11:48 am   

Dog Tip: Three Tips for Reeling in Rebel Dogs

By Robin Tierney

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We've all known...and possibly have had...dogs who are highly unruly or downright challenging. Here are three tips for getting those little rebels under control:

(1) Dogs and their owners can benefit greatly from a "Work for your living" or "Nothing in life is free" program. Starting today, take charge and implement new rules, such as:

* Your dog must respond to you before you respond to him (for example, he must "Sit" or "Down" or "Come" before you pet him).

* The rebel dog does not sleep on bed.

* Ignore or redirect pushy, demanding behavior.

* Say commands only once, then follow through. Make sure you are in a position to enforce the command. (For example, if you are practicing "Come," have the dog on a long line in case he ignores the command.) Issue commands and follow through in a calm manner.

(2) Work on the dog's self-control behaviors. Working on obedience commands such as "Wait," "Stay" and "Place" will help her learn how to be calm while controlling herself.

(3) Teach your dog to accept his crate when you are home. Feed him in the crate and place favorite toys in the crate. Stay in the room with him so you can reward him with treats and praise for being quiet. Practice his "Down" in the crate so you can direct him to assume that position should he start getting restless. He will learn that you decide where he should be, and when. Dogs are typically more comfortable, as well as better-behaved, when their people make the rules, give them structure and give them a sense of security.