Understand Cause and Effect

Your dog will learn what behaviors to repeat based on what happens when she does them. If, for example, you push your dog off of you when she jumps, she will jump again, as dogs consider pushing to be rough play. On the other hand, if you hold a treat above her head, and when she jumps you lift the treat up and wait patiently until she sits before you reward her, she will learn to sit when she wants things. The same holds true for many other behaviors.

Control Your Dog's Reactions

If your dog is frantic at the door and is allowed to race outside, that is how she will act at all doors. You must learn to have her WAIT calmly at the door until she is released with an OKAY. She will have better door manners in the future.

Wrong behavior

Right behavior

Wrong behavior

Right behavior

Does your dog get hyper when she sees another dog? If you allow her to pull you over to the new dog and to greet her wildly, you will have no more control when your dog is off-leash. Instead, you must teach your dog to follow at your heel (HEEL) and to play when you give the release GO PLAY!

Right behavior

Learning to Speak Doglish chapter

Can your children rile your dog into a frenzy of nipping and biting? The kids' fast motion and high-pitched squeals are very exciting. If you get angry, your dog will see you as just another participant in the fun. Instead, you need to repeat setups (see page 54) that will teach your dog how to contain her enthusiasm.

Wrong behavior

Right behavior

Wrong behavior

Right behavior

Does your dog steal objects to bait you into a game of catch? This is an age-old favorite. Your guaranteed participation is addictive. Instead, you must teach a release word like SHARE, and get your dog to bring you the object or to stand still while you retrieve them.

Wrong behavior

Right behavior

Wrong behavior

Right behavior

If you look at her when she's barking, jumping, has a shoe in her mouth, or is cruising the counter, she will repeat those negative behaviors to get your attention over and over again. It won't matter how angry you get at her, because dogs don't understand human frustration. Either they become defensive and aggressive over time, or they interpret the interaction as confrontational play or prize envy.

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