Advice on how to manage undesirable behaviour with your dog
We are no angels. We all mess up from time to time, and so do our dogs. But managing a naughty dog with some undesirable habits can feel like an uphill battle. If you are feeling confused or worried, we’ve got you. You are not alone, everyone struggles with unruly canines from time to time, and we are here to help.
With these simple do’s and don’ts, you can get your pup on the right track.
Don’t blame your dog
The universal truth of dog behaviour? It’s almost always fixable. Why? Because it’s down to us.
Instead of feeling doomed to live with a demon puppy, relax in the knowledge that, fortunately, the problem very rarely lies with the dog. It has almost always come about because of the way that the dog has been managed or trained in the past, or just a habit they have picked up along the way.
Don’t blame yourself too much
We are all doing the best we can as pup parents, and that’s ok! Nobody is perfect, and the sooner you accept that, the sooner you can feel excited about the prospect of embarking on a journey of discovery with your dog. How amazing can we be together?
Do ask questions
Why is my dog peeing in the house? Why is my puppy behaving like a delinquent?
It’s important to stop and look at what the root causes of these undesirable behaviours might be. Are they getting enough potty breaks? Do they have ample opportunity to engage in natural behaviours? Are they bored?
Remember that a lot of “naughty” puppy behaviour is simply natural urges being fulfilled. So try and see the world through your dog's eyes and find the root cause.
Don’t get stuck in the negative
Rephrasing is a powerful tool. And here’s a big one for dog owners - identify what you want you would love your dog to do, instead of focusing on what you them not to do.
This means that you can work towards encouraging positive behaviours, with positive reinforcement training, rather than focusing on correcting undesirable behaviours. Positive reinforcement training has been shown to be way more effective than discipline-led training, leading to better results and a better bond with you and your dog. Plus it’s much nicer to be in a positive frame of mind!
Do invest in training aids
Sometimes a simple tool like a Potty Buddy can really help your dog towards exhibiting natural behaviour in a healthy and non destructive way. Allowing them to know where it’s appropriate to pee, for example! Or a chew toy, that shows them where it’s ok to chew.
Combining these tools with positive reinforcement lets your dog understand the things you would love them to do, meaning they are much more inclined to do them.
In fact, research shows that dogs love to please us and much prefer earning their treats. So giving them the chance to do that is a magical thing.
Do include management
Sometimes the easiest step to take in reworking a dog’s behaviour is to figure out how to prevent it in the first place. This could mean restricting access to a certain area or staying on top of chewable items in your puppy’s eyeline. If there is a way to remove any reward for the unwanted behavior, for example ignoring attention barking, this can be a great way to break the cycle.
If your dog is exhibiting the behaviour, continuing with our example of the attention barking, wait for a chance to redirect your dog to something positive. For instance, wait for a moment of quiet to ask for a “Sit!” Or redirect your puppy to chew on a toy, not your shoelaces.
Don’t forget to reward
Consistently rewarding your dog for good behaviour is bound to make it multiply. Even if it means you have to take a few steps back now and again to get a desired behaviour or attention from your dog, always find ways to see positive changes. Then… reinforce them!
Don’t underestimate exercise
A tired dog is usually a well behaved dog. So making sure your dog gets a good run around, or lets off steam with play or fetch, is a sure-fire way to improve behaviour. After exercise is also a great time to train, as doggos are usually feeling pretty receptive after a good walk.
Do enjoy the process
By working with your dog, you are building a special bond.Dogslove working, they love to feel they are doing a great job. To watch them change and flourish is a wonderful thing. So don’t forget to enjoy your successes and be kind to yourself with any failures. You are doing a great job and we salute you!
Learn how Potty Buddy™ products help pet-parents keep their homes clean and their pets comfortable.