Training your unruly dog – Part 3

Is there such a thing as a truly unruly dog?

Not according to famed Rover rehabilitator Ceser Millan and doggie dominatrix Victoria Stilwell who both find great success in training dogs right along side their owners.

There’s no bones about it, our well intentioned efforts to make Fido fit into a human lifestyle leaves few outlets for their pent up energy which results in boredom. And a bored dog can be considered outright unruly.

Humans and dogs once shared a hunting and gathering mentality. Securing a meal was a challenge with many rewards from the belly up. That’s why dogs became man’s best friend.

Unfortunately, once we moved out of caves and into enclosed spaces we forgot that our little friends still needed to roam, and be challenged to gain the kind of self worth that can only be obtained through accomplishment.

So how can you beat boredom and tame the beast within?

1) Get Out And Cater To Your Dog’s Wildside

Walk, run, jog, or cycle with your dog everyday, and not just for a quick three minute trek to the corner and back. For an extra outlet you can even train your dog to use a treadmill. My motto: A good dog is dog tired.

* If you’re gone for long periods of the day, make sure your pup gets a good workout to prevent home damage, anxiety piddles, or making your neighbors barking mad.

* When you’re home, break up the day and surprise your pup with an unscheduled walk.

Roaming creates two important connections in your dog’s brain. One, it caters to the hunt instinct, and two, it reminds him that you’re the one who makes fun things happen.

Being able to provide plenty of activity always sets you up as the top dog.

2) Create An Obstacle Course For The Mind

Present opportunities to challenge the mind. This will keep your dog’s focus on you, and they will naturally follow the leader to await the next challenge.

* Teach your dog basic commands and tricks, then run sporadic trick drills with rewards. Trick drills can be run a dozen or more times a day (depending on how unruly your dog is), but only at your leisure not at their pestering. If your dog waves hello without your prompting, ignore the behavior or they will be training you.

* A really fun and useful game is hide and seek. Teach your dog to come for a whistle using a treat reward. Then take a treat and a whistle, and either distract your dog while someone else hides or wait until he’s lounged out and you hide. Of course, blow the whistle and until he finds you. Learning this game is important if you have a dog that bolts.

Drills and games are excellent ways to challenge and reward your dog throughout the day.

3) Become A Leader

Dogs can spot a leader exclusively through actions and body language.

But being a leader is probably hardest on the owner because in human terms if someone just walks off and expects you to follow you might be put off in a negative way, but this is just one of the ways of pack leaders. Leaders eat first, they don’t call or search for the pack when they return home, and if they want to give attention they will do so on their terms.

* If you want to give a tidbit from the table put it aside, finish eating and ask for a handshake or sit first.

* When you arrive home let your dog come to you and acknowledge him only when he is calm.

* Don’t make a fuss when you leave, it will only make your pup anxious about the separation.

* Always leave him wanting more. If you know your dog tires after three rounds of fetch, stop and end the game at two rounds.

Getting back to the basics of human/canine interactions will help you and your dog relax and be able to enjoy a kind of companionship you both crave.

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