Corbin Dallas at 2 months
Corbin Dallas at 2 months
Natasha at 1 year 1 month
Natasha at 1 year 1 month

A ton of these I picked up and tested from Cesar Millan’s Dog Whisperer show and the rest from being a dog lover ever since and more importantly paying close attention rearing Natasha and Corbin Dallas, two toy poodles, in the last couple of months. Here are some tips that will do wonders for misbehaving dogs but they should also be followed for normal dogs.

  1. Ask what you are doing wrong instead of focusing on symptoms of misbehavior. As Cesar often says, it’s almost always the owner’s fault.
  2. Focus on what the dog needs, not what you need. Refer to Cesar’s all encompassing formula: Exercise, Discipline then Affection, in that order.
  3. Daily exercise (vigorous if your breed is high energy) or proper walking is a cure-all for basic misbehavior such as hyperactivity. Daily correct walking (side by side, not less than 20 minutes a day) has so many benefits which include building a relationship the dog understands.
  4. On punishment and reward: Give affection only when the dog is relaxed and/or has done a good task. Avoid scolding at all cost as it excites them. All uncontrolled excitement (which should not be mistaken for happiness) will always eventually lead to a misbehavior. Professional animal trainers for dolphins, lions, and other animals would tell you ignoring is their primary punishment. Or instead of punishing, just block or “own” objects and areas you don’t want them to have access with and eventually they will learn they need your permission.
  5. If your dog is 5 months or less, you might mistake normal puppy behavior for misbehaving. But still you can already practice setting rules and habits. Corbin Dallas is just two months but successfully does his “duty” in the right place 50% of the time. I’m happy with this.
  6. Tempt your dog to make mistakes as they are really opportunities to correct. Natasha as with all pupies when she was smaller loved to chew on slippers. Instead of taking away the slippers, I had regular sessions with her to distinguish her toys from all other stuff lying around the house. Since six months she has never chewed on something we didn’t present to her as a toy.
  7. Never experiment with food, medicine and other sensitive stuff. Trust a vet rather than a blogger. A lot of complaints I get emailed about are regarding picky eating habits and toilet habits. Most of these problems stem from inconsistency of owners to what and when they feed their dogs.
  8. In relation, I read a lot of misinformation on the Internet about using a harness for walking. Your dog will never walk correctly beside you with a harness . They are used for pulling. Be careful of what you read even with my advice.
  9. Don’t treat your dog like a child, unless you believe dominating your child is healthy. Dogs don’t understand timeouts, they don’t really use guilt or pity to get what they want, they don’t hold grudges. They do form habits but they live at the moment every time. They understand and directly respond to your energy (as expressed by the sum of your breathing, tone, and movements). If your are frustrated, they will mirror that emotion immediately.
  10. Most dogs are very fast learners compared to humans. Have patience to be consistent and they will learn even if the dog is already old.

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