Every time you and your dog are together, your dog is learning something. Just knowing that should help you begin to be aware of your habits…and how those can create habits in your dog.
Some habits can develop without your even being aware until it’s too late. A problem we created at our house was encouraging the dogs to rush to the door and run outside quickly. This happened by accident, and we didn’t even realize it was a problem until we took the dogs to my parent’s place on Lake Anna. We like it when the dogs rush out the door – it ensures they’ll leave the porch and go out into the lawn and do their business. However…when my parents let them out at their house, the dogs almost bowl them over and create havoc.
Another common (bad) habit people crate is encouraging the dog to take off when the leash is unclipped from the collar. Often, people unclip the leash after they’ve gotten back inside their yard or house, and say "Okay!" and the dog gets the chance to run free and play. Unfortunately, the dog thinks that when the leash comes off, they should automatically run off and play — which isn’t so good if you’re not inside a fenced yard or if you’re in an unfamiliar location.
Often, the sight of an open door is the accidental cue for "Go outside." If you normally just open the back door and allow the dog into the fenced yard, the dog thinks that any open door means go outside. Which can become a real problem at any door that opens to an unfenced yard, or when visitors come into your house.
It’s much easier to create good habits than it is to erase bad ones. Take a moment this week to notice habits you may not want your dog to pick up!
Brent M says
Wow! Looks like a lot of info here! I stumbled upon this from your comment on Erin’s blog. I will be saving this as a favorite!