Before you begin to retrain your dog in order to eliminate this behavior, it is very important to first realize where it came from in the first place. The fact is that if your dog has never been given food from the table, it is unlikely that he would waste his time begging. If the behavior had never been rewarded it probably would not continue.
There are laws and related regulations that require dog owners to keep their barking dogs, or rather their dogs’ barking, under control. These generally relate to “nuisance” in the form of noise.
With dogs or puppies that actually snap at your hand when you get near them, you need to try a different approach. At meal times, take his bowl and place it on the table, out of his reach but within his sight.
First of all your dog isn’t really pulling on the leash so much as she’s being pulled by things in the environment that stimulate and attract her instincts.
If your dog is scared of strangers, do not be discouraged. With proper socialization, obedience training, and leadership (from you, the alpha dog), your canine can overcome his fear of strangers, and become your calm, confident companion.
Remember what Stanley Coren said about forcing a dog over on her back every day? (See The Myth of Alpha (Part 1). He said that this position "signifies submission to the authority of a dominant member of the pack." But dogs don't think symbolically.
Boredom barking is the worst kind of nuisance barking – it serves no purpose other then annoying everyone within earshot. It is also the hardest to stop in some ways because normally you are not present when your dog is bored so there is no way to correct the problem behavior except by relieving the boredom.
Colleen Pelar, CPDT, is the author of Living with Kids and Dogs.
Article: A New Dog with Old Kids
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