IDEAL Real Estate, LLC



Posted by IDEAL Real Estate, LLC on 12/31/2017

Pets are a part of the family. When we welcome a new dog into the home, we often expect them to meet our standards of behavior without much guidance. Dogs, like children, require consistent training from all members of the family. They need positive reinforcement and clear signals from you to teach them what behavior is acceptable.

In this article, we’re going to cover some important house training tips for you and your canine companion. We’ll look at some of the common mistakes that new pet owners make, and talk about ways to curb undesirable behavior like chewing shoes or furniture or barking at windows.


Traits vs. behaviors

One common mistake new pet owners make is to attempt to place character traits on their dog. Words like pushy, protective, mischievous, etc. are all adjectives that we often use to describe our dogs.

However, as dog owners and home owners, our energy is better spent on recognizing and correcting behaviors. If your dog tears at a carpet or chews the corner of your sofa, it isn’t very helpful sitting around thinking of adjectives to describe your dog (like restless or anxious). Rather, we should think about the behavior itself and how to replace it.

Let’s jump right into some household behaviors and ways to replace them with desirable alternatives.

Chewing

Chewing is an important part of a dog’s life. Chewing itself is not a negative behavior, but when your dog starts demolishing furniture or eating your homework, it’s time to take steps to curb this behavior.

First, make sure your dog is eating a healthy diet and getting enough exercise. Dogs who aren’t eating a fat and protein rich food or who are overeating are prone to having excessive energy. If they’re trapped indoors and have nothing to focus that energy on, they’ll turn to chewing things they aren’t supposed to.

To focus your dog’s energy on positive behaviors, take your dog for a walk, jog, or play with them. If you notice your dog attempting to chew things they shouldn’t be, draw their attention away and provide them with a better alternative.

Barking

Just like chewing, barking is not in itself a negative behavior. It’s when your dog barks excessively and inappropriately that it becomes problematic.

Dogs bark for several reasons: to get you to play, to show that they’re stressed or bored, and so on. If your dog spends a lot of time monitoring doors and windows and barking at passersby, there are a few things you can do to curb the behavior.

First, take away the trigger. In this case, that could be closing the curtains or restricting your dog’s access to the room. If your dog is worried about strangers passing by the house, they are likely already too tense to begin training an alternative behavior to barking. If it’s noises that alarm your dog, try playing soft music to mask the noises for a day or two.

Once you’re ready to start training, have someone walk past outside where your dog can see from the window or make a noticeable noise outside. Reward your dog with treats when they do not react until they become more comfortable with the outside distractions.




Tags: dogs   pets   dog training   pet behavior  
Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by IDEAL Real Estate, LLC on 7/2/2017

Dogs, like humans, are territorial by nature. If a stranger came into your home unannounced you would likely react in either a fearful or aggressive manner. Dogs who are aggressive and protective are no different. Fortunately, there are training techniques that can be employed to help your pet grow more comfortable when you have company at your home. Whether you have an older dog who behaves aggressively toward visitors or you are raising a puppy that you want to train to be comfortable around strangers, here are some tips that can help.

Know your dog

Before you start training you need to understand exactly what makes your dog uncomfortable. With some dogs it may be a certain type of person (like a mail carrier or the oil delivery driver). With other dogs any stranger who comes in or near the home is a trigger. Determine the fine line between your dog's comfort zone and where your dog becomes scared.

Employing a training partner

Start small by having a friend (someone your dog doesn't know) walk past your home where the dog can see. The moment they show signs of fear, assure your dog that you have the situation under control. Scolding the dog, grabbing them, or otherwise exhibiting aggressive behavior toward your dog will only exacerbate their fears. You want them to know that you have the situation in control. Saying firmly and calmly, "I got it; I'm OK" will tell your dog that you see the stranger and you're in control. Oftentimes, dogs bark at strangers because they want us to be aware of the potential danger. Acknowledging your dog is vital in these situations. If your dog is the type who barks or growls at strangers, reward them with treats when they don't bark as the "stranger" passes by your home. From there, you can try other triggers with strangers outside the house such as ringing the doorbell or walking through the yard.

Let the stranger inside

After a few sessions working with the stranger outside your home, it's time to introduce your dog to strangers inside their territory. If you think your dog will be aggressive toward the stranger, make sure you keep your dog leashed or basket-muzzled during the first visit. It will protect your training buddy and will help let your dog know you are in control. Start by having a family member let the stranger in the home while you hold your dog leashed at length. If your dog barks at the stranger, attempt to get your dog's attention and verbally reassure them you are okay; you are in control. Have your training partner avoid eye contact with your dog. Once your dog calms down enough to stop barking, try having them follow commands for treats (sit, stay, etc.). If this is successful, have the stranger try tossing treats to the dog as well. If your dog is too nervous to eat, reward them with pets and other positive reinforcement ("Good girl!").

Tips for productive training sessions

  • Try to keep your dog's focus on you as often as you can. Use treats and positive reinforcement constantly
  • Exercise your dog before training if they are high-energy
  • Train in small increments; if your dog is afraid of strangers don't start by introducing him/her to a party at your home
  • You need to be calm at all times while training. Your dog takes his/her cues from your behavior. If you get frustrated or anxious take a break and start again when you're fully calm

   







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