How to Verbally Correct One Dog When You Have Two

photoQ:

I have two dogs –  one is a Pit Bull while the other is a Boston Terrier. I have read somewhere that you should not use the dog’s name and the word “no” together so that he does not associate any negative feelings with his name. But what if I’d like to correct one of my dogs? How do I tell him “no” without both animals feeling that they are in trouble?

For example, my Pit Bull is happily playing with her chew toy, but my Boston Terrier is gnawing on the couch. How do I let my Bostie know that he is in the wrong without making my Pit Bull think that she is being reprimanded as well? My Boston Terrier knows better – I have corrected him before using a prong collar and merely telling him “no” will get him to stop. What should I do in this situation?

A:

You’re right about not using the dog’s name along with the word “no”; I don’t advise pet owners to do this.

The solution to correcting one dog when you have two (or more) canine companions is eye contact!

Don’t worry about the “innocent” dog’s feelings. Just make eye contact with the one you want to correct. However, if your dog is chewing on your couch, you should NOT be giving verbal corrections. What you actually need to be giving are leash corrections.

You should treat chomping on the couch as a major “violation”. You do not give your dog $2 tickets for chewing on the couch. You give him $200 tickets, or else your corrections will be useless. Keep the training collar as well as an eye on your dog.

You should not be giving only verbal corrections for this behavior, period. Two to three leash corrections for chewing on the couch should keep your dog from doing it ever again. If he continues to do it, though, then it means that your corrections are not firm enough. You may also want to try removing one link from the prong collar so that it fits snugly.

I hope this helps!

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