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Madeleine Ross, CPDT-KA, November 8 2018

Replacing A Bad Behaviour With A Good One

It is much more efficient and effective to teach your puppy how to do the thing you'd like, rather than teach them not to do the thing you don't like.

For example, you could teach a dog not to jump to get attention, but what if the next attention seeking behaviour they tried was even worse? You'd have to start the training all over again to eliminate the new undesirable behaviour.

If you chose instead to teach a new behaviour to replace the one you'd like to get rid of - for example, you taught a jumping dog to sit politely to greet people - the training would go much faster and easier.

Here are some other practical examples of this strategy:

- Teach a begging dog to wait quietly on a rug away from the table
- Teach a demand barker to sit quietly to get attention
- Teach a dog who pulls on lead to walk next to you
- Teach a dog who howls for their dinner to go to their crate and wait quietly
- Teach a reactive dog to focus on their owner when they see another dog
- Teach a dog that barks when visitors arrive that the doorbell/knock means to go to their mat and wait quietly
- Teach a dog that whines to be let out to ring a bell instead
- Teach a dog that jumps uninvited onto people’s laps on the couch to ask politely by sitting and waiting for permission

Written by

Madeleine Ross, CPDT-KA

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