3 Bad Habits You Taught Your Dog

It doesn't take much for unwanted behavior to take root in your dog. Often, it is you who are at the origin of it.

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It doesn't take much for an unwanted behavior to take root in your dog, and that's because you've reinforced it without even realizing it. Here are 3 examples

My dog is jumping on me

Reacting when your dog jumps on you is almost a reflex and that's exactly how jumping becomes a habit in your dog. When a dog welcomes you back home by jumping on top of you, you react by scolding it, pushing it away, talking to it, or giving it a little pat on the head. Whatever your reaction, your dog got what he wanted from you: your attention!

To break this habit, the secret is to completely ignore your dog when he jumps on you.

When your dog jumps on you, turn around the second his paws lift off the ground, instead of telling your dog to get down or push him away. As soon as your dog has all four paws on the ground, turn to him and say hello. If he jumps again, repeat the process. It takes time to teach your dog not to jump, especially if he's been doing it for a long time. Don't lose patience!

My dog pulls on a leash

If your dog pulls on a leash, it's probably you who taught him to do it gradually and without realizing it!

If you've taken dog training classes, you've probably learned that your dog's leash should always be loose. But, in reality, you probably let your dog pull you from time to time, such as when you're in a hurry or when it's raining outside.

Your dog can then quickly understand that a tight leash means forward movement, which can get him where he wants to go.

To prevent your dog from getting into the habit of pulling on the leash, make sure you remain fully "psychologically" present during leash walks. Don't think about anything else and don't check your phone, for example. Pay attention to when your dog's leash starts to get taut and stop walking immediately.

Remember that walking on a leash without pulling requires constant attention until it becomes a habit for your dog.

My dog begs for food when I'm at the table

It is natural to want to please your dog by giving him a few small pieces of food when you are at the table.

But, in doing so, the risk is that your dog will start to systematically ask for food at each of your meals with great reinforcements of pleading looks, paws or barks.

Enough to turn me altime into a real ordeal!

Begging is indeed a very rewarding activity for your dog, as it provides him with two powerful sources of satisfaction: food and your attention. So, if you give your dog food while cooking or while sitting at the table, he will quickly associate these two scenarios with sharing food.

If your dog craves food at every meal, redirect his attention by giving him something to do during meals. Treat-dispensing toys or chews are great for this, not only will they expend your dog but also distract his attention from your meal.

If your dog is asking for a meal, don't give in to his pleading look. You will likely see his behavior get worse before it gets better. But, if you don't give in, your dog will eventually understand that his puppy dog eyes no longer work on you and that it is no longer necessary to beg when you are at the table!

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