If Iíve learned anything about dog owners itís that those with the worst behaved dogs have the longest list of excuses.
ĎItís not his fault. He didnít start it. She only wants to play. He never does it at home,í are programmed responses to every unruly incident.
You have to take responsibility for your dogís education and excusing every indiscretion wonít help him one iota.
If youíre convinced your dog understands he must stay off the furniture you must ensure he obeys but you (and ALL your family) must be consistent. Dogs donít understand grey areas they are either allowed to do something or they are not. Permitting your dog to lie on the sofa because heís not well will only confuse him. In the dog world pack rules are inviolable. Thatís how a pack works. Allowing rules to be broken is a sign of weakness that will not be lost on your dog.
Using your voice to reprimand your dog is vital. I donít mean shouting but guttural growling when he misbehaves and high-pitched praise when he does the correct thing is vital. If he ignores you you must be prepared to follow up or heíll regard you as all bark and no bite.
How much Ďbiteí you use depends on the personality of your dog. Big Cole our rehabilitation dog is a sensitive soul and a growl from me is enough to stop him in his tracks but Tommy is a tough challenging dog who thinks he rules the world. I have to shake him from time to time to remind him who is in charge but I NEVER excuse his bad behaviour.