Great dog behavior fast? I’ve got to be kidding, right? And it’s embarrassingly easy.
There’s no arguing that getting great dog behavior is a lot easier if you start on day one and train correctly from the beginning. But the reality is, most dog owners don’t train correctly and consistently from day one to get the dog behavior they want.
Here are my time tested, successful methods and techniques. If you work them, your dog will become the great dog you’ve always wanted him to be and you’ll have that great dog behavior you’re looking for.
Looking at the thousands of lessons I’ve had with clients over the years, I have consistently seen the same mistakes over and over again and I just can’t help but think,
“If they had these 5 embarrassingly easy steps to begin with – and used them consistently from the start, they could have saved themselves a lot of headache and heartache.”
While these techniques may seem simple on the surface, if used consistently, they will provide you with remarkable fast results.
I really want to inspire and encourage you to have the best dog possible, so here goes.
Simple But Plain Truth
Your dog’s behavior issues are directly related to your relationship with your dog and how you structure his life. If you’ve gone “off track” with your dog training, get back on track with these 5 easy steps.
Step #1: Manage your dog
Dogs attached to a leash that is also attached to you while they are in the house, are more compliant and responsible than if left off leash to make their own decisions – which usually aren’t what we want them to do.
Yes, that’s right! Leash training your dog is not only for outside walks and training but is very effective when used consistently inside the home as well. Be careful though, never leave your dog unattended when your leash is on your dog. When you cannot supervise your dog (eyes-on, hands-on), crate your dog – until he understands the rules of the house.
Here are just some of the great ways in which you will benefit immediately:
- Leash on your dog prevents jumping on you and on houseguests.
- Leash on your dog prevents playing keep-away from you with your stuff.
- Leash on your dog while in training, keeps your dog off the furniture until invited up.
- Leash on your dog significantly aids in house training your new dog during his free time out of the crate.
By simply having him on leash, you are better able to catch mistakes before they happen. Embarrassingly easy I know. But it works.
Step #2: Minimize Stress and Anxiety
New dogs coming into your home need structure, boundaries and expectations just like kids. If you’ve not provided your dog with structure, there’s no time like the present to get started.
Good parents don’t let their kids run the household – neither should you with your dog. Good parents are leaders to their children as you should be with your dog. They set rules and teach their children how to be well behaved. For example:
- They need to ask for things with, “May I please have…..”
- They need to earn their allowance by working or doing specific tasks and, bad behavior does not get rewarded.
Now, I know you must be thinking, “That’s great Jim but kids speak English. How do I do this with a dog?” Well, here’s how.
Provide your dog with similar structure but in a way he understands. Here are the things that are important in your dog’s life: Food, space, his toys and love and affection.
All of these things he would have to earn by doing a sit. That’s right. It’s now a rule. Sit for everything. Do this every day in every way with your dog and you’ll discover that it was so embarrassingly easy you can’t figure out why you didn’t do it before now!
A home where there is no structure – where chaos reigns, will result in a dog with behavior issues. But when your dog has a plan and routine provided by you, this eliminates the stress and anxiety that tends to develop into behavior problems.
Step #3: Exercise your dog
Constructively manage your dog’s energy with exercise. You should exercise your dog with two good brisk, 30 – 45 minute walks a day. Taking your dog for a brisk walk twice daily is a good stress buffer. When you can’t walk, fetch and tug burn energy too!
Step #4: Train your dog
Training is critical for you and your dog. Not only does he require physical exercise, he needs mental exercise as well. Mental fatigue is a good way to constructively manage your dog’s energy – especially when combined with your structured walks as described above. Once he learns his commands, practice using them where he needs to be on his best manners. The more you work with your dog on the basics, the better he will listen and obey.
Doing 3, two minute dog obedience training sessions daily (just 6 minutes a day-but spaced at least an hour apart, will give your dog a sense of working for you, the leader, rather than feeling responsible for it himself. And from your dog’s point of view, working for you is a whole lot less stressful than you working for him – trust me on that one!
Step #5: Teach your dog the behavior you prefer
Create dog training exercises that help your dog to learn.
Finally, do training set ups (training exercises) – when it is convenient for you.
Simply make a list of all the bad behaviors your dog does, what causes them (triggers) and what you would prefer your dog to do instead.
Work on them one at a time until you have the behavior you want.
Well, are you embarrassed how easy this is? Don’t be. You can have your dog in – or back in shape fast, so grab your leash and start today!
If you need help with specific steps on how to do this, go grab my Ground Rules for Great Dogs. There’s your step by step plan delivered right to you.
Thanks for letting me share my dog training knowledge with you. Don’t be a stranger. Feel free to comment below. I’d love to hear what you think.
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.