One challenge that many people run into when they own an apartment dog is territorial aggression. Dogs are naturally territorial and being confined in an often smaller area can elevate that tension. Certainly not all dogs have this problem but it is certainly common in some. If you do have a dog that is showing territorial aggression while living in an apartment, there are some things to encourage a more friendly demeanor. Here are some tips to make your apartment dog friendly:
How to Make Your Apartment Dog Friendly
Be Sure to Give Them Plenty of Exercise
Exercise is absolutely vital to any healthy dog and not just in the physical realm. A healthy mentality is necessary for your dog to relax and exercise is one of the best ways of ensuring that. Get your dog out of the house on a daily basis. In fact, several times a day is ideal if it is at all possible. The more exercise your dog gets, the more relaxed they are likely to be. This is especially true for an apartment living dog.
Consider Clicker Training
Clicker training is simply teaching your dog to replace bad behaviors when they hear a cue… In this case, a clicking sound is engaged each time the dog performs admirably. It is very important to click when they do the right thing and not the wrong thing. Dogs want to make us happy and do the right thing, so naturally they will begin to associate good feelings, rewards and affection with the sound. Over time they will stop the bad behavior in an effort to replace it with praise. This method of positive reinforcement is a wonderful tool to train your dog.
Stop Reinforcing Bad Behaviors
Many times we will reinforce the aggression or territorial behaviors without even meaning to. For example, playing tug of war seems innocent enough. Unfortunately, it can teach a dog to be wary of anyone going near “their” toys and show aggression. By paying close attention to the various games and things we do, we can often identify problems we can change. Look for anything elicits a “guarding” response. Growling, barking and various other signs will help us to see potential areas to work on.
Consider Paid For Training
No matter how hard we try, some problems with apartment dogs can’t be done without a professional. If you have tried a number of methods or simply feel as though a pro would be a better choice, there is nothing wrong with paying for help. Spend some time searching for a quality dog trainer and attend classes with your dog. You might be surprised at just how much your apartment dog can learn.
Making an apartment dog friendly really comes down to not keeping them cooped up to often, as you can see! Just give them time with you and a bit of freedom to get outdoors when you can, and they’ll be fine!
Do you have an apartment dog? How did you train him?