by Marlene Kingston
Dogs are wonderful pets and by nature, they are eager to please their humans. But, it can be hard for dogs to navigate the rules and guidelines of a home they’re sharing with their companion.
This has the potential to lead to a lot of stress and contention—but it doesn’t have to! If your dog seems to always be getting into trouble, it may not be his fault.
When a dog behaves badly or doesn’t listen to us, what is our first reaction?
We might be tempted to get mad at or even yell at our dog, but is it really the dog’s fault? When you see what your dog has done, do you stop to think about why he does that? It is usually because he hasn’t been taught the correct thing to do. When they run off with your socks, it’s because they are trying to entertain themselves and might not know the difference between your socks (off limits) and their toys.
Just as we teach our children right and wrong, what is okay and not okay, we should do the same with our dogs. And it will take some time for them to learn.
The best thing to do is prevent – don’t correct bad behavior.
When your dog does something wrong, try to find out what the underlying cause is. “Why is he digging? Why does he run away when I call him? Why is he being aggressive?” The answer to these questions is usually very simple. You probably haven’t spent enough time playing and training with him. When you spend time playing and training with your dog, it builds a relationship of love and trust.
Dogs want to learn to communicate with us and are very eager to make us happy. If your dog loves and trusts you, he will do almost anything to please you.
While your dog is still learning, set some boundaries. Too much freedom can cause destructive behavior. Give him space, but keep him contained to a small area where he can’t get into trouble. In the beginning, you can keep a leash attached to him and let him drag it behind him everywhere he goes. That way you don’t have to chase after him when he is doing something wrong.
One thing that helps tremendously with behavioral issues is not letting your dog get too bored. Don’t make him do the same things every day. This is a common cause of digging. Take him for a walk to get his wiggles out. Socialize him with other dogs so he doesn’t become aggressive anytime he sees another dog. Make sure he has his own toys that are okay to chew on.
The bottom line is.. If you properly train your dog, he won’t get into much trouble. If you don’t have time or don’t think you can train him right, hire a professional trainer to do it for you. It is well worth the cost of training to have a well-behaved dog.
Marlene Kingston is the owner/breeder and trainer at My Doodle Maltipoos. Her blog is filled with information on the Maltipoo Breed and how to make the most of your time with your Maltipoo.