Train Your Dog's Behavior
Dogs love people and we certainly enjoy having them around, but only if they know how to behave. Your dog behaves the way he is taught to behave. You are his teacher so it is up to you to teach him to be a valued member of your family.
Dogs are naturally social animals. Even though your pet is domesticated, he is still genetically programmed to run in a pack headed by a leader. When you bring a new dog into your home, he becomes a member of your pack. It is up to you to teach him that you are the leader of your pack. Teaching him in a kind but consistent manner will get the point across.
Some to call it "tough puppy love". The sooner you establish the rules for his behavior, the happier and more secure your dog will feel. Dogs are like teenagers; they need and really desire to know their boundaries. Not having boundaries makes them nervous and insecure. Your dog deserves to know what you expect of him and if he is taught this from the beginning, he will make every effort he can to please you. Well, most of the time.
You must be firm from the beginning but never strike or punish your dog if he fails to do what you say. Gently scold him and repeat the training. Also, always reward your dog with love and praise, not food. Your goal is for his attention to be on you and not on food. Food rewards may lead to health issues such as obesity.
It is easy to keep your dog happy. Just love him and fulfill his basic needs: proper nutrition, exercise, and plenty of attention from his family. Part of his training should be to teach him to be a responsible member of your family. Here are some tips:
Never give your puppy free run of the home. This can be frightening for him and very hard on your house! Give him a little fenced-off corner he can call his own. If that isn't possible, you may need to purchase a pet crate. Dogs are den animals and will like the close cozy quarters of a crate. A dog's instinct is not to spoil his sleeping quarters so this will encourage him to wait until you let him outside. Remember that young puppies don't have the full control of their bladder so don't get too angry if he has an accident now and then. He will eventually learn.
When your puppy is grown he still should be confined to a space he can call his own when you are not around. There are a lot of ways a doggie can get into trouble when alone and free to roam.
Chewing You Out of House and Home
Puppies love to chew! They will chew on wood and plastic. They will even chew glass and nails if they can get their paws on it! You must be as careful about what you leave around your home just as you would with a baby. If you notice your puppy chewing on doorframes, woodwork, etc., spray these places with repellent, available at most pet stores. Offer your little darling a rawhide or plastic chew bone which you can also purchase at your neighborhood pet store or even Wal-Mart. Most dogs love toys that squeak. These make good alternatives to your house or shoes.
Begging, Barking and Whining
It is a good thing when your dog communicates his needs and feelings to you but some things are better left unsaid. The "I want what you are eating" whine should be nipped in the bud before it becomes a bad habit. Don't give in to those "puppy dog" eyes. You aren't doing your dog a favor by sharing your food with him. He doesn't need between-meal-people-food-snacks.
Get him some flavorful doggie snacks and give him a nibble now and then. If you don't start a bad habit, he will eventually give up and stop begging when he sees that it is to no avail. If this doesn't work with your pet, instruct him to go to his bed and remain there while you eat. Try putting him in his bed with a doggie nibble immediately before mealtime. He will consider it a treat and not a punishment. A few dress rehearsals should establish the habit for a lifetime.
Praise your dog when he alerts you that someone is coming or something isn't right, and then instruct him to stop. If he persists, put your hand over his mouth and tell him no. You want him to be a good watchdog but not an excessive barker.
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