New Year Resolution Just Do It

New Year Resolution Just Do It

Struggling with your dog’s bad behavior? Jumping, mouthing, running out open doors, pulling on the leash, reactive towards other dogs, people, guarding, barking, OCD behaviors, crate nonsense, separation anxiety, toileting in the house? You may be experiencing some or all of these. Even if you are only experiencing a few it can seem overwhelming. Where do you even begin? dogs work it out dog jumping upMy advice… just start. Or as Nike might say for a New Year Resolution “Just Do It”. 

Start by teaching your dog to be ok with being in the crate. Do in and out of the crate exercises, 30 reps at a time. Start having a leash on your dog whenever they are not crated and are with you (even in the house). The leash gives you access to better control.

Begin teaching one command such as the “Place” command (visit to learn how).

If your dog only knew the “Place” command, you new year resolution just do it place commandwould be amazed at all the things you could use it for!

When your dog is in “Place” he can’t be begging for food, running out the door, toileting in the house, counter surfing, fighting other dogs, chewing/destroying things, demanding attention, etc.

Once you get that going, work on leash manners and arousal issues. Your walk starts the moment you begin getting ready for it. Notice your dog amping up when you pick up the leash? Don’t encourage excitement by saying “want to go for a walk?!” Stay quiet and put your dog in place while you get ready. This will put them in a calmer state of mind. What you start with inside, you get more of outside.

If your dog is not the best on walks, or worse, is reactive, start walking inside your house for the first few minutes to “get their mind right”. Then walk up and down your driveway. When you master that walk back and forth in front of your house. When you master that go a little further. Each time you change things up your dog may regress a little. It’s your job to reinforce what is expected of them. It’s not how far you walk, it’s the time spent and the technique. Walking is walking no matter where you are doing it, you are still burning energy and reinforcing good behavior!

These few actions can help move your dog into a much calmer state of mind. Work towards your goals slowly. How do you eat an elephant?… One bite at a time! When you see progress, you’ll be encouraged to do more. But you have to START.

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