While Reducing Needy Behaviour
Get started at homeAs Lili Chin's graphic shows, more often than not, your dog is not trying to be bold or annoying, they are more likely just interpreting a situation differently to you. Whether your dog sticks to you like glue or goes off to do something 'bold' they are doing what they believe works, be it for attention of for frustration/stress relief. The key to sorting any behaviour problem is to avoid it happening in the first place and set your dog up to get it right by doing the right thing.
Expanding your dog's horizons
Here in Ireland it is quite tricky for us as many social spaces do not allow dogs, the less they are allowed the fewer opportunities they have to interact with their peers, other people and new experiences, making us the centre of their world rather than merely an important part of it. For this reason we need to make a bigger effort to find healthy things to do with our dogs. This is less about training or obedience and rather more about giving your dog a fulfilling outlet in life. They need a job or at least a hobby. If you don't provide one they will find one themselves and you won't like it!
One of the best activities to get into with your dog is Scentwork. That is teaching your dog, on cue, to find something that you have defined. It is a low-arousal activity so it keeps the heart rate low, gives them focus and is hugely rewarding for them. On top of this, it is a logical activity promoting logical thinking rather than gut reactions, thus calming things down. Scentwork can be looking for a few treats in a box or full on searching vehicles for a pre-specified odour.
In most scentwork courses your dog will learn to trust their own instincts and skills to tell you where something is rather than asking you is it right or not. This helps build their own confidence and independence in a constructive manner.
Have a look at our upcoming sessions to see if one suits you.
These are great skills to build up that come in use in your everyday life also. The direction involved in agility can be use out on walks or even during off leash time as it teaches your dog to listen at a distance to you (great for recall) and also for getting unwrapped around a tree with a leash. It builds strong joints and muscle to help prevent such issues down the road once done in moderation and at a suitable level for your dog and their age.