Dog Behavior Modification
Solving Behavior Problems

Dog behavior modification is often needed when an otherwise well-trained dog develops/learns some new undesirable behaviors.

Dog Behavior Modification vs Basic Training

What this means is that along with the basic training for obedience, which establishes reliable responses to commands such as sit, stay, heel, etc., owners often have to address new dog behavior problems that inevitably come up. Before they become entrenched!

Most often the reason dogs get into bad habits has nothing to do with disobedience, but rather they are simply following their natural instincts in acting like a dog.

These are not intentional transgressions, so don't get mad. Instead, find how you can channel the behavior in a positive way!  In other words, teach your pet a replacement behavior.

After all, there are many behaviors that we consider unacceptable, that your dog considers perfectly normal - for a dog! So when he starts acting like a dog in ways that cause problems, it's time to nip it in the bud by a return to basic training boot camp!

Analyze Your Dog's Behavior

First things first - start by analyzing the unwanted behavior before progressing with dog behavior modification techniques.

  • Is the behavior simply stemming from the inherited instincts of his breed? Knowing this information can be very helpful in finding a solution through steps that have proven successful.
  • Take a look at what may be triggering the behavior you want to stop. Try to identify any key elements that get your dog started with... say digging, barking, aggression etc.

tan dog portrait looking up

Avoid Negative Reinforcement

Sometimes owners inadvertently reinforce a problem behavior by their reaction to it. For example:

  • A full blown angry tirade in response to an accident on the carpet is likely to scare the dog so much that he has another accident. See what I mean? This falls into the category of negative reinforcement.

Another common mistake some owners make is in punishing a dog for something they didn't see him do.

Not only is this a complete waste of time because the dog has no idea what he did wrong, but the owner comes across as a very confusing "pack leader".

It also introduces a situation referred to as the fear factor where your dog is fearful of what may come next!

The Most Common Dog Behavior Problems

These are some of the most common behavior issues that can usually be resolved with proper dog behavior modification:

Separation anxiety is often linked as a trigger for these type of problems and one which responds well to dog behavior modification.

Click the links for more information and tips on how to handle these issues.

dog training book

Using positive reinforcement, take 10-20 minutes a day to
teach your dog good habits (over bad ones) in this 5-week program.

Clear Communication Is Key

Dogs need clarity in order to learn what's expected of them and should never be reprimanded for doing something they weren't aware was wrong. Dog behavior modification goes a long way to clarify what's expected, if done in a proper way.

If you find yourself dealing with common dog behavior problems and have been unsuccessful in correcting them, then the type of training techniques and methods of communications you've been using may need to be re-evaluated.

With patience, perseverance and sound dog training methods, you can solve your dog's behavior problems.

One last thought, dogs often develop unwanted behaviors because they see themselves as the "pack leader" instead of you. If you suspect that your dog thinks he's the dominant one, read this article so you can take back the leash: Are You The Dog Pack Leader?

Related Pages

  1. Home
  2. Basic Dog Training
  3. Behavior Modification

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