Having a canine buddy can truly be one of life’s under appreciated joys. Unfortunately, that joy can be dampened when your dog exhibits major behavior problems. Excessive barking, jumping up on you or your visitors, chewing furniture, aggression, and other unruly behavior can usually be eliminated by providing your dog with effective obedience training.
Dogs are most content when they know their place in the “pecking order” of the pack.
When your dog believes that you are not a very strong leader, he will most likely take over the role of “alpha dog”. His bad behavior will only get worse since, as the leader of the pack, he will assume that he can do anything he wants, paying little attention to your commands.
Until you establish yourself as the alpha member of the pack your efforts to teach proper behavior to your pooch are destined to fail. By providing high quality obedience training you will teach your dog that you are the leader and that he must follow comply with your wishes.
When you begin obedience training try to make the activity fun for your dog. Be sure to reward your dog when follows your commands. Rewards can take the form of yummy treats, petting, giving him a favorite toy to play with or vigorous praise.
Never punish your dog when conducting obedience training. If he associates obedience training sessions with punishment he will do everything he can to avoid it. When you need to correct a behavior problem, try to make it a penalty instead of a punishment. A penalty can be anything from a “time out” (stopping an activity that he enjoys), a quick tug on his leash, or simply ignoring him for a few moments.
For training purposes you should keep in mind that rewards are more effective than penalties. Find out what your dog really enjoys and use it when training. The old “using a carrot or a stick” adage should be forgotten. Instead, try to use many different types of “carrots” and throw away the stick.
You may find it helpful to study the tactics used by professional dog trainers if you are not sure about which techniques are best. There are several very high quality guide books and training courses available online that you may want to consider using in your quest for an obedient best friend.
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