The concept of dog obedience can be hard to achieve if you do not manage your home properly. As there are often areas in the home environment where the dog acquires bad habits. For example a place where they habitually bark, attempt to escape, objects they can chew, toilet etc which can hinder the process as well as damage belongings.
These areas can potentially be modified or altered in order to further manage the situation. One case of a dog called Murtle springs to mind, in which the owner would go to lengths to ensure she could manage the environment so she had an obedient dog. Murtle was trying to protect the house but the sheer size of the area she was protecting was overwhelming and Murtle would bark and run from each end of the house all day. The owner hated seeing Murtle in this state but was often too late in correcting her barks and the lessons and teh dog obedience lessons were not convincing as a result. The owner restricted Murtle’s access to the areas so she could not slip past anymore by making sure doors were closed and used baby gates where appropriate. This reduced the area so the owner was now in a position to respond efficiently each time Murtle sounded the alarm. Now each time Murtle barked the owner was there in seconds which allowed Murtle to learn from the owners’ response. Once Murtle was convinced of the owners’ leadership in one room the owner would open up another room and demonstrate her leadership there. The owner kept extending Murtles space whilst giving her lessons in small areas at a time until she understood the owner would protect the whole house. Eventually the house was back to normal without the baby gates but now Murtle was in the habit of looking for the owners’ response and became a very obedient dog.
You can manage the house in many ways
- by removing objects out of reach that the dog finds tempting to jump up on the work surface to steal.
- If you have dogs that are really small you could put them on a lead at specific times of the day in which you anticipate problem behaviour in order to get a hold of them if necessary.
- You can cover up little crevices that the dog will hide under to escape from you.
- You can put chairs on the sofa when they leave so the dog cannot get on top and bark out of the window at people walking past in her absence.
- If your dog is chewing up the house every time you leave, make sure there is nothing for them to chew on, or if they are scratching and ruining your door when you leave the room, you could put something temporary like ply wood in place whilst they learning.
- If your dog is particularly strong rather than isolate them you can walk out of the room and close the door behind you.
Whatever the scenario there is always something that can be done if you are persistent in asking the question what can you do to manage the situation further? You will find an answer.
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