14/08/2017 - Dog Training Tips and Tricks
I often get asked "How can I stop my dog from running to the front door and jumping up at visitors?", "How can I stop my dog from jumping up on the dining room table?", "How can I stop my dog from jumping up on the kitchen work surfaces and stealing food?"
The simple answer is you can't unless you have eyes in the back of your head and watch your dog like a hawk. Even then you will probably be too late to interrupt the behaviour and then your dog will have found the left over chicken on the worktops and will think 'that was worth doing - I will do that again!'
Yes you can train a different behaviour like 'settle on the mat' when visitors arrive, stay in a 'place' whilst you prepare dinner or eat at the table but who has time to do that? Really?
I've confessed before that I'm a lazy trainer when it comes to my dogs at home and I use barriers, physical ones.
When my dogs were puppies we had stairgates everywhere and a large confinement area for them. This meant when we couldn't supervise them 100% they were safe and not able to practice the unwanted behaviours and never got rewarded for them. Instead they got to spend time in their safe place with lots of fun things to do - so they never missed out.
So they have never jumped up and stolen things from the worktops, they would never venture upstairs and they won't approach the dining room table if we're eating.
There's no barriers up now but because they've never seen the benefit of any of these things they're happy to do something else.
So if you're dog is doing something you don't like at home, think about how you can provide the right set up to help them make the right choices.