What does your dog do behind your back that just irks you?
Is it pottying down the hallway? Is it taking something from the trash and running to chew it?
Can you remember the very first time they did the behavior in front of you and what your reaction was? Depending on the first initial reaction you gave to the puppy, is most likely the reason why they are hiding from you to do the act.
Let’s go back to basics!
Dogs learn by association and what works. There’s an action, a reaction, and a consequence (whether it’s good or bad). The dog peed (action), Parent Scolded them (reaction), Learned that relieving in from of person is not a good idea ( negative consequence). The puppy just learned that relieving himself in front of you is not a good idea. But, what happens after that? The puppy goes into another room, pees (action), feels awesome/alone (reaction), no owner that scolds them when they relieve them-self (positive consequence).
Which one do you think the puppy is going to repeat? Each time they relieve themselves in the other room, or do the behavior you dislike, the puppy is self reinforcing himself each and every time he does it. An additional reason why he may be going in another room is because he either doesn’t know, or doesn’t find going outside reinforcing, or inconsistency with the training happened. Self reinforcing behaviors are highly habit forming!
How do I stop this?
If your puppy or dog has a habit of leaving the room to relieve himself or something else, it’s time to have supervision at all times! Yep! We are going back to basics!
Potty training Blog Here: https://hikarufan1.wordpress.com/2012/11/27/look-at-this-mess-potty-training-tips/
Use baby gates or barriers to block off any areas that you don’t want your pup to go into. Close the doors as well. Make sure that they are within your sight at all times, especially if you’re potty training. Being able to see signs that your puppy needs to go is going to help him learn what gets him to go outside plus gets wonderful things. Being consistent with this is going to make a world of difference!
If it’s a chewing problem, supplement him with bully sticks or kongs, or any toy that he is allowed to chew on! Exercise him more, as chewing is sometimes a result of built up energy and boredom (teething as well depending on the age)
When you see your puppy in the act of something you don’t like, try to interrupt him with a positive interrupter and redirect him to what you do want instead and reinforce that. Because dogs learn from association, he will start to realize that great things happen with the behaviors you do like and realize nothing is coming from the behaviors you don’t like.
Age can also play a factor in this. If they are under 6 months old, think of them like a child 1 year and less. Asking for full attention, or even full potty training by this age is like asking the 1 year old child to be completely potty training and follow all your commands. Try to be understanding within this time period as well, as this is in the time frame of the imprinting stage. Meaning, anything that happens positively or negatively, they will remember it for the rest of their life. At 6 months and older, you will face a hormonal teen that will be overly stimulated by anything and everything (Think of a teenage boy or an angsty teenage girl!) This stage takes a lot of patience and guidance to help them through this confusing time! After adulthood (around 2 years), they should be calming down and anything that hasn’t been reinforced, or had been self reinforced, will most likely be a habit by now, so you will need to start from the very beginning to teach him good habits. Good news is, the older the dog, the easier the training will be as they are not going through puppy hood!
Here’s how you can teach your dog a positive interrupter!
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