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Adopting a dog can be very similar to parenting two-legged kids—it takes a lot of time, consistency and boundaries. While some dogs are inherently more cheeky and rambunctious than others, even the most well-behaved pup will probably act up from time to time. In order to help transform your beloved Fido into a great dog that is easy to have around, try the following tips:
Sometimes, our four-legged friends will get into all sorts of mischief while we are away from home. One of the best ways to see what is going on when we are at the store or at work is to install a home security system with indoor cameras. Place the cameras in the rooms your pup loves the most, and you will be able to monitor and perhaps discover some naughty behaviors he or she displays when you are gone.
This tip can be especially handy when you have more than one dog—you will be able to clearly see who got into the box of human crackers or who chewed up the cushion on the sofa. Lorex Technology offers affordable, easy-to-install home security cameras that you can purchase outright instead of having a contract.
When training your pooch, be sure everyone in your family uses the same words and is on the same page for what behaviors are and are not OK. If you tell your dog “get off” when he jumps up on your new couch, your son tells him “no” and your daughter allows him to hang out next to her and watch TV, you are going to have one understandably confused pup on your hands. Set firm rules for your dog and decide what command word you will use for each situation. Be consistent and watch as your pup transforms into a better-behaved dog.
Dogs that know at least a few basic commands tend to be better behaved. Consider either signing up for an obedience class with a local dog trainer or at a pet supply store, or creating your own Dog Class 101 in your home or yard. On his website, renowned dog behaviorist Cesar Millan says that “Sit” and “Come” are two of the most crucial commands to teach a dog.
Teaching a dog to sit is also pretty easy; start by holding a dog biscuit or other goody near your pooch’s nose, and move your hand up in the air, watching as her head follows the treat and her rear end naturally lowers. Once she sits, say “Sit,” give her the treat and tell her what a smart girl she is. Practice this a few times a day until your dog knows what the command means. To teach your dog to come when called, put his leash and collar on and say “Come” while gently pulling on the leash. When your pup responds and heads over to you, praise him with lots of hugs and give him a treat. Once he gets the basics down, remove the leash and continue to practice the command, being sure to offer lots of love and treats when he comes over to you.
A common mistake that dog parents make is to lavish tons of affection on their pups before they leave the house, as well as when they return. Interestingly, this often creates an anxious dog that thinks that your leaving is a huge deal. When you leave for work or to run errands, a simple “See you later Fido!” will suffice. When you return, ignore the dog and his or her excited jumping; in time, your furry friend will not act as crazy when you return.
Dogs can be bossy beings, barking at you when they want a Milkbone or nudging you further down the couch. Help remind your fur baby who is in charge by requiring that she "say please” before receiving any fun goodies. A great way to do this is with the “Sit” command; when your dog comes back inside after doing her business and expects a treat, have her sit first. If your dog is poking you in the arm with his tennis ball, expecting you to throw it, have him sit before you start to play.