Does your dog repeatedly do things that you don’t like? Trainer reveals where you’re going wrong

Dog looking guilty next to a torn up sofa
(Image credit: Getty)

Does your dog's behavior leave much to be desired? Are you handing out endless dog treats without achieving anything in your training sessions? Unwanted habits and repeated actions can be frustrating for dog owners. However, there's hope! 

Experienced trainer Carolyn from Good Dog Training has shared valuable insights and a solution to address these behavioral issues effectively. With her expertise in positive, science-based training methods, Carolyn sheds light on the crucial step of preventing dogs from rehearsing undesirable habits.

The key to breaking the cycle of unwanted behaviors lies in understanding the impact of rehearsal. Carolyn emphasizes that the more a dog practices a particular behavior, the more ingrained it becomes. This is where proactive intervention comes into play. Carolyn's solution involves stopping the rehearsal of unwanted behaviors right from the start.

She talks about this in a recent Instagram post which you can view below or continue reading to find out more.

For example, if your dog tends to jump on guests, Carolyn advises against allowing them to continue this behavior. If you're learning how to stop a dog from jumping up, there are a few methods but one solution backed by the Good Dog Training coaches is to have your pooch on a leash or safely confined when visitors arrive. This way you prevent them from rehearsing this unwelcome habit. This step sets the foundation for behavior change.

Another common issue many dog owners face is their pet's lack of responsiveness when called off-leash. Carolyn's advice is clear: don't let your dog continue this behavior. Instead, keep them on a leash while working on improving their recall skills. By doing so, you prevent them from rehearsing the behavior of ignoring your calls. Don't forget that you aren't alone in tackling these issues, just read this owner's tale of dealing with and overcoming bad off-leash behavior: My dog embarrassed me with her terrible off-leash behavior — here’s how I fixed it.

The same principle applies to other problem behaviors, such as barking at everything out the window or displaying aggression towards your other dogs when you hand out food or treats. Carolyn recommends blocking your dog's view from the window or restricting their access to prevent them from rehearsing the barking behavior. Similarly, temporarily refraining from giving treats when dogs are together can help break the cycle of aggression.

By implementing Carolyn's proactive approach and following positive training methods, dog owners can create an environment that encourages desirable behaviors. It's never too late to make positive changes in your dog's behavior and for you both to embark on a transformative journey towards a well-behaved and happy companionship.

Jessica Downey
Staff Writer

With over a year of writing for PetsRadar, Jessica is a seasoned pet writer. She joined the team after writing for the sister site, Fit&Well for a year. Growing up with a lively rescue lurcher kindled her love for animal behavior and care. Jessica holds a journalism degree from Cardiff University and has authored articles for renowned publications, including LiveScience, Runner's World, The Evening Express, and Tom's Guide. Throughout her career in journalism she has forged connections with experts in the field, like behaviorists, trainers, and vets. Through her writing, Jessica aims to empower pet owners with accurate information to enhance their furry companions' lives.