The dog behavior of rowdy, bossy adolescent and young adult dogs certainly provides a weekly challenge for me, but it also provides an everyday, embarrassment and nuisance for the owner.
As Leila’s call sheets fill up each week at the office, you can bet that there are at least 3 to 4 troubled dog owners with a list of dog behavior problems that have created a nuisance in their home. In the profession of dog training, there is nothing new with these very common dog behavior problems.
You know the ones: jumping, counter surfing, begging at the table and the list goes on. In fact, you may have had some of these nuisance dog behaviors with your dog in the past. At the very least you’ve read about them in one of my blogs.
What I’m leading up to is this…
When Leila finally gets to ask her leading question, “What would you prefer your dog to do?” she is met with dead silence from the caller.
They have spent so much time and energy focusing on the nuisance behavior and trying to correct their dog, they have absolutely no idea what they would prefer their dog do except, not act up. But dogs will be dogs, that is, until they are taught differently.
Bossy dogs get stressed with no structure or job to do. Start thinking about what you want your dog to do in specific situations where he causes a nuisance.
Train your dog on leash to sit to greet visitors. Give him a stuffed Kong toy until he can hold a good down/stay or place command and not jump.
What does this mean for you?
Knowing what to do and when to do it keeps your dog’s stress down.
If he’s not stressed then you’re not stressed.
And the bonus is your house guests will finally enjoy visiting with you AND your dog!
When you think about it, after the first 5 to 10 minutes most dogs calm down, especially with a stuffed Kong as a good re-direct.
The way I look at it
Some people get their dog knowing full well what dog behaviors they will eventually have to work on. There are others that get a dog and don’t have a clue what to expect “behavior-wise” from their dog.
Most dog owners take a 6 week basic, on-leash, obedience course at the local big box pet store and try to pick up how to teach sits and downs.
Here’s the big problem with that: they usually don’t know how to put obedience training they learned into practical use fixing problems in their home environment.
Puppies and small to medium sized dogs are allowed to jump because it is cute. The bigger dogs jump because, well they just can. Owners pay the price later with nuisance behaviors.
If they had insisted on better behavior early on and followed through, their dogs would be much better behaved.
I’m sure you’ll agree
It’s far easier to train the behavior you want before the bad behavior gets started than to have to correct the nuisance behavior your dog has gotten away with over the months or years.
It is never too late to train these bossy adolescents and young adult dogs. But the responsibility still gets back to you.
Think in terms of what you would prefer your dog to do in those frustrating situations:
- sit to greet visitors
- lay on dog bed when you are cooking in kitchen or eating at your table.
Remember, you already know what you don’t like your dog to do. Now decide what you would prefer your dog to do and train him on leash to do exactly that.
It really is easy to do. You just have to commit to starting today!
We’re always learning and there’s a bunch of you out there we are grateful to be able to serve and learn from. I’m really interested in your thoughts and opinions on this. I’m here to help.
Remember: “Together, We Can Raise a Happy and Obedient Dog”
Jim Burwell, Houston dog trainer for 25+ years, serving over 9000 clients, has a profound understanding of dog behavior and the many things, we as humans, do that influence that behavior – good or bad. Jim has the ability to not only steer dogs and puppies down the right path but to also train the owners to understand their part in having a great dog.
His Ground Rules for Great Dogs is your must have, easy step-by-step process to helping your dog. Be the dog owner your dog needs to be a great dog. Ground Rules gets you there. Grab them now.