10 Basic Commandments for a Pet Parent
25 Apr 2013
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Training a dog for basic obedience is one way of making sure that your dog does not develop unwanted behaviours along the way. Physical force should never be used in
dog training as it may turn a normally mild-mannered pooch in to a fearful or skittish dog who can become aggressive as well. Use positive rein forcers such as praise, toys or treats to train your dog in a manner that creates trust and a positive bond between you and your canine.
Some of the common puppy behaviour problems are:
Most dogs bark, howl and whine to some degree. Excessive barking is considered a behavior problem. Before you can correct barking, determine why your dog is vocalizing in the first place. Also teaching your dog to be “quiet” can be very useful at such times
Chewing is a natural action for all dogs. However, chewing can quickly become a behavior problem if your dog causes destruction. When you are not home, keep your dog crated or confined to an area where he is safe and busy with the chew toys that you have left behind. Another important thing to do is to make sure that he gets plenty of exercise before you head out.
3. Separation anxiety
Separation anxiety is one of the most commonly discussed dog behavior problems. Manifestations include vocalization, chewing, inappropriate urination and defecation, and other forms of destruction that occur when a dog is separated from his owner. True separation anxiety requires dedicated training, behavior modification and desensitization exercises. Medication may be recommended in extreme cases, but this should be a last resort.
4. Inappropriate Elimination
Inappropriate urination and defecation are among the most frustrating dog behaviours. They can damage areas of your home and make your dog unwelcome in public places or at the homes of others. It is most important that you discuss this behavior with your veterinarian first to rule out health problems. Inappropriate elimination is unavoidable in puppies, especially before 12 weeks of age. Older dogs are another story - many require serious behavior modification to rid them of the habit.
Begging is a bad habit, but many dog owners unfortunately encourage it. This can lead to digestive problems and obesity. Dogs beg because they love food - but table scraps are not treats, and food is not love! Yes, it is hard to resist that longing look, but giving in "just this once" creates a problem in the long run. In a pack setting, a subordinate would never beg from alpha dogs without reprimand. When you teach your dog that begging is permitted, you jeopardize your role as pack leader. Before you sit down to eat, tell your dog to stay, preferably where he will not be able to stare at you. If necessary, confine him to another room. If he behaves, give him a special treat only after you and your family are completely finished eating.
A dog's desire to chase moving things is simply a display of predatory instinct. Many dogs will chase other animals, people and cars. All of these can lead to dangerous and devastating outcomes! While you may not be able to stop your dog from trying to chase, you can take steps to prevent disaster. Your best chance at success is to keep the chase from getting out of control. Dedicated training over the course of your dog's life by teaching him to come while being called is the best solution.
7. Jumping Up
Puppies jump up to reach and greet their mothers. Later, they may jump up when greeting people. Dogs may also jump up to exert dominance. A jumping dog can be annoying and even dangerous. There are many methods to stop a dog's jumping, but not all will be successful. Lifting a knee, grabbing the paws, or pushing the dog away might work for some, but for most dogs this sends the wrong message. Jumping up is often attention-seeking behavior, so any acknowledgment of your dog's actions provide a reward! The best method: simply turn away and ignore your dog. Do not make eye contact, speak, or touch your dog. Go about your business. When he relaxes and remains still, calmly reward him. It won't take long before your dog gets the message.
Dog aggression is exhibited by growling, snarling, showing teeth, lunging and biting. It is important to know that any dog has the potential to become aggressive, regardless of breed or history. However, dogs with
violent or abusive histories and those bred from dogs with aggressive tendencies are much more likely to exhibit aggressive behavior towards people or other dogs. Canine aggression is a serious problem. If your dog has aggressive tendencies, consult your vet first - it may stem from a health problem. Then, seek the help of an expe
dog trainer. Serious measures should be taken to keep others safe from aggressive dogs!
9. Fears and phobias
Dogs can harbor fears and phobias just like we do, though often to a greater extent. Common phobias often include vacuum cleaners, dryers, thunder storms, fire crackers etc.As a puppy is growing up he will naturally come across a wide range of new and potentially frightening, even terrifying, situations. But with the reassuring presence of his mother, brother, sisters, and eventually his owner, the young dog can get used to dealing with them. Any dog's future depends on his early experiences and training, as does his capacity to assess situations more or less likely to cause fear or distress
10. Basic Obedience Commands
Some basic commands which every puppy must know are Heel ( walk without pulling), sit, down, stay, hold/leave, speak/quiet, a game of fetch and paw shake.
This is all you need to do to have a puppy turn in to a well behaved obedient dog a source of pride and joy for you. With positive training methods you and your dog will bond better. One must remember that for a dog to be happy he just does not need to be loved and looked after but also needs to respect his alpha which is you as a pet parent to know his place or role in your pack structure ( family).