Is it possible to retrain an adult dog and if yes, how to do it? Such questions are often asked by people who have suffered greatly from their dog’s behavior. They want to change it no matter what, but they just don’t know where to begin. So, If it looks like you, then just continue reading – all the answers are lying ahead.
When is it necessary to retrain a dog?
There are several specific reasons hinting that it is time for the owner to start re-educating his dog. This includes:
A dog has developed bad habits. For example, it jumps on the bed when you sleep, whines when you eat, or steals food from the table. Such a spoiled dog must be retrained without questions.
A dog is already more than a year old, but no one has started to train it. This is actually very sad. An abandoned dog will cause a lot of problems in the future. It is very important to retrain it urgently.
A dog has increased aggression towards passers-by, family members, or the owner. This can result in a surprise attack, so such an aggressive dog needs to be urgently retrained too.
A dog never had a potty That will definitely complicate outside walks and situation inside your house.
A dog became jealous. It growls or attacks other animals when they are near you. Especially if you pet them.
How to approach the process of retraining?
One should not approach the re-education of a dog carelessly. It is advisable to draw up a detailed action plan and implement all the points in life step by step. The following tips will help you to create the best course of action for your situation:
Firstly, take your dog to a good vet. Some behavioral problems are caused by illness or pain, and going to the doctor can help either solve the original cause right away or settle the problem without even retraining. Dog issues may be very different: ear mites, urinary tract infections, cognitive dysfunction (it affects mostly older dogs), and others.
If there are no health problems, then you can fix bad behavior. You need to begin by developing obedience. Start off with simple commands – “sit”, “paw”, “bark”. The upbringing process may be delayed: an adult dog needs about a year to learn to obey the owner.
Remember to give your dog a treat for each command it completes. Then gradually reduce the number of treats. Otherwise, the dog will obey only for the treats, and this is not what we want to achieve, right?
Keep training sessions short, up to 10-15 minutes. The dog will definitely not be happy if you continue to exhaust it for an hour or more.
After your dog has begun to obey, move on to the next step. Much depends on the problem here. For example, if the dog is vicious and growls threateningly, you should start adjusting the aggression.
Start solving problems from the most serious one to light ones. Firstly, it will greatly simplify the life of the dog itself and bring it into a stable emotional state. Secondly, you will avoid serious consequences that can be caused by the development of the most significant problems.
Here is a tip! Walk your dog more. The main rule is that before leaving for work, you should take a good walk (1-2 hours) and tire the dog with all kinds of games and activities. It will take a lot of effort, but the result of a tired and happy dog will please you. It simply will not have the strength and desire to destroy the house or do some other unpleasant things.
Recommendations from specialists
The Internet makes it possible not only to read advice on the forums but also to find out the opinion of professional trainers. And these tips should be heeded because trainers have spent decades learning the behavior of dogs. So, here what they have to say:
English specialist in canine psychology, Jackie Murphy, thinks that it is very important to be consistent. By continuing to exercise every day, your dog will gain qualities that will help both at home and outside.
No distractions. A naughty dog is rarely attentive, so firstly practice with it at home – without extraneous noise and odors. When the dog begins to perform basic commands, proceed to training on the street, preferably outside the city. And only then can you train your pet with distractions – for example, in the yard.
”Remember! Never force your dog into a stressful or dangerous environment,” says dog behaviorist Colleen Demling. From this advice comes another: train your dog near the house, and only after a while give it commands on the street.
Remove objects of interest to the pet. First, train yourself and your family to always put shoes in the closet. To protect furniture you can try using a special spray, the smell, and taste of which repels the dog, but it is better not to use citrus fruits and red peppers – this can harm the pet.
Thus, it is quite possible to retrain a dog. It can be uncontrolled or even a fighting dog, the most important is to devote your time and energy to the problem and eventually it will be fixed and your dog will live a new, happy life.
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