5 Simple Ways to Stop Bad Dog Behavior

Wags & Wiggles | Dog Behavior5 Simple Ways to Stop Bad Dog Behavior

Stopping bad dog behavior can be as easy as giving the dog a different job, changing the dog’s environment, using management tools, changing the consequences, or changing the conditions.

1. Give the Dog a Job

There is an antecedent (event, cue) causing your dog to exhibit bad behavior. For instance, Bobby the Border Collie tends to chase the kids while they are swimming. He only does this behavior when the kids are in the pool.

Instead of chasing the kids, Bobbie learns to play with a dog puzzle toy on his mat while the kids are in the pool. He just found a new “job” to do! No more bad dog behavior.

2. Change the Environment

Roxy the Fox Terrier runs outside and barks at cars, lawn mowers, and other noises while her owners are at work. Roxy gains access to the backyard via doggie door.

The owners remove the doggie door that Roxy uses to start the behavior. Another solution is to bring Roxy to daycare during the day while her owners are at work. No more bad dog behavior!

3. Management

Crates, tie downs, x-pens, and leashes are all different forms of management. Doug the Bull Terrier barks at dogs in the car while the owner is driving.

Doug’s owner installs a secure crate in the back of the vehicle. It is covered with a sheet, and Doug gets a stuffed frozen Kong while in the crate. No more bad behavior!

4. Change the Consequence

The Zurborg Ranch often has quite a few dogs that come and go for rescue and other reasons. The pack of dogs can get very excited when someone comes home (if other humans are home and the dogs are loose). They charge the baby gate, jump on it, and bark. Occasionally, they get into arguments at the gate.

The new consequence to someone approaching the baby gate is that a remote kibble dispensing machine throws food on the floor in the other room. They hear the kibble being dispensed and go running into the other room. Soon enough, the dogs learn to head in the other room when someone approaches the baby gate. No more bad behavior!

5. Change the Conditions

Riley the Aussie has an odd quirk. When the garage door goes up, Riley runs up the stairs and chases the cat. Upon close observation, we realized it only happened when the garage door squeaked. Those were the only conditions in which the behavior happened. A repairman was called for the door. No more bad behavior!

As you may have noticed, there was no mention of punishment to reduce bad dog behavior. There was also very little training that needed to happen in the above circumstances. Sometimes a great behavior expert can change behavior simply. For more information, please feel free to contact us or take one of our obedience classes!

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