Dog Training Tips: How I Avoided Common Bad Behaviors in My Puppy
Updated: Jun 7, 2022
In March 2021 my boyfriend (Alex) got nine week old corgi puppy. We chose him because of his gentle and calm temperament. After much deliberation, we decided to name him Archie. Although I wasn’t living with Archie, I was and am very involved in his training. With Archie being a brand new puppy, Alex and I dealt with regular puppy issues such as potty training, and jumping. However, there were other issues that most dog owners have to deal with that we didn’t with Archie. Some of these include biting people, barking, running away from us, chewing furniture and going after human food. This is my story of why I never had to deal with these issues.
Being a trainer, I am used to using every casual second to train my dogs good behaviors and prevent bad behaviors. One thing all dog owners should remember is that every second of the day you are training your dog behaviors. You are either training them good behaviors or bad behaviors. An example of this is that if you allow your dog to jump on people, you are actually telling them that that behavior is acceptable. Even though as humans we might see it as just letting them get away with it this time, the dog sees it as you accepting their behavior. They will continue to try to exhibit this behavior every single time they get the opportunity in the future. You want to make sure that you are building good habits in your dog and not bad ones.
Let’s take the behavior of Archie not running away from me for an example. The first reason why my boyfriend and I never had to deal with this behavior was because the first command that we taught Archie was drop it. His drop it command is so strong that he will spit out a slice of ham if I ask him to. Since this was such a strong command as a young puppy, Archie never learned that he can run away from me or my boyfriend with something in his mouth. For example, if he were to grab something he shouldn’t have, we were able to quickly ask for Archie to drop it and that was the end of it. There was no chasing Archie around and trying to pry the item out of his mouth. This built a habit in Archie that he doesn’t ever need to run away from us.
Alex and I were very particular in stopping any bad behaviors before they even happened. This was through full supervision over Archie for the first few months unless he was in his kennel. Through supervision, we could see if Archie was going to grab something that he shouldn’t have and do one of two things before he even got to the item. We would either: take him away from the item or ask him to leave it (once he understood this command). Prevention is one of the best ways to train your dog to stop a specific behavior. Through prevention, you build the habit that you want in your dog. It's very important that you have full supervision on your puppy (unless they're in their kennel) until you can trust them which will usually be between 6 months and two years old.
Although this was just an example of one behavior, the same rules apply to all of the other behaviors that we never had to deal with. Although it was a little bit more work in the beginning, we never had to deal with these major issues that most dog owners deal with for the rest of their dogs' lives. It is worth it the work!