How to Control Your Dog’s Behavior
Are you having a hard time controlling your dog’s energy? Overexcitement is problematic dog behavior, and it’s not a normal sign of a happy and healthy dog. Aggression and scavenging are also common dog behavioral problems. When left unchecked, undesirable dog behavior can cause harm not only to themselves but also to other dogs and people.
This is the reason many dog experts recommend dog training. Dog training is more than just teaching them about obedience or skills like potty training. Dog training helps dogs control their behavior and establish you, the pet parent, as the pack’s alpha. You can get supplies to help you train and control your dog from vendors like MyBestBark. Getting high quality leashes, harnesses, toys, and treats are all key to providing your dog with the structure and stimulation they need to become happy and well-behaved.
Common Dog Issues and Their Causes
Before you can learn how to control your dog’s behavior, you need to understand why it’s happening and where it’s coming from. Here are some of the common dog issues and the causes of why they are doing these:
- Aggression – This is the most common and most serious behavioral problem, and it’s also the main reason why many pet parents want to train their dogs. Aggression happens for a multitude of reasons, and it also happens in different circumstances. Aggression arises when a dog feels that it is threatened or under attack. Dogs can become aggressive towards people and animals who they think may hurt you or them.
- Food Guarding – Some dogs tend to guard their food too much or claim other pets’ food. This behavior is also a form of aggression. The causes of this behavior may vary. For puppies, they may have this instinct to compete with food with their siblings. This behavior may arise for adopted adult dogs due to experience from an abusive owner or poor living conditions. If you have another pet in your home like a cat, you need to teach train dogs not to eat cat food or food that is not theirs.
- Excessive Barking – Barking is your dog’s way of communicating with you and other animals. Sometimes, however, their barking can be excessive, and the cause of this varies based on their motivation for barking. For example, you may have rewarded your dog for barking in the past. This act makes them think that barking gets them what they want and will repeat the future behavior. Sometimes, dogs bark to get your attention or the attention of other people. Like other behaviors, you should understand the motivation behind the barking before understanding how to control them to be quiet as you demand.
- Destructive Chewing – Dogs chew to relieve stress or anxiety. Chewing things help dogs feel calm when they feel restless and you are not around. Some experts say that this behavior is a result of puppies being weaned early. Destructive chewing is also a sign that your dog might be hungry, and they are not getting the right amount of food to make them feel full after their meals.
Ways to Control Your Dog
There are simple ways you should do to control your pet:
Stop Encouraging Them
You might be encouraging bad dog habits without realizing it. Giving in to their occasional puppy eyes or annoying barks gives the wrong message to your dogs. Giving affection when your dog suddenly jumps on your or when they show too much excitement is also a form of encouragement.
When it comes to controlling your dog, you have to be firm and consistent with your reaction to their unwanted behavior. When you decide to punish them for barking too much, do it every time they repeat the behavior. When you see them chewing items at home, always show that you are not pleased with what they did.
Encourage Calm Behavior
Encourage calm behavior by showing affection when they are in a calm and submissive state. This will motivate your dog to repeat the behavior, and it’ll tell them that what they are doing pleases you. Ignore them as much as possible when you think they are whining or barking too much to get what they want. Don’t make eye contact and don’t talk to them when they are in an aggressive or excited state.
Positive reinforcement is also helpful when it comes to controlling your pet. For example, you say “stop” when you hear them barking too much, and they follow the command. Whenever they follow a command, give them treats to encourage them to repeat the future behavior.
Provide Them with an Outlet but with Limitation
Dogs thrive on physical exercise and time to play with their pet parents. When they don’t get enough physical activity, they become bored. When dogs feel bored, they may feel anxious or stressed, which leads to developing bad behaviors like destructive chewing or digging holes in your backyard.
Providing them with the mental and physical stimulation that they need every day will help dogs avoid developing bag behavior. Take time to play with them with toys they can catch or chew on. It is also important for dogs to go on walks in the park.
Although they have this excess energy to burn, it’s still important to control their actions, especially when you are out. Make sure that you invest in high-quality dog leash so that you can control them while you are outside.
Make Sure to Check Your Behavior
To effectively control your dog, you need to look at your behavior. Dogs can feel their owners’ energy, so when you feel frustrated or aggressive, they exhibit these behaviors as well.
Do you frequently yell when you want your dogs to stop? Do you only give them attention when you are angry? These behaviors are encouraging them to be aggressive or to display bad behavior because dogs crave attention. When you see something you don’t like, be firm in saying “no” but avoid yelling and don’t show signs of aggression. Physically hurting them will not help as this will make them afraid of you.
When it comes to controlling your pet’s behavior, you should learn about what triggers them to do these things. After understanding their triggers, you need to evaluate yourself if your behavior encourages them to behave poorly. Use positive reinforcement using treats and affection to encourage them never to repeat bad behavior.
Lastly, always remember that you can easily control a calm dog rather than an energetic one. It’s important to provide them with an outlet to release their extra energy and take this opportunity to bond and play with them. Giving them enough physical activity prevents boredom and anxiety, which are the leading factors in developing bad behaviors.