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Your Dog's Bad Habits


How to get rid of your dog's bad habits


To stop your dog from doing something you don't like is not difficult, but it requires consistency, attentiveness, timing and praise. Consistency and attentiveness go together in that you have to catch your dog in the act of doing the bad thing, and correct the dog every time he does the bad thing. Every time he gets away with doing it, it's two steps backward in the training because then he realizes that he can get away with it.


As for the timing, it is critical that you correct you dog while he's committing the bad thing or immediately after he does it. If 10 to twenty seconds go by before the correction comes, your dog doesn't know what he's being corrected for. (With young puppies, it's five to ten seconds) A dog doesn't associate past actions to the present like a human does. Ten to twenty seconds after a dog has committed an act, whether it was a good one or a bad one, the act is forgotten. Any praise or punishment given more than ten to twenty seconds after the act has been committed is useless, because the dog does not associates the praise or the punishment with the commission of the act.


 A correction can be a sharp "NO!", or it can be a sharp jerk on the lead or it can be a low guttural "AAAAh". Use whatever works, but be consistent. As soon as your dog stops doing the bad thing, you must lavish him with praise. The praise is just as important, if not more so  than the correction.


As an example:

You catch your dog chewing on your table leg. You give him a sharp NO! Your dog stops chewing on the table leg. You tell him what a good dog he is and pet him. Your dog associates the "NO!" with the act of chewing on the table leg. He stops chewing either because he knows what NO means or he's startled. You praise him by telling him how good he is, and he associates the praise with not chewing on the table leg.


For some dogs it may take only one or two corrections. For others, it may take ten or more corrections. But if you're consistent, attentive, and persistent, you will be successful in stopping any bad habit your dog has.


A trained dog is  a happy dog and has a happy owner.


For more information on dog training click on Dog Training

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