Most dog owners have come home to find that their furry friend did not behave well while they were away. If you've come home to find that the dog confused your carpet with the grass, or has brought out every piece of underwear you own and spread it all over the house, you won't be very happy. However, how you handle the situation is key to correcting this misbehavior. This guide explains what you need to know about making your dog understand how their behavior relates to your anger or agitation.
Plan Perfect Timing
As frustrating as coming home to a mess of any kind is, the time to correct your dog is not when you notice what they did. Dogs do not have the ability to plan their lives as humans do. They live in the moment, so it is likely that the moment when they made the mess is long gone.
Any type of correction after the misbehavior confuses the dog and they won't know why you're angry. Remember, that moment has already past and the dog has forgotten what they did. Instead, wait to catch the dog in the act, or just before they are about to commit the crime. Then firmly tell him or her "no" and offer a treat or words of praise if they cease the activity.
Show the dog what you want it to do instead. Don't punish the dog, because the only understanding of punishment they have is that they don't like it. Your dog might think that if they get punished for peeing on the carpet that peeing on the furniture is okay, because they didn't get the punishment for that yet.
If you catch your dog peeing anywhere in the home, pick them up while telling them "no" and put them outside. The last thing you want to do is stick their nose in their waste. They won't understand why you're doing that at all. The important thing to remember is to correct and redirect your dog while they are in the act of the behavior you don't like.
Make the Dog Trust You
Your dog is dependent on you and needs to trust you so they can feel secure. If you yell at your dog, or you tell them "no" too firmly, they can begin to not trust you. This is doubly true if you correct their behavior after they have already committed the crime.
An easy way to tell if you're correcting your dog too severely is if they drop their ears and cower in a hunched position. This means that they are afraid of you. When this happens, you're breaking the trust bond that both you and your dog need.
Your dog does need a firm voice but not a "yelling" voice. They want to learn because they want to please you. So, before you yell, keep in mind the trust bond that you could be breaking when they are misbehaving.
Be as Consistent as Possible
Consistency is key when breaking bad behavior in dogs. If you see them pulling out your underwear from an open drawer one time, and let them get away with it, you'll confuse them if you correct them the next time they try it.
Even if you have to tell them "no" daily or several times a day, eventually your dog will learn what behavior upsets you and will know not to perform those crimes.
As hard as it is not to get angry when coming home to some sort of a mess created by your furry family member, remember that they can sense when you're upset, but they won't understand why unless you are in the moment with them. Experience as many moments as you can with your dog, and correct bad behavior consistently, so they can learn.
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