Dogs are wonderful pets as long as they are well trained, happy and not reactive. On the other hand, dogs can be very frustrating if they have behavior issues. Potty training is the first thing we teach our dogs. Done wrong, potty training can affect your relationship with your dog. We don’t rub their noses in it, yell or spank dogs for going to the bathroom in the home. If you come home and your dog pooped in the house, it’s your fault not your dog’s. If you are home with your dog and he urinates in the house, it’s your fault not his. To teach, you need to catch your dog in the act, then you can interrupt and take them outdoors. If you find the accident after the fact its too late to teach. Put your dog outdoors and do not let them see you clean it up. Potty training can be a challenge but don’t get mad at the dog. Believe me if you could tell them we go potty outside and not in the house, they would oblige you.
Another very frustrating thing dogs will do when outdoors is run from you. I get frustrated when I let a dog loose and when I get close to grab them they run away. They don’t come when called and heaven forbid you get mad, because then they are scared of you and won’t come then either. But guess what, it’s not the dog’s fault! It’s your fault for failing to train and not being clear with them. Long lines can save you from this grief. A long line is a 15-20 foot long leash attached to the dog that the dog drags. I start all pups dragging a leash and as they mature they drag a long line. This way, if they try to run away you can step on the leash. You can also reinforce the come command. People get into trouble when they think the dog is trained and they take the line off too soon. What you can do when you think your dog is ready to run free is attach a lighter line to the dog or a shorter line. Reward the dog when they do come. Repetition and consistency are very important. Do it until it becomes automatic for the dog.
Digging can be an annoying thing a dog does. We all like nice yards and we don’t want holes dug. Again guess whose fault digging is? Not the dogs! You need to figure out the underlying issue when it comes to digging. Bored dogs dig. Make sure your dog is getting enough exercise and not just in your yard. Take your dog for walks or to a park to play. Try a doggie day care now and again. The same old thing is boring for us and boring for your dog. A bored dog digs. Don’t be a bored dog, get him out in society to experience life. Is your dog digging because you have a mole problem? You may need to hire an exterminator to rid your yard of moles. Sometimes dogs dig because they are hot. If it’s due to heat, supply your dog with a baby pool or bring them indoors to escape the heat.
In the picture at the beginning of this article is my dog Bracha. This is my office. The employees fill the trash with leftover lunch and Bracha is very food driven. I have had customers ask how to keep the dog from getting into the trash. The easiest cure is move the trash. Put it in a closet or pantry and shut the door. Problem solved. Bracha is remote collar trained and my business has cameras. I stepped out of the office to the camera room and watched her. It only took one session of very low stims to teach her to stay out of the garbage. I am not telling you to put a remote collar on your dog and start using on them for such issues as digging to get into the garbage. There is a training regimen to go through with several steps to learn how to communicate using this system.
Issues such as car chasing, nuisance barking, reactivity and jumping are all issues that can be stopped with training. If you need help with training, hire a professional but don’t be mad at the dog. You wanted a dog so don’t be mad at the dog. A trainer is well worth the money to have a nice happy dog you can hang out with. Animals can be frustrating but if you learn to communicate with them, you both will be much happier. Clear communication is the key to dog training along with persistence and reward.