Tips for Training Indoor Dogs
Working in the field of animal training gives you the opportunity to train dogs and other animals who live in various environments. One of the most common challenges faced in dog training is working with dogs that live in apartments. Some dogs thrive in apartment settings while others struggle with the confinement and lack of access to outside spaces.
If you have an animal career in a large city like New York where the majority of people live in apartments, there is a good chance that you will be spending time helping pets deal with the challenges of living indoors. Here are three of the most common problems you will encounter when dealing with training dogs that live in apartments.
Housebreaking: It can be difficult to train dogs that live in apartments to be housebroken -- since they spend the majority of their time indoors (especially if their owners work during the day) they sometimes need to be trained to use litter boxes or pads. If you are attempting to housebreak a puppy in an apartment, it's important to create a space for them to use that is away from where they eat or sleep and cover it with pads or other products. It is also important to make sure your pup is on a feeding schedule.
You can take puppies there after they eat or drink water, before and after nap times and whenever they look agitated. Over time, the puppy will begin to understand that they are expected to use the pads or litter box. Positive reinforcement and forceful (but not negative) behavior correction will train dogs appropriately, but it will likely take longer than training a dog to go outside.
Barking: One of the most common reasons a dog owner living in an apartment comes to a dog trainer is because their dog won't stop barking. This can be a serious problem if the barking is enough to disturb neighbors. However, barking is a natural action for dogs. Instead of trying to eliminate the problem, it's a good idea to reinforce when it's appropriate to bark or re-direct him to an appropriate behavior like sit.. If you can train a dog to bark on cue, they will be less likely to bark at other times.
Unruly Behavior: Nothing can ruin a pet owner's day more than coming home to find out that their dog has torn up their couch or soiled their favorite rug. A dog trainer can help pet owners with this problem by introducing their pet to crate training. Many dogs enjoy having an enclosed space of their own to go into when they feel stressed or have separation anxiety from their owners. A trained professional can help teach dogs to go into their crates when they are alone instead of acting out.