Dog owners just don’t say “NO” to their dogs.

By Saro Boghozian, Expert Family Dog Trainer

One of the common issues dog owners face with their dogs is that they can’t stop their dog’s bad behaviour.

Most dogs are allowed to do anything without being corrected. This is because dog owners feel bad and sorry to correct or even discipline their dog. Therefore dogs keep making the same mistakes.

The word discipline itself has a negative impact when it is brought up in human conversation. It shouldn’t be. You should be able to prevent bad behaviour by training and correct the behaviour by disciplining your dog.

Dogs on their own packs will be disciplining or correcting each other verbally and physically starting from few weeks old of age. Obviously they don’t train each other but they will say no to each other quite often.  It is a normal process of a dog’s life. But as soon as a dog joins the human family, the dog stops getting corrected. The dog does not hear or feel the word “No” as often as it should. A dog that has not learned the negative part of life will not be a healthy one. A dog has to hear and learn both the positive and negative parts of life. I believe this reflects to human beings too.

Correction and discipline are not as bad as you think. Here are the steps that you should take when correcting or disciplining your dog:

Step one: leash your dog and say NO, so they know they have done something wrong.

Step two: Remove your dog from the situation so they can’t go back and repeat the same mistaake.

Step three: Ask your dog to follow a command or give your dog something else to do. Replace the bad behaviour with something that you agree with.

Let’s use these steps in three examples.

Example one: Your dog is in the yard and is digging the yard.

You need to go and leash your dog and say NO. Then remove your dog from the yard and take it inside. Ask your dog to *sit and stay in the house.

Example two: Your dog is chewing or has chewed on your favourite pair of sandals or coffee table.

You need to leash your dog and say NO, remove the dog from the location and give it a chew toy. Replace what you disagree with something that you agree with.

Example three: Your dog is in front of the window and is barking at the neighbor’s dog or people that are passing by.

You need to leash your dog, remove it from the window and take it to some other location that has no windows and ask your dog either to *sit or down and stay.

Other options when performing step three are: give a bone to work on, give a toy to play with, take your dog for a walk, tell your dog to go to sleep or do a mini training session.

How often do you need to repeat this?

You need to repeat this procedure until the time that you only need to say NO to your dog once and it stops the behaviour. You may need to repeat maybe five times or even hundred times but you need to repeat until the behaviour stops.

As an educated dog owner and dog lover myself, I understand what it takes to correct my dog. I don’t feel bad or feel sorry when I correct my dog because I don’t want it to make the same mistake again. I don’t want us to repeat the negative experience and to allow my dog to learn something that is not sociable and to make mistakes. I also make sure that the corrections are crystal clear, firm and meaningful without having any negative feelings behind it. This will help us not to keep repeating.

Once my dog learns that it has had made a mistake and has been corrected, then my dog does not try to repeat the mistake and if sometimes it forgets the rule,  all I need to do is just remind him with a short, small verbal correction of “No” to seal the deal.

Being clear, firm and not feeling sorry when it comes to corrections is the key to having a dog that will respect the rules you set. Whether is not getting on your favourite couch or scavenging in your trash can, your dog can learn the rules if you set them first and follow them through.

*You need to teach your dog to sit, down, stay, heal and recall commands plus walk on leash properly.

[author] [author_image timthumb=’on’][/author_image] [author_info] Saro received his expert dog trainer certification from The College of Canine Behavioural Science and is also a member of the Canadian Association of Professional Pet Dog Trainers and does volunteer behaviour consultation with a number of dog rescue organizations. Saro’s play, praise and reward training classes are always in high demand as are his private one-on-one training sessions. Rather than using treats or gimmicks like shock collars, Saro’s training methods help owners understand how to use a dog’s natural intelligence to achieve success. [/author_info] [/author]