The Power Of No
Targ Smiling Targ and I were out for our morning walk yesterday and witnessed a behavioral problem in the making. We live in a very urban area and quite often see other doggerts walking in the AM. We watched some poor soul who had no idea what she was doing to her dog. This female doggie was very vocal about seeing us and the dog that was coming up behind her. She was barking and barking and barking! So, the owner lifted up her ear flap and yelled "NO!" in her ear. Unfortunately, this dog had already started to relieve herself so by the time that she got the message that her Mom was mad at her, she thought she was mad at her for relieving herself! Imagine you are sitting on the couch at home and a loved one walked up to you and said in a stern voice, "No!". Now imagine the only tools you have to ask what the heck their problem might be, are your body language and your expression. How would you know that your loved one is mad that you changed the channel on the TV five minutes ago... or that they don't want you sitting on that side of the couch? The trick in correcting unwanted behavior in your doggerts is to "catch them in the act" and then give them something else to do! Is you dog picking up things they shouldn't be? Teach them "drop it" Ripping up your shoes? Trade for a high value toy that they can chew. Barking? Find out what is triggering them and either remove it or desensitive them to it.. or better yet, put the bark on cue... teach them to bark so they only do it when you want them to. If your dog relieves themself in the house, "rubbing their nose in it" does no good. None. What it does do is stress out your dog. Find out why your dog is eliminating inappropriately. Did you leave the dog home alone toO long and they just couldn't hold it anymore? Or maybe your dog was never fully housebroken? If this is a new behavior for you dog, call your vet! There may be a physical reason that this is happening. Remember, you will catch more flies with honey... reward the correct behaviors, replace the unwanted behaviors. Woof!

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