Control Your Dog Behavior

Trying to control your dog behavior can drive many owners to the end of their rope!

On the one hand we really like these descriptive qualities in our dogs: playfulness, high energy, high spirits and full of life.

However, when your dog doesn’t slow down and you can’t find the “off-button,” it becomes a lot less enjoyable as you try to control your dog’s behavior.

Learn to be proactive instead of reactive

Control Your Dog Behavior
I think it is natural as dog owners to get in, and stay in, the mode of addressing dog behavior problems as they come up. We stay in a reactive mode instead of becoming proactive.

It takes much more energy, emotions and time constantly correcting your dog’s bad behavior (being reactive) than to simply train the behavior you prefer (being proactive.)

Not to worry

Let’s not get bent out of shape just yet. It is possible to harness these wonderful abilities with sensible management of your wild dog and rid yourself of dog behavior problems.

He’s telling you that he has needs that have to be met. So let’s figure out a way to meet these needs in an orderly way with predictable pack activities.

Here’s the key.

Dogs thrive on predictable routines and schedules. In fact, making sure that your dog can predict when certain pack activities happen lowers his stress and anxiety. What are pack activities?

These are activities you do at the same time or with your dog like:

  • eating
  • sleeping
  • walking
  • training
  • playing and yes even
  • resting

Knowing when he is going to eat twice daily – just like going to bed at the same time daily — takes a whole lot of stress off your dog.

That’s why feeding twice daily is better than feeding once daily. It keeps him from getting hunger tension. Hunger tension is caused by his internal fuel gauge running on empty half the day and can complicate other dog behavior problems.

Good rhythmic exercise on daily walks will allow you to constructively manage his energy. It will also fulfill his needs as a dog: getting out and exploring with his nose. Add to this the predictability of when it happens and he’s even less stressed.

Obedience training is the foundation, and cure, for most dog behavior problems. If your dog has a well-disciplined sit, you’ve solved your jumping problem.

I’ve always recommended 3, two minute training sessions of sit and down a day to create mental fatigue and give your dog a sense of working for you – a job to do.

If you expand on that, assuming you’ve taken my advice literally, you can begin to train 2 minute sits three times a day. If your dog gets up put him back in the sit.

This may be something that you will have to build on in 30 second increments of time until you can get a 2 minute sit but the results will be nothing short of incredible.

Don’t forget to eventually add distractions around which your dog will be expected to obey.

Dogs come in kits

Someone once wrote that “dogs come down from heaven in kits”.

This “kit” comes just as you’ve placed your order:

  1. male or female
  2. pure bred or mixed breed
  3. young or old

But if you don’t look closely you might miss the fine print that says “some assembly required.”

When you open your doggie kit you’ll quickly find that you may be required to assemble, or shape, your dog’s behavior so that it works well in your home with you.

Often the dogs capable of the best work are the ones that are capable of becoming a wild out of control dog. But the beauty here is that this same dog, the one that was once an out of control dog, could be your shining star.

If you work it right and harness that energy, it could lead to a greater life together.

My Ground Rules for Great Dogs is your solution to going from a bratty dog to a behaved dog.  Grab them now.

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.