Clark County Humane Society
~ 13 Tips For a Well Behaved Dog ~
1) Start training right away! It’s easier to train now than correct later. Making a dog mind is the main goal. If your dog doesn't respond reliably at home (where distractions are minimal), he certainly won't respond to you away from home. (Think of the vet trip!)
2) Train your dog gently and humanely, and whenever possible, teach him using positive, motivational methods. Keep obedience sessions upbeat so that the training process is enjoyable. Tiny treats are a great training aide! Make sure to eliminate or avoid distractions to keep attention on you.
3) Use only commands you will enforce. Every time you give a command that is neither complied with nor enforced your dog learns that commands are optional. (They pick this up very fast!!)
4) One command should equal one response! Repeating commands tunes your dog out, & teaches him that the first few commands are a "bluff.” Give your dog a single "Sit" command, wait 2 seconds, & gently place or lure your dog into the sit position. Praise/reward.
5) Give one word commands. (Sit, Stay, Paw, Down, No, Come)
6) Avoid using a loud voice. You should have a firm tone when issuing an obedience command such as "sit," but be sure to stay calm and authoritative, rather than harsh or loud. Many owners say their dog "refuses to listen". Before blaming, determine whether or not he:
a) knows what you want b) knows how to comply c) is fearful, confused or distracted
7) Prevent misbehavior, don't punish the dog. Teaching is what it's about, not getting even with your dog. If you're taking an "it's-you-against-your dog, whip 'em into shape" approach your dog won’t respond, and you’ll face many more behavioral problems later on in life. Dogs live in the present time, after-the-fact discipline does NOT work. Their minds are on to new things within seconds & they won’t understand the punishment.
8) Whether praising or correcting, timing is essential. Take the example of food on the table. He sniffs, then eyes the food, and is poised to jump up. This is the best, easiest, and most effective time to correct your dog, BEFORE he misbehaves. Distracting him from there with a toy in another room works also.
9) Use your dog's name positively, rather than in conjunction to warnings or punishment. He should trust that when he hears his name or is called to you, good things happen. His name should always be a word he responds to with enthusiasm, never hesitancy or fear.
10) Often, dog owners inadvertently reinforce their dogs' misbehavior, by giving their dog lots of (negative) attention when they’re bad. Needless to say, if your dog receives lots of attention and handling when he jumps up, that behavior is being reinforced, and is therefore likely to be repeated.
11) Never train when you're feeling grouchy or impatient! Earning your dog's respect is never accomplished by yelling or hitting. Moreover, studies have shown that fear and stress inhibit the learning process.
12) Leash walk your dog from the beginning. They will get used to a leash and minimize pulling. Make them “heel” on the left side. When they pull, let them lunge to the end of the leash, and yank back with a firm “NO”. Getting their attention on you with treats will help dramatically! If possible, take the dog to public areas so he can get socialized with people (if you have control). This will help reduce fears and aggression towards strangers later on. Remember to get him used to things such as grooming, bathing, and car rides also!
13) Make sure they have enough toys to keep them amused. When dogs get bored they get in trouble. Make sure it is clear to them what is theirs and what is not! Puppy Classes and Obedience Classes are great for socializing and teaching the dog, as well as the owner! And remember, CCHS is here to help you work through problems!