Teaching Wolfie the Wrong Stuff

I like to teach Wolfie to do a lot of fun stuff, but sometimes he seems to take advantage of me and do them at the wrong time.  What can I do and what can I tell Wolfie?

We see this a lot as we are out working with out clients.  They teach Wolfie things like "give paw".  This is great when they ask him to do it, but they don't understand that they are conditioning him to do it when he approaches other people or might want attention. 

Just to peak your interest, a few other examples of teaching Wolfie the wrong thing are:

  • Jump on me when I come home.
  • What do you hear?  What do you hear?  What do you hear?
  • Get the squirrel!
We think nothing of this because, as humans, we can understand when an action should take place and when it might be inappropriate to perform an action.  This is based on our ability to "logically think through a situation".

Wolfie learns through pure repetition and consistency.  If I teach him to "paw me", he might paw me even though I might not ask for it.  If I teach him that it is OK to jump on me, he can jump on me and anyone else.  Wolfie doesn't understand "I can do this when...".  He only understands that it is acceptable to perform an action I have taught him.

So, the bottom line is never teach Wolfie inappropriate actions.  Don't teach him to "give paw" because he might go up to a guest with new, white silk pants.  Don't teach him to jump on you because he might go up to a two year old and jump on them.  Don't teach him to go "crazy at the window" because he might do it when you are in the middle of a dinner party.

As a general rule of thumb, teach Wolfie the basic commands and you will be fine.  We like to make sure that all dogs know:
  • Come
  • Sit
  • Stay
  • Down
  • Walk
  • Crate/Bed
These are all simple obedience commands that won't have the possibility of causing inappropriate behavior.  If you have any questions, please contact us at Broward Dog Trainers


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