Prevention is Better Than Cure

Most of the time your dill will have you laughing at his antics, but once in a while his tricks won’t be funny. Every dog does a naughty thing now and then, like jumping up on guests or chewing your brand new shoes – it’s only natural. But when you r dog keeps on misbehaving, it’s not so easy to grin and bear it.

Appropriate Reactions:
There are many easy ways to convince your dog that it’s better to be a good citizen in your home than it is to be a mischief maker. One simple solution for most dogs’ common behavioral problems is for you to be aware of your own body language.

Because your dog wants to please you, he looks at your reaction to his antics. If you like what he’s doing and laugh at him, he’ll do it again. If you let him know in no uncertain terms that you disapprove, he’ll think twice about an encore. With some dogs, all it takes to stop them in their devilish ways is seeing you frown or hearing you say “No” in an even tone of voice.

Nipping Bad Behavior Early:
The best way to stop bad behavior is to prevent it from getting started in the first place. Although you can’t be a mind reader, you can anticipate what your dog might do next. For example, when it comes to chewing, imagine what your dog would love to get into if he could. Those expensive new leather shoes you just bought smell so yummy even you notice it. Your dog will be even more interested in them and he’ll check them out the minute you leave them lying around within paw’s reach. To stop your dog from chewing them, put them away.

If your puppy likes to bark a lot when you’re home, he’ll bark even more when you’re not there. “With a barker, don’t leave him alone in the backyard for 12 hours a day unless the behavior is under control first,” says Jill Yorey, a training consultant at the society for the prevention of cruelty to animals in Los Angeles. If you have to leave him alone for long periods of time, hire someone to come over for an hour or so to play with him. Dogs need stimulation, just like people.

What’s His Motivation?
Knowing the motivation for bad behavior is the key to changing it. If your dog doesn’t have enough things to keep him busy, then he’ll find his own entertainment, however unappealing an activity it may seem to you. Dogs area companion animals so they naturally prefer being around their owners than off by themselves all the time. Some dogs need more attention from their owners than others, and misbehaving might be your dog’s way of expressing this wish. When your dog grabs your wallet and starts gleefully running around the house your immediate reaction is to chase him. Your dog has succeeded in getting you to play with him. It wasn’t the wallet he wanted, it way you.

Once you understand the level of attention your dog wants, and you give him some uninterrupted time, he won’t be so disruptive.