Let me start by wishing everyone a Happy and Prosperous 2016! Isn’t the New Year great? A clean slate. A fresh start. New beginnings, new purposes, new goals. We are full of resolve, hope, and determination for the year to come. While the New Year is typically a time when we focus on improving ourselves, I have a challenge for you this year. Resolve to improve your dog’s behavior. When you consistently work with, and spend time with your dog, something special happens. It becomes a way of life with your furry best friend. You experience all of the joys of a well behaved dog, and a much deeper bond is established with your canine companion. I submit to you 10 Resolutions for Rover. Practical tips to help you make life with your four-legged friend better than ever.
Resolution #1: No Jumping on people who come to the door.
Friendly dogs are always exceedingly happy to see their favorite people; and some are just as happy when they meet strangers. The problem is when they jump up (or pounce) on someone who arrives on the scene. From now on, be resolved to “redirect” the jumping up behavior into a “sit” instead. Be ready with a treat and counsel the visitor only to pet the dog if the dog maintains a “sit” position.
Dogs need to be desensitized to the things that excite them the most. And oftentimes, we and our fellow humans are what excite them the most. The key is asking the dog to sit every single time a visitor approaches. Keep tasty treats by the door and always be ready to deliver one when the dog does the right thing (sitting). If, after a while the dog sits on her own, without you having to command it, it’s time for a jackpot. A jackpot is a small handful of little treats to really set the dogs bells off. After receiving a jackpot for a job well done, the dog is more likely to behave in a similar way the next time someone comes to the door.
That is just a little teaser for now. Join me next week for resolutions 2 and 3 as we resolve to make our lives with our dogs better in 2016!