Wednesday, December 14, 2011

How to Have a Well-Mannered Dog

Use the same hand signals each time when training your dog.

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Similar to children, dogs need to be taught right from wrong. To have a well-mannered dog, it's essential to teach it obedience and to correct its bad behavior. Ideally, training starts when your dog is a puppy, because it won't have developed bad behavior yet, and is open to new ideas.

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Even though you can enroll your dog in obedience classes, many people do the training themselves. Patience and consistency are essential during training. Instead of punishing the dog if it neglects to respond to a command, give it a reward when it does obey; positive reinforcement is more effective. Use dog treats to persuade and tempt your dog to sit, stop, stay or roll over. Show the dog the treat, give the command and praise and reward it when it obeys you. Over time, the dog learns to obey the command without the need of the treats.

Correcting Bad Behavior

If your dog develops undesirable traits, such as lying on the couch, jumping on the bed or barking at strangers, it's up to the dog parent to correct the behavior. Catch your dog in the moment. If it jumps on the couch, firmly discipline it. Remove the dog from the couch and put it on the floor. Tell your dog, "get off," make eye contact and wait for your dog to look away and show submissiveness. If it refuses to obey, place it in a timeout; put your dog in a crate for 15 minutes.

Rewarding and Praising Your Dog

Rewarding your dog when it obeys you and displays good behavior needs to happen immediately after the fact; if you wait too long, your dog won't understand what it is being rewarded and praised for. The same goes for disciplining your dog. Don't wait until your dog has finished barking at a stranger; correct the behavior as soon as it starts. If you see the problem coming, warn your dog with a quick "ah-ah" beforehand and it may refrain from barking completely.

Get the Whole Family Involved

Having a well-mannered dog requires all family members to get involved. Everyone living in the home must use the same verbiage when commanding the dog. The dog must learn to listen to everyone living in the home. All family members must be aware of what the dog is allowed to do, and not allowed to do; if you teach your dog not to eat from the table, but another family member feeds your dog table scraps, it can trigger confusion.

ReferencesK9 Web: Behavior: Understanding and ModifyingVet Infor: Teaching Dog ObedienceABC: Doggy MannersPhoto Credit Brand X Pictures/Brand X Pictures/Getty ImagesRead Next:

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