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Problem: Excessive licking
Solution: She licks because she loves. And because she’s bored. Divert her attention by having her do tricks (“Spin,” “Sit,” “Paw”). Chances are, she’ll forget how badly she wanted to lick you in the first place.
Problem: Begging at the table
Solution: Get your pooch a dog bed and teach him to go there on command (the helpline gurus will walk you through how to do this). Then, when he even thinks about growling for your fajitas, say “Go to your bed.” He’ll know to wait out the rest of the meal there--and that he may get a (dog-appropriate) treat when you’ve finished eating.
Problem: Lunging at other dogs
Solution: Teach your pup a “Watch me” command. (Again, the trainers will explain how.) Then, when you see another dog coming your way, tug on the leash and say “Watch me.” Your little lunger will look you in the eyes until you release him, which you’ll do after the other dog has passed.
Problem: Chewing everything in site
Solution: After puppy-proofing the house, teach your dog a “Leave it” command. Place an ever-tempting flip-flop in front of her. When she takes the bait, say “Leave it” and trade her for a dog-safe chew toy.
Problem: Jumping up on you
Solution: Say nothing and turn your back when a jumping episode begins. When your dog stops, calmly praise and reward.
Problem: Getting into the garbage
Solution: Since eating trash is so self-rewarding for dogs (mmm, gross tissues and steak gristle), your best bet is just to remove the temptation. Lock your trash or keep it out of reach.
Congratulations, you’ve successfully taught Buster to pee outside (80 percent of the time) and to give you paw with puppy-dog eyes.
In other words, he’s completely perfect... until he rips apart your new sofa.
For dog owners who could use a little help on the obedience front, assistance can be found through the American Kennel Club’s new GoodDog Helpline.
For a one-time fee of $80, GoodDog members get unlimited access to phone help courtesy of professional dog whisperers--seven days a week. Just dial in with a particular problem (or a generalized panic attack) and a trainer will calmly talk you through your options.
We recently called to ask a few of our most pressing questions--from what to do with a constant licker to how to keep old “Chew”-bacca from destroying our stuff.
Check out the tips we picked up here.
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