Handling a Misbehaving Dog

When a bad behaviour is taking place it is easy to lose it especially if you have been trying to stop the behaviour for a while. Fight this urge because dogs can read your mood. If you lose your cool he could become even more agitated and escalate the behaviour to a point where you can’t control him, and you don’t want that if you own a large dog such as a Rottweiler.

Reward good behavior

When the dog successfully stops the bad behaviour and redirects to the alternative you provide, praise him and he will see that is a better behavior. You can even give him a treat when he redirects. Remember the basic rule of thumb for reinforcement. The behavior that is praised grows, the one that is not reinforced dies. You want to reinforce the good behavior to encourage it and discourage the bad behavior by ignoring it.

Prevention

You can help curb bad behaviour by desensitizing the dog to the trigger. Using our example once more, a dog that barks at other dogs can be made to stop this behavior by constantly meeting other dogs, but under your supervision. This way, seeing the dogs won’t result in bad behaviour. Try and keep the exposure short and reward the dog when he doesn’t resort misbehavior when he sees his stimulus.

Lastly, a well exercised and mentally stimulated dog is less likely to engage in bad behaviour. When a dog has been playing all day with his toys and therefore his mind is tired, and has been taken for walks or any other form of exercise to tire him physically he will have no energy at the end of the day to engage in mischief. If you are too busy during the day to keep your dog busy, then you can consider getting help from doggy daycares or people who offer dog-walking services to reduce mischief.

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