At some point or another, your dog will probably exhibit some bad behavior that you want to nip in the bud. At ACDT, we can help you curb those bad behaviors that your dog is too stubborn to give up. Whether it’s aggressive behavior, constant barking, or jumping on your guests when they come to visit, our experts can help you train your dog to be the perfect member of the family. Visit our website to learn more about our dog obedience training or contact us today to sign up for one of our classes!

Discouraging bad behavior can be tough, however, if you catch the bad behavior early enough, there is a chance you can stop it before it becomes a habit. In part one of our multi-part series, we will tackle some of the more common bad behaviors your dog may exhibit and how to discourage them right off the bat!

Stealing Food

Dogs have an excellent sense of smell, so it’s no wonder your pup wants to taste that delicious hamburger or roasted chicken you’re making for dinner. With smaller dogs, this may not be as big of an issue, but with your large dog, reaching up to taste whatever is on the counter is no hassle at all. If Fido has a problem with stealing food off the counter or table, here are a few things you can do:

Baby Proof Your Kitchen

This is a more drastic measure, but it’s effective. If stealing food becomes a continuous problem, you can buy a baby gate and place it at the entrance of your kitchen. Your dog won’t be able to steal food, but at least he or she will still get to be a part of all the action.

Don’t Leave Food Unattended

If you leave your kitchen with food sitting on the counter or table, it’s an open invitation for your pup to jump up and have a bite. The best way to avoid this is to not leave food unattended in the kitchen. This method might require a little more effort on your part, but it also won’t give your dog anything to snack on.

Learn the “Leave It” Command

For those who have trouble keeping their favorite pooch away from the action, or keep forgetting about food in the kitchen, try teaching the “leave it” command. This works for both food left on the counters and any accidental spills during your meal.

If you’re having trouble teaching your dog this new command, enlist the help of ACDT. Our dog training classes will help you and your dog bond as well as help train your dog to be an exemplary member of the family. Contact us today to sign your dog up for one of our obedience classes.

Begging For Scraps

Instead of directly stealing food from the table, you may have a more well-mannered pooch on your hands. Instead of jumping up and taking what he or she believes is rightfully theirs, your dog may sit politely and stare at the food and you until you give in. Those puppy dog eyes work wonders and it’s no wonder why humans have adopted the same tactic. However, if you dog tries this sneaky trick, instead of giving in, here are a few things you can do instead:

Use Your Willpower

It may be difficult, but the best thing you can do is resist. If you dog learns that giving you that longing look results in a food reward, he or she will try it time and time again. In extreme cases, resistance isn’t just refusing food; you really have to commit. Let your dog whine all they want, but if you give them food, it rewards their bad behavior.

Distract Them

It’s okay if your willpower isn’t strong enough to resist your dog, but instead of giving in, try and distract him or her. Try and set your pooch’s dinner time for the same time as your own. If their own dinner isn’t enough of a distraction, you could also try toys, rawhide bones, or food puzzles. You want something that will keep your dog distracted for the entire length of your meal.

If you are still having trouble discouraging bad behavior, ACDT has dog training experts who can assist you. We offer dog obedience classes that help your dog learn all the basic commands as well as resolve those annoying habits. Visit our website for more information and contact us today to sign up for your class.

Keep an eye out for part two of our multi-part series where we give you more advice on discouraging bad behavior.