Bad Behavior or Creatures of Habit?
Dogs and humans have a few things in common, one is that we’re both creatures of habit. We settle into routines, doing the same things everyday, and some behaviors become routine… and can be hard to break!
Many dog owners (I am one of them) wish they’d never started letting their dog or puppy do certain things. But now we feel guilty changing the rules. Behaviors like allowing them on the couch, or begging because they’re used to getting “people” food, and other inappropriate behaviors.
The good news is, dogs are a lot more changeable than people think, or give them credit for.
When modifying or changing any sort of behavior, consistency is the key. Choose a replacement behavior and teach your dog to do that instead, every single time.
For example, if you no longer want your dog to be on the couch, you can change the behavior by telling your dog “No” and if needed follow through by removing them every time they go on.
Immediately redirect him to the new spot you want him to lay, such as a dog bed on the floor next to the couch. Follow with praise.
Changing Habits...Ours And Theirs
Changing your dog’s old habits requires some behavior modification for you too! Be consistent every single time, never just walking by and pretending you don’t see your dog on the couch, even if you’re very tired or busy.
Working on some basic obedience training commands can also be helpful in changing behaviors you‘ve allowed them to form. The more your dog understands “No” and “Good dog” during obedience training, the more those phrases mean to him when you use them (example: “No begging.” “Down/stay.” “Good dog.”).
Obedience training also helps your dog or puppy to respect you more, he’ll follow the new rules more closely.
With consistency, providing a replacement behavior, and basic obedience training, your dog or puppy can adapt to new rules around your home.
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