FIXING DOG BEHAVIOR PROBLEMS: BEGINS WITH RELATIONSHIP
Dog behavior problems develop mainly as a result of what owners "do" and "don't do" with their dogs. Mostly people get dogs and start off with the "expectation" that their dog will be perfect. They may even do a little dog obedience training. The "reality" is that most people don't understand exactly what their dogs expect - and need.
Some dogs bring issues with them. With other dogs, issues develop as a result of their relationship with their owners thats the "do and don't do" part.
When owners require nothing of their dogs, these dogs do exactly what they want until owners scream, "Enough already!" Some owners spoil their dogs with lavish love and affection often times creating dominance and aggression. And many dogs have just an over abundance of energy creating a host of other dog behavioral problems. Remember, dogs are learning even when we are not teaching.
While each dog presents different dog behavioral problems, fixing them all first requires a basic understanding of your relationship with your dog - from the dog's perspective.
I've always said that all dogs need the following:
Rules to follow
Boundaries to respect and,
Expectations of what to do and when to do it
And to further expand on that, the things you expect from your dog also need must be:
As an example, let's take a very simple activity - the ritual of eating. With food, dogs understand very clearly about the order and control of food. If twice a day, 7 days a week you eat first, then you feed your dog - requiring him to sit and down (work for food) - then this is reasonable, predictable and consistent.
Expand this very simple concept of working for things and add to the list more value items like:
Access to space
Access to toys
Games and walks with you
Potty breaks. . . . and the list goes on
If your dog is required to sit and/or down (reasonable) for all of these things every day (consistent) then they become very predictable daily expectations of what to do and when to do it. Your importance becomes even greater to your dog. And, you begin to turn your problem dog behaviors around.
These expectations become patterned routines. Dogs lock on and learn patterned routines connected to any or all of the above examples of "things of value." And with dogs, these patterned routines begin to endow security. Security breeds confidence. The more secure and confident your dog, the less stress and consequently the fewer behavior problems you will have with your dog. It's simple. You just have to do it consistently.
If you think about it, all of these activities are "pack" activities and dogs really relate to all of these things that you do together as a pack - eating, resting, playing, walking and yes dog training together on obedience commands. Sits and downs to earn all of these things work for your dog - and will eventually work for you in time, allowing you to eventually accomplish all of your doggie goals.
Developing your dog's confidence in themself and you begins to create trust and balance in a dog that was previously unbalanced - one that had no expectations of what to do and when to do it.
Dogs that were insecure, fearful/distrustful or otherwise out of control will begin to look at you in a different way - a way of being important to them. You care to them and they want to "belong" so they start seeking your approval to be a part of your pack. Approval seeking behavior equates to working for the things you want from your dog- sitting for greetings instead of jumping and all of the other things dog owners complain about.
In your quest to develop the best relationship you can have with your dog, remember that dogs best communicate with humans when they maximize their use of body language, eye contact and tone of voice.
Show your affection with your touch (body language); Let your dog know you appreciate what he has done with warm sincere praise (tone of voice) and, make sure you give-and get attention (eye contact.) All of this will begin to create calm expectations with your dog as you build a lasting trust in the relationship with your dog.
Its so easy. You can start today. Have fun and begin to enjoy your new pack member.
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The information contained on this site is in no way intended to replace that of proper veterinary advice, diagnosis or treatment.
It is meant to provide resource, so that we can better understand canine health related issues.