Charlie Bear here,
I know I’ve done some things wrong: I’ve chewed the beaks off the wooden ducks in the family room, the tops of Mom’s books on the lowest shelf, and oodles of brightly-colored post-it-notes in a pad. But, guess what? Mom doesn’t consider me a bad dog. She calls me a misdirected dog. Cool, huh?
She loves me no matter what. And I have a feeling, you’re a dog lover like Mom and you love your dog too (no matter what). But here’s what Dr. Jon of PetPlace has to say about this topic:
|Does this crime scene look familiar?
All dog lovers have a few horror stories. What about shoes that have been slobbered over? Exploded pillows? Or my favorite, toilet paper confetti? Whether you experience it with your own puppy, or have heard the stories from other pet parents, it’s safe to say that teaching good puppy behavior comes with its challenges.
Every puppy is unique. Just like people, they have a wide variety of personalities and temperaments, they learn differently, and they can be motivated by different things. Individual dogs, even within the same breed, can behave differently.
For some lucky puppy owners training is a snap! It’s easy enough for them to refer to their pup as a “good dog” but some of us can’t say the same for our “bad dogs”. For those who have mischievous little rascals, here are two important things to keep in mind:
Puppies learn about their environment by mouthing and chewing on things: When you were a baby, you explored the world by trying things out with your eyes, hands, and yes…even your mouth. Puppies use their mouths to explore their surroundings. Investigative or “play-related” destructiveness is very common in growing pups and is part of their learning process. Unfortunately, it can take the form of inappropriate chewing at home, leaving behind a path of destroyed items. The best solution is crate training where you limit your dog’s access to a small area with a sturdy “house” or cage or a small gate when you are not home. Some dogs are later able to be trusted to roam free; others do much better when allowed to relax in their crate in your absence. Be sure to provide your dog with safe and sturdy interactive toys so they can exercise their natural need to chew in a positive manner.
Training should be enjoyable, not a punishment: Making the training process an unpleasant one through punishment will only teach a puppy how to avoid punishment…which means he will simply misbehave when you are not around. The best solution is to teach your puppy simple commands like “no” at a time when you are in a good mood and it can be enjoyable for you both. Yelling at your puppy because he has done something to anger you (like knocking over a flower pot), is not a good approach to training; dogs inherently react better to being rewarded for good behavior than to being punished for bad behavior.
Training your puppy will be an ongoing process into his adulthood, so remember to keep it positive. After all, whether you have a “good dog” or a “bad dog” one thing is for sure…he is ready to give you unconditional love. Good luck and happy training!
Until next time,
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I have resolved to change my ways. Only when I’m really bored (or want attention) do I act out by chewing on something I shouldn’t. How about you?
Wiggles & Woofs,