1. Never ask your dog to do more than he’s capable of doing. If it’s physically impossible or he doesn’t know behavior yet, he won’t be able to do it. So you just taught your dog that your cue is meaningless.
  2. Stop the behavior you don’t want RIGHT NOW. The longer your dog performs the wrong behavior or incorrectly performs a desired behavior, the stronger the habit he is creating, and the harder it is to stop it.
  3. Always acknowledge when your dog does the right thing. People ask me when they can wean their dog off praise or reward. I tell them it will be about the same time that they’re willing to go to work and not receive a paycheck.
  4. Don’t make excuses for your dog. Your dog barking and lunging at the fence when people are walking their dog on the sidewalk is not protection. It is an ill mannered dog that you are allowing to become aggressive.
  5. Your dog is only as adaptive as you are. If you’re always making excuses for your dog’s bad behavior, or lack of willingness to do the right thing, you are doing your dog a huge disservice by not allowing him to work through a situation.
  6. Timing is 99 ½% of training. If you drag your dog home after it chased the neighbor’s cat, and start hitting it once you are inside your house, you did not communicate to it to stop chasing the cat. You communicated how bad it is to be in the house with you.
  7. Every correction needs a corresponding reward. If you correct your dog for bad behavior, you need to acknowledge the correct behavior the instant the bad has stopped.
  8. It takes about 100 repetitions for your dog to sorta kinda get it.
  9. Make sure your dog has plenty of exercise. A tired dog is less likely to be stressed or destructive.
  10. Socialize your dog. Bad behavior is the number one reason dogs are surrendered to a shelter.
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