Unwanted jumping on guests. Tear the pillows to shreds. Gobbling up a sandwich that is placed too close to the edge of the kitchen counter, or shoving your way into or onto any area that is a “no-dog zone.”
If you love dogs, these situations probably sound very familiar to you. If these actions are not trained out of the dog, they will continue and this begs the question: who is training whom?
Dog Training 101: You’re the boss. No, really, you are.
I am a dog lover and we have had many dogs as essential members of our family over the years. Our current happy dog is Tater, an almost 3 year old Golden Retriever. Tater is loved not only by our family but by everyone he meets. Sometimes, though, even though he’s pretty much out of his puppy phase (which is the excuse for the bad behavior that many of us go to), he’ll still violate someone’s personal space. By that, I mean, he may be so excited to see you or meet you, that he’ll probably grab his blanky in his mouth, tail wagging and squirming as if he’s so full of joy that he wanted to explode. Another reaction, which is a problem since he’s 100 dog pounds, he might jump on you to make it easier for you to hug him.
Visitors can help stop bad behavior
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not blaming the victim here. If you are visiting and a dog jumps on you, it is primarily the responsibility of the canine family to anticipate and prevent such an event from happening. However, we come across situations where someone, maybe wanting to be polite or just someone who really wants to kiss Tater as much as he wants to kiss them, invites or encourages him to do so. While their tolerance and understanding is appreciated, it really doesn’t help either Tater or the next person who gets knocked over by a big adorable pooch.
Do your research and get professional dog training (people training)
There is no shame in asking for help. In fact, you should be ashamed if your dog has behavioral issues that go unchecked, just because you don’t want to admit that you’re having trouble going it alone. Tater graduated from a local dog training school with high honors and he, my wife and I had a great time getting to know other dogs and canine families. I’m sure there’s a dog book for dummies too. Online – many resources are available. However, beware of bad advice on social media where anyone can post information that may not be good for you or your pooch. You can also start with your trusted veterinarian as your primary resource.