Stop That Yelling!

My gram and I were talking the other day (yes, we do have a way of communicating) about the way some people yell at their dogs.

It seems that people think that by yelling at a dog, it will stop for instance barking, well, for a moment it might stop the dog, but generally it teaches the dog that if it barks, you will pay attention to it. And attention is something we dogs dearly love. I would have to say we love attention, almost as much as we love food.

Many humans have been brought up to believe that you teach your dog to behave by yelling, a good smack or a strong yank on its collar. I, as an intelligent lady dog, have to say that kind of treatment went out with the dark ages.

The only thing that type of correction did was make the dog afraid of the person doing the correction, if they smacked or yanked on the collar and the yelling part made most dogs think you were playing. Kind of I bark, you yell competition.

The one thing many of our humans do not understand is we dogs are really social critters and we want to be an active part of our family’s lives. Most of the time we do behave properly, but sometimes I know we get on your nerves with some bad habits.

So how do you cure us of our bad habits with out unnecessary roughness or yelling?

Well, first of all teaching our humans not to yell is difficult, as it is the first reaction to seeing or hearing us do something wrong. Granted there are times when it is necessary to yell at us, in times of an emergency, then NO or COME is important.

However, calling us to “come” in order to correct our behavior with a loud reprimand or other punishment will only teach us not to come when called. That is a bad thing, trust me. We need to know that when our human calls us it is for good stuff and not for punishment.

The first thing my gram suggests is to distract us from the bad behavior or to put away whatever it is we get into.

For instance, if your dog loves to get into the garbage, you have to realize you are not going to be around 24/7 to guard the garbage can. Would it not be simpler for all concerned to either put the garbage can out of reach like in a closet, a cupboard or get a can with a tight lid on it if it is in the house? If it is outside, again get a tight fitting lid or place the can in an enclosure.

I know that is not training a dog, what it is doing, however, is putting temptation out of reach and that works equally well.

The same is true for shoes and children’s toys, if they are put away, we will not be tempted and should we be caught with one or the other, distract us with one of our own toys or chews. It is very hard for a dog to really know the difference between an acceptable shoe or toy to chew and one that is not permitted. That is why it is up to the humans, who have the brains and ability to know the difference, to keep things out of our way, or keep us in a enclosed area until you are around to supervise us. Makes sense, does it not?

Jumping on a person, that is another bad habit we have, we do not consider it bad, as we love greeting new people. But, many humans do not like it and I know it can be scary for children or elderly people.

There are several ways you can put an end to that habit if it proving to be a problem in your household.

First of all you can put us in a room until your company has arrived and is settled in, then let us out to greet them. Another method is to keep us on our leash and teach us to sit, while you welcome your friends in. Giving us a treat if we behave nicely and soon we will be the message that sitting politely gives us treats and pets.

Another method is to have a basket of our toys next to the outside door. Advise visiting friends to have a toy in hand, when they come in and to toss it for us to retrieve, this gives us something to do, distracts us from the jumping and everyone can settle in.

These are just a few ideas that gram and I came up with to help your dogs behave. I hope it gave you a little more insight into how we think and will help you stop yelling Until next time, I am

Your Sadie

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