1. Barking dogs
What makes a dog bark excessively? Mostly it’s boredom, and this is the owner’s fault, never the dog’s. They bark at the slightest thing to entertain themselves. There are a few ways to tackle this. First, exercise, and not just a quick walk!
Obedience training can also help – there are many schools these days. Also, only use one word to scold the dog.
I use ‘No!’, as I can growl it. If my pups are barking too much I will growl ‘No!’, wait a few seconds of silence and praise them with
‘Good dogs’. Every lesson should end with a positive.
2. Dogs that pull when walkingThis issue is easily fixed with a Halti head collar. The strap goes around the back of the head and around the muzzle, just like a halter on a horse. If you look at the huge livestock at agricultural shows, you’ll see them led by
The old adage says: ‘Control the head and you can control the animal,’ and when used correctly the Halti gently persuades dogs of any size to walk at your pace rather than yanking.
3. Overexcited dogs
Many people complain their dog jumps up at them when they go outside. First, consider letting your pooch in more. If you never bring him in, then you’re making the backyard his and he’ll always be happy and excited to receive visitors.
Second, when you go out, pretend you are on a mission, walking past in a hurry but giving a little pat as you pass. Ignore the dog when he’s in an overexcited state, but do pat him when he is calm, especially if sitting or lying down.
4. Dogs that ignore you when you call
You need to find what really pushes his buttons. Is it a toy or food or just your praise? Practise not only in your yard but through the house. Don’t keep calling him if he doesn’t respond, but go to a door or gate as if you are leaving. He will likely come to see what you’re up to – call him if you see him coming and then reward him when he gets to you.
If the dog ignores you while at the park, try getting his attention by calling his name while you run animatedly in the opposite direction. Don’t forget to give him a reward when he comes!
5. Digging dogs
From the very first time you bring your dog home, never let him watch you gardening. Dogs love to mimic behaviour and they will happily ‘help out in the garden’ if they see you working the soil.
If he does dig, don’t fill the space in or he’ll dig it out or find a new one. For recalcitrant diggers, try making the area unappealing with citronella – it’s natural and usually harmless to plants.Don’t feed digging dogs bones in the backyard, and try to catch them in the act after they know your ‘bad dog’ word.