Good training

Behavior problems don't arise because your dog is ornery or spiteful, and discipline is rarely the answer. Mental stagnation can also be a cause of unwanted behavior. Training your dog on a regular basis, or having him doing something for you, makes your dog feel useful and provides the mental stimulation he needs (see Chapter 7).

Use your imagination to get your dog to help around the house, and you'll be surprised by how useful he can become.

Dealing with Your Dog's Objectionable Behavior

Like beauty, objectionable behavior is in the eye of the beholder. Playful nipping or biting may be acceptable to some and not to others. Moreover, there are degrees of objectionable behavior. Getting on the couch in your absence isn't nearly as serious an offense as destroying the couch in your absence.

Having worked with dogs for a lifetime, we're perhaps more tolerant of irritating behaviors than most. We know that dogs like to please and that most behaviors can be changed with a little good training. What we do find objectionable, however, is, when we visit friends, and their untrained dogs jump up at us and scratch us in the process. Other critical negative behavior patterns include dogs that don't come when called, which can be dangerous, and dogs that don't stay when they're told.

A dog's home is his crate

One tool that aids in dealing with any kind of inappropriate behavior is a crate. Leaving Buddy in a crate when you're at work saves you from worrying about housetraining, chewing, and digging. Properly trained to a crate, Buddy will think of it as his "den." He'll always be safe in his crate. He can go anywhere with you, from the car to a friend's house. You can take him on holiday with you. He'll be comfortable any time you have to leave him at the vet, where dogs are kept in crates during treatment. (See Chapter 4 for more on training with a crate.)

All these irritating behaviors can be trained away by the investment of a mere ten minutes a day, five times a week for about four weeks. It's such a small amount of time and energy to have a wonderful dog to be proud of. Trained dogs are free dogs — you can take them anywhere, and they're always welcome.

When you believe your dog has a behavior problem, you have several options:

^ You can tolerate the behavior.

^ You can train your dog in an effort to change the behavior. ^ You can find a new home for the dog.

^ You can take your dog for a one-way trip to the shelter or veterinarian.

How To Housetrain Any Dog

How To Housetrain Any Dog

Fundamentals of Dog and Puppy Training. Although dogs shouldn't be attributed with having human characteristics, they are intelligent enough to be able to understand the concept of, and execute, certain actions that their owners require of them - if these actions are asked in a way that dogs find rewarding.

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