Dog behavior can oftentimes be a source of constant frustration for owners. Each approach you take to end undesirable behaviors can leave you feeling hopeless and a greater level of frustration because your efforts aren't gaining a positive result.
For a moment, lets take a fresh look at the situation. As we unveil simple underlying elements of your dog's behavior, I think you will see your dog in a brighter light.
Have you ever stopped to consider WHY your dog is barking? WHY are they constantly pulling on the leash? WHY do they have to jump on everyone that walks in the door?
Well, we have the answer! EMOTIONS – your dog's perspective on any given experience generates an emotional response that results in specific behaviors manifesting themselves.
What is your typical response when a driver cuts you off in traffic? How about when your boss dictates outlandish expectations of you? Why do you jump up and cheer at sporting events? Just like you, your dog responds to their experiences through emotional expressions.
With this basic understanding of the root of your dog's behavior, I'd like to give you a new perspective on training your dog. As an owner and key member of their cheering squad, what if you could see what was happening inside their mind each time that annoying behavior reared its head? What if you could see the fear or panic that was building, prior to them barking or growling at a stranger? What if you could witness the chaotic emotions swirling in their mind when the doorbell rings?
I'd like to encourage you to take a different approach. Look at how you can HELP your dog feel better about a situation that is throwing them into a tailspin instead of believing the dog is deliberately trying to make your life crazy.
Simple S-O-S tips for your dog's distress:
1) Create distance between your dog and the trigger that launches them
over a threshold of composure. It's your job to help them avoid the fire in which they are getting burned. Keep them at a distance
where they can learn to start feeling differently about the experience.
2) Give the experience a name. Dogs are lingual and understand words as they relate to situations. You know this is true with words like sit, down, treat, kennel, so expose your dog to a wide variety of words that it can relate to difference experience. The KEY, always use the same word to describe a scenario.
3) Along with the word you use to describe the experience, you need to begin distributing high value food as long as dog's emotions are unstable. YES… I said toss treats or other high value food while your dog is barking, growling, and jumping! WHAT?!?! The first step to changing behavior is helping the dog feel less distress. Can you imagine if you knew there was a juicy T-bone steak waiting at home after the reckless driver cut you off or your favorite bubbly fountain drink was there to get you back in your seat after your team scored the willing goal? Food is soothing for your dog, just like it is for humans!
As you become your dog's therapist, your first priority in changing any behavior is helping your dog gain composure and ease back into a more neutral state of emotions. This state of mind is where rational thought and choices begin to thrive!
Full House Dog Training's behavior therapy programs are focused on the root of your dog's issues! We teach you how to truly help your dog by understanding the deeper meaning of WHY they behave the way they do and then provide you with life-long support to develop more appropriate emotional responses.
WATCH for additional social media and blog posts to learn more about how emotional support for your dog is THE SOLUTION to your dog's behavior issues – NOT just teaching them to sit and stay!