Dog Care | Behaviour
Communication is the Key
Just like with people, good relationships begin with good communication. Dogs communicate between themselves with body language, so it’s only natural to communicate with your dog using body language as well. Your job as a pet owner is to understand such body language, and doing so will enable you to teach your dog or puppy the proper way of saying “yes” or “no” to behaviors.
Parents often forget to praise their child for good behaviour, yet will always remember to discipline bad behavior! We tend to act the same towards our pets. We ignore them when they are quiet and obedient, and pay attention only when bad behavior is present. It’s always best to do the opposite and praise good behaviour and ignore the unwanted habits.
Dogs & Social Skills
One of the most important lessons your dog should learn is that they must sit before interacting with you or other humans. It’s very easy to teach a puppy or even mature dog to sit. Dogs learn at all ages, as long as lessons are repeated often and lessons are short and fun.
Teaching Your Dog to Sit
- Step 1:
To begin, take a food treat and hold it between two fingers. Let your pet sniff the food.
- Step 2:
Raise your hand above the dog’s nose. They will move their head to follow it. Naturally, your dog will sit because it is more comfortable.
- Step 3:
As soon as he does, say “sit” and give them the treat. The dog will connect the action of sitting down to the word “sit” and the reward after doing so. Repeat until learned.
Dogs, much like humans, are social and require interaction with others, so withholding attention is an effective form of punishment. If your pet jumps on you, cross your arms, look away, and remain still & silent until he stops. Don’t try to push them away, they will interpret this as playful. When your dog does sit, reward the behaviour with attention or treats.
If you have allowed your pet to gain your attention by barking or jumping in the past, trying to use the “silent treatment” now will make them only try harder to get your attention. Remain vigilant and ignore and outlast all their efforts.
Learn Who’s In Charge
Dogs react to eye contact. Call your dog or puppy by their name, and if they look at you, you should reward them. Repeating this activity at any time will teach your dog that it’s worthwhile to pay attention to you. Calling your pet’s name is also an effective way of interrupting and eliminating bad behavior. Once your dog is paying attention, ask them to come to you or sit.
Puppies and dogs need exercise and interaction with both other dogs and people. They should be taught to play with toys only and that human hands, feet or other parts are not toys. If your dog grabs your hands or feet, either intentionally or accidentally, interrupt the behavior by withholding attention or by making a high-pitched “ouch” sound. When they let go, offer a toy and resume playing.