Solutions for Problem Behaviors, Part 2

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CHARLOTTE – Last week we discussed the first step in behavior modification, management. Management is an important part of every training plan because it stops the dog from practicing the behavior that we’re trying to change, making training more effective.

Next, we have to consider the training plan and what we want to accomplish. What can your dog do, in the same situation as the problem behavior, that is acceptable to you? Here are some examples:

  • Jumping on people as they enter the home – we can teach a stationing behavior on a mat with a release word to “say hello” to the new person.
  • Barking out the window – we can teach a “thank you”, meaning thanks for the alert, followed by an “all done” cue.
  • Resource guarding food or toys – we can teach your dog that a person or dog approaching is a wonderful thing to be excited about.

In many “problem” behaviors, I find that dogs think we are holding them back from the fun. Instead, teach your dog that not only are you not going to stop them from having fun, you are the giver of all of these wonderful things. So when teaching not to jump on visitors, we can use the stationing behavior to let the person come in and close the door, and then release your dog to say hello calmly, (which is another training process in itself).

For training solutions, think: “What do I want my dog to do instead?”, and then teach it. You and your dog will both be pleased!

Sit, Stay, Play Dog Training & Behavior

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