Does your dog lack good manners? Is she always barking at other dogs or refusing to stay in place even when told to? Count on this: you CAN teach an old dog new tricks, and it’s never too late. Here’s how to improve your dog’s behavior, no matter what her age.
That way of thinking is merely false, and it won’t take months to establish that new behavior.
All you have to do is train your dog with rewards. This will help her replace her undesirable habits with the desired behavior.
Every time your dog displays the expected behavior, reward her. It won’t take long for her to realize that the desired behavior is earning her a treat.
A better trained, better-mannered dog can be simple with the focus on just three basic behaviors:
Once you master these, you will improve your dog’s behavior, and so will your relationship with her.
- Go to your area
- Responding to Touch
- Making eye contact
Go to Your Area
The first is to have a designated spot for your dog that she must learn. This spot could be her bed, a rug, or a mat. She must go to her spot when you ask.
Teaching your dog to go to your spot means nipping many undesirable behaviors at once, from begging for food at the table to barking at passing dogs or even bolting out the front door. It’s a great lesson when you’re cooking and don’t want your dog at your feet. Or, if friends come over, it can help stop your dog from jumping on them.
Teach the designated area until your dog masters it. Always reward her with lots of praise and treats when you improve your dog’s behavior and she responds positively.
Responding to Touch
Your dog should know to respond to touch, which is another way to get your dog’s attention if she’s misbehaving. When your dog responds to touch, you can redirect her by holding her collar, for example.
Touch can be used to reduce one or more fears in dogs, thereby eliminating unwanted behavior. For example, if your dog runs away when it’s time for brushing her, show her brush, and just touch her with it. Try to keep this exercise calm, and when she accepts it calmly, praise and give her treats.
Making Eye Contact
Prolonged direct eye contact can be seen as a challenge or threat by dogs, making dogs uncomfortable or afraid of people. That’s just the way dogs are wired. But, people are wired differently–eye contact is normal for us.
So, because direct eye contact is normal for us, it’s essential to teach your dog that it is normal for her too. Reward and praise her as she builds her self confidence when she interacts with people.
For you, this desirable behavior can help you distract your dog from unwanted behaviors.
Forget about yelling–that doesn’t work.
Instead, call her name, establish eye contact, and ask for a more mannered behavior, like a “sit-stay.”
These three behaviors help build the foundation for a better-mannered dog. Just stay committed to your efforts, and your dog will be successful, no matter how old she is.