We've often heard the phrase, "He brings out the best in me." It has to do with us being with another human with whom we feel safe, secure and who we care enough about to want to please. Just like us, our dogs have the ability to want to please as well. It's up to us to provide an environment for and foster a relationship with our dogs that make that possible. Here's how to bring out the best in your dog.
Remember that dogs are dogs - For dog lovers like me, it's sometimes difficult to remember that my pups are not humans. But to truly bring out the best in our dogs, they need to know their place. This prevents them from acting out and displaying inappropriate behaviors like barking, chewing and begging.
Use appropriate and timely discipline - When our dogs do display inappropriate behavior, it's important to discipline them on the spot. However, yelling at or striking your dog is not appropriate. In fact, it will probably cause timidity or foster aggression in your dog. Be sure to use more acceptable forms of discipline like command training. It takes some time, but will result in a loving, well-behaved dog.
Be consistent - When it comes to behavior modification in dogs, consistency is the key. For example, if sometimes they're allowed to jump on your lap, but at other times you get angry and immediately push them away, they get confused. A better solution is to let them on your lap by invitation only. This will provide a consistency that is not confusing, and will ensure his best behavior. Consistency in all areas of your dog's life is critical.
Teach them Tricks - Dogs love positive reinforcement, and seeing that he has pleased you or an audience brings out the best in him. Teach him tricks that he can perform for small treats or belly rubs. This makes him feel special and important in your life, and he will reciprocate with good behavior.
Adopt a zero tolerance for neglect - Although dogs are dogs, that's no excuse for neglect. If you have an inside dog who needs to be taken out for potty breaks, for example, it is never OK to neglect your duties and just let him go on the floor. Your dog knows that is bad behavior and can actually stress himself to the point of illness by trying not to go. It also confuses his potty training and you're likely to find accidents even after you have let him out.
Bringing out the best in your dog is a matter or treating them with love and respect without letting them be the boss. When they know that you are in charge at all times, it makes them want to please you by always being on their best behavior.
"How to Discipline a Dog," ProfessorsHouse.com
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