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Tip of the Month

12/4/2013 How To Teach A Dog Manners

How to Teach Your Dog Manners

Just in time for the holidays...

The holidays can be a very busy time in many households. With all the people coming and going, it can also be a difficult time when dealing with your pet. It is very important to teach your dog how to behave in your home at any time, but especially when people will be ringing doorbells, and opening and closing doors. We want to make sure that the holidays are a safe and enjoyable time for you and your pets.

Keep Training Treats Handy

First, you want to make sure you are rewarding your dog whenever he is lying or sitting calmly. It is a good idea to keep some treats in different spots around your home. When you see your dog lying down, treat and praise him. We want to make sure that he knows this is the behavior that gets him attention and yummy treats.

Why Doorbells Excite Dogs

From there, you want to ensure your dog will not be barking every time someone rings the doorbell, or comes into the house. You also don’t want him jumping on your guests. The reason dogs bark at the sound of the bell is because they are used to the excitement that follows. When someone new comes in the house, they get lots of pets and affection.

Desensitizing Your Dog

You will need to start desensitizing your pet to the sound of the doorbell. You can do this by having a friend ring the doorbell and then do not react it. You want the dog to think that nothing happens when he hears that sound; just go about your normal routine. Do this 10 to 15 times throughout the day.

Once your dog is not reacting, ask the guest to come inside. For this part of the treatment plan, you may want to have a leash and collar handy. You can tether the dog and allow the guest to approach him. Only when the dog has all four paws on the floor, will he get attention. If the dog jumps up, ask your guest to turn her back and not give the dog the attention that he is seeking. The leash will also help to ensure the dog can not jump on the guest. Once the dog has gone back to sitting or lying nicely, remember to praise him lavishly.

Just as with any other treatment plan, consistency is very important. Dogs are pack animals and are looking for a leader. You want to make sure you are consistent when teaching any behavior.

By following these few easy tips, you and your family should have an enjoyable and memorable holiday season.

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