Tips to cure bad behaviour
DOGS behaving badly often result in red-faced owners scurrying for the closest exit point or place to hide – but there is help at hand.
Dog trainer Luana Osmani, from Pets Boarding & Training, says there is no magic wand to improve your dog’s manners but understanding the triggers is important.
“Bad manners can be described as any annoying or unpleasant behaviour,” she says.
“This can be anything from jumping on guests, barking at strange dogs and pulling on the lead.
“Commonly it will be certain triggers that will cause a dog to behave badly, coupled with a lack of knowledge on how to prevent the problem.”
For owners dealing with excessive barking, Osmani recommends enriching your dog’s environment with boredom busters like treat balls, or giving your dog a daily challenge and exercising them adequately.
To curb jumping she says it’s best not to make a fuss when you arrive home – just ignore your dog until they are quiet.
“When guests come over, pop a leash on your dog and ask them to ‘sit’ and ‘stay’ and reward good, calm behaviour. Ask your guests to only praise your dog when they are calm,” she says.
With aggression in dogs Osmani suggests seeking the advice of a professional dog handler to help understand the cause.
With food aggression the key is to start young. Picking up spilt biscuits and placing them in the pup’s bowl as they eat, or taking bones and toys away from your young pup and then giving them back can really help.
Osmani says bad behaviour is stressful for both owners and their dogs.
“When you understand why your dog is behaving the way they are, you … begin to improve the bond you both share, share,” she say says.
“Once you start working alongside your dog you will both reap the rewards of a loving relationship, without the stress.”
Osmani says a wellbehaved dog is a happy dog.
She says it is not only good for their brains but also their general wellbeing.
Luana Osmani with miniature schnauzers Bobo and Puipui. Picture: Justin Sanson