You can't teach an old dog new tricks, but you can get an old dog back on track. If your beloved pet is starting to misbehave, you might be at a loss for what to do. Don't despair and think that you're out of options, especially for USA Services Dogs who need to be trained to perform important tasks. Focus on the task at hand and take on the challenge as mindfully as possible. Here are five ways you can retrain your dog.
1. Enroll in an obedience school
Obedience school isn't just for puppies. Adult dogs can also receive a thorough education in obedience. Trained professionals can work with your dog to help them become their best friendly and loyal self. Look for reputable schools in your area and schedule a visit as soon as you can.
2. Be strict with them
Your dog might be misbehaving because they know how to push your buttons. Like an unruly child, they might realize that the more they whine, the more likely you are to give in. This could range from letting them outside the moment they bark, to giving them a bite of your dinner as soon as they start to beg. You need to set boundaries in order for your dog to understand their place.
3. Set an appointment with a pet psychologist
Like humans, dogs are susceptible to mental illnesses. In fact, it could happen to as much as half of the canine population. If your dog is acting out, it may be due to depression or anxiety. Bring them to a psychologist and work to find the root of the problem and overcome it.
4. Have presence
For your dog to behave, they need to respect you. If you seem passive in your body language, they're not going to take you seriously. Stand tall and proud and speak to them in an assertive voice. By no means should you be threatening or intimidating. You just need to be confident.
5. Positive reinforcement
While you shouldn't reward your dog unnecessarily, a treat for good behavior is a nice thing to do. When they associate good behavior with something good happening, they're much more likely to keep up that good behavior.
Retraining a dog can take time, but the effort is worth it. By working with your dog and giving them the necessary attention, you can help them get back on the right track.