I cringe when I see a cute puppy tearing up couch cushions in some video or TV commercial. Oh, and how about when some a big dog slings mud everywhere in the house as he gives his coat a good shake?

By cogdogblog (https://www.flickr.com/photos/cogdog/26710345282/) [CC BY 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

That was my cue to say to the rest of my family, “See, that’s why we don’t need a dog”.


Yet, they got one anyway.


To be fair, my dog hasn’t done anything like that yet. But I don’t put it passed her. I admit she’s learning obedience. But, she’s always looking for a mischievous opportunity.


Keeping your dog out of trouble takes time and effort. Here are some ideas to consider as you work to keep your furry friend out of trouble.


The Dog Ate My Homework


We’ve all heard someone say it before– whether it was from television or real life. Someone claims their dog ate their homework and hopes the teacher will accept the excuse. At times, the claim could have been true. But the excuse begs the question:


Who was watching the dog?


Wirehaired dachshunds don’t have a reputation for obedience. But they’re not as awful as some make them out to be. This breed is generally well-behaved, but with an impish streak.


Like the time I was teaching her fetch. I threw her toy into the next room. She comes back with it. Good job! I throw it again. This time she emerges with one of those fast food hamburger wrappers! Where’d she get that from?!


And then there was the time I fell asleep on the couch . . . but I didn’t crate her first. Next thing I know, I wake up with her snuggled against me.


Aw, how sweet! She was looking up at me with such loving eyes.


Then, I get up to use the bathroom and find a pile of poo on the floor.


And, she peed on my cloths that I forgot to put away.


The lesson? Watch your dog. When your dog knows you’re watching, they tend to display their best behavior. Yes, they will test their boundaries sometimes. But if you show consistency, you can give firm, verbal correction and get them back on course.


You can prevent problems before they happen by redirecting their behavior. Because once a dog does something bad, you can’t punish them for it and expect any results. Your best bet is to encourage the good behaviors and steer your dog away from the bad. And you can’t do that if you don’t watch your dog.


Wear Them Out

By Gabyrlo [CC BY-SA 4.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)], from Wikimedia Commons
Exercising your dog goes a long way towards good behavior. When your dog gets to play and go on long walks, she burns off excess energy. This allows your dog to become calmer. When your dog is calmer, she won’t look for trouble as much. She’ll listen to instruction better and will be less jumpy in new situations. Try to exercise your dog daily. If you can’t, try to get someone you trust to help with that. Exercise for your dog is a big deal.


Obedience School


Training your dog will also keep her out of trouble. (And training goes much better after exercise.) You want your dog to reach a place where she listens to your commands. As with children, dogs don’t always know what’s good for them. They’ll eat things they shouldn’t or dash out in front of danger. In those moments, you’ll need your dog trained well enough to listen to you when it counts.


If your dog is running out of the yard, she needs to do an about-face when you call her. That doesn’t happen without training. If she’s picking up something that’s bad for her, she needs to drop it at your command and back away. This comes with training. You can do the basics yourself with time and research. Or, put your dog in a training class with a certified dog trainer. The results are worth it.


When You Can’t be There


By Srđan Popović [CC BY-SA 4.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)], from Wikimedia Commons
Of course, we can’t watch our dogs every second. That’s where you use the crate. In those moments where you need to leave your dog unattended, you’ll want to crate your dog.

The crate can be like your dog’s bedroom or den. This can be a safe place for your dog. You can leave toys and food puzzles in his crate to entertain him. Have a trusted relative or neighbor check on him if possible. Try to use the crate a little as possible, but do use it when you can’t keep an eye on your dog. And if at all possible, exercise your dog before putting him in his crate for longer periods. See, exercise again. Like I said before, “exercise for your dog is a big deal”.


I Only Wanted You to Notice Me


By Doryana02 [CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], from Wikimedia Commons
Make sure you spend quality time with your dog. If you do all the things I’ve mentioned before, that quality time will naturally happen. Wirehaired dachshunds have a tendency to bond with their primary care giver. With that bond, comes loyalty and trust. You can leverage that bond and get good behavior out of your dog. When you give your dog proper attention, he’ll be less bored. And that equals being less destructive.


Not Perfect. But at Least Your Couch Cushions are Intact


So remember: Watch your dog and exercise your dog daily. Spend time training your dog and use a crate when necessary. And spend time with your dog. Let your dog be part of your life.

Things won’t be perfect. But at least your couch cushions will stay intact. And your kids can’t truthfully say, “the dog ate my homework”.

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