When curbing unwanted dog behavior, many owners stop trying after the first few failed attempts. Undesired behavior in dogs, such as jumping on house guests and barking for attention, can take weeks if not months to correct. How long it takes to correct the unwanted dog behavior varies from dog to dog.
When fitting your dog or puppy for a collar, introduce it slowly. If he whines or attempts to remove the collar, don’t give up. Form a correlation between top-shelf treats and good behavior while wearing the collar in the house. After he calms down, remove the collar. Make sure to add time every day and in a couple weeks, your dog will be happy to wear that collar.
If the unwanted dog behavior is jumping on house guests (or family for that matter), keep in mind that any attention, positive or negative, is still attention. For a couple weeks, ignore your dog when he jumps and with time he’ll figure out that jumping doesn’t lead to your attention, so the behavior will diminish.
How to Correct Unwanted Dog Behavior
To prevent unwanted behavior in dogs, it’s important to note your response to the behavior. If you find yourself yelling at your dog when he jumps on house guests, you’re actually reinforcing the behavior.
Be mindful of your dog’s goals when he misbehaves. Don’t falsely reinforce this misbehavior with rewards. Rather, give him opportunities for success. For example, tell the jumping dog to sit, and reward him with a treat after a successful sit command.
Bad behavior in dogs, such as counter surfing can take a long time to correct. To be honest, there’s a chance you’ll never achieve total trustworthiness. Because your dog has an incredible sense of smell, he can smell that food on the counter from any room in the house. He’ll try for a long time because this unwanted behavior often leads to the occasional yummy crumb (for a dog, so worth it).
If possible, you may get your dog to stop the counter surfing behavior by making sure there are no yummy crumbs to be had. This is difficult to do, notably if you have a family. It’s only a matter of time until someone leaves food within reach, and this is reason enough for your dog to keep checking. Keep your counters as clean as possible and put your dog in his crate or let him outside when prepping food.
Introduce New Commands, Practice Old Ones
Keep in mind that you’re communicating with a species that speaks a completely different language. To correct bad dog behavior, training is essential. Introduce new commands weekly and practice old commands as you go. The work physical and mental work involved in learning the commands will tucker him out. As a result, he’s less likely to misbehave.
Benefits of Exercise
Exercise is crucial in curbing dog behavior. If you’re gone 8-12 hours a day, and your dog’s walk is more of a quick lap around the backyard, you’re not giving your dog ample time to use up his energy. This untapped energy will go into unwanted behaviors such as scratching your walls or chewing your shoes. As we all know, “A tired dog is a good dog”.
Ultimately, your dog wants to follow your commands, but time and patience are required. Be fair with your expectations by giving him ample time to understand those expectations. Consistency is key! Be fair to him by giving him plenty of time to understand what you expect from him. Be consistent and persistently patient!