Dogs need boundaries just like children. Canines need to know what’s acceptable behavior and as the pack leader, it’s your responsibility to teach them. It can be helpful to start setting boundaries with your dog while they’re on a leash. It’s important to reward desired behavior and learn your dog’s language.
Dogs claim their territory by physically occupying the space and will even push other dogs or people out of that space. You have to do it in the same language they understand. You have to teach your dog that you always go first – you’re the pack leader. A good example is going through doors. If your dog tries to go first, use your body to gently but firmly push them aside. Then invite them to come with you.
Make Them Wait
Teaching your dog tricks can be fun and rewarding unless they begin to anticipate the treat by doing the activity without waiting for you to ask. In their mind, the dog thinks doing the trick makes you give them the treat. The solution is retraining the canine to wait until you give the signal, even if you have the treat in your hand. This teaches them to look to you for direction while building respect and trust.
Timing is everything when correcting your dog. Corrections need to be made when you see the canine beginning to get on furniture or into the trash – not while they’re engaged in the activity. They have to be able to associate the behavior with the correction.
Consistency is Key
Until your dog learns what your boundaries are, you have to consistently maintain the boundary. Allowing them to engage in a forbidden activity when they’ve been taught not to do it confuses them. Every human in the home must enforce those boundaries and do so in the same way. Otherwise, they begin to think that the individual is below her in the pack hierarchy. Never, ever correct your dog in anger.
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