Say Goodbye to Your Dog’s Bad Habits With These Tips

3 simple ways to encourage good behaviors in your dog

Dog Barking At Home

One of the most common mistakes that pet parents make is training their dog into undesired behaviors without realizing it. There are many normal behaviors of your dog that can easily become a bad habit if they are not able to control when or in what context they do it.

The most effective way to train your dog is to use the “positive reinforcement” method, where you reward them for desired behaviors with praise and/or a treat. Through this approach, it doesn’t take long before your dog puts two and two together and begins to behave the way you have taught them to.

Three of the main habits that pet parents have a hard time training their pooches on are: barking, face licking, and jumping up. If your dog acts this way, do not get discouraged!

By understanding why dogs exhibit these behaviors, you can come up with a plan on how to train them to stop.

1. Barking

Barking is an innate behavior in dogs as it allows them to communicate, particularly when they spot danger. Therefore, it is completely normal territorial behavior for your dog to bark to warn you, a member of their pack, when a stranger is at the door.

However, if your dog spends the best part of the day (or night) barking at just about anything, including you, it is a sign that this has become a bad habit, albeit one that is easy to cure.

The first mistake that pet parents make is to shout at their barking dog to keep quiet. The reason why this is ineffective is that while you think you are telling your dog to stop, your dog thinks you are barking along and enjoying making noise together. 

A more effective way to deal with this is to wait for a pause in your dogs barking to shower them with praise and a treat. As soon as the barking starts again, do not pay your dog any attention. For example, you can ignore them or walk off to signal to your pooch that acting this way does not entice a positive response from you. When the barking stops, once again give your dog praise and a treat. Dogs are affectionate, so they will quickly catch on and only bark in desired situations.

Teaching Your Dog Good Manners

2. Face Licking

Face liking is a very instinctive behavior in dogs that begins early on during their puppy days. Liking is the way puppies are groomed by their mother after their birth and it is a form of affection. 

While liking may not seem like a problem, it should be avoided due to health concerns, especially in babies and toddlers as this is likely to expose them to germs that their immune system may not be able to handle. Similarly if your dog has worms or has been investigating other dogs’ feces or grooming itself, you certainly want to avoid them coming to lick your face afterwards. 

As much as possible, try and discourage this behavior. When your dog approaches your face, firmly say “No”. If they don’t back off, gently push them away from your face. Whenever they first properly respond to the command, give them a treat. Keep this up consistently, and eventually they will realize that face licking is not a desired behavior.

3. Jumping Up

Jumping up is also a natural behavior in dogs which they exhibit when they feel happy and excited. While this may not seem like such a bad habit, it can be quite dangerous if they do it with young children or seniors.

Your dog would not know that jumping on you is fine, but jumping on children or the elderly isn’t. So, to avoid confusing your dog, it is best to try to discourage this behavior altogether, by telling the dog “Down!” every time they jumps up. Give them a treat when they first respond to the command effectively, and every time after that, until you no longer need to give them a treat and just using your words suffices.

There are a lot of simple ways that you can train your dog to avoid picking up bad habits and set boundaries and standards. Browse different training courses in our Academy to find the training methodology that works best for you and your dog!

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About cosmodoggyland (477 Articles)
Gaby is our Content Director and main Emma spoiler. She believes knowledge paves the path towards dreams, so she is always searching for cost- and time-effective ways to achieve learning goals. Passionate about new tools to acquire and convey knowledge, she used creative methods to make Science and Math fun for her children. With a B.Sc. and Marketing studies, she is currently involved in an educational online startup. Contact at cosmodoggyland@gmail.com

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