In preparation for the holidays, kitchens are laden with tempting treats and mouthwatering smells. For dogs that are tall or athletic enough to reach a counter, the opportunity to help themselves can be too good to pass up!
Polite Door Greetings
Does the sound of the doorbell send your dog into a frenzy? It is natural for dogs to become overly excited when guests arrive. However, you can control the chaos by teaching your dog to be calm when the doorbell rings. The first step in teaching polite door greetings is to teach a few alternate behaviors that you want your dog to do when he hears the arrival sound. These should be simple behaviors that your dog knows well such as place, come, touch, get a toy, and go outside.
Helping a Dog That Jumps
Have you ever been embarrassed by your dog jumping up to greet a stranger? Jumping is one of the most common challenges that pet parents face—it is also one of the most difficult behaviors to break. Dogs repeat behaviors that earn rewards, and jumping is often rewarded with attention from the person they are so eager to greet. To eliminate jumping from your dog’s repertoire, teach alternative and more appropriate ways to greet people, with four paws on the floor!
Voluntary Check-In and Recall
Few things are more joyful than unclipping your dog’s leash to begin an outdoor adventure. Off-leash walks and hikes let you spend quality time together in nature and provide exercise, stimulation, and enrichment for your dog. But how do you keep your dog’s attention in the spring and summer when there are so many exciting new scents emerging? One way to help your dog pay attention to you is to teach the habit of “checking in.”
Multiple Dogs and Doors
Doorways are exciting places for dogs—who knows what is waiting on the other side! As a result, many dogs get overly excited and rush the door, creating a danger for themselves as well as for whomever is entering. Door rushing can be a challenge to manage, especially if you have multiple dogs and your door is constantly revolving. Fortunately, there are simple ways to prevent door-rushing behavior.
Teach Your Dog to Walk with You
Walking with your dog can be a very rewarding experience for both you and your dog. It is also a great way to strengthen your bond. How do you teach your dog to walk with you? Like teaching any new behavior, the path to happy dog walks is paved with many successive approximations (tiny steps)!
Expanding Your Dog’s Foundation Skills
Building strong foundation behaviors is an investment that will demonstrate value throughout your dog’s training. For example, targeting is an essential foundation behavior that can be used to teach many useful and complex behaviors, such as guiding an animal to a particular place (into a kennel or onto a scale) or around objects—a foundation for many dog sports.
Polite Manners in Public
Being out and about with your dog is one of life’s greatest joys, but only if you have a dog that can behave well in public. Maybe you’ve already experienced the horror and embarrassment of your dog jumping up on a passing stranger as you struggle to gain control!
Teach Calm Greetings
Does your dog go berserk when you come home? Do you wish your dog would greet you calmly rather than barking or jumping on you? Having your dog greet you (and your visitors) politely is a worthwhile behavior to train—and it’s easy!