One of the most popular choices for a pet is a dog. Regardless of their breed, most dogs are often enthusiastic, energetic, and playful, making them the perfect pet for many kids and families. Like humans, dogs grow, which means they can act like toddlers during their puppy stage and get into mischief when left unattended. What’s more, dogs don’t automatically understand house rules which means there will be days where you need to deal with their mess.
This is why it’s your responsibility as a dog owner to train your pet to follow the rules and encourage good behavior. No matter how much you care for and love your dog, it’s crucial that you still instill discipline. Otherwise, your little pup may grow up to be mischievous, getting you in trouble too. Remember that whatever behavior your dog displays will automatically reflect on you and how you discipline them.
Many big cities like New York have already implemented specific NY dog laws about proper dog supervision, such as dog licensing and a suitable leash to secure public safety. To help you train your dog and discipline them positively, here are five tips you can do to encourage good behavior in your beloved furry friend.
01. Spend Time Together
Like humans, dogs are social beings, so part of their essential needs is regular human interaction. Thus, the moment you decide to get a dog, you need to be ready to commit and make time for them, regardless of your lifestyle. Spending quality time with your dog will make them feel loved and cared for, encouraging them to reciprocate your gestures with joy and affection. Moreover, spending more time together will strengthen your dog’s trust and loyalty towards you, making it easier for you to train your dog and have them obey you.
Besides spending time with you, it’s also vital to introduce your pet to your friends and family, especially kids. You can do this slowly by letting them socialize with one person at a time. Taking your dog in a crowded place all at once might only overwhelm them and lead them to bark furiously or, worst, bite randomly. Once your dog gets familiar with your friends and family, it’ll be easier to train them.
02. Be Calm Yet Firm During Training
Many dog owners often wrongly assume that dogs respond better when scolded, yelled at, or beaten. Unfortunately, these actions will only lead your dog to lose trust in you and, worst, rebel against you, leading to destructive behavior. When teaching commands to your dog, make sure you use a calm yet firm tone. With this positive approach, sooner or later, your dog will learn to trust you and eventually listen and respond to your commands.
It’s also essential that you manage your expectations during training. You cannot expect your pet to quickly learn and understand commands after just a day of teaching them. Dog training will take time and patience, so make sure to be ready to repeat yourself several times a day until the lessons finally sink into them.
Most importantly, consistency is the key, so don’t stop working with your dog until they follow your lead. It will also help to reward your dog for every progress they show to encourage them to be more responsive to you.
03. Discourage Barking
Among the common complaints of non-dog owners is their barking. Barking is a natural behavior since they do it to communicate with humans or with fellow canine friends. However, when their barking is chronic, it can be annoying not only for your neighbors but even within the household. Instead of scolding them for barking constantly, you need to find out why they’re doing so in the first place.
If your dog regularly barks at passersby, you can try opening your back door where they can see fewer to no people. If your dog frequently barks when they get excited at something, you can simply ignore them. Eventually, they’ll quiet down once they realize their barking is not being acknowledged nor tolerated. You can also provide your dog with plenty of toys to keep them occupied and distract them from continuous barking.
04. Give Your Dog Plenty Of Exercise
Pets that don’t get enough exercise can become unhealthy, destructive, or simply unhappy. Plus, dogs quickly get bored and restless when they’re not moving or doing anything interesting. As a result, they become destructive and start chewing on your furniture or shoes. Remember that, like humans, dogs have energy, and it’s up to you to protect them from any harmful behavior.
This is why giving your dog plenty of exercise is essential to keep them physically active. It can be hard to fit in regular exercise with your busy schedule but making it part of your daily routine will benefit you both in the long run as it’s a great way to strengthen your bond as well.
05. Encourage Your Dog To Relax
Though exercising is essential, it’s also equally important to encourage your dog to relax and chill from time to time. Keeping your dog active and playful all the time will only lead to them constantly seeking your attention and craving playtime, which can be too much to handle in the long run. To encourage your pet to unwind, you can use rewards like treats or hearty cuddles every time you catch them chilling quietly.
There’s no such thing as a perfect dog, but with these tips, your dog can grow up to be on its best behavior. If your furry friend still shows strange behaviors despite going through these tips, don’t hesitate to ask your vet for proper advice.