5 Efficient Ways to Break Your Dog’s Bad Habits

When the first time my dog disobeyed me, I confess that I was a little disappointed. It was annoying at first, but then I knew I had to do something about it. As I further looked into the matter, several ideas descended upon me, and I was determined to change its bad habits.

I am sure you, too, have a dog that naturally repeats behavior that he thinks is rewarding to him. But then we all have certain bad habits that are hard to break and your dog is no exception. However, it is easy to break the bad habits of the dog than humans. So, we have a list of bad habits that dogs tend to adapt over time and an effective solution for all of them.

Begging For Food

In the initial stages, you think it is cute to serve food right at the dinner table. But with time, it becomes a problem because your dog is constantly asking for food every time you sit down to eat. I think it is safe to say that you have instilled that habit, and now your dog tends to repeat it because he believes it is rewarding. 

To make sure that your dog stops begging, you have to first stop paying attention to your dog. I know it is difficult to ignore those hypnotizing eyes staring back at you. But you have to ensure an eating discipline for your dog. Because paying attention will mean you are encouraging his begging habits. Instead, you have to tell everyone in your family to stop feeding the dog at the dining table, on the couch, top of the bed, from the chair, etc. He should be getting food from his eating bowl only. 

In addition, you can also instill some discipline in your dog with commands like stay, down, sit, etc. These commands will help your dog realize the severity of the situation. If your dog repeatedly disobeys you, it’s time to be a strict parent. You have to ignore him and direct him to stay in one position.

Destructive Chewing

It is usual for dogs to chew. In fact, you should encourage your dog to chew the right objects because it helps them keep their teeth and gums in shape. But then again, the objects should be appropriate. This can happen only if your dog is trained to chew the right things. 

But to make sure that your dog does not chew on your furniture, shoes, clothes, curtains, etc keep a set of chewing toys and treats handy. This way, you will never get mad at your dog for chewing your shoes, and your dog will get into the habit of chewing the right things. For instance, you can direct your dog to the right object as soon as he starts chewing on some other object.

You can even reinforce the habit by rewarding your dog whenever he chews the right object. This will help the dog make the right choice and your furniture will stay in the right shape. Despite all the training and instruction, if your dog continually keeps biting on shoes and sofa, consider talking to a vet and increase the hours of exercise.

Pulling The Leash

It is natural for the dogs to pull the leash repeatedly. But there are severe consequences that come along with this habit. Like the time when your dog constantly pulls you towards the direction he wants to go in. In fact, you might have unconsciously attended to all the pulling requirements. But it has to stop, and you have to train your dog in accordance with the walking routine. 

So, make sure you do not allow your dog to move in the forward direction. In other words, stay firm, whenever your dog pulls on the leash, stick your feet on the ground and don’t move. Eventually, your dog will give up and allow you to take charge. But there are situations when your dog will not listen to you at all. In such cases, you can either move in the opposite direction or get them collars that are specially designed for this purpose. 

These collars come with front clipping and no-pull harness. So, every time your dog pulls, they will be drawn away from the direction they are moving. It will also help in disciplining your dog.

Constant Digging

Your pooch will dig and it is perfectly normal. But here’s the catch; with time, the digging habit will increase. Now, either you can choose to curb the addiction or clean the floor after your dog arrives covered in mud and grass.

Additionally, you also have to keep in mind that your dog may be digging because of the following reasons. First and foremost, if you live in a hot area, your dog will dig to find a colder spot. Likewise, to find warmth during the winter season. He can also be digging to find animals like squirrels, worms, rabbits, etc. Especially the animal scents he is attracted to. But sometimes dogs just dig out of no reason.

The major concern here is that you have to look for a reason and then find out a solution. If your dog is digging to find a cooler spot, keep him in a more comfortable and cooler place. And if he is digging out of curiosity or for no reason, make some ground rules. Don’t let him dig continuously and ensure that he is digging a sandbox or an area you allow him to dig. You can also give him rewards in the form of treats to encourage good behavior.

Overexcitement For Walks

For most dogs, going out for walks is the favorite activity. To the extent that they will go crazy and start running all over the place due to excitement. I am sure even your dog jumps and leaps at you as soon as you pick up the leash. But at times, it becomes difficult to control the excitement. Fortunately, it is an easy habit to manage, especially if you discipline your dog in the right way. 

So, these are some of the things that you have to do. Your dog is aware that as soon as you reach out for the leash or start wearing your shoes, it is time to go out. Therefore, you have to make sure that you spend a few minutes with your dog before going for a walk. Try to desensitize the dog, and then take him out. 

You can also trick your dog into staying calm. How? Well, first walk towards the leash and then quickly walk away from the leash. Your dog will first be excited, but he will definitely calm down soon after seeing you walk in the opposite direction. Repeat the same for a few days and notice the changes in the excitement level of the dog. In most cases, this trick works and keeps the dog at bay. 

Summing it up

Dogs can be easily trained for specific functions. Just like some people train their emotional support dog and service dogs. This is to say that if you discipline your dog and teach him to learn a specific set of habits. He will definitely learn them and follow them religiously. 

I hope this post helps you break the bad habits of your dog. If you use a different approach to break their habits, don’t forget to tell us in the comment section below.