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5 widespread canine behaviours and the way to modify them

It’s possible you’ll assume at occasions, “my canine is aware of higher,” however the reality is, except you’ve taught them they usually’ve practiced the coaching in an surroundings or circumstance you’re making an attempt to work in, they don’t know! Immediately we’re sharing optimistic coaching strategies to change 5 widespread canine behaviours. 

Essential observe: Your canine’s behaviour is attempting to speak one thing and it’s vital to take the time to be taught what that’s. From there, deal with educating what behaviours you’d wish to see, reasonably than punishing behaviours you don’t need. 

Leaping up 

In case your canine is leaping up and also you push them off, or say “off,” or “down,” your canine will understand 

this as consideration, and due to this fact, as reward. As a result of our canine don’t perceive good from unhealthy, all of it simply means they’re getting consideration! You possibly can modify this behaviour by ignoring it and turning your physique away, or ready for them to cease, or have all 4 paws on the ground. Be aware of your surroundings when attempting this method because it may not be secure round anybody simply injured or knocked over. 

One other technique to modify this behaviour is thru reinforcement of different behaviours you’d wish to see. This might imply asking for a sit, down, or stand cue earlier than your canine begins to leap. Try this video for coaching tips about greeting calmly. 


Barking is a standard behaviour in canine, and sometimes communicates a necessity. Are they thirsty? Hungry? Have their train, enrichment, and elimination wants been met? After answering these questions, contemplate what else your canine may very well be speaking. 

A couple of methods you may tackle this behaviour: 

  1. Train your canine to bark on cue, after which you may educate one other cue, comparable to “cease” or “sufficient,” to ask your canine to cease barking. Notice: this method could encourage extra barking at first and gained’t be appropriate for all canine. 
  2.  Don’t yell at your canine for barking – all you’re doing is barking with them. If the behaviour isn’t a hazard to anybody, it’s greatest to disregard it. 
  3. Apply different behaviours. When your canine barks, wait 3-5 seconds after which name them to you and provides them a reward. This fashion you’re rewarding the behaviour you need to see and never the barking. 
Pulling on a leash 

Leash coaching is completely different for each canine and in addition relies on your strolling targets. Your canine doesn’t all the time must be at your heel, particularly for those who’re occurring a stroll “for them,” permitting them to smell and discover.  

Some methods to change this behaviour embody:

  1. Plant your ft after they pull on the leash. After they come again to you, start strolling once more. This method could enhance frustration for some canine.
  2. Get an extended leash (10 ft) with more room to roam. This makes the stroll extra comfy in your canine, and provides you extra alternatives to reward them for strolling near you.
  3. Select gear correctly. Discover an appropriately becoming Y-harness that enables for a superb vary of movement.
  4. Train doesn’t equal psychological exertion. Doing 15-20 minutes of psychological enrichment is simply as vital as a day by day stroll. It’s essential maintain your canine enriched bodily, and mentally. 

Chewing is a pure and regular behaviour utilized by canine to self-soothe and relieve stress. It shouldn’t be punished. When leaving your canine of their confinement area, for instance a crate, kennel or puppy-proof room, present a number of chew choices. In case your canine is chewing an inappropriate merchandise, commerce up in worth with a brand new merchandise like a favorite deal with or toy. That approach your canine gained’t see the expertise as dropping a useful resource however gaining one. 


Canines are scavengers, so it’s regular for them to attend and seek for scraps. If begging is rewarded, this may solely enhance. Step one is to disregard the behaviour and educate them they gained’t obtain any reward for it. 

This behaviour may be changed with a “go to put” cue. The tip result’s the canine goes to a particular place to put down and stays there when you’re consuming. An alternative choice is to supply a long-lasting reward or chew of their confinement area. That is helpful when you may’t be arms on engaged on a behaviour, or in case your consideration is elsewhere. It additionally helps create independence.  

Serving to canine put their greatest paw ahead  

Keep optimistic and maintain training behaviours you need to see in your canine! Sadly, many canine find yourself in shelters on account of behaviours that would have been modified with time, endurance and optimistic reinforcement.  

The Ontario SPCA calls these canine VIPs (Very Essential Paws). These are animals in our care who may have a bit further assist, together with all the canine in our care at our Provincial Canine Rehabilitation Centre. This system permits our Animal Behaviour Coordinators to set these buddies up for achievement in our animal centres utilizing evidence-based coaching and Concern Free® strategies along with devoted animal care groups throughout the province. 

To be taught extra in regards to the Ontario SPCA Provincial Canine Rehabilitation Centre, go to   

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