Is Your Dog Grabby, Pushy, Rude? Watch this Week’s Video for Help!
March 31, 2016
Help has Arrived.
There are few things more frustrating or embarrassing for dog owners than a grabby, pushy dog. They try to shove through the front door, the car door, and the crate door. They jam their noses into the food bowl before it’s even on the floor. They jump up all over guests and are just generally “up in everyone’s business”.
This video demonstrates a few quick and easy ways to incorporate some basic manners into your dog’s routine without spending hours and hours with a treat pouch and your clicker.
A really awesome sit can make up for a multitude of sins. If your dog jumps, if he counter surfs, if he charges through the front door, then a sit can solve it. I don’t mean the kind of sit that you have to ask for fifteen times. I mean that all you have to do is look at him and he sits. It’s so automatic for him that he sits when you stop walking, or when you put your hand on the door knob. Get in the habit of asking him to sit when he really wants things. It will set you both up for a much more relaxing day.
He Gets What He Likes When You Get What You Like.
Behaviour keeps happening if it’s being reinforced somehow. It’s important, when dealing with problem behaviours, to be mindful of what behaviours you may be unintentionally reinforcing and how. Be intentional. Don’t just absentmindedly pass your dog a treat, or give him his food bowl, or his toy without paying close attention to what he’s doing when you give it to him. If he’s being grabby and pushy, then you’ll have to wait for him to settle down. As soon as he’s calm then you can happily give him the food! If he can’t stay seated, or relaxed, then the food goes away.
This one is sort of a no-brainer. Almost all of my clients know this. The problem is that most people don’t realize they’re NOT being consistent. I just spoke to one of my clients whose partner was full of rage about that dog that begs incessantly at the table with her and only her. She swears that she never feeds him from the table but my response was simple. If he never got rewarded he wouldn’t bother to try. Even if she successfully avoids giving him food for six months all it might take is one slip-up to keep the behaviour strong.
With just a few little tricks your dog can turn from obnoxious to polite. Keep the faith:)
If you want further explanation about why behaviours happen you can download our Fridge-worthy handout called “PDF Guide to Puppies Learn”.
Danielle Hodges, CPDT-KA