Dog Behavior Problems

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Dog Behavior Problems

by Anton Kal

There's an old adage that says there are no bad dogs, only bad owners. Despite this, even the best dog owners sometimes run into problems with their pets. Whether it's a new puppy that needs training or an older dog that has learned some bad new tricks, there are things owners can do to help make sure man's best friend stays that way.

The first thing to remember when training or retraining a dog is that patience is an absolute virtue. Most dogs respond very well to positive reinforcement. Harsh, physical discipline is not a part of effective dog training. In fact, physical discipline should not go into dog training at all.

According to the Humane Society of the United States, one of the best methods for training a dog to do just about anything is to employ the "nothing in life is free" technique. This method requires the use of positive reinforcements to teach a dog basic commands and desired behaviors. This is the quid pro quo road to dog training.

For example, if your dog wants to be fed, he or she must sit and stay until the food is ready. Or, if your dog enjoys going for a walk after dinner, he must sit still for the leash to go on. The idea is to issue the command and not give the dog what it wants until he's earned it. The dog must comply and obey first.

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This method of dog training is considered effective because it puts the human in the dominate role. It sets the record straight from day one that the person is in charge. If the dog wants something, it must do as it's told. The method is believed to be one of the best for training because it fits a dog's natural pack mentality. They expect a social hierarchy. By demanding the dominant role, the human sets the pecking order clearly. This basic philosophy of dog training extends well into the teaching of all kinds of desirable behaviors. It can even helping in undoing some undesirable ones, as well. From basic obedience training to tackling major behavior problems, the sooner the human sets their dominance the better.

When coupled with other, more situational techniques, positive reinforcement can be the key to handling aggression, barking, biting, chewing and even digging and whining.

Training a brand new puppy or helping an older dog behave in a more acceptable manner will take some time and patience, but if the process is handled correctly, the rewards can be truly amazing. Offering loyalty, companionship and unconditional love, a well trained dog can become an integral part of any home..

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