3 Tips to Control a Disobedient Dog

By Britt Kascjak

If your dog is unruly or overexcited, you may find yourself feeling frustrated.

A disobedient dog can have an impact on every area of your life.

They make home life a challenge and discourage you from entertaining guests. Plus, their behavior can make it difficult to go out anywhere.

Bad behaviors including biting, jumping, barking, chewing, and digging have an effect on every member of the family.

The good news is that you can control a misbehaving dog. But, it’s going to take time, effort, and dedication on your part.

Here are 3 suggestions to help you get started:

1) Incorporate Mental and Physical Exercise

A well-known and accepted phrase among dog owners is that a tired dog is a good dog. There is definitely some truth to this statement!

Many dogs will misbehave due to pent-up energy.

Without a positive outlet available, they turn to bad habits like barking or digging. The more they are allowed to do this, the more ingrained the habit becomes.

Stop this negative cycle by providing your dog with a new way to burn energy.

This could include physical exercise, like a daily walk, hiking, running, or a game of fetch. Or, you can use mental stimulation like food puzzle toys or a training session.

2) Find an Effective Reward for Training

Often when discussing rewards, the first thing that dog owners consider is the use of treats. But, not all dogs are food-driven.

Take the time to discover what motivates your dog.

This could be praise and pets from you. Especially if your dog is closely bonded to you or another member of your family.

Some dogs are best motivated using a favorite toy.

Show the time before giving commands and if your dog responds properly, offer a short game of fetch or tug.

The goal is to find the one thing that will make your training most effective. This means your dog needs to be willing to do whatever it takes to earn it.

3) Use Positive Reinforcement Training

There are many different tools and methods of training. But, the best approach is using a positive reinforcement technique.

Dominance-based and aversive-based training has been criticized and proven to be outdated. They may even have a negative impact on a dog’s well-being.

For the best results, use positive reinforcement-based training.

Reward your dog for behaving the way that you would like. This will encourage these behaviors moving forward.

Keep in mind that timing and consistency are important.

You want to reward your dog immediately after the desired behavior. This will help him associate the behavior with the reward.

Once you start rewarding a behavior, be consistent. This means rewarding your dog every time that behavior is demonstrated.

Troubleshooting: Contact a Professional

If you have tried all these methods with no success, it may be time to call in a professional.

Make an appointment with your veterinarian to rule out medical causes for your dog’s behavior. They may also recommend calming medications.

If the cause isn’t medical, reach out to a dog trainer or behaviorist.

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Britt Kascjak
Britt Kascjak has been active in the animal rescue community for over 15 years, volunteering, fostering, and advocating for organizations across Canada and the US. Her ‘pack’ includes her husband John, their 3 dogs – Daviana, Indiana, and Lucifer – and their 2 cats – Pippen and Jinx.