Pets are as much a part of the family as humans are, which is why when it comes to how you raise your pets, it’s important to do a good job. Far too many people adopt a puppy or older dog without knowing a thing about raising them, which ends up leading to the dog having behavioral problems.
The fact is, there are no bad dogs – not really – usually when a dog is badly behaved it’s due to how it has been raised, rather than down to its nature. Of course, there is always the exception to the rule, but for the most part, badly behaved dogs are the result of owners that don’t understand how dogs should be raised.
Raising well-behaved dogs isn’t always the easiest of tasks. To succeed in raising a dog (or dogs) that behave impeccably, it takes a lot of time and effort. Think of dogs as an investment, the more time and care you put into them, the better dog they will grow to be. Bearing that in mind, below are some tips and pieces of advice for raising a well-behaved dog.
Want to ensure that your pup grows into a friendly, caring and calm dog? Then take note and implement the below information, and you can ensure that your pooch is the best that he or she can be.
Set rules from day one and stick to them
The key to successfully training a dog is to set rules from day one and stick to them. If you change the rules constantly, you are just going to confuse them. According to many of the most reputable dog trainers in the world, setting rules from when you first bring your pooch home and sticking to them is vital if you want to raise a well-behaved dog. For example, if you sometimes allow him on the sofa but other times don’t, he will get confused. If you don’t want your dog to go on the sofa, you have to consistently tell them off when they get on the sofa and praise them when they don’t.
Enroll them in training classes
When it comes to training classes, the earlier you start training your dog, the better. As soon as your puppy has had their 12-week jabs, you can then start taking them to puppy classes with other dogs – this isn’t only a great way to train them, but also a fantastic way to socialise them and get them used to other dogs and people. If you want to start training your pup before he is 12 weeks old, you can always work with a trainer one-on-one in your home. This might be more expensive, but if it means that your puppy will grow into a well-behaved dog, surely it is worth it? Once you’ve trained your dog, it’s vital to ensure that you keep up with his training, consistently using it in day to day life. For example, if you have trained your dog to sit and wait to eat his food until you say he can, it’s important to always feed him using those rules. Otherwise, he will get confused, which is where bad behavior starts to creep in or can do anyhow.
Use a reward system
Studies have shown that dogs that are trained using a reward system tend to behave better in general. Most reward systems incorporate the use of dog treats with commands, with the dog getting the treat when he adheres to the demand. By using a reward system, you are teaching your dog that good behavior gets rewarded, which will encourage him to behave as he grows up because he will connect doing what he’s told to getting a treat. Whether you buy dog treats from your local pet shop or you make them yourself, it doesn’t matter. All that matters is that you have a little something to give your dog as a reward for when they do as they are told and behave properly.
Have a punishment in place
As well as having a reward system in place for when your dog behaves, it’s also important to have a system in place for when he misbehaves. There are a lot of options for this; the one that works for you and your dog will depend on a range of factors, including your dog’s breed and personality and your personal preference. For dealing with specific problems, such as constant barking, there are specialist products that you can use, such as bark collars – to learn more about these, have a read of this article on buying bark collars. While for dealing with general problems, such as jumping up when they shouldn’t, for instance, you can implement a punishment like a flick on the nose, or a spray of water. Having a punishment system in place will help your dog to understand when they have done something wrong, which is important when it comes to teaching good behavior.
Steer clear of additives in food
Studies have shown that dogs that eat food containing additives and other nasties are twice as likely to misbehave. It’s the same as children; when a child eats blue smarties – a food containing high levels of colour and e-numbers – they are more likely to become hyper and play up. When a dog eats food that impacts their mood because of what is in it, it can impact their behavior. That’s why it’s best to opt to feed your dog natural dog food that is free from anything that could have an impact on their mood or behavior.
Raising a well-behaved dog isn’t’ always an easy task because it can take a long time to train a puppy up. However, if you are willing to put in the time and be consistent with your dog, you can train them to behave impeccably. It may take time to get your dog to a stage where you are happy with their behavior, but it really is worth all of the time, money and effort.