We receive calls from dog owners who are nipped, humped, scratched and jumped on by their dog. In most of these cases, the poor behavior is due to a lack of impulse control. The dog’s rude behavior is rewarded, whether it is with rewards or screaming at the dog. In turn, the dog learns that this behavior gets what he wants.
Want your dog to learn impulse control? Do not reward your dog with attention and treats while he is jumping, humping, barking, running or in an excited state. Instead, treat him with a snack or pet when you catch him in a calm state. Just be careful not to get him amped up with the treat. Likewise, if your dog jumps or nips you when you pick up the leash for a walk, put the leash down and delay the walk until he is calm and respectful.
Example: when my dog sits at my side while we are waiting for an appointment or waiting to cross the street, I will periodically reward the behavior by marking the behavior and lowering the treat to her mouth. I do not praise her, pet her or include any type of fanfare.
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