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Common Dog Training Problems And How To Solve Them

Common Dog Training Problems And How To Solve Them

By: Mary Jane Gallagher

Effective training is a key part of improving the relationship between you and your pooch. In fact, dogs that receive positive reinforcements (like treats) are found to perform better at tasks than dogs that receive aversive techniques, such as shock collars and leash corrections, Time reports. In fact, aversive methods also end up increasing stress levels in dogs.

Yet, no matter how good your dog does in training classes, you may find they simply don’t do as well at home. It’s therefore essential to manage your dog effectively outside of training sessions in order to change their behavior pattern for good.

Leash pulling

If your dog likes to pull on the leash, it’s not just a problem for you – it can end up damaging your dog’s throat and neck. It can also be a trip hazard for both you and your dog, as well as increase your dog’s anxiety and reactivity levels. Leash pulling is typically the result of your dog’s natural opposition reflex which compels them to either push or pull against pressure. Fortunately, putting an end to leash pulling can be a fairly simple task; for example, a front-clip harness can make it less comfortable for your dog to pull, which ultimately discourages them from doing it. You can also teach your dog to recognize that leash pulling is a “red light” that immediately ends the walk, while a slack leash, on the other hand, is a “green light” that allows the walk to continue.

Bad recall

Poor recall typically occurs when your dog starts associating it with having to do something they don’t like straight after – whether that’s going inside, being told to sit and stay, or leaving the dog park, for example. Coming when called may also offer them little to no reward compared to the freedom of being off the leash. Yet, you can improve your dog’s recall by making it both exciting and rewarding. So, give your dog a treat or toy, or play a game together most times they come when called; only the remaining few times should you do something your pooch doesn’t like before letting him or her run free again. Keep in mind, improving your dog’s recall does require some time and dedication. In fact, not putting in the work is one of the most common reasons dog training doesn’t work as well as it should. Rest assured, any time you sacrifice to train your dog will pay off in an improved relationship between the two of you.

Jumping up

Most dogs start jumping up at people as a friendly greeting in puppyhood, which then develops into a habitual behavior. However, it’s not always something that’s wanted, particularly with bigger dogs with the power to accidentally hurt a person. You can train your dog to stop jumping up by using a leash, even indoors. You can then work on rewarding your dog with treats for saying hello a different way (whether that’s sitting or grabbing a toy, for example).

Dog training isn’t always an immediate success. Fortunately, by working to resolve common problems, you can improve your training efforts and effectively modify your dog’s behavior.