Five Tips for a Well-Behaved Dog

Does your dog have a few bad habits? Perhaps Fido jumps on your guests, or begs shamelessly. Maybe he chases the cat or barks constantly at the squirrel in your yard. Man’s Best Friend is a loyal and wonderful friend and companion, but he isn’t perfect, any more than we are. Fido has picked up quite a few bad habits, which range from mildly annoying to downright dangerous. In this article, your local Colorado Springs vet offers tips for a happier, better-behaved dog.

Consistency

Consistency is very important when it comes to teaching and training our canine friends. If Fido jumps on one person and is reprimanded, then jumps on another and is rewarded with attention, he won’t form a connection between the reprimand and his behavior. Whether you’re trying to stop a bad habit, or encourage good behavior, be consistent in your responses.

Communication

How you communicate with your furry buddy is very important. Fido is quite smart, and may understand more than you suspect. Rather than just saying ‘No’, tell your canine pal to get off the couch. Also, never use his name in a negative way.

Affection

Make sure to spend lots of quality time with your pup, petting him and playing with him. Don’t hold back on belly rubs, and talk to your four-legged buddy every day. The more you interact with your canine friend, the closer the two of you will become, and the more he will strive to please you.

Understanding Reinforcement

Negative reinforcement, or punishment, rarely works with dogs, especially after the fact. Actually, negative reinforcement often backfires. Many of Fido’s bad habits are actually instinctive behaviors, so he won’t understand what he did wrong or why he’s being punished. This can cause your canine buddy to become anxious, depressed, or even scared. Instead, use a firm but gentle tone when reprimanding your pup, and reward good behavior.

Don’t Confuse Him

Don’t overwhelm your pooch by trying to teach him too many things at once. Pick a command, and focus on that. Only when Fido has mastered something should you move on to another subject or command.

Do you have any questions about caring for your canine pal? Is your dog due for a checkup or vaccinations? Please feel free to contact us, your local Colorado Springs veterinary clinic, for all of your pet’s veterinary care needs.