Moving Beyond Ignoring 'Bad' Behaviour: Effective Strategies for Supporting a Greyhound's Behaviour

June 13, 2023 10:28
In the world of dog training, the notion of ignoring "bad" behaviour in dogs has been a common and often overused piece of advice given to owners.

However, as our understanding of canine behaviour and training methods evolves, it's becoming clear that simply ignoring unwanted behaviour is a suboptimal strategy.

We'll explore why ignoring behaviour may not be effective and introduce alternative strategies that can help improve your greyhound's behaviour in a positive and constructive way.

Understanding the Root Cause: Rather than ignoring the behaviour, it's crucial to understand why your greyhound is behaving that way. Dogs often engage in certain behaviours due to underlying reasons such as fear, anxiety, or lack of training.

Identifying the root cause will enable you to address the behaviour more effectively and compassionately.

Positive Reinforcement: Positive reinforcement is a powerful tool in dog training. Instead of ignoring the behaviour, focus on rewarding and reinforcing desired behaviours. When your greyhound behaves appropriately, offer verbal praise, treats, or playtime to communicate that their actions are desirable. This approach helps your greyhound understand what is appreciated of them and reinforces positive behaviours.

Redirecting and Distracting: Rather than ignoring the behaviour, redirect your greyhound's attention to an alternative, more appropriate behaviour. For instance, if your greyhound is exhibiting undesirable chewing behaviour, provide them with appropriate chew toys or engage them in an interactive game. Redirecting their focus helps them learn what is acceptable and channels their energy into positive outlets.

Consistent Training and Boundaries: Greyhounds thrive in an environment with clear boundaries and consistent training. Ignoring unwanted behaviour without providing guidance and training can lead to confusion and frustration. Set clear rules and expectations for your greyhound and engage in regular training sessions to reinforce good behaviour and discourage undesirable actions.

It’s also important to avoid punishing unwanted behaviour as this can cause your dog to develop negative emotional associations towards you and impair bond formation. Punishment also fails to tell the dog want you want them to do, which can be frustrating from a learner’s perspective.

While ignoring unwanted behaviour in greyhounds is still often touted as the best way to ‘fix’ problem behaviours, it's important to recognise that there are more effective ways to improve your dog's behaviour.

Understanding the root cause, utilising positive reinforcement, redirecting attention, maintaining consistent training are all valuable strategies.

By adopting these modern approaches, you can create a harmonious and rewarding relationship with your greyhound, promoting their positive development and well-being.

Remember, patience, consistency, and a positive mindset are key to achieving long-lasting behaviour improvements in your beloved greyhound companion.

Interesting in adopting a greyhound?

The retired greyhounds at GAP NSW are supported by our professional staff which is comprised of qualified animal behaviour scientists and veterinarians.
  • You can meet and greet your new best mate at our facilities
  • We provide adoption support and packs
  • We match a greyhound to your lifestyle
  • We have multiple locations throughout NSW