From Rascal to Role Model: The Ultimate Guide to Training Stubborn Canines

October 4, 2023
Posted in blog
October 4, 2023 Bryan Striegler

From Rascal to Role Model: The Ultimate Guide to Training Stubborn Canines

Finn-with-dog-toy

It’s really sad, but so many dogs are given up or returned every year. There are several different reasons, but usually it has something to do with a bad behavior that is causing problems with the owner. Without these behaviors, the dogs and owners would have a great relationship. Luckily, many of these bad behaviors in dogs can be fixed or avoided all together.

Understanding common bad behavior in dogs

Many dog owners have experienced frustrating moments when their beloved pets exhibit bad behavior. Understanding common bad behavior in dogs is crucial for effective training and addressing these issues head-on. The most common problems are listed below.

  • excessive barking
  • destructive chewing
  • aggression
  • potty accidents

By understanding these common bad behaviors in dogs and delving into the underlying causes behind them, owners can transform challenging situations into opportunities for growth and development for both themselves and their furry companions.

Identifying the root cause of the problem

When faced with a problem, it can be easy to jump straight into finding a solution without taking the time to identify the root cause. However, this approach often leads to temporary fixes or repeated problems down the line. By taking the time to dig deeper and uncover the underlying cause of an issue, we can address it more effectively and prevent its recurrence.

One key method for identifying root causes is asking why multiple times. This technique, known as the Five Whys, involves asking why an event occurred and then using the answer to ask why again until you get to an answer. Start with any patterns you see or the situation. Does the problem only happen in certain situations? Has there been a time when it didn’t happen? This process helps peel back layers of symptoms and surface-level issues until we reach the true source of the problem.

Finn-with-dog-toy

With barking, think about it more like a kid talking. It’s a natural thing for them to do because they are communicating, but when it is too loud or too often, it becomes a problem. For many dogs, barking is centered around some form of excitement. It could be you coming home, going on a walk, or seeing something outside.

Another prevalent issue in dogs is destructive chewing. Dogs naturally explore their world through their mouths, but when they direct this behavior towards furniture or personal belongings, it becomes a problem. This destructive chewing behavior often stems from teething in puppies or separation anxiety in older dogs. Providing appropriate chew toys and practicing positive reinforcement during training can help redirect this behavior and prevent costly damage around the house.

Aggression towards other animals or humans is another common problem that dog owners may face. This aggressive behavior can be due to fear, lack of socialization, territorial instincts, or previous traumatic experiences. It is essential to consult a professional trainer or animal behaviorist to address aggression issues safely and effectively through specialized training techniques tailored to each individual dog’s needs.

The accidents your dog is having could have multiple reasons. One possibility is that your dog may be experiencing a medical issue or illness that is causing these accidents. It could be a urinary tract infection, gastrointestinal problems, or even hormonal imbalances. In such cases, it is crucial to consult with a veterinarian who can conduct thorough diagnostic tests and provide appropriate treatment.

Another reason for the accidents could be related to your dog’s age. If your furry friend is still a puppy, it’s not uncommon for them to have difficulty controlling their bladder and bowel movements. Again, they are like kids. They might not understand the whole process and it might also just be they aren’t physically capable yet.

Finn likes to mark in the house. This is a bit different. One, it’s not a large amount, and two, I know it’s not an accident. In his case, he tends to do it when I leave him for too long. I honestly think it’s his way of getting back at me and trying ot get attention.

Consistency is key in training

Consistency is often overlooked when it comes to training, yet it is one of the most crucial factors in achieving long-term success. Many people get caught up in chasing quick results and end up burning out or giving up altogether. However, if we can embrace the idea that progress takes time and commit to showing up consistently, we can achieve far greater results than a sporadic burst of intense training.

One reason consistency is so important in training is that it allows for gradual improvements over time. Dogs are similar to people in many ways. When we engage in regular physical activity or practice a skill repeatedly, our bodies and minds adapt and become more efficient at performing those tasks. This principle holds true for teaching our dog.

Consistency also helps them learn. If you change what you are doing all the time, they will get confused. They need to see a consistent pattern to understand. When you say sit, I’m supposed to do this. When I do this, it makes you unhappy.

Positive reinforcement techniques for behavior modification

Positive reinforcement techniques are powerful tools for behavior modification that focus on rewarding desired behaviors rather than punishing negative ones. There is always the option to use negative reinforcement, but that seems to create a negative feeling or relationship. Wouldn’t you rather be praising than yelling?

One interesting perspective on positive reinforcement is the concept of shaping behavior. Instead of expecting drastic changes overnight, this technique involves gradually reinforcing small steps towards the target behavior. For example, if you want your dog to learn how to sit and stay, you for start by praising them whenever they sit on command. Then, you praise them as they learn to stay. It might be only a few seconds but you can build it up over time. Before you know it, you will be able to walk away from them, and they will stay.

An important part of positive reinforcement is making sure to connect it quickly to the action. If you wait too long to reward them, they won’t know what they are getting rewarded for. This is especially true at the beginning. As they learn, you can delay the reward or stop giving it all together.

Setting clear boundaries and rules for your dog

Setting clear boundaries and rules for your dog is crucial in maintaining a balanced and respectful relationship. Dogs are pack animals and thrive on structure and consistency. By establishing clear boundaries, you are effectively communicating what behavior is acceptable and what is not. This not only helps to prevent unwanted behaviors but also allows your dog to feel secure and understand their place within the household.

When setting boundaries, it’s essential to be consistent with enforcing them. Dogs learn through repetition, so if you allow certain behaviors one day and then scold them for the same actions the next day, they will quickly become confused. Consistency provides clarity for your dog, helping them understand what is expected of them at all times.

Another important aspect of setting boundaries is considering your dog’s individual needs and temperament. Every dog is unique, with their own personality traits and strengths. Understanding these traits can help you tailor your approach to training and boundary-setting specifically for your pup.

Remember that setting boundaries doesn’t mean being overly strict or harsh with your dog. It’s about teaching them how to live harmoniously alongside their human family members while still allowing them freedom within those limits. With patience, positive reinforcement, and a clear understanding of expectations, both you and your furry friend can enjoy a happy and well-balanced life together.

Seeking professional help when needed

Sometimes, we find ourselves facing challenges that seem too overwhelming to tackle on our own. That’s when seeking professional help becomes essential. You might not have the time to properly train your dog or maybe you don’t feel like your good at it or maybe nothing has worked. That’s when a professional can step in.

Seeking professional help is not a sign of weakness or failure. Some dogs are difficult and some people aren’t meant to be trainers. Professional trainers do this for a living. It’s not much different than going to a dentist vs trying to clean your teeth yourself.

How much help you’ll need will depend on the dog and the situation. Some dogs require a lot and might go away for a few weeks worth of one of one training. This, of course, is more expensive but will have very good results. Others will take their dog to a weekly training session and over a few months, the problem will be fixed. If it’s not a big problem, the professional might be able to give you tips and fix it quickly.

Building a strong bond with your dog through effective behavior correction techniques

Effective behavior correction techniques can play a crucial role in building a strong bond with your dog. It is important to remember that dogs are highly trainable and capable of learning new behaviors at any age. By using positive reinforcement methods, such as rewards and praise, you can encourage your dog to exhibit desirable behaviors while simultaneously discouraging unwanted ones.

In conclusion, building a strong bond with your dog through effective behavior correction techniques requires patience, consistency, and positive reinforcement methods. Remember that dogs are intelligent animals who respond well to gentle but firm guidance. By understanding their needs and providing them with clear communication through training techniques, you will not only improve their behavior but also foster a deep connection built on trust and respect between you and your furry companion.