We’re all familiar with the age-old debate about what has more influence over us: nature or nurture. Well, the truth is, they are so interconnected that it’s not even something we can debate (although dog trainers sit around and do it for hours!). But, in obedience dog training, what we can count on is the behaviors your dog displays are genetically based.
We don’t do anything that we are not genetically programmed to do. So, when your dog licks his behind in front of company, or snags a steak off the counter, keep in mind that he’s designed to do that. Now, that doesn’t necessarily mean these behaviors have to happen – a good trainer well versed in obedience dog training can help you train your dog to act in a more appropriate way.
The thing to remember is that if your dog is doing a behavior to the point that it is becoming annoying, then he probably has a biological need to do that. So, if you have a dog that loves to scavenge, maybe hiding food around the house for him to find will satisfy that need, and he won’t jump up on counters or try to open garbage containers.
Or, if you have a Dachshund and you find him digging holes in your back yard, a “legal” digging area might be just the thing. Hide good stuff in the designated area, make it conducive to digging in other ways like loosening the dirt or putting a different kind of dirt, and redirect him to that area when you see him starting to dig.
Basically, instead of just being annoyed or getting mad at your dog, think about how you can fulfill that need in a way that doesn’t disrupt your life. In the end, your dog will thank you with better behavior!