How To Stop Bad Dog Behavior

dog with bad behavior

Left to their own devices, dogs can quickly become bored and when that happens, bad behavior usually ensues. If you have ever returned home to torn apart slippers, a kitchen garbage can that has been knocked over and nosed through, or a couch pillow ripped to shreds, then you know all about it.

But bad dog behavior is not restricted to destructive activities. It also involves unwanted behaviors, like barking, jumping, biting, leash pulling, and putting paws or faces where they should not be, like on the counter when you are preparing food or the kitchen table when you’re trying to eat.

If you have a dog that is exhibiting bad behaviors, then here are some strategies that will help you stop bad dog behavior before they become habitual.

Make Sure Your Dog Gets Adequate Exercise

Your dog needs adequate exercise to maintain his or her health and going for a walk is one of the best ways to give them that exercise. But taking your dog for a walk is also one of the most effective things you can do to help curb her bad behavior. The reason is because a tired dog is simply less likely to act out.

Dogs will often chew and destroy things as a means of expelling pent up energy. If you expel that energy by taking your dog for a long walk, then she will rest peacefully for some time instead of being bad. Walking is great exercise for a dog because it works every part of the dog, including the mind and the body.

Take Preventative Measures

Before you leave home for the day, puppy-proof your home. Pick everything up off the floor and put it away where your dog cannot reach. After all, if you do not leave your slippers out, then your dog will not be able to chew them.
Taking preventative measures also means monitoring your dog when you are home, so you can see early warning signs of bad behaviors. This will help you to be able to step in and correct your dog before bad habits have a chance to form.

Reward Good Behaviors

When your dog does something good, praise her and reward her. For instance, if you come home from work and your dog welcomes you quietly instead of jumping or barking, praise and pet her. Or, if you take your dog for a walk and she walks calmly beside you on the leash instead of pulling it, then tell her what a good dog she is and give her a small treat.

Dogs are smart creatures, so it will not take long before your dog associates her good behavior with positive rewards. Also, when correcting your dog, be sure to use one-word commands that are easier for her to understand. For example, instead of saying “don’t jump,” just say “sit.” This will help her learn what behaviors are expected from her quicker.

Be Consistent

Curbing bad dog behavior successfully requires consistency. Failing to correct your dog when she is being bad will only confuse her and lead to continued bad behaviors. Try to stick to the same exercise routine every day. Over time, your dog will start to anticipate her walk and become more compliant and easier to control while taking it. If you do not want your dog begging at the dinner table, stop feeding her from the table and make sure everyone else in the family also stops. You need to be committed to stopping your dog’s bad behavior.

It will not happen overnight, but with consistent action, your dog’s bad behavior will start to wane, and she will become more and more obedient as she ages. If your dog is acting out or exhibiting bad behaviors when you are away from home, start employing these strategies and you should start seeing improvements soon.

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