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Two Secrets for Handling Your New Best Friend
Forty-four million United States households have a least one dog. And we all start out on a good foot with a set of rules for the new member of the family, one being “the dog is not allowed to get on the furniture.” Then, a few weeks later, you notice that your new best friend is so comfortable in his new surroundings that he is napping on your favorite club chair. But before you can pull him off, he is off and running towards the front door barking his head off at the UPS delivery guy.
OK, just how do you train dogs not to bark at every person that comes to your door and to stay off the furniture?
Your dog is guarding his turf, so it is your job to teach your pooch the “Quiet” command. And it helps to have your pooch spayed or neutered to decrease territorial behavior.
When your dog begins to bark allow two or three barks, and then say “Quiet.” Immediately, interrupt his barking by surprising him. You can shake a can filled with pennies or squirt water or mouth wash at his mouth. This should cause him to stop barking momentarily. While he’s quiet say “good quiet” and toss him a tasty treat. Remember, a loud noise or a squirt isn’t meant to punish your pooch, it’s intended to distract him into being quiet so you can reward him. If your dog is really frightened by the noise or squirt bottle, find a different way to interrupt his barking, such as throwing a ball or toy near him.
Putting a plastic tablecloth on the piece of furniture or your bed that your pooch likes to nap on will keep him off. They hate plastic. Better yet provide him with his own crate or dog bed, a place where he will feel safe and secure.
Remember that dogs understand whistles, voice patterns, intonations and body language much better than specific words. If you want to train your dog to respond reliably, be consistent and firm in how you command him, and don’t be abusive.
Call attention to bad behavior right after it occurs, not hours later. Otherwise, your pup won’t know what you’re trying to correct.
Your dog is not human, which means he really does want to please you. Your job is to figure out what his actions mean, to understand that his behavior is just typical of dogs, and offer gentle but firm guidance toward good behavior.
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