Are you a dog parent losing sleep over the fact that your dog is not calm or tame? Dogs are one of the most loving and passionate companions you could ever ask for. But sometimes, when they go out of control, it is not so easy to live with them.
You might have asked this question a hundred times to a hundred different people on how to tame a dog. Well, taming your dog is helping them unlearn their previous untamed behaviors while making them understand who the dominant person is.
You can tame your dog in two broad ways- establish your dominance over the dog and work on their unruly behavior. With a little patience and effort, you can tame your dog in no time!
Establishing Your Dominance to Tame a Dog
The initial part of how to tame a dog involves establishing that you, the human, are the dominating person between the two of you. You can practice a few ways to go about it.
Make Them Learn a Few Easy Commands
Initially, your dog may find it difficult to obey you. The best way to establish your dominance is to make your dog obey you every day. Make it a practice to make them follow simple orders daily to show you are in control.
Simple orders which are very basic to follow, like Sit, Stand, Lie Down, Come Here, et cetera, can be taught easily using treats and rewards. Make them understand that you should not be taken for granted.
With time, you can move to teach them more complex tricks and complicated commands to establish your control further.
Body Language to Establish Control
Just like we use words and actions to communicate, canines use their bodies to talk to us. You may not understand their body language initially, which makes it difficult for you to set the tone of control.
However, you can use certain easy tricks and ways to make your dogs understand that you are the one in control here. For instance, do not let your dog walk through doors before you. Try using the ‘Stay’ command to make them stay until you are on the other side of the door. Using baby gates for puppies also help to set the tone.
Another thing you can try is not to let them pull you when you take them out for walks. Try to pull your dog towards you without whipping or aggressively jerking the leash. Make your dog walk at your speed. For stronger dogs, you can use head halters or control devices till they learn to walk according to you.
Reward Incompatible Behaviors
Punishing your dog for unruly behavior is always a bad idea. It instils fear and anxiety in them, which is upsetting and cruel. The best way to go about this is to reward your dogs for incompatible behaviors.
Whenever your dog tries to dominate you, ignore them and offer them a treat or reward to make them stay or sit. This makes them understand that they cannot display dominance if they want a reward.
For instance, if your dog is trying to jump all over you, ignore it completely and not give it attention. Grab a toy or treat and order them to stay or sit. When they obey you, praise and reward them.
If they start jumping again, ignore and repeat the same procedure. Keep repeating this practice every day till your dog understands that they will be rewarded only when they stop dominating you.
Make A Strict Routine for Your Dogs
Once you have made your dogs obey the basic commands, start making them follow a strict routine. You can make them perform basic daily tasks like morning walks, going to the bathroom, being fed, et cetera.
Make sure you perform all these tasks at the same time during the day to set a routine. Reward them initially to make them used to the routine.
Teach Them the No and Off Command
Your dog must learn to obey the off and no commands. This will ensure that you are the one in control. Every time your dog behaves dominantly, you can use the off and no commands to get your message across clearly to them.
Working on Problematic Behavior
Once you have established control, take easy measures to work on your dogs’ unruly behavior. You can try exercise and positive reinforcements to make them tamer and calmer in general.
Regular Dog Exercise
Make sure your dog gets at least 30 minutes of walk daily. Larger and more energetic breeds will demand more. Lack of exercise leads to hyperactive dogs, which will lead to bad behavior.
Dogs may also act out if you do not provide the proper exercise. If you cannot take them out by yourself, get a dog walking service to do the same.
Don’t Let Your Dogs Get Bored
They say an idle mind is a devil’s workshop. Just like humans, dogs also get restless when they are bored and idle. They need regular exercise and playtime to expend their stored up energy.
If they do not get that, they will start destroying your surroundings or keep barking. This may also lead to anxiety or depression.
Make sure you give your dogs a lot of toys to play with. You can try making them play with complex puzzles with a treat in the middle. Take them out for playing in the garden and make them play with other neighborhood dogs and people.
Don’t Reward Bad Behavior
Most times, dogs try to misbehave to get more attention from you. This is usually because they are either too bored or too energetic. Sometimes, all they want is attention, no matter how they get it.
Dogs do not care about the kind of attention they get. All they want is for you to react. So, if you yell or get annoyed or react to their actions, you reward them for bad behavior. You yelling at them for ruining your doormat may sound like fun to them.
Ignore your dogs when they act like this. Make them understand that you will not entertain this kind of behavior.
Positive Reinforcement for Good Behavior
Whenever your dog behaves in a calm, quiet manner and obeys your commands, praise them and give them a treat or reward.
Whenever they misbehave, wait for them to turn calm and give them a healthy treat without many calories in it. Keep reinforcing positive behavior with rewards, and your dog will learn to be calm.
To Sum Up
It can be very difficult to live with an unruly dog that is difficult to control. You may have issues keeping them in a residential society, and they might attack guests or friends and can make your life a living hell! This is why you need to know how to tame a dog.
Be a patient dog parent, help your canine learn and unlearn with time. Do not punish them without any reason or all the time. They might start fearing or resenting you.
If none of these ideas or tricks works out on your dog, we advise you to seek help from a professional who deals with taming dogs.