There are certain dog bad habits that you’ll want to fix, right away. Especially if you want to take your dog with you, anywhere you go without inflaming the resentment of friends and family. You’ll be surprised at how many of these habits can be fixed by learning how to give your dog a motivational leash correction, along with the proper use of timing and consistency.
Here are five behaviors you can teach your dog to make him a well-mannered companion and get rid of the dog bad habits that would make your dog an unwanted house guest:
Housebreaking: Let’s face it… nobody wants you to bring your dog to their office party if he isn’t house trained. There are five secrets to housebreaking your dog in a hurry: 1. Administer a leash and collar correction when he has an accident; 2. Praise him when he eliminates outside; 3. Establish a “Go Potty” command and place; 4. Clean up any accidents with an enzymatic neutralizer, like “Nature’s Miracle” which you can buy at most pet stores; 5. Keep your dog in a crate or kennel run when you cannot supervise him, 100% of the time– so that you’re consistent.
Jumping up on visitors: Hey, I love dogs as much as the next guy. But I also enjoy being clean and presentable. It’s not your visitor’s job to correct your dog. So, keep that leash and training collar on your dog, say “No!” and administer a firm leash correction when he jumps. You can “set up” this behavior with confederates so that your dog learns that jumping up is not allowed, anywhere. After a few different people and environments, he’ll quickly extrapolate that standing and waiting for praise is a rule that applies to everyone. When you see that your dog makes a decision not to jump up, praise him profusely.
Nipping: It’s not cute and it’s not funny. Nipping turns into full-fledged dog aggression, eventually. Use your leash correction just like you did for jumping. Then re-create the same situation and tempt your dog to do it, again. If he makes the wrong decision (ouch!) … then your leash correction wasn’t motivational enough. If he makes the right decision, then give calm praise.
Barking: I don’t have to tell you how annoying this can be. To fix it: First, figure out what’s causing your dog to bark excessively. Is he bored? Boredom causes a lot of dogs to bark. Fix it. Is he barking when he is approached by people? Use my techniques to correct him. When he chooses to instead sit calmly… you guessed it: Praise him, because he’s made the right decision.
Running Away: Keep your dog on a 20 – 30 foot long line every time you take him outside. When you call him, make him come. If he runs away, step on the line, and then go to him and correct him. Then walk back to where you originally called him and make him come. There is a technique to this so that you don’t make your dog ‘leash smart’ … which I go into more detail about, in my book. But in a nutshell: You’re playing a mind-game with your dog. When he’s given up on the idea that he can run away from you– substitute the long line with the tab (1 foot leash). The dog’s lack of higher logic and reason will prevent him from knowing the difference, if you do it right.
The key to fixing most dog bad habits is: Timing, Consistency and Motivation. Once you understand how those three core concepts work together, then it’s just a matter of choosing the right dog training tool (leash, training collar, prong collar, e-collar, etc…) that fits your dog’s temperament and the behavior that you’re having trouble with. I go into greater detail and explanation about all of this in my book, Secrets of a Professional Dog Trainer.