3 Things That Embarrass Dog Owners
We all want to be proud of our dogs. That’s one of the reasons we get a dog. We love them and they become almost like a child in some cases. You can see bumper stickers that say “My Dog Is Smarter Than Your Honor Student.” How embarrassing is it then when your dog does something that makes you want to crawl into a hole? You’ve been telling people how smart, how cute, how wonderful your dog is and as soon as they see your dog he does something you hate.
1. Jumping on people. One of the embarrassing things some dogs do is jumping on people. Whether you’re out for a walk or your dog jumps on people when they walk in your door, this is embarrassing behavior. It’s a clear sign that your overly-enthusiastic dog seems to be out of control.
What can you do to stop the jumping behavior? One of the best things you can do to head off jumping behavior is teach your dog the Sit command when she is preparing to jump. It’s best to practice this in a confined area at first. Practice when it’s just you and your dog. Make sure he already knows Sit. When he starts to jump on you tell him to Sit. Depending on how excited he is it may take a few tries to get this right but it will work. Make sure you praise him and give him a reward he really enjoys, whether it’s treats, a favorite toy or lots of petting and attention.
Once your dog is reliably sitting when he starts to jump on you, you can practice having a friend or family member ring your doorbell or knock on your door. Your dog may get very excited again and prepared to jump on them when they enter. Practice having him sit before opening the door. Again, this may take some practice but your dog should get the idea that he is supposed to sit instead of jump. If nothing else, he should be responding to your command to Sit.
Eventually you will move on to the hardest part — teaching your dog to politely sit when he has the urge to jump up on someone he meets in the street or elsewhere. This is an uncontrolled situation so you should always have your dog leashed when you’re out. Make sure that your dog gives you a perfect Sit at home when he has the urge to jump before you try this outside your home.
2. Lunging at Dogs. It’s very embarrassing, not to mention rather dangerous, to have your dog lunging at other dogs when you’re out for a walk. The best way to prevent this problem is by making sure that you socialize any puppy well from an early age. However, if you have a dog that is already lunging at other dogs or people, it’s a little late for socialization. You need to take steps to keep your dog from hurting anyone. You may want to consider whether you should be walking your dog in public and whether you are able to control him.
You should consider whether your dog could have any kind of veterinary condition causing him to lunge or behave aggressively toward others. Your vet may be able to find a physical cause for your dog’s behavior. If not, then you need to consider possible behavioral problems. If your dog lunges at other dogs (or people) on an ongoing basis then you may wish to ask your vet to recommend a dog behaviorist. They may be able to work with your dog and find the problem.
There are some things you can do yourself if your dog lunges at other dogs. Consider a properly fitted muzzle or head collar. A head collar such as a Halti or Gentle Leader is not a good choice for every dog but it does give added control over dogs that lunge and pull their owners. You should be careful about possible neck injuries to your dog when he’s wearing a head collar.
Avoid walking where there may be loose or stray dogs. Your lunging dog doesn’t need an added reason to pull on the leash.
Walk your dog in quiet neighborhoods and more controlled settings.
3. Constant Barking. One thing that frequently embarrasses people with their neighbors is a dog that barks constantly. If your dog is a nuisance barker and you’re outside yelling at him to shut up, the neighbors can become annoyed with both of you very quickly, especially when they’re trying to sleep.
Dogs often bark because they are bored, lonely or frustrated. But there are some dogs that seem to bark to hear the sound of their own voice. The best advice to deal with barking dogs is to make sure that all of their needs are being met on a regular basis. Take away their reasons to bark. Make sure that your dog gets lots of exercise — tired dogs take naps. Make sure that your dog has plenty of fun toys. And, very importantly, spend time training your dog. Obedience training can help keep a dog mentally fit — the opposite of boredom. Spending time training your dog also means that you’re spending time together. When your dog is having all of his needs met he will, hopefully, have less to bark about.
If your dog still stands in the backyard and barks at least he will have had a little obedience training. When you tell him to “Come!” you have a better chance of him actually obeying you and coming inside where he will be quiet.
Simply stated these bad behaviors can all be cured with some good dog training. So call a trainer in your area and train that dog!
Until next time…..