How To Train Difficult Dogs

Slow down. Begin by training your dog to do familiar or beloved behaviors. By recognizing even modest achievements, training will become positively associated. Take baby steps once your dog realizes that training is a positive thing: Only alter one variable at once.

How do you correct an uncooperative dog?

If you’ve ever attempted to converse with an excitable youngster, you are aware of how distracting their energy can be. The same applies to dogs. When your pup gets fired up, he won’t be able to listen to you since all of his attention is focused on getting all of that internal energy out.

So always remember to practice exercise first, followed by discipline, then affection. A regular walk that completely exhausts your dog’s energy will help a lot.

How is a poorly trained dog fixed?

  • The key is training. Although it may not appear related to a barking, jumping, or chewing issue, teaching your dog to sit, come, or lie down is. By teaching your dog that wonderful things happen when he obeys you, strengthening your relationship, and stimulating his mind, positive reward-based training will help tire him out and reduce his propensity to disobey. Each week, try adding a new command while continuing to use the previous ones.
  • Energy is released through exercise. Having energy is important for a dog. You aren’t giving your dog enough exercise if all of the time you are gone is a fast rush into the backyard for his walk. The excess energy may be used to drag you on a leash or chew your shoes. Puppies typically need more exercise than adult dogs since they have greater energy. Additionally, the breed of your dog affects how much exercise he needs.
  • Stop your dog from picking up undesirable habits.
  • Protect your home from puppies. Shoe and toy storage Gather indoor plants off the ground. When the puppy is in your fenced-in yard, keep an eye on him. It’s simpler to avoid the formation of undesirable habits than it is to undo them.
  • Reward favored conduct. Praise and pet your dog if he is lying peacefully rather than jumping or barking. Tell your dog what a terrific dog he is if he follows you while wearing a leash. He will comprehend what you want him to do better if you say “sit” rather than “don’t jump” or “heel” instead of “don’t pull.”
  • It’s consistency that counts. The dog will learn to beg if you don’t give him food from the table but instead your partner or kids sneak him snacks. Or imagine what he’ll do if you ignore him when he jumps on you but other people pet him. When it comes to defining expectations for canine conduct, everyone must abide by the same guidelines.

When do dogs become more difficult to train?

At Jenna Lee Designer Doodles, we grow doodle litters from birth to 8 weeks of age. But we also routinely teach particular puppies for varying amounts of time, so we are well versed in the different phases of a puppy’s development! We invited our trainers to weigh in based on their professional experience so that we could publish this post.

We polled several of our previous puppy parents as well to get a sense of what the typical owner considers to be the most challenging time. And this is what we discovered:

Although there is some variation in the responses, we generally discovered that the majority of them fell into one of two categories:

About 50% of owners and trainers picked 3 to 4 months as the most challenging age, citing nipping as the greatest challenge at this stage.

The roughest age was chosen by 35% of owners and trainers, who cited new challenging behaviors brought on by their puppy’s now-larger size, like pulling on the leash or counter-surfing.

What else can I do besides yell at my dog?

Your personality and communication style are amply demonstrated by the way you interact with your dog. Unfortunately, your tone and volume have a significant impact on your dog’s development and your relationship, just like they do with a child. Your dog may become anxious and afraid if you yell at them.

Additionally, yelling makes your dog less likely to obey your directions, which increases your frustration and likelihood of yelling.

Recent studies and the majority of dog-training authorities advise against yelling at your dog and in favor of speaking to him in a low, gentle voice.

This does not require you to speak in baby terms. It doesn’t mean you can’t be strict with your dog or discipline him.

Can you hit a dog lightly?

Depending on what we define by “work,” yes. When used with the appropriate force, timing, and redirection, hitting or beating is believed to deter negative behaviors. Aversive methods focused on pain, however, come with risks. According to studies, they dramatically worsen stress, negatively impact a dog’s quality of life, and may even make dogs more aggressive.

Is It Bad to Hit My Dog?

One of the main dangers of hitting or abusing a dog is that it can come to believe that we (and all other humans) are the ones who cause their suffering. Because of this, it is crucial to change the direction of our aversive corrections. Our dog will learn to associate a hand or a human getting close to him/her as a threat if we spend the majority of the time physically disciplining our dog without using the necessary redirection. There could be numerous reactions to this:

  • A dog that is afraid will probably try to run away first. If the dog feels cornered, he may try to defend himself with his teeth if fleeing is not an option.
  • A more self-assured and combative dog will likely strike back to dissuade the threat.
  • Dogs who are in the middle may choose for a pacifying activity like rolling over and showing their belly. Other calming behaviors like lip-licking, looking away, etc., may also be displayed. A dog is attempting to avoid conflict by demonstrating through these appeasement behaviors that he or she is not a threat.

Because of this, hitting and beating a dog might cause them to become more aggressive and lose their trust. But some canines might choose for appeasement. Even in these situations, the dog still experiences a lack of trust as well as increased fear and tension.

How do you train a dog that won’t listen?

With time and the right early training, a lot of the boisterous and energetic characteristics we observe in pups will go away (see Principles of Teaching and Training Dogs). After the puppy stage, which lasts between 6 and 9 months, the owner still finds it challenging to control the wayward dog. Puppy behavior may also be energetic, challenging to manage, or challenging to train up until this point, although this is probably not excessive when taking into account typical puppy development and the time needed for effective training. A dog is considered energetic, unruly, or disobedient if, despite receiving enough training, it continues to ignore commands, refuses to walk gently on a leash, leaps on people, yells nonstop for attention, steals items, or generally causes trouble in the home. Due of their size, huge canines have a worsened difficulty.

Do dogs get “attention deficit disorder” or can they be “hyperactive”?

Although a hyperactivity disorder in dogs is unlikely to occur, it exists. A veterinary examination and testing can be used to determine whether a dog has hyperactivity, also known as hyperkinesis or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Dogs with hyperactivity issues might be challenging to train, have poor responses to tranquilizers, engage in repetitive activities like circling or constant barking, have gastrointestinal problems, and can be very difficult to restrain. If these dogs actually have attention deficit disorder, they can react strangely to stimulant-like medications.

The majority of cases, however, are merely hyperactive dogs who may not be receiving enough exercise and routine.

This means that when administered amphetamines, these dogs typically settle down and become more attentive during training rather than becoming more hyperactive. The majority of instances, however, are just extremely energized dogs that may not be receiving enough activity and structure in their days or who are unintentionally being rewarded when they act ecstatically (see Play and Exercise and Using Enrichment, Predictability, and Scheduling to Train Your Dog).

How can I prevent my puppy from becoming a disobedient dog?

Although it is unlikely, dogs can develop hyperactivity disorders. Veterinarian inspection and testing can identify hyperactive dogs, commonly known as hyperkinesis or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Dogs with hyperactivity issues can be challenging to train, respond poorly to sedation, engage in repetitive activities like circling or constant barking, and can be very difficult to restrain. They may also have gastrointestinal problems. These dogs may react ironically to amphetamine-type medications if they actually have attention deficit disorder.

However, the majority of cases simply involve extremely spirited dogs that may not be receiving enough exercise and routine.

This means that when amphetamines are administered to these dogs, they typically become calmer and more attentive during training rather than becoming more hyperactive. However, the majority of cases are simply extremely energized dogs that may not be getting enough exercise and structure to their day, or who are being unintentionally rewarded when they act enthusiastically (see Play and Exercise and Using Enrichment, Predictability, and Scheduling to Train Your Dog).

I have tried training my dog without success. What went wrong?

Unsuccessful attempts at traditional obedience training may have been made by many owners. Your dog might still ignore commands, jump up on people, and bark nonstop.

The problem is that the dog frequently does not understand what you want him to accomplish in its place (see Greeting BehaviorJumping Up, Enrichment, Predictability, and Scheduling, and Training Basics).

It won’t work to try and correct every bad habit. When a behavior is taken out of an animal’s repertoire, another one will take its place. Additionally, punishment is meant to educate the dog what not to do and may instill fear in the animal, which may cause it to flee, freeze, or act aggressively (fight). Instead, you should aim to either prevent the unwanted behavior from occurring if you are unable to watch and train your dog, or to train and encourage the desired behavior. Therefore, encouraging calm, collected behavior rather than penalizing undesirable behavior is the key to training hyperactive and rebellious dogs to become calmer, better behaved pets.

“Reinforcing calm, collected conduct rather than penalizing what you don’t want is the key to converting hyperactive and disobedient dogs into calmer, better-behaved pets,” according to one expert.

First, avoid putting your dog in a crate when you are home since you won’t be able to step in and model good behavior. When you are unable to watch after your dog, confinement may be essential, but only after giving him or her enough exercise, a chance to relieve themselves, appropriate play and affection, and food or treats for acceptable conduct (i.e., training) and never for unfavorable behavior (barking, attention seeking). In other words, tranquil, collected, and non-demanding behavior need to be rewarded with play, love, and attention, whereas demanding, agitated, or excitable behavior ought to be ignored.

Another common training blunder is to unintentionally reinforce undesirable habits. It is crucial that these actions are responded to with inattention rather than patting, attention, or possibly even a treat in an effort to cease the activity.

Punishment and reprimands frequently fail as well. Some animals will even view punishment as a kind of attention. Punishment, on the other hand, could cause problems like aggression or submissive urination as well as anxiety and a dread of the owner. A shaking can, an air horn, or an ultrasonic device are examples of disruption tools that can stop unpleasant behavior without making the owner afraid. However, the dog is unlikely to change all that much if reinforcement for stopping the activity and guidance toward a new and appropriate behavior do not take place.

How should I start to regain control?

Controlling your dog well and having a solid grasp on when, how, and how to utilize rewards are the first steps in retraining. a class for teaching obedience that employs positive reinforcement and non-punitive methods of restraint, such as head halters (see Head Halter Training and Training Products). Training using a head halter is a fantastic place to start. Getting the desired answer, rewarding the desired response, and eventually forming longer and more fruitful responses are the objectives. When training first starts, the dog should be well-rested, quiet, and attentive as much as possible. Ensure that you are in a situation with few distractions and that you have sufficient control to ensure a successful response to the instruction.

What do I do if disobedience and unruliness persist?

The majority of conventional training methods and tools use deterrents to halt and prevent bad behavior.

With the exception of teaching a dog the appropriate response, deterrents only educate a dog what not to do. Many of the tools created to train and control dogs are fastened around the animal’s neck “Suffocate or correct. Not only can they cause the dog pain, but they also necessitate incredibly precise timing in order to teach the dog the right action. A more effective and positive method of getting the desired response would be head halters. Additionally, clicker training can be used to mark and reinforce behavior right away (see Clicker and Target Training).

The head halter’s purpose is to give the handler control over the dog’s head and muzzle so they may train it to give the desired response. Instead of punishing bad responses, training’s objective is to promote and reward right answers. Numerous ways the head halter improves control. A forward and upward pull on the leash will cause the dog’s mouth to close, and he or she will naturally draw backward and downward into a sit because dogs have a natural tendency to pull against pressure. The owner can therefore draw the leash up and forward, look the dog in the eyes, and elicit the proper response if the sit command is given and the dog does not immediately respond. The constraint is lifted as soon as the dog sits or even starts to sit, and the dog is given praise.

If the “bad behavior” occurs again, the order, pull, and release should be promptly repeated. If the dog behaves properly, positive reinforcement (treats, pats, and play) should be given. An upward and forward pull can be used to immediately and successfully restrain barking, jumping up, play biting, stealing objects, or tugging and lunging using a leash and head halter. Another effect of the head halter is that “the head follows, the body goes.” By just shifting the dog’s direction, many actions can be prevented or stopped because the halter controls the head.

Finally, and perhaps most importantly, the head halter should not surround or tighten around the dog’s lower neck when the owner is trying to train them. Some head halter brands are made to be worn all the time by the dog when the owner is at home, just as neck collars. For remote control, a lengthy indoor lead can be left attached. You can stop the dog’s undesirable behavior as soon as it starts by directing it to conduct the desired action instead ” (“sit, “down, “quiet). Likewise, if you give the dog an order and he doesn’t comply, you may always coax him into complying if the halter and leash are fastened.

Now that I have more control, what else do I need to do?

Continuous control until you can consistently achieve the desired behaviors is frequently the key to taming an unruly dog and making him an acceptable pet. The dog should be on a leash to make this the easiest (attached to a body harness, non-choke neck collar or head halter). This enables you to quickly stop bad behavior and impart the proper lesson to your dog. Leash removal is possible if your dog stops performing the unpleasant behavior and obeys verbal directions regularly. Restructuring the surroundings so that the uncontrolled behavior cannot occur or is immediately interrupted is a crucial part of taming an unruly dog. This can take many different forms, such putting the dog on a leash so that it can’t run through the house, locking doors to other rooms, and restricting the dog’s access to unattended locations. Create scenarios and only interact with the dog in a positive way to get it to do what the owner wants.