We all know that most dogs can get themselves into mischief pretty easily. Whether this is chewing up your new shoes, bounding to jump at you with muddy paws or rushing to wrench a newspaper away from the delivery boy, there are a few behaviours that we wish our dogs wouldn’t do quite so often. Getting your dogs to behave better is all about controlling their impulses, which sounds like an extremely difficult task, but it can actually be easier than you think. So, let’s have a look at a few ways that you can manage your dog’s impulses and help them to stay calm in all situations.
Find Out What the Dog Wants
The first step that you need to take is to actually identify what your dog wants which is causing their impulses to get the better of them. It could be a sudden urge to go outside, a rush to get their food or them bounding off to interact with another dog. Once you have worked out this initial trigger, you will be in a much stronger position to be able to control this urge.
Wait for Better Behaviour
A system of rewarding your dog when it behaves in a better and calmer way will help to reinforce this positive behaviour. For example, a huge number of dogs get overexcited when you first pick up the leash and will start bouncing up and down uncontrollably. Even the most energetic of dogs can’t do this forever, so stand and wait for them to calm down. Only then should you put the leash on. Over time, your dog should start to sit more calmly sooner.
Reinforce the Behaviour
Most people use treats to reinforce the positive behaviour of their dogs, but you can also learn more about dog training collars. Dogs don’t tend to sustain bad behaviour for a long period of time, so it is a case of being patient until your dog calms down. Only then should you reinforce the good behaviour with your chosen method. As your dog become accustomed to what behaviour is acceptable and what isn’t, it should start displaying this on a more regular basis.
Be Consistent in Your Approach
It is important that you maintain consistency in your approach to dog training. If you allow a certain behaviour one day, but then decide that it is not okay the next, your dog will become confused and will not know what is expected of them. Once you begin working on a specific type of behaviour, make sure to follow this through until the dog has fully learnt it.
Pick Opportunities to Teach Calm Behaviour
There are a range of opportunities throughout the day to teach your dog calmer behaviour. For example, when you get home after a long day, wait for your dog to have all four paws on the ground before you start showing them affection. When your dog is about to eat their meal, teach the dog to sit and wait for your cue.