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Stop Unwanted Dog Behavior: Chose A Better Behavior

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Step One to stopping unwanted behavior: Decide what you want your dog to do instead?

  1. Decide what you want your dog to do instead of the unwanted behavior.
  2. It needs to be something that is incompatible with the unwanted one.
  3. As an example, your dog cannot jump on people while laying down.
  4. He cannot bark at the door while brining you a toy.
  5. He can’t beg at the table while laying in his crate while you eat.
  6. Teach him the new thing so he is proficient at it.

Can redirection be an affective method to stop the unwanted behavior?

Before starting to stop any unwanted behavior you should decide what do you want your dog to do instead. I am constantly hearing “I don’t want my dog to jump” or “I don’t want my dog bark” and when I ask what they would like, no one really has an answer. Many behaviors are not bad; they are just not wanted. Jumping is just your dog trying to get closer to you and barking is your dog talking to you. They are not being bad; we just don’t want them to do those sometimes. Your dog needs to do something though. He can’t just do nothing! Like a kid who is excited to open presents, we tell him to sit quietly and wait. Same with dogs. We need to give them an incompatible behavior. Like these:

  • Stop dog from jumping: have them sit and stay, down and stay, go to their bed, wait, stand and stay. Anything that literally prevents them from jumping. Have you tried to lay down and jump at the same time. Doesn’t work.
  • Stop dog from barking: have them stop (yes, because this is a command you are giving the dog something to do, especially if you praise them after for doing such a good job at warning you), have them bring you a toy (have you tried to talk while having something in your mouth?), have them leave it, go to bed.
  • Stop dog from begging at the table: have them go to their bed, give them an interactive toy to play with while you eat, feed them while you eat.

Anything you can think for your dog to do instead of the behavior is good. You might have to practice this new behavior with them. You can’t just expect your dog to sit and wait when people come to visit if he has been allowed to jump on people for years now.