad behaviors where you are not supervising them or have not dog proofed the area.  A well maintained outdoor fence will prevent your dog from running into the street.  My favorite, the lidded trash can prevents trash surfing. 
 
3. Satisfy your dog’s basic needs.  Give your dog appropriate exercise, nutritious food, mental stimulation, and attention.  A satisfied dog is less likely to seek mischief.
 
Consult a dog trainer if you need help with equipment like leashes, crates, and collars.  Set yourself up for success.  Following these tips will make it easier for you to manage your dog’s behavior. 
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Written by dawnhanna

March 9, 2011 at 9:18 am

Posted in Dog Training

2 Responses

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  1. Hi,
    In my opinion, (i do not know it is true or not, maybe you can verify it),by giving your dog a dog chew toys can help you a lot in handling dog behavior problems especially separation anxiety. With dog chew toys, you dog can be busily playing around and focusing on the toys. This can help them to forget about other things.

    dog chew toys

    April 22, 2011 at 6:31 am

    • Hi Dog Chew Toys! Thanks for your comments. There are three ways we handle undesirable behavior in positive reinforcement training:

      Prevent undesirable behavior.
      Ignore undesirable behavior.
      Redirect undesirable behavior.

      Chew toys fall under the re-direct strategy. Looks like you have a great selection of stimulating interactive toys that are perfect for redirecting behavior.

      Thanks again for your comments,
      Dawn

      dawnhanna

      April 22, 2011 at 10:09 am


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