Dealing with the Disobedient Dog

disobedient dog eating

Dealing with the Disobedient Dog.  Is Your Dog Really Disobedient?

Almost every dog owner has had to deal with bad behaviors, at some point, during their life with dogs.  Even the simplest inappropriate behavior can cause a great deal of frustration for dog owners and disobedient dogs make up over 13 percent of the dogs surrendered to shelters. The purpose of this article is to address some of these bad behaviors and give you some tips on correcting them.

disobedient dogMany of the behaviors that find our disobedient dog in trouble are those that are often times inadvertently reinforced by owners or behaviors that can be fixed by simply providing the dog with a replacement behavior. Replacement behaviors are behaviors that are either taught or reinforced in lieu of the bad behavior that frustrates us.  I often deal with owners that are seeking advice on inappropriate behaviors, such as jumping on people, barging out the door, counter surfing and I often ask the the question “What would you rather have the dog do?”  This question often causes owners a great deal of confusion.  It’s unfair for us to expect the dog to simply stop a bad behavior without replacing the behavior with one that we want.

Pulling on the Leash is a fairly common problem for dog owners.  It is not often that I am out when I do not see some dog puling it’s owner down the street. Many people believe that dogs pull on the leash to “be in charge” or to demonstrate some type of dominance. In reality, most dogs pull on the leash because of two reasons.  The first reason is that they simply walk faster that we do and the second reason is that they have never been trained to walk on the leash properly.   Pulling on the leash is a fairly easy problem to correct simply by teaching the dog to walk on the leash properly.  Take a look at our article to learn more about teaching your dog to walk on the leash properly

disobedient dog on couchGetting on furniture is another common problem that is faced by dog owners.  Having a set of rules about getting on furniture will often go a long way in helping to resolve this issue.  Dogs do not understand concepts such as maybe and sometimes.  Always and never are concepts that are much easier for them to obey.  For example, if you allow the dogs to be on the old chair, but not the new couch, this will cause confusion.  If one person in the home invites the dog onto the furniture, but others in the home discourage the behavior, the dog will definitely become confused. Everyone in the home should employ the same rules to reduce confusion for the dog.  As an alternative to getting on the furniture, provide your dog with a comfortable bed or mat in the same room and teach your dog a place command.

Jumping on People is a behavior that a lot of dog owners are frustrated by.  This behavior is one that is often reinforced by people inadvertently.  Many times, owners come home to a dog that is excited to see them.  The dog jumps on them and in return the owner pets them on the head to greet them.  This reinforces the jumping behavior and the dogs is likely to continue.  Also, we often hear “I don’t mind if the dog jumps on me when I have old clothes on, I just don’t want them to jump when I’m dressed for work.”  This again, is a confusing situation for a dog where the “always or never” rule should apply.  A great replacement behavior for jumping is to simply reinforce your dog for sitting politely and waiting to be petted.

At Highland Canine Training, LLC, we specialize in rehabilitating behavior problems and helping dog owners resolve problems with their dogs. If you need help or advice in treating dog behavior problems such as jumping on people, stealing, barging out the door, counter-surfing or pulling on the leash, please feel free to call us at 866.200.2207 or email us at We offer free in-home evaluations and offer affordable and effective solutions to all dog behavior problems. This article is the sixth in a series of information on Treating Dog Behavior Problems. Be sure to follow the links below to learn more about the topics in this series.

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