New four-legged family member? Here's how to break any bad habits

What's better than an adorable new four-legged family member? Not much, right? Well, what's not so great is your new furry friend causing all kinds of chaos around the house. Dog owners know training your new pooch takes patience! After all no one wants o

LAKE NORMAN, N.C. - What's better than an adorable new four-legged family member? Not much, right? Well, what's not so great is your new furry friend causing all kinds of chaos around the house. Dog owners know training your new pooch takes patience! After all no one wants orders barked at them, not even a dog.

Which is why NBC Charlotte's Rachel Rollar talked to the experts to find out how to break your dogs bad habits before that cuddly holiday gift turns into the nightmare before Christmas.

First of all, we have to remember that they are dogs and not humans. 

"Dogs really are looking for leadership and not to be treated as an equal," said Doug Woods, owner of the Lake Norman Dog Wizard.

Here's where the tricky part comes in; It's your responsibility to teach them that.

1. What to do when "Fido" just won't listen:

"If we're just trying to teach them simple commands, put all their food into a food pouch," Woods said. 

On a morning walk for 15 minutes you can feed them their entire bowl of food for the day while teaching them simple commands like sit, stay, and heel.

"That way they are learning to work for their food."

2. How about "Fido" won't stop jumping on the new couch: 

"Provide more structure for the dogs," Woods said. He explains, if they're given too much space there's no telling what they can and can't do. The Dog Wizards recommend sectioning off part of your house deemed dog-safe.

3. This one is bittersweet. "Fido" is bursting with fun-loving energy, but you just want to relax:

The Founder/CEO of the Dog Wizard Gretchen Hollifiled weighed in on this one.

"Every owner has this dream of coming home and cuddling on the sofa when they get home from work," Hollifiled said. "That's easy to do if they're getting their proper exercise, socializations, and mental needs met."

However, you can't just go to work and leave your pet inside all day and expect that to happen.  Just like humans dogs need all kinds of mental stimulation.

If you're looking for more tips and tricks consider training lessons with the Dog Wizards themselves. They offer classes across our area including at the Lake Norman Humane Society.  Speaking off, you really can teach an old dog new tricks, so now is a great time to consider adoption as well!

Happy training!

© 2017 WCNC.COM


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