Is Your Dog a Bully?

Is Your Dog a Bully?

It’s all fun until someone gets hurt. Remember when your Mom would say that to you. Well it’s not that different with pushy dogs. Take a hard look at your pet’s behavior with you. Does he paw you to initiate play? Barks for attention? Gets the best of everything including sleeping with you, the couch, food and cuddles simply for being so darn adorable? Sigh. It’s time for a little “tough love” of your own.

Start by some simple everyday obedience and limit setting. From today forward your dog must so the equivalent of “please” before getting all those wonderful things you lavish him with. And “please” means earning that reward by doing something. You can ask for a basic sit, down or touch, or kick it up a notch with a trick. Time for dinner? Make him wait until you put that bowl down and then release with “okay”. Time for a walk? How about a nice sit and wait before venturing out. By doing these behaviors we are “demoting” his rank in the family. It is also advisable to work on attention control. I like playing the Name Game and the Rebound Recall. If you have been following my posts you know what this is. But if you need me to explain I can re-post.

Part two of getting control is taking that attention that you have worked so hard to build at home outside. How about doing some obedience exercise outside the dog run at a distance for control before going inside? And I never let my dogs in the dog run unless I have trained for a Recall and a Gotcha that is, getting my dog to leave the distraction and return and letting me grasp his collar. Ian Dunbar has some nice training information on this at Dog Star Daily. Remember before things get out of hand it’s time to go home. After all, there should always be consequences for actions-even your dog’s.

If you live in NJ I am available for training consultations on this topics and others. If you live elsewhere please consult your local trainer and make certain they are a nationally certified CPDT-KA and positive reinforcement professional.

3 thoughts on “Is Your Dog a Bully?

  1. Please explain Name Game and Rebound Recall. I’m new to the newsletter and haven’t seen the articles on these commands.

    • Hi Gloria,
      The Rebound Recall is getting some friends, making a circle and calling your dog to you. When your dog turns its head and looks at you praise and when they arrive treat. If they get stuck on a person, we ignore and turn our backs and when they target the right person (the one who called them) praise. And we limit how many times we call too. The Name Game is when you say your dog’s name, they look at you and you praise/treat. I do this randomly throughout the day. Good luck and please share my blog and “like” my FB page Canines Can Do.

  2. Here is a great link that has not only info on The Name Game but on other fun ways to teach and reinforce The Recall: when you call your dog to return to you. http://www.aspca.org/Pet-care/virtual-pet-behaviorist/dog-articles/teaching-your-dog-to-come-when-called The Rebound Recall is a group game. Everyone has a treat and we hide it behind our backs. When we call our dog and they look we reinforce with encouragement and when they come in the get the treat. Occasionally you can gently grasp the collar and say Gotcha! and treat simultaneously, If the dog goes to the wrong person, simply fold your arms and turn around. A really fun learning game!

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