Solving Behavior Problems
Pug behavior and associated issues is a constant topic among Pug owners. There are some people who say that this breed is harder to train because they seem a little stubborn. We don’t think that’s the case. It might actually be that, because they are so cute and adorable, many Pug owners spoil their little friend without knowing. Pugs make the perfect companions and become so excited when their owner arrives home, it’s only natural to accept the jumping up to greet you. Or is it?
Correcting Pug behavior problems requires discipline and consistency. Consistency, patience and regular training sessions form the foundation of any successful program. It is much easier to start when your Pug is a puppy but, yes, you can correct behavior issues after your Pug has matured. It is definitely worth the time and effort. We hear from many Pug owners. One of the things they share are details about their dog’s behavior. Many tell us how they would love to take them out more often but their Pug’s behavior is a problem. They’re almost embarrassed to admit it. The fact is that, if they are willing to spend the time, they can correct the problems without spending a fortune on individual training sessions.
There are a lot of good programs on basic commands and they work very well if applied consistently and with patience. But to correct a Pug behavior problem requires a little more work and a little more understanding. These are techniques that can be learned. That’s the good news. In fact, that’s the really good news. Once you learn the techniques you will be in control and not finding yourself running off to a trainer every time a problem behavior needs to be corrected.
The techniques will work for puppies and mature dogs and will correct the most difficult Pug behavior problems. Is your dog a barker? Has he been prone to a lot of accidents in house training? Does your Pug beg for food from the table as you and your guests are eating? Does he become embarrassingly aggressive when a stranger comes upon the scene? These behaviors can be corrected. And the best news is that you can do it yourself and become closer to your Pug than ever. You will have a tremendous feeling of accomplishment when your Pug becomes a model of good behavior.
But let’s be clear about one thing: it will take a little bit of learning, some determination and patience to implement a successful program. The techniques are proven and almost any Pug behavior can be improved. There are books and training courses on this subject and some of them can be expensive. But even those are a bargain when compared to a constant dependency on taking your dog to a training class to correct a problem. It’s better when your Pug’s behavior is corrected by you!
Almost all of the training you will learn will follow the same basic pattern. You want to interrupt the problem behavior and reward an alternative behavior. One of the most common problems is unwanted barking from your Pug in social situations. Some owners just accept this behavior because they figure barking is a natural instinct. After all, we’re talking about a dog! But, even this behavior can be corrected by following a technique that can be learned and applied easily. Let’s cover the basic steps that could be followed.
What you want to do is to stop the behavior as it starts. With barking it is sometimes effective to use a shaker can which is a can that will make a disruptive noise when you shake it. Coins or nails in a tin can will usually work. When your Pug starts barking, shake the can. The noise will stop the barking. You then employ the second step which is to praise the silence. Pugs love to be praised by their owner. They thrive on any sign of affection from their owner. Clickers are sometimes used when you praise or reward your Pug and they learn to associate the clicker noise with the praise and the proper behavior. You want to reward positive behavior and exercise patience. It will not work to punish the bad behavior. Rewarding the positive behavior will result in a much better behaved dog. Patience is the key.
You’ll notice that we did not reward the Pug with food. You do not want to use food as a bribe in correcting a Pug behavior problem. There are other, more effective ways to create a reward system. We mentioned a clicker and that is probably the most common method. We believe Pugs are very trainable because of their innate desire to please their owner and have their owner lavish praise and attention on them. It is the best reward. The association of the sound of the clicker with good behavior in the above example is the technique that will create the reward system and it relies on the same principles Pavlov discovered long ago. Ivan Pavlov, of course, was the Russian physiologist who discovered that an artificial stimulus, such as a bell, could be substituted for a natural stimulus, such as food. He received a Nobel Prize for his work in 1904. His discovery was extremely important and forms the basis for training programs like the one just described. It’s rather amazing that this wasn’t discovered until just about a hundred years ago. It allowed dog training to rely on a positive approach and develop techniques that reward good behavior.
As we have said, there are books and manuals and even training DVDs that have been created on the topic of Pug Behavior and Dog Training in general. We believe this is an area that every Pug owner should explore in depth. After all, there is nothing more adorable than a Pug except for a well-trained Pug. You’ll be surprised at how much closer you become with your Pug and you’ll get an incredible feeling of pride the first time someone notes what a well-behaved dog you have.