Anyone who owns a dog would agree that in order to take proper care of the dog a number of people would have to be involved and interact with it on a regular basis. While dogs make for very loving and faithful pets , it must be kept in mind that dogs might not take to strangers very easily. Unfortunately, it is very important for dogs to get used to people because they will have to be taken to the vet for periodic examinations, the groomer for regular nail clipping and then there are children who would love to play with your dogs. All this in addition to the constant stream of visitors to your house who would want to pet your dogs. All this makes it imperative for a dog to be trained appropriately so that he does not become depressed or aggressive . This article gives you some tips in this regard.
1. Prepare in advance
Waiting until the eleventh hour before a visit to a vet is not the right time to start training your dog . Make sure that you start very early and let him get used to people gradually, weeks in advance. If you give him enough time and make him interact with people, slowly, your dog would grow comfortable and would actually enjoy the company of people.
2. Puppies are fast learners
While an adult dog might take some time to get used to people, puppies are easier to train. Make sure that you expose your pup to many people and different settings . There are many handling exercises that you can give your puppy for positive reinforcement like praising it, hugging it, fondling its ears, etc. However, ensure that you do not overwhelm him by attempting to do too much too fast. Begin with yourself and then go on and expose him to others.
3. Never compel your dog
The whole point of this training is to make your dog get comfortable with people and get accustomed to different settings. Forcing your dog to undergo the training , makes the entire exercise futile. Make sure that your dog always feels comfortable and relaxed while being trained.
4. Known to unknown
Start with what you know about your dog. This means that you will have to start slowly and find out what your dog likes and dislikes. If your dog reacts positively to hugs, start from there and then gradually move on to fondling his ears, or scratching his belly.
5. Condition him for grooming
Remember Pavlov’s dog where he was conditioned to react favorably to the ringing of the bell? Try doing that to your dog before you start grooming him. While you introduce the grooming tools to him, pet him and fondle his ears so that he can remember those tools in a positive manner. This procedure is very important whilst trimming your dog’s nails. The first time you attempt to do it, make sure that you are rewarding him constantly with hugs or treats. If he dislikes it, do not force him . Let him take his time, get comfortable and then start again.
It works the same way with brushing too, although dogs are usually comfortable with brushing because it reminds them of scratching. Ensure that you do not brush him too hard or too rigorously because that might make him uncomfortable.
6. Prepare him for regular trips to the vet
Before you take him to the vet, prepare him by exposing him gradually to the experience of having his different body parts examined. If he is given such exposure, he is less likely to get scared or react aggressively to a vet examination.
If, in spite of your continued efforts and patience your dog continues to be aggressive,bring on board an experienced and qualified trainer cum behaviorist.