My new pet misbehaves!
He barks at strangers, chews the furniture, and digs in the yard.
He’s such a sweet dog, I knew it when I rescued him.
But what am I supposed to do about his bad behavior?
I could hire a trainer, but I’d like the training to be a bonding experience for me and my pup.
How Do I House Train My Pup?
Most dogs are indoor pets, or at least mostly indoors.
For indoor pets, house training is necessary.
House training will require trial and error. Be patient!
If possible, train your dog when he is young
The age of your pet doesn’t matter, but it is easier to house train when dogs are younger.
Dogs around 3-4 months of age are the easiest to train. Younger puppies don’t have bladder control, and older dogs need more time to train.
Confine the pet in a restricted area
Keep the dog in a room or crate, or on a leash. You can slowly expand your pup’s roaming area as he learns that outside is for doing business.
Keep mealtimes regular
While your puppy is house training, keep his feeding schedule regulated. He will get used to mealtime followed by outdoor time.
Give your pup plenty of opportunities to potty
Bring your pup outside first thing in the morning, and every hour so throughout the day. Take him outside after naps and meals as well.
Use the same spot every day
Give your pup a familiar setting for his business. Take him to the same place outside each time. He will eventually recognize the scent and know it’s time to go.
When you go out with your pup, make sure you stay outside until he’s done with his business.
Also, don’t just leave the pup in the yard alone. Go out with him on the leash.
Reward when necessary.
Give praise when it’s due! Reward your pup when he does his business. Give him a treat, a head scratch, or a toy.
Which Commands Should My Dog Know?
“Sit” is one of the most important commands. It can help you control your pup no matter the situation. “Sit” is a simple first command to learn.
Guide your pet’s seat down with your hand, say “Sit,” and then reward him.
“Come” is another important command. It teaches your pet to immediately come to you when called. It is important to teach the word as soon as your pet knows their name.
When your pup is across the room, call, “Come, Fido!” When your pup comes to you, reward him with a treat.
“Down” can be a difficult command because it puts your pup in a submissive position. If your pup is fearful or anxious, make sure training stays positive and fun.
Use treats to lure your dog from an upright position to the floor. Once he’s in the down position, say “Down,” and then give the treat. Repeat the training daily.
“Stay” teaches your pet to remain calm and still. The command teaches your pet to stay in one place.
Ask your pup to sit. Place your hand out in front of you and say, “Stay!” When your pup successfully stays, reward him with a treat.
Leave it/Drop it
“Leave it” is a basic command that gives you control of your pet. In the event that he is trying to eat something dangerous, the command could save him.
To teach “leave it,” say the command and place a less attractive treat on the floor. Cover it with your hand, and wait for your dog to ignore the treat and look at you. Then, remove the treat from the floor and reward your pup with his favorite treat and affection.
Which Behaviors Should I Correct?
Most dogs chew because they weren’t taught what to chew and what not to chew, they want attention, or they’re bored.
However, some chew because they suffer from separation anxiety or fear-related behavior. If this is the case, you may need to consult a professional.
Also, give your pets toys that are easily identifiable from household items.
In order to stop your pup from digging, you must learn why he digs.
Dogs often dig because they are seeking:
If your dog needs attention or entertainment, he digs in your presence. Provide toys, take your pup on more and longer walks, and spend more time with him.
If your dog is trying to escape, he will dig along and under the fence. Add chicken wire under the fence to make sure he doesn’t get out. Consider providing a “digging zone,” such as a sandbox with buried dog toys.
If your dog is stalking prey, he will focus on a single area, at the root of trees, or in a “path.” When you find evidence of burrowing animals, use humane methods to fence them out or make your yard less attractive.
Food aggression is born of insecurity. To correct the behavior, gain your pet’s trust. Offer him food or treats from your hand. Make him sit when you place his food down. Remain near the food bowl, not touching the dog, showing him that you won’t interfere with his food.
When your pup starts to trust you, pet him gently on the hips while he eats, letting him know your presence is safe around his food.
How Can I Maintain A Positive Attitude?
When training new commands, apply the same rules each time. Use the same words for commands.
Know that some behaviors will take longer to break. For example, if your dog jumped on people to greet them for the past several years, it will take him longer to break the habit. Be consistent to remind him.
Prior to beginning training, purchase training treats. They are smaller and often less caloric than regular treats.
Give training treats freely. Reward your pup for being right with treats, verbal praise or physical affection.
- Bring plenty of treats
- Keep a leash handy
- Allow plenty of time for training
- Practice “come” moving commands in a fenced in or indoor area
Stay positive. You and your pet are on a long journey together.
Dogs understand our tone and body language. Don’t express frustration or anger.
Remember to be patient. Your pup wants to please you. Reward him for good behavior.
High-quality Dog Food
When your pup is content, he will behave better.
Feed your pet a high-quality diet with the proper amount of protein. Lazier dogs require less food and protein, while energetic dogs need more.
Food is more than just sustenance and nutrients for the body. Food is the key factor in controlling the energetic balance of all the body’s systems.
Learn more about how to keep your dog happy and healthy!