Goals Of Behavior Modification Training For Dogs

goals of behavior modification training

If your dog behaves badly, then this article about correcting dog behavior is just for you. The whole point is that a dog cannot only behave well throughout its entire life, it behaves as nature intended, but we must fight its behavior and its natural desires. So, in this article let’s know the goals of behavior modification training for dogs.

Here’s a breakdown of the goals of behavior modification in dogs and the key takeaway:

Goals of Behavior Modification Training

Behavior modification aims to adjust a dog’s problematic actions. Here’s why it’s important and what it focuses on:

  • Correcting Unwanted Aggression: A key goal is teaching the dog that the owner is the pack leader and aggressive behavior is not tolerated. This promotes stability and lessens the likelihood of aggression.
  • Adjusting Hierarchical Behavior: Training establishes obedience, increasing control over the dog and correcting dominance-related aggression towards family members.
  • Muzzle Training: Teaches the dog to feel comfortable with a muzzle, making it easier to control them in situations where bites may be a risk.
  • Preparing for Social Experiences: This involves exposing the dog to children and uncommon situations that might normally cause fear or aggression. It’s about teaching appropriate responses.
  • Replacing Unwanted Habits: Help the dog overcome habits like grabbing people’s clothing, which often stems from playful puppy behavior that was never corrected.
  • Redirecting Aggression: Dogs often misdirect aggression when frustrated. Modification teaches them coping mechanisms to avoid lashing out at others.
  • Teaching Patience: Dogs prone to agitation or aggression need to learn patience and self-control through training and exercises.
  • Crate Training: A safe, contained space (crate) gives a dog their own area to de-stress, and also provides owners with a management tool.
  • Reducing Excessive Barking: This training focuses on minimizing disruptive barking while understanding that some barking is a normal canine behavior.

Key Takeaway

Behavior modification is crucial for a well-adjusted and happy dog. It’s important to understand that dogs don’t behave badly on purpose – they act on instinct and habit. Here’s what to remember:

  • Positive Reinforcement Works: Focus on positive, reward-based training methods. Punishment can worsen aggression and damage the owner-dog bond.
  • Hierarchy Matters: Establish yourself as the clear leader, providing guidance and structure to your dog.
  • Professional Help is Available: Seek guidance from a qualified dog trainer, especially in cases of serious aggression or complex behavioral issues.

Additional Notes

  • Patience and Consistency: Behavior modification takes time and effort.
  • Age and Breed: Consider your dog’s personality and breed traits when addressing behavior.
  • Owner Participation: Your involvement is crucial for success.

Behavior modification builds a positive relationship between you and your dog, leading to better communication and a well-mannered, contented canine companion.

Goals Of Behavior Modification Training For Dogs:

On the way to achieving maximum performance from a dog, beginning dog breeders make several training mistakes – common training mistakes. This material will reveal to you the mistakes that should not be made in raising a dog to avoid behavior problems. So, see below the goals of behavior modification training for dogs.

Correction Of Unwanted Aggressive Behavior:

The aggressive behavior of a pack and its members depends on many conditions, but primarily on the leader of the pack. The leader decides when to launch an attack on an outsider, controls hierarchical aggression – stops fights, and punishes bullies. 

He sets an example of behavior and controls the behavior of the pack members. Therefore, becoming and being the leader of the pack, or at least dominant about the dog, is a sure way, if not to exclude, then to significantly reduce the likelihood of the dog’s aggressive behavior.

Correction Of Hierarchical Behavior:

For any form of unwanted aggressive behavior, regardless of the dog’s age or breed, you must train it in some kind of obedience course. To avoid any misunderstandings, this must be done under the guidance of a training instructor. 

If you have already trained your dog at a young age, you will need to do it all over again. Training is the best way to correct hierarchical relationships and increase the controllability of a dog’s behavior. Along with training, it is necessary to make serious changes in your family’s lifestyle.

Training A Dog To Wear A Muzzle:

Pay special attention to the choice of muzzle. It is better to purchase a muzzle made of fairly thick leather that retains its shape well and at the same time is elastic. Metal muzzles look good, but are dangerous if the dog hits his head on something. 

If the likelihood of bites is high, purchase a blind muzzle. The muzzle should become a harbinger of some important and pleasant events for the dog, then it will treat it calmly.

The dog always enjoys a walk, affection, food, and playing with other dogs. We need to make sure that she gets what she likes only with a muzzle on. If using a walk as a positive reinforcement, only go outside with him. To begin, after putting on the muzzle, quickly go down into the yard and immediately remove it from the dog.

Gradually increase the time you wear the muzzle and put it on and take it off several times during your walk. If the dog is actively trying to remove the muzzle, and the threatening intonation and distracting jerking of the leash or the commands “Near!”, “Sit!” or “Lie down!”

If they don’t help, remove the muzzle and scold it, but then put it back on and praise the dog as joyfully as possible. You can remove the muzzle and immediately return home or to the entrance. 

After standing there for 2-3 minutes, the command “Walk!”, put a muzzle on the dog and go out into the yard. After tiring training sessions, release her for a break only with a muzzle. The same goes for playing with other dogs.

If your dog has already mastered any skill to the point of automatism, for example, moving on the command “Near!”, you can put on a muzzle while performing this technique, stopping attempts to remove it with an executive command. And as she masters any general disciplinary skills, accustom her to a muzzle.

Behavior Correction:

Be sure to take the training course again and correct hierarchical relationships. Increasing the dog’s controllability and its unconditional obedience is a guarantee to avoid conflicts.

But correcting the hierarchical relationship between adults and the dog is one thing, and raising the hierarchical status of the child is another. If you have a fairly old child (8 years and older), prove to the dog that he also has the right to control its behavior. To do this, become an instructor-trainer for some time.

Take the dog on a leash and the child by the hand and find a quiet place to practice. In the first stage, keep the dog on a leash yourself. She should be to the child’s left, and you should be to the dog’s left and slightly behind. 

Have your child give familiar commands to the dog in a clear, loud, and confident voice. If she does not comply, you silently but firmly force her to follow the child’s commands.

It is advisable not only not to say any words, but also not to look into the dog’s eyes – you simply are not there. But the child must not only command but also encourage the dog. You force it, and the child praises, strokes the dog, speaks kind words to it, and gives it a treat. Practice all obedience commands in this way.

Preparing For Social Experience:

This refers to the experience of communicating with children. In this case, the child is perceived as an unusual phenomenon, and everything unusual easily causes both indicative and defensive behavior.

In fact, on the one hand, the annoying, noisy, and extremely active behavior of children can be considered by the dog as dangerous or, at best, as obscene, and on the other hand, the dog simply may not know how to behave with such an unpredictable creature.

“Understanding the nuances of effective training techniques is essential for any learning process, be it for humans or animals. In the realm of pet care, Dog training particularly vital as it not only shapes obedient behaviour but also fosters a bond between the pet and its owner. Programs like those offered at Brain Training for Dogs provide in-depth insights and practical approaches to dog training. Their methodologies emphasize mental stimulation that goes beyond the basics, ensuring a well-trained and mentally agile pet.”

A Consciously Or Unconsciously Formed Norm Of Behavior With Social Partners:

If, while raising a puppy, he was allowed to grab a person by the edges of clothing, arms, or legs during games, over time this becomes the usual norm for his interaction with social partners and is easily reproduced during games or to attract attention. However, quite often the dog is physically influenced (with punishment) to resolve the conflict. 

But if we constantly spank the dog when he does something wrong or does not obey, we will teach him this form of conflict resolution. And then there will be nothing surprising in the fact that she herself will use this method.

Redirected Aggression:

When we don’t succeed in something that we have passionately and for a long time strived for, we, of course, do not experience positive emotions. But we need compensation. And very often we alleviate our condition by redirecting our aggression (irritability, tediousness, pettiness, pickiness, etc.) towards family members. 

Our dog does the same thing. She is well aware that growling at you and growling at your child are two very different things. In the first case, you risk getting hit in the ear, but in the second, success is guaranteed.

Teaching Your Dog Patience:

Influence the dog in a comprehensive manner, i.e., practice habituation skills, increase the threshold of pain sensitivity, adjust the form of behavior, and at the same time begin to rework defensive and instrumental aggressive reactions. 

The same exercises are necessary if the dog has not met or had little contact with children (incomplete socialization).

As we already mentioned, from the dog’s point of view, children behave incorrectly. First of all, they make loud and unusual sounds, which, according to the dog, may be associated with trouble. Break this stereotype.

When alone with your dog (so as not to injure others), try to behave like a child. Scream, squeal, moo, yell, roar, laugh, and at the same time feed and praise the dog. Make sure she doesn’t get excited. You can record the children’s noise on a tape recorder and feed the dog with sound accompaniment. Sooner or later she will get used to it.

Crate Training A Dog:

The vast majority of foreign trainers believe that with proper training, a dog can be happy having its own living space.

The crate should be appropriate for your dog’s physical strength and size, that is, it should be strong, wide enough for the dog to turn around, and long enough for him to lie down in it and stretch out.

It is best to place the cage in the most frequently visited room or in the kitchen, but not next to the central heating radiator and not in a draft, not in your bedroom or in the children’s room.

Place bedding in the crate and a few items that the dog could chew on (tendon bones, toys, etc.). If you are going to leave her in the cage for several hours, make sure there is a water bowl.

There are several ways to crate-train your dog. For example, start feeding her only in the cage and place the food bowl in the far corner. Next, do as stated in the section “Teaching the dog the skill of returning to its place.

Excessive Barking:

Barking is very natural for dogs and very beneficial for us. If dogs didn’t bark, they would lose half their user value. However, frequent and excessive barking can be a problem for both the owner and others. This can be compared to our speech. Speech is a very useful thing, but no one likes communicating with a chatterbox.

It is believed that dogs bark for several reasons. First of all, barking is a means of communication. A dog may bark to attract attention, make a statement, warn an enemy, or announce that territory is occupied. 

Often barking reflects a functional state – the more excited the dog is, the more willing it is to bark. Almost all types of aggressive behavior are also accompanied by barking, and it is especially characteristic of territorial aggression, which is most pronounced in guard dogs.

Tips For Behavior Modification Training For Dogs:

In most cases, intrafamily aggressive behavior is a manifestation of either hierarchical or instrumental aggression. As already mentioned, aggressive behavior is repeated if it leads to positive consequences for the dog. Prove to her that this is not so. 

Simultaneously with the training process, convince the dog that the benefits of life that he previously received for nothing or achieved through aggressive behavior can only be available if he obeys.

  1. Training and raising a dog. You should start training and raising a small puppy from a very early age. Since a small puppy is easier to train and teach manners and commands than a large dog. For this purpose, the site has prepared material on how to train a puppy, and how to raise a puppy. And for those owners who already have adult dogs – how to train a dog, how to raise a dog.
  2. Punishment for disobedience. Any mischief by a dog should be punished. The punishment must be strict and correct. Not all owners punish their dogs correctly. To do this, you need to know how to properly punish a dog.
  3. The puppy or dog refuses to come when you call it. The whole point is that your dog needs to be taught the command to come to me. And sometimes resort to tricks by luring her with a piece of sausage.
  4. If the dog picks up from the ground on the street or at home. To do this, you need to wean your dog from giving food from the floor. Each dog should have its own toe, with which it must eat food every day. 
  5. A dog barks, how to stop it? Dogs naturally bark, but you can train your dog to stop barking. Just with effort, time, and diligence. Check out the article: How to stop a dog from barking.
  6. The dog is afraid of everything. Every dog has its own fears and you need to be able to deal with them. If your dog is afraid of people, dogs, explosions, gunshots, fireworks, etc., then an article on how to stop a dog from being afraid will help you deal with your pet’s fears.
  7. How to stop a dog or puppy from whining – this article will help those owners who do not know how to console their dog when whining or take the right measures to stop whining.
  8. The dog shows aggression during feeding. This problem lies in the wrong approach to raising a dog. Growling during feeding signals the fact that the dog does not consider you a leader, which means you need to start educating it and exercising restraint before eating.
  9. The dog bites your arms or legs. If your dog bites your hands and it is unpleasant or painful for you, then simply read how to stop your dog from biting your hands and feet. Some owners believe that this is bad manners for dogs, but dogs almost all bite hands during play. It’s another matter when you just want to pet a dog and it bites you, then in this case you need to take action.
  10. The dog chews things in the house. A common situation is when a dog chews things in the house. This may be due to her habits or the fact that her teeth are just growing and need to be sharpened if we are talking about a puppy. In one case or another, there is a solution to the problem: how to stop a dog from chewing things.
  11. The dog jumps on its owner. A common problem is when a dog jumps on its owner or a passerby. This can be expressed in her greeting or in her aggression. One way or another, the problem is solved in the following way: how to stop a dog from jumping on people
  12. The dog constantly pulls on the leash. Everything can be solved quite simply with the help of a team nearby. Learn this command well and your dog will always go with you.
  13. The dog digs holes. If your dog is digging holes, then most likely he has excess energy and needs to entertain himself somehow. To do this, you need to punish the dog or give a strict command “fu”. You can learn separately about how to teach a dog the fu command.
  14. The dog constantly begs. The whole point is not about the dog, but about the fact that someone from your family took pity on the dog and began giving him treats upon request. The dog is a very smart animal and after such handouts, it will happily beg. During meals, under no circumstances should you give her anything from the table. Complete ignorance will save you from this problem. If the dog interferes with you while you are eating, punish or give a strict command fu.
  15. The dog constantly requires attention. A dog that has realized that for every whine or bark you resort to it as if it were a child, will constantly demand your attention. You cannot comfort the dog or you will be doomed to hold a candle to the nanny. For every whine or bark, the dog should be punished with the command fu, let him wean himself from this habit. When the dog realizes that this method of attracting attention does not work, it will stop doing it. If you console her, you are doomed to the fact that the dog will always whine or bark.

How To Do Behavior Modification Training For Dogs:

  1. Keep your dog on a leash by one of the family members 3-5 steps from the place. In front of the dog’s eyes, you place several pieces of tasty food in place. Then, at the command “Place!” the dog is allowed to approach or be brought to a place and allowed to eat a treat.
  2. While she is interested in food, they fix her with a leash and begin to work with restraint. After giving the fixing command “Place!” They leave the dog for literally 2 seconds, immediately return, and reward it with a treat. After making 2-3 such approaches to the dog, it is released. After half an hour, the exercise can be repeated.
  3. Gradually increase the distance to the place and the time the dog remains in place. They teach her to return to her place from different parts of the apartment.
  4. At this stage, the treat is placed in place unnoticed by the dog, but it should be there before he approaches.
  5. After 5-7 lessons, they stop putting the treat in its place, but always have it at hand, for example in their pocket. The dog is fed by hand after it has approached the place. If she does not want to sit down or lie down, fix her with a leash and feed her. At the same time, the holding time in place is increased. If the dog takes some pose, it is praised after that.
  6. A dog on a leash is allowed to climb onto the sofa and is immediately given the command “Place!” They bring him to the place, feed him, and work on his endurance. The exercises are repeated.
  7. Use the leash carefully so as not to provoke an aggressive reaction from the dog, but be persistent.
  8. When the dog learns to come to the place, you will no longer need to directly influence him, and thus you can avoid confrontation. Send her to her place when she is lying across the aisle, in the bedroom, hanging out in the kitchen, etc.
  9. If your aggressive dog is a male, then castration will help reduce aggression. It is believed that sterilization of bitches in similar cases is useless. In predicted situations, the use of analgesics or tranquilizers is indicated. However, the use of any medications that reduce the excitability, aggressiveness, or pain sensitivity of dogs should only be carried out on the recommendation and under the supervision of a veterinarian.


To correct a dog’s behavior, you need to take a comprehensive approach. So that each member of your family approaches problems seriously. If one family member consoles the dog and gives it treats, and the second one tries to wean it off, then the dog will still beg.

If all family members follow the same steps – the correct steps, which are described in the links in various materials, then you will be able to achieve maximum success for your dog.

“Understanding the nuances of effective training techniques is essential for any learning process, be it for humans or animals. In the realm of pet care, Dog Training (Course) is particularly vital as it not only shapes obedient behavior but also fosters a bond between the pet and its owner. It offers an extensive course that is cost-effective, with the entire course priced at just the equivalent of what a dog trainer might charge for a single hour ($40 to $120). It covers a wide array of behaviours including Potty Training, Lunging, Jumping, Digging, Whining, Chewing, Excessive Barking, Impulse Control, Hyperactivity, Ignoring Commands, and much more. Plus, they provide a 100% money-back guarantee if you cancel within 60 days, ensuring that your investment is risk-free.”

Aapt Dubey
Aapt Dubey

Aapt Dubey, a devoted canine enthusiast and experienced dog Owner, brings boundless passion to our team. With a heart full of love for our four-legged friends, Aapt is dedicated to sharing insights on dog care, behavior, and training to make every pup's life happier and healthier at ItsAboutDog.com.

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