How to Add Structure to Motivate an Excited Pair of Dogs to Listen to their Humans

By: David Codr

Published Date: March 30, 2017

Chowder is a two-year-old German Shepherd / Dachshund mix who lives in Omaha with Josie, a four-year-old Pug / Italian Greyhound mix. The dog’s guardians set up a dog behavior training session with me to address Josie’s aggressive behavior with some human guests and dog aggression as well as Chowder’s tendency to bark a lot; especially when Josie acts aggressive.

Knowing that Josie was sometimes aggressive to new people I had some highly scented treats out before I knocked on the door. While she was showing some light aggression, the real problem was her excited behavior; she pogoed up and down from behind the door.

While this can look amusing, any time a dog is out of balance, the chances for things to go the wrong way increase dramatically. Most people mistake excited for happy when it comes to dogs. But excited is an unbalanced behavior. I spent a good portion of the session showing the guardians ways to build up the dog’s self control through focus exercises and redirection.

Teaching dogs to wait through delayed gratification is a great way to help them develop self control. Asking the dog to sit and wait calmly before we throw the ball, attach the leash, give permission to eat or sit before we pet them allows us to engage in micro dog obedience training sessions throughout the day. This really becomes a lifestyle thing. And because they are repeated over and over every day, the humans get into a habit of doing so without even thinking about doing so.

I also showed the guardians how to incorporate more structure into the dogs lives via rules and boundaries. These are things many a dog trainer fails to do which is why their attempts to rehabilitate a dog’s behavior often are short lived. As I like to say, everything you do trains your dog – only sometimes you mean it.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Categorized in:

This post was written by: David Codr

Follow Us via Email