Teaching Your Dog In A Positive Way

As puppy and dog owners, we know there will be times when your favorite shoe or new leather pocketbook is mangled by a bored or just chew-crazy canine friend. Our first instinct is to wave the item in the dog’s face and yell at him that he is a bad dog. You should never hit, yell or frighten the dog into behaving in a certain way. It does not accomplish anything and only teaches him to be scared of you the next time you get angry. It may even provoke an unwanted aggressive reaction. After all, your dog is instinctively going to try to protect himself.

Consistent teaching and rewards for good behavior is important, more so than yelling and telling him what not to do. Dogs learn best from being caught in the act and gently disciplined but it is even better to catch them right before they grab your favorite shoe with a command such as “Leave it!” This command is useful for many situations where your dog might get into trouble.  It helps to stop his thought midstream before he acts upon it. You can train “Leave it!” by putting a treat in your closed hand.  Let your dog smell it, then close your hand again and say “leave it”. If he backs away from you, give him the treat and much praise. If he doesn’t back away, do not give him the treat. Once he realizes he isn’t going to get it and starts to walk away, give him the treat with lots of positive praise. Do this repeatedly until he backs away at the command every time. You can also give him an “okay” when he has complied so he knows the treat is coming.

The “leave it” command can be used for such things as begging at the table or when he attempts to grab something he shouldn’t. Another good reward for compliance is to give him a favorite chew toy. That way your shoes are preserved and your dog is happy and content to chew on the right thing. Positive teaching will result in a happy friend. After all, pleasing you is what matters the most to him.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *