We were in Dacula earlier this week working with a new Home Dog Training client and his two year old Boxer named Tunney. As with all dog training sessions, I began with a simple conversation of how Tunney and the family were doing. My client said that Tunny’s biggest problem was that he would just get nuts inside the house and simply wouldn’t listen. He wasn’t a bad dog, just a little crazy and hard to control. I asked my client to elaborate. “Well”, he said, “Sometimes we play crazy in the house with all the kids and that is a lot of fun. Other times when I just want to watch some TV or get work done, Tunny is all over me. I can’t get him off”. Although I normally would address the root cause of this human-canine interaction later in the training session, I decided to address it then and there. I told my client, “Simply put, it is not a good idea to go nuts with your dog in the Family Room!” Well, that makes perfect sense to us, but have we explained that to our dog?
Playing with your dog is always just so much fun. Exercising, bonding, just fun times… are all reasons why we become dog owners. It is important to let our dog know when we are ready to play and when we are not.
We have the ability to understand that when we are home, by ourselves, it might be OK to go nuts in the family room. When we have a dinner party with guests wearing nice clothes, it is clearly understood that it is not a good idea to go “nuts”. We can grasp the concept of “We can go nuts except when we have guests over”.
It does not work the same way with our dog. Our dog can understand “We can play rough inside”. He can understand “We can not play rough inside”. He can’t make the distinction of “We can play rough inside except…”. No matter how much we love our dog, we have to remember that he is a dog and does not have the ability to solve and understand complex logic problems.
When it comes to playing nuts in the house, we can either play nuts with our dog or never play nuts with our dog. I think that it would be best to say “not”. Besides just being annoying, he can jump and ruin nice clothes or jump/push/nip small children.
I always tell my clients just to take all the rough housing outside in the back yard. Isn’t that what you tell your kids? I don’t think that you would play football in your living room! Play Frisbee, hide goodies for him to discover, even set up a small agility course and run him through that. Work on making that great social bond outside where you have the ability to go nuts and create all that adrenaline release. When you come inside, do more of the gentle petting and correct him if he starts to ramp up.
Follow the instructions we have just discussed and you will have a great dog that understands when he can go nuts and when it is time to be calm and obedient.
Please call Robin or me at (770) 718-7704 or (770) 718-7716 if you need any dog training help. We are blessed to have been your local dog training experts for over fourteen years. We have trained over 5,000 great dogs and loving families and are ready to help you.