By Karen A. Soukiasian
By using the Always Be Consistent — ABC rule — of dog training, you can help your dog learn appropriate behaviors so she can make the right choices.
We all want happy, well-mannered dogs. The best way to achieve that is to keep things simple.
Use the ABC rule to avoid inconsistencies
If you teach your puppy to walk on the leash, but let her walk in front of you or pull you sends a mixed message. Be consistent; keep the dog at your side. Reward your dog with calm praise, when her behavior is appropriate.
The second most common example is setting a rule about allowing your dog on the furniture. If you decide not to allow your dog on the furniture, but one person lets the dog up, how can your dog know what’s appropriate? It’s confusing and allows the dog to justify misbehaving by thinking, “Why not? ____ lets me do it.”
Dogs also have trouble understanding a no jumping rule if you are inconsistent. If you don’t want your puppy or dog to jump on you or your guests, be consistent! Jumping is a natural way for a dog to demand attention and show how happy she is to see you. But everyone must be consistent or the dog doesn’t understand it’s inappropriate. Ignore your puppy — even turn your back — until she calms down or order her to sit. Once she’s settled down, then acknowledge her and lavish her with affection.
All it takes is one person to feed your pet from the table! You don’t want your dog to learn that all she has to do is look pathetic and be persistent to get food. If you don’t want begging, be consistent and never let anyone feed your dog from the table.
The ABC rule makes training easier for yourself and your pet. By being fair, firm and consistent, it won’t take long for your puppy or dog to learn appropriate behavior. Sit down with your family, and decide on the rules. Make it clear for the dog’s sake; it is everyone’s responsibility to be consistent. Let’s face it; we all want our dog to be the happiest and most well-mannered darn dog on the planet!
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